• CONTACT US if you have any problems registering for the forums.

Berner Oberland Grindelwald and Lenk, Switzerland in 2021

The Alps in Switzerland in the Bern Canton.

Pauline

Forums Admin
We leave on Wednesday but I thought I would put a few planning notes first. This is our 8th year in a row spending 2 - 3 weeks in Lenk, staying the same apartment for the 6th time. Trip planning is so easy when you know a place well!

I added a week in Grindelwald before Lenk, so the trip will be one week Grindelwald, three weeks Lenk and the last week isn't booked. Maybe a week in the Luberon, maybe Italy, maybe Switzerland.

We are driving from the UK. We usually take is slow-ish going across. Driving four hours across southern England to the tunnel at Folkestone, first night an hour from Calais, second night in eastern France close to Switzerland, next night at our vacation rental in Switzerland. When I planned this trip several months ago I decided to take it even slower, adding an extra night. We were planning to spend the first night in Montreuil-sur-Mer, not far from Calais - a small, historic town we haven't been to. Usually we stay in Arras, Abbeville or Amiens. The second night was going to be in Troyes, only 4 hours drive from Montreuil to give us an easy day and time to explore Troyes which has many historic churches and a interesting historic center (we have not been there). The third night was going to be in Switzerland, up in the Jura mountains in Biel/Bienne or Neuchatel, both on lakes.

But, the rising cases of the Delta variant in the UK has me pretty freaked out. During this whole pandemic the corner of the UK where we live, Dorset, has not been touched much by the virus. But, in the last few months, Dorset has rising cases. France too. I realized that now is not the time for a leisurely driving trip across France. So, back to our usual more direct route. Night one in Arras, night two in Colmar, then a three hour drive to Grindelwald. We did this route a few years ago. I would rather stay in Basel but we want to avoid larger cities.

The weather looks good. Temps in the low 70sF in Grindelwald - perfect for hiking. I've got all our hikes planned - easy 3 - 4 hour hikes using buses or gondolas to do most of the climbing.

I've installed the France covid app on our phones and scanned in our NHS vaccination information plus printed out copies. We will need this app even to get into the hotel breakfast room! We don't need tests for either France or Switzerland, just proof of vaccination.

Looking forward to being in France and Switzerland again. Even though I am worried because of covid, this has to be easier than our trip last summer when no one was vaccinated!
 

Pauline

Forums Admin
Wednesday August 18 - on the road

We left home at 10am and reached the hotel in Arras at 6:30pm. A long day of driving. At the Eurotunnel things went well. It was not busy. At customs first we talked to the Brits who scanned our UK passports. Then drive-thru security where they take samples from your steering wheel to check for bomb residue. Then to France customs. There are two lines - EU passports and All Other. For the first time, because of Brexit, we are in the All Other line. But it was not moving and some people were even backing up. I got out our Irish passports and we changed lanes.

At France customs he took our passports, didn’t scan them and asked for vaccination proof. I showed him the printed letters from the NHS. I could have shown him the apps on our phones but that seemed too complicated. He looked at them quickly and that was it. We had sworn statements saying we are not sick, which the UK government website says you need, but he did not ask for them.

We walked around the center of Arras then had dinner in the hotel room, the dinner I made for use yesterday. We are using, for the second year, our small car fridge so we won’t have to go into restaurants.

Masks on in the hotel but you only need the Covid app showing you are vaccinated to get into the restaurant and breakfast room, so we haven’t used it. Walking around town we saw people wearing masks in shops but not outside at tables for the cafes and restaurants.

86E0DCC2-5559-4330-80C3-303A3930261F.jpeg

People playing boules in the main square in Arras.

856B714E-8F5A-4FE2-977B-FA22308F3E6F.jpeg

Main square in Arras.

3C7E5E6E-E8CA-497C-8D96-D014A3B6B352.jpeg

Main square in Arras.
 

Pauline

Forums Admin
Friday August 20

Thursday’s drive went well (6 hrs) and we spent the night in Colmar, not far from the Swiss border.

Today’s drive was only 3 hours.

Crossing the border was exactly the same as every other time, even with Brexit and Coronavirus. NO passport check, NO vaccination status check, pay 40CHF for the Swiss Highway tax and the guy puts a sticker on your windscreen. The only conversation was around where to put the sticker. And then we were in Switzerland.

We both received a welcome text from Switzerland telling us we had to quarantine if unvaccinated. How did they get our phone numbers? Do they detect them as you cross the border? I’ll have to look into that.

We did have a police check yesterday about 30 minutes from Colmar, driving out of a big tunnel and through a small town. The Police were stopping every car. They asked us where we were going, why we were going, and did we have more than 10,000 Euro in cash or 10,000 Swiss Francs in cash. We said no, he said are you sure, we said yes, he said have a nice holiday.

58703EF2-ED4D-4A57-B68D-25D3EE781F79.jpeg

Entering Colmar. Statue of Liberty!

952EDF2A-2743-47FF-977E-8878598D2694.jpeg

Colmar historic center

Today we checked in with the rental agency (very friendly), went to the tourist office and spent 30 minutes going over the hikes we have planned (very knowledgeable and friendly), went to the bakery, drove a few minutes to the apartment and unloaded, then walked to the Coop for a few groceries.

The apartment is lovely. It is in a chalet with three apartments. Ours is on the first and second floors (European first and second), with another apartment beside and one below. We have a balcony with a great view. We are just off the main street and very close to the town center. The kitchen is good. Lots of windows in the apartment.

It is a relief to be here. I was more worried about the border than I thought I would be.

E6B736B2-0974-48EB-8FC0-6BCB856877B6.jpeg

From the train station.

DFBCE844-7AF5-4EFE-9DFA-48229B9B8577.jpeg

From our balcony.

*Edited to add photos of Colmar.
 
Last edited:

Pauline

Forums Admin
Saturday August 21
Sunny and high of 76F

I am feeling the altitude! Out of breath walking up the 2 flights of stairs to the apartment. For 20 years we lived at high altitude in Santa Fe at 2100m (7,000ft). Now we live almost at sea level. Grindelwald is at 1000m.

Hike: Pfingstegg to Hotel Wetterhorn, 3 miles, 250m descent, 1 1/2 hours. Gondola cost 14.40CHF each with Guest Card discount. Bus back free with Guest Card.

We did a short hike today, taking the Pfingstegg Gondola up to 1386m, not very high, then did a 1 1/2 hour walk across the mountain to Hotel Wetterhorn, where we got the bus back to town. It was a good walk, some in woods. We had lunch sitting on a hillside looking at the mountains.

We are nervous on the public transportation but everyone wears masks (not everyone wears them correctly). The gondola up was full, about 20 people standing, with a big window open. The bus was busy but not full with A/C running. We wear FFP2 masks (N95). We had planned to take the First gondola today but it was very busy and they were filling the gondolas which hold 6 people. You are in that gondola for 25 minutes. We will try it again during the week.

81FFB56D-838D-41C8-98CF-3A98F273A8B0.jpeg

At Pfingstegg.

C433D375-7E49-4FA3-B89A-46DA96386B3F.jpeg

Looking down on Grindelwald.

B63640CD-AFEC-4DC6-8E54-A22FF058D55E.jpeg

On the trail.

7D0A8316-A726-4076-B3F0-C9586630397F.jpeg

Interesting rock formations. There are stairs up the side of this one.
 

Pauline

Forums Admin
Sunday August 22
Overcast, rain, much cooler

What a difference from yesterday. It poured rain all night and several times today. We managed a short walk around town, finding three places where we’ve stayed on previous trips. Our first trip here was in July 1988! There are two places on the other side of town where we’ve stayed, so this must be our 6th time here.

I chose Grindelwald for this trip because I thought it would be less crowded than usual. So far, I was wrong.

Grindelwald is very popular with groups of Japanese tourists and because of Covid the Japanese are not traveling this summer. But their numbers seem to be made up by Swiss, German and Middle Eastern tourists. The Berner Oberland, the mountains of the Bern region, is very popular with people from the Middle East. Last summer they were not traveling and it was noticeable in Lenk. They are back this summer. But, so far, we’ve only been here on the weekend. Maybe it will be less crowded during the week.

We walked away from the town center where you find remnants of old Grindelwald mixed with modern chalets.

D9D4248C-E830-4090-B5B8-F1786F8D5373.jpeg

Beautiful old chalet.

8B75E52D-D477-47BE-BBE6-5C0B334FD181.jpeg

The same house from behind. In 1988 we stayed in an apartment nearby.

EB7140D6-F2C9-41E5-93F3-D6B3C05CB1BC.jpeg

Good view of the western side of the valley with the new gondola that goes up past Kleine Scheidegg and the Mannlichen gondola. We plan to walk across this hillside at mid-level tomorrow.

03F08123-B625-4FEA-867F-41E2C4B2F06B.jpeg

An old farmhouse and barn.
 

Pauline

Forums Admin
Monday August 23
Cool, 54F, overcast

Heavy cloud sitting on the mountains, so no hiking today. There are no low level walks, like there are in Lenk, so we walked on the town streets.

The Main Street in Grindelwald is up from the valley floor. At the bottom of the valley there are two gondola stations and a train station, but the main train station is in the town center. Grindelwald sprawls up the hillside. There is a road high up above the town, Terrassenweg, with new chalets. Footpaths go from the main street up to this high road.

It took us 20 minutes to walk up. Then we walked along that street across town, then went down another footpath. It was nice to get a good look at the town. The views from Terrasenweg are very good.

We bought our 3 day bus passes, 55CHF each, for the next 3 days of hiking. The weather is looking better. We found out that the 100CHF notes we had from last year are no longer used, so Steve exchanged them at a bank.

I enjoyed the cooler temps and our walk around town was fun.

360FC660-B7BE-411C-A086-4226CBB12B35.jpeg

View of the glacier from the high road.

1350B1AC-2E74-427C-8FAF-1ADC13767DF6.jpeg

I think we rented the apartment at the top of that chalet in the center, in 2007.

3C6E4F29-85BC-4619-8CCF-44BA8CC27A4F.jpeg

This is our chalet. Our apartment is on the left side.

06754EED-64BC-48AA-BA30-6523D523E0E6.jpeg
Looking to the main road from our building. Not pretty but our balcony doesn’t look out on this because it is higher up.

363793ED-5D1B-440C-A510-9A3F9CC59417.jpeg

Standing at the train station looking at the center of Grindelwald.
 

Pauline

Forums Admin
Tuesday August 24
Warm 64F and mostly sunny. Some cloud at high altitudes.

Hike: Grosse Scheidegg (1962m) to Schwarzwaldalp (1456m, called the Romantic Trail), 5 miles, 2hrs40 min, 500m descent.


We took the 11:00 bus to Grosse Scheidegg, a 40 minute ride on a mountain road up into the mountains. The bus was full and again everyone was wearing masks, but several had them below their noses. You can’t open windows on the bus but there was air flow. No one was standing. Instead there was a second bus behind us with the overflow.

It was sunny and warm in Grindelwald but cooler up at Gr Scheidegg (1962m). The first part of the hike was a wide path towards First, the top gondola station. Most people went in that direction. We turned right to follow our trail down the valley towards Meiringen. The trail was still wide and good. We walked through a farm with very pink pigs and sheep on the hillside. They had self serve cheese for sale. The trail went up to Pfani (!!), a high point set up for people to picnic. Swiss love to hike out and have a fire to cook their lunch. There was a fire pit and benches with a spectacular view of glacier covered mountains and the valley below.

There was only one other couple on the trail. They were ahead of us most of the time.

From Pfani the descent started. The first part was on a narrow path lined by bushes and wildflowers but was a bit difficult. We reached a dirt road used only by locals and that took us down for the last 50 minutes. It was a bit too steep for too long. It was a relief to get to the bottom, to the restaurant at Schwarzwaldalp and the bus stop. We made the 3pm bus back (50 mins).

You can drive to Schwarzwaldalp from Meiringen but it might be a timed road. You can also get a bus there to Meiringen. This is the end of the line for the Grindelwald bus. On the way back the bus wasn’t full but a middle aged guy not even pretending to wear a mask sat across from us. He had his mask in his hand. After a few minutes I tapped on his seat, made the universal sign for please put your mask on and he leaped, apologised and put it on. This is one of the advantages of being an older woman, telling younger people what to do.

Excellent day but too steep a descent. We will do something with less descent tomorrow.

721F0556-73F4-4BA2-9C6E-806BC181C801.jpeg

Looking back on the pig farm.

1EA9EE11-6AD7-4DF9-BFAB-B7EC7F0605A2.jpeg

Looking back on the farm and where we started, on the saddle over to the left.

9D3267E4-C6D7-4F04-8124-6A8BBBF318D4.jpeg

We walked above the valley but eventually had to walk down to it.

BA4AD853-738B-4683-B37C-0672E7041903.jpeg

Pfani where we had lunch.

9813A05B-60A1-4976-9A17-0089F5D23499.jpeg

On the road walking down to the valley floor.
 

Pauline

Forums Admin
Wednesday August 25
Partial sun, 65F, some cloud at high altitudes

Hike: Bussalp to Bort to Unterer Lauchbuhl, 6.77 miles, 3 hours, 300m descent


We got the 11:15 bus to Bussalp (30 minutes). It was not full but almost. There are several hikes to do from Bussalp. We’ve never hiked from here before but on other trips have hiked from the top of the First gondola to Bussalp.

We wanted an easier hike today, with less descent, and this one was perfect. We walked across the mountain at mid-level, around 1600m. There was a lot of up and down with a bit of a descent at the end. My knees were happy than yesterday. There were great views out to the Eiger. We walked through forests, meadows and fields. It was really lovely.

We made the 15:32 bus, same one as yesterday but getting on at a lower stop, with 5 minutes to spare.

I tracked this route on Outdoor Active, a hiking app.


535A9E6B-B266-4C05-A393-5C15C28E185B.jpeg

The Eiger, the Monch, the Jungfrau from Bussalp.

1D4B5F42-8F64-4794-8F3E-6422EC129103.jpeg

Beautiful views on the walk

0148BAA1-FE4D-4D81-9D9C-BD06ADD16513.jpeg

An old chalet.

5107ABA4-77D8-4419-8A99-0D325A2441A9.jpeg

The farmers have been cutting hay.

9C54739A-1980-4035-97CE-2F1D738C3BCA.jpeg

Near the end of the hike.
 

Pauline

Forums Admin
Thursday August 26
Sunny and warm 65F, cloud in late afternoon

As with our trip to Switzerland last summer, I am finding it difficult traveling during the pandemic. This year we are both vaccinated and wear N95 masks. Last year there was no vaccine and good masks were not available. Last year the UK government thought any country with over 20 cases per 100,000 people over a 7 day period was high risk. This year the UK is at 352 cases per 100,000.

35C522F7-C77D-47D5-ADA4-4405627DC698.jpeg


This article below looks at the difference in the UK between August 20 this summer and the same date last summer. From the article: “Case numbers are much higher now, at 37,314 this year, compared with 1,182 a year ago.” The UK has a population of 66 million.

Covid cases: This summer compared with last.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-58281664

Switzerland is not on that list (above) but currently it is below France in case numbers but cases are rising. Switzerland has a population of 8.5 million. They are being hit by a 4th wave of the coronavirus hitting mainly unvaccinated people, with 2,500 - 3,000 cases per day. 720 people are currently in the hospital with Covid. There are not many deaths.


I know I don’t need to be as cautious because we are vaccinated but on this trip we are acting more like we did last year. We did not do the hiking we wanted to in Grindelwald because we did not want to take a gondola. The First gondola is a 6-seater and they are merging groups. I do not want to spend 30 minutes in a gondola with strangers who may not be wearing masks. The Mannlichen gondola seats 10 people and takes 19 minutes to reach the top (they recently improved it so it is faster than it used to be). We did not use either of these gondolas. Instead we took one gondola that holds 20 people but has big open windows and the ride is 5 minutes.

The rest of the time we used buses, which were not perfect but you are spread apart a bit. I emailed the bus company to say that some people don’t wear masks over their noses and the drivers should tell people to mask-up. I got a reply saying they didn’t understand why people do this but their drivers cannot enforce the mask rule because it is a personal decision. Who enforces this then?

We leave for Lenk tomorrow and will be there for 3 weeks. It will be easier there. Fewer visitors, the gondola seats 4 and you can ask to be 2 only. (We used to do this to avoid spending 30 minutes with someone wearing perfume or aftershave.) You can drive to three of the hiking areas. In Grindelwald you have to use buses and gondolas.

I am thrilled to be doing this trip but I can well understand why people choose not to travel right now.
 
Last edited:

Pauline

Forums Admin
Thursday August 26
Sunny and warm 65F, cloud in late afternoon

Today we walked down to Grindelwald Grund, the bottom of the valley to check out the terminal they built for the new gondola that people take to get to the train to the Jungfraujock, the big glacier attraction here. (We saw this once, 33 years ago, and that was good enough. It is super-expensive.) The new gondola replaces taking the train from Grindelwald to Kleine Scheidegg and saves 45 minutes on the trip.

The Terminal is like an airport! An indoor mall with shops and restaurants, some closed because the tourists have not returned. You get the Eiger Gondola or the Mannlichen Gondola. There is a ticket office and ticket machines. All very modern. I remember when it was a small outdoor ticket office for Mannlichen, at the end of the parking lot, and they gave you a Ricola cough drop with your ticket. Now it has a multi-storey car park.

Too modern. The charm is lost. People probably arrive here, shop and eat here, and never see the town of Grindelwald.

We walked on a trail along the river to the end of the canyon. It was a beautiful trail, much like the one we love in Lenk, but shorter. We reached the gorge, the Gletscherschlucht. You can walk into the gorge on a narrow suspended walkway but we decided to call it a day and hopped on the bus that was just about to leave. Back into town, some shopping, and lunch at the apartment.

The weather was beautiful so we spent some time on the balcony then got organised for tomorrow’s departure. Looking forward to really settling in at Lenk.

9FF4B509-69C7-44BC-A74F-029B35FD4DC0.jpeg

View from our balcony this morning. That’s the Eiger!

F5FBF892-4292-4589-B138-D94F5E3DAD2A.jpeg

I love this old hotel. We had a wonderful dinner there about 20 years ago!

FC00B884-5A7C-451D-A88E-F18123C4EE40.jpeg

The bus station, train station on the left.

2AB64CB8-7B69-43FC-9E35-BBE6758ECA5E.jpeg

The new Eiger Express gondola leaving the Terminal.

6760748A-FDAF-4966-9627-702A312F2DF1.jpeg

Trail along the river.

BFC643A0-3455-4828-BF24-3DF2B1B4B42A.jpeg

Gletscherschlucht.
 

Pauline

Forums Admin
Friday August 27
Sunny but cooler.

Travel day! We checked out from Grindelwald at 10am but had to wait until 1pm to checkin here in Lenk. It is a 1 1/2 hour drive. What a beautiful drive, coming down from Grindelwald, the along the lake, Thunersee, then up the Simmental valley (redundant because Tal means valley - valley of the river Simmen).

We stopped near the start of the valley to get hiking information for the Diemtigtal Park, a valley close to Lenk as the crow flies but an hour+ drive by car. We’ve hiked there once and want to again on this trip. We also stopped near Zweisimmen for hiking information for that part of the valley. Again we’ve hiked here once and loved the area.

The tourist offices are always good in Switzerland. They must require that the people on the counter are hikers because they always know the trails and have recommendations. They have detailed maps with hike descriptions, sometimes in German only, but in more popular places they are in French and English too.

I love the Simmental valley. It is not as spectacular as Grindelwald but the towns have beautiful old chalets and the farms on the hills are green and vibrant. There is one town where the roofs of houses almost touch over the road.

We drove on to Saanen because it was too early to checkin, to get the fabulous bread the bakery has there. They had sold out (it is a special sourdough that we like) but they had two buttered pretzels which made the drive worthwhile. They use a whipped butter, and plenty of it, on a big, soft, salty pretzel.

It was emotional driving into Lenk. I really love this small town. It is just perfect for us and the type of hiking we like to do. We picked up our keys, moved our stuff into the same apartment we’ve rented for 6 years. The earlier 2 years we rented from the same agency, Ferienlenk, but a different apartment. So, this is our 8th year in a row here first spending 2 weeks, but we upped it to 3 weeks a few years ago.

Grocery shopping done. Laundry done. Planning to hit the trails tomorrow. No photos today. I forgot to take any.

Steve just showed me a deep pink spatula (flipper?) that he was washing and we laughed because we bought that and left it in the apartment our first time staying here.
 

Pauline

Forums Admin
Saturday August 28
Cooler 55F and mostly sunny

Today we walked out along the river, a flat, easy walk that can be up to 5 miles. We circled back early for a 4 mile walk. It was a bit cloudy, but the sun came out frequently. It wasn’t too busy but we saw other walkers. It is the start of Apple season but no one has free apples out yet. We got lots last year. They had a bad summer weather-wise, so maybe that affected the apples.

The agency that we rent from changed hands last year and last summer we did not see Erika who used to run it, even though she and her husband live in the center of town. But today we saw her near the end of our walk. It was so nice to see her again! She was off, on her own, to hike up to Iffigenalp, the place we usually drive to. It is a 500m climb and she says it takes her 2 1/2 hours. Nice to see her enjoying her retirement!

D8726AF9-DF3F-47D6-8F08-DBDD4D2D87CD.jpeg

Heading towards the mountains.

532388AA-31EC-47DA-B817-8F06797DF03A.jpeg

Heading back to town.
 

Pauline

Forums Admin
The local bakery makes these apricot cookies that I love and today I found the recipe online!

Below is the package info. They are called Ur-Dinkel Aprikosen on the front, Aprikosendinkelgüetz on the back.

622184BE-EEA3-4249-AFA3-3A608FF45963.jpeg


Here is the recipe with the same photo!


Dinkel is spelt. I translated the recipe and will try it at home.

INGREDIENTS (translated)
200 g honey
200 g of sugar
1 tbsp gingerbread spice
200 g dried apricots, cut into strips
100 g almonds, chopped
1 lemon, grated zest
0.5 dl apricotine or cognac
approx. 300 g pure spelt white flour or light pure spelt flour
1 teaspoon Baking powder

METHOD (translated)
1 Heat honey and sugar in a pan over low heat. Mix in all the ingredients up to and including the lemon peel and let it get hot. Add apricotine or cognac, flour and baking powder, combine to form a dough. Roll out the dough on baking paper 6-8 mm thick with flour into a rectangle. Pull the baking paper onto a baking sheet. Let rest for about 1 hour.

To bake: 12-15 minutes in the middle of the oven preheated to 220 ° C. Take out, cut immediately into Läckerli.

2 Reduce the water and sugar like a syrup. Brush the still warm Läckerli with it, allow to cool.

Tips: Process the dough while it is still warm, otherwise it can hardly be rolled out. The Läckerli can be kept dry and cool for 3-4 weeks.

*******
Läckerli must mean flat cookie. Here is another recipe.

 

Pauline

Forums Admin
Sunday August 29
Cooler 54F, overcast with some sun

Hike: Lenk (1068m) to Metsch (1470m), 400m ascent (1300ft), 2.4 miles, 1hr45min.
Hike: Metsch (1470m) to Nessli (1645m) to Simmenfalle (1100m), ascent 250m (800ft), 4.8 miles, 2hr30min.


One of my favourite hikes here is from Metsch to Simmenfalle. It crosses the mountain at mid-level, going thru forests and fields, with views of the mountains and the valley. There is a restaurant high up in Nessli (which we’ve never stopped at, but someday …). The hike starts at the Metsch gondola middle station but this gondola only runs on Swiss school holidays and those end in early August.

When the gondola isn’t running you can take the bus to Buhlberg and walk for an hour to get to Metsch, downhill. There is also a higher version of this hike from Buhlberg.

We decided to skip the bus and see if we could hike up to Metsch from town. We made it but it was nearly 2 hours of steep uphill. And then the hike started! There is another 200m climb out of a gorge on the hike and after all the earlier climbing we both really felt that. Once you reach Nessli it is an hour all downhill, a bit too steep (500m descent). But it was all beautiful and we loved the hike.

We met a nice Dutch couple on the hike at two different points and exchanged hiking notes. They are younger and fitter and hike higher up than we can. They’ve been to the lakes that are high up in the mountains but said the path is narrow, steep and difficult. This is their second summer trip to Lenk and they love it here, as do we.

We didn’t stop at the Nessli restaurant which is perched on the edge of the hillside and looked appealing as the sun came out. We had our lunch on the trail earlier and we wanted to make the 4:05 bus from Simmenfalle. The sign said 1 hour to Simmenfalle from Nessli and we had 1hr5min to do that and thought we would make it … but we didn’t. They path down was steep and even though we each had two hiking poles to help, we couldn’t go fast. By the end of the hike my legs were shaking from the descent. We got to the bus stop at 4:14.

The buses run once an hour and it is a flat one hour walk back to Lenk so we thought we would walk, but I was questioning that decision on the last part of the walk. Happily I had read the bus schedule wrong and the bus pulled up a minute after we got to the stop. I was wondering why we hadn’t seen the bus leaving and why were there people still at the stop.

Home and I felt better after a hot shower, coffee and chocolate! It was cold today and I was wearing my fleece for the first time in months.

67218912-9D0C-456D-8200-1A334FD63D4A.jpeg

We hiked from that valley up higher than where this was taken and then back down.

3D00CE0A-3368-430F-B44E-D01F1FFDB630.jpeg

Old farmhouse on the trail.

A67A8D0C-90D2-44BF-85F7-46B8E446D521.jpeg

Views of the mountains. The lakes the Dutch couple hiked to are up where the clouds start on those mountains.

1B06C3F4-F3E0-468A-9A2C-73D913B8B18C.jpeg

Another old barn.
 

Pauline

Forums Admin
Monday August 30
Cool 55F, sunny for most of the day

We thought we would give ourselves an easy day after yesterday so we drove up to Iffigenalp, in the mountains (1500m) above Lenk. The road is timed because it is a narrow mountain road. You start the drive up from 30 - 45 minutes past the hour and start the drive back on the hour until 15 minutes past. This works well and you don’t spend the drive worrying that someone will be coming down and one of you will have to backup to a wider spot (the way the lanes in Dorset work and some of the other mountain roads here).

We parked at the top and there were only a few other cars. This place is usually close to full. Many people take the bus up, but many drive too. There are several hikes you can do from here. We chose an easy one, walking out the valley until the climb to Iffigensee (alpine lakes at 2000m) starts. We’ve hiked to Iffigensee before but today was not the day.

I had remembered this hike as flat but it is a steady climb of 200m up the valley. We had our lunch and then walked back. We missed the return window by 10 minutes so has a bowl of soup in the restaurant. They serve outside. No one, including servers, wears masks but the tables are well separated and you are outside. This is the first time we’ve had a meal in a restaurant since the one meal we had on our trip last summer. We don’t usually eat in restaurants often but this past year and a half has been extreme.

There was a table of young soldiers at the restaurant and as we were driving out we passed a lot of them, some standing by the road fully armed. We’ve seen the military here before. They were running a gondola that goes high up into the mountains, doing who knows what!

Back for a lazy afternoon. We had good sunshine on our walk but it clouded over in the later afternoon. I like the cool weather - good for hiking.

00C38A87-09B3-409E-A0B4-85E46C051939.jpeg

Looking down the valley back to where we started.

9A788F59-E6ED-4A3E-A044-AF38E620B22C.jpeg

Looking ahead to the climb to Iffigensee.
 

Pauline

Forums Admin
Tuesday August 31
Cloudy in the morning, sunny in the afternoon, 57F

Today we did a long, easy walk. 9 miles, 3hr10min, flat or slight downhill. We walked from Lenk on the footpath along the river to the end of our valley at Zweisimmen, then took the train back. We did this trail 2 years ago on electric bikes, but went out and back. They have changed the trail a bit so for the last few miles you are in woods, away from the river.

It was a fabulous hike. It was nice to see the villages you pass quickly in the car. It is a wide valley with the road, the train, the river, a bike path along the river and then the walking trail that is on the bike trail in parts. There are farms in the valley and everyone was out haying today.

The train is now free with our guest cards. They changed them this year to include the train as far as Gstaad/Saanen to the south and to the Stockhorn gondola in the north, plus buses in Lenk and Gstaad. Previously it only covered buses in Lenk. This is a big change! It somewhat joins Lenk with the Gstaad/Saanen area.

977C4BB6-FAC9-4BE7-986F-4F32C76EA1CF.jpeg

Walking through this village, Reid.

13A29959-71CD-45B4-8F9D-08C20B8BCE35.jpeg

Looking back towards Lenk.

059688C5-247C-4621-AFD4-29CAFF99DA20.jpeg

Our chalet is on the right, a bit more down this walk.

E88D6A0F-71CE-4CE4-8E8D-FE1E59A866C9.jpeg

Looking back to the town center with the supermarket (Coop), pharmacy, post office and Hotel Krone (part of Ferienlenk who we rent from). We are just a couple of minutes from this area. Very convenient for groceries. The bakery is further on.
 

How to Find Information

Search using the search button in the upper right. Search all forums or current forum by keyword or member. Advanced search gives you more options.

Filter forum threads using the filter pulldown above the threads. Filter by prefix, member, date. Or click on a thread title prefix to see all threads with that prefix.

Sponsors

Booking.com Hotels in Europe
AutoEurope.com Car Rentals

Recommended Travel Guides

52 Things to See and Do in Basilicata by Valerie Fortney
Italian Food & Life Rules by Ann Reavis
Italian Food Decoder App by Dana Facaros, Michael Pauls
How to Be an American in Italy by Jessica Scott Romano

Share this page

Top