Today has been pretty unremarkable by our current standards, we traveled from Kandersteg to Gruyeres (both in Switzerland), walked and biked around the village we’re staying in, had some fondue and saw a nice sunset over some interesting looking mountains.
What we really need to talk about is the alps.
Our next stop was Lucerne, much closer! From Lucerne we could see mountains all around and did a day hike around a pretty large mountain. This was cool, and provided some nice views, but we hadn’t had any awe inspiring moments yet.
So we kept heading south, to Interlaken this time. From here we saw the famous faces of Jungfrau, Monch and Eiger. Three peaks that loom majestically over this insanely touristy town. Hordes of asian and middle eastern tourists swarm on and off buses and every other shop is selling Swiss Army knives and chocolate.
From Interlaken we headed further south, into the valley west of Jungrau past the famous towns of Murren and Grindelwald to a little town called Stechelberg. In Stechelberg we turned our wheely bags into backpacks, strapped them on and headed up the trail. There was a cable car that would have taken our bags up to the hotel, but we missed it and ended up hauling our bags up the 800 meter ascent. During the hike we saw hints of the view that awaited us at the hotel, when we cleared the final switchback we were greeted with this:
That doesn’t quite show all the peaks that surrounded us, there were two more off to the right. The big one on the left is one of the less famous faces of the Jungrau. There was the awe inspiring moment we had been looking for.
We were greeted by the hostess of the hotel who said she had been looking for us but was glad we were there, the tables outside were full of people drinking beer and wine and hikers kept filing in as we relaxed after the grueling climb on our balcony. The hostess told us dinner would be at 7 as we settled into our room.
Dinner was a lively affair with the common room full of guests. We made friends with our table mates and good conversation accompanied delicious homemade fare accompanied by the friendly “would you like some more?” that hungry hikers love so well.
So that was a pretty epic day.
More on our days in the alps next time!