• 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
Wednesday September 1
Sunny, some cloud, low 60sF

Hike: Leiterli (top of the gondola, 1946m), long way back to Lenk via Truitlisberpass (2038m) and Wallegg. 4.5 hours, 9 miles, 1000m descent in last 3 hours.


We do this hike once or twice on each trip. It is a long walk, with a bit of ascent early on, then gentle descent through fields and woods. Beautiful views.

Today we ran into a diversion when we were 1.5 hours from the end. The forest service was doing tree removal and river bank repair on my favourite part of the walk. And we had to skip stopping at the Wallegg Stube, a nice mountain restaurant. Instead of a walk along the river, in the trees, we had to walk for an hour along a dirt road. At least it was an easy descent. Towards the end the diversion signs pointed us into the woods so we had a nice walk there towards the end.

When we were on the road we had to stop while a helicopter delivered logs from the woods to a place by the road. It got so close to us that it blew Steve’s hat off! We watched for awhile until we were waved through. Steve and I both worked for a Canadian lumber company in Vancouver in the early 80s (in IT of course), so we had fun reminiscing on those jobs as we walked on.

Again, very tired when we got back. We had a late start because it was cloudy in the morning so didn’t get back until 5:30. The weather was good on the hike. Mostly sunny but not too hot.

17C0BA10-BB19-4174-8987-839F52CC270F.jpeg

Starting out on the hike. We walk along that ridge you see with green and grey streaks. It is narrow and makes for an interesting 10 minutes.

DB066B1E-3FD4-4295-A07B-F3BABC04D9CC.jpeg

A group of kids taking Trotti bikes down the mountain.

9E89F981-79BD-42C2-BD2C-4CD24B8A2C50.jpeg
An hour into the hike, views of the Gstaad valleys.

F4FC668F-9535-46D2-8BC4-C7789313D407.jpeg

In the middle of the hillside, no road near, it looks like someone is building a timber-frame small house!

982CE6C0-4DE4-460A-8585-74DB1D0C1A50.jpeg

The fields were full of pretty wildflowers. I liked these deep purple ones.

205A0042-2108-4FD4-ADF8-6DAF0A1AADF0.jpeg

Hiking signs with diversion arrows and notice of trail closure until the end of the year.
 

Pauline

Forums Admin
Thursday September 2
Sunny and warm, high 60s

Another beautiful day! We’ve been lucky with the weather. On our trip 2 years back we had snow at this time. Switzerland has not had good weather this summer, neither did the UK, but it is better in both places now.

Today we drove to Simmenfalle at the end of the valley and walked up to Rezliberg, a hike we usually do once a week here. The climb up gets harder each year - 300m ascent in 60 minutes. The worst of the climb is over at 50 minutes and then it levels out and you are in a beautiful valley, surrounded by rock mountains, with several waterfalls coming off the glaciers and turning into rushing rivers. There is a restaurant up there but we kept walking to the very end of the valley and had our sandwiches.

There were a lot of people up there, all having done the climb. There was a group of students by the waterfalls, with a campfire going for their lunch.

A beautiful day and a good 5 mile walk.

100E835D-1D50-4592-89AF-E207949E62A7.jpeg

The Rezliberg valley.

AA2EB620-56DA-463A-8178-DBA7A4232E26.jpeg

View from our lunch spot. There were small bugs which persuaded us to not linger after lunch.
 

Pauline

Forums Admin
Friday September 3
Sunny and warm, low 60sF

Today we did nothing. It was a beautiful day and we wanted to go for a walk but we only managed going to the bakery. I read, knitted while listening to the Michael Cohen podcast, and napped in 15 minute intervals because the church bells ring every 15 minutes and wake me up. They change to every hour in the night time and I sleep through that.

Big day tomorrow! The Cow Parade. Usually it is the second Saturday of September but it is early this year and won’t be the full extravaganza. Also a beer festival in the town center in the evening.

596FA281-8DFF-41CC-8B80-1508201F3F0A.jpeg

Butterzopf, Swiss Braided Bread, in the local bakeries on Friday and Saturday. Looks like the Challah we get on Fridays in Israel, except that version is dairy-free (because of Kosher rules). Maybe this Swiss bread goes back to Jewish-German roots?

16F79CD6-F16A-4555-A990-23076C69B1BC.jpeg

Cow Parade! Farmers in St Stephen, a few miles from Lenk, dress up their cows to bring them down from alpine meadows, where they spend the summer, to their valley farms.

0929EC2C-1C0C-4633-A79D-5E1AB21B6ABF.jpeg

Beer Festival!
 

Wendy Ashworth

10+ Posts
Hi Pauline and Steve,
I‘ve enjoyed reading your blog and it’s good to see the sky is getting bluer !
You seem to be doing remarkably well, I admire your stamina.
Glad Arras was a good tip from Richard. I remember our visits very well.
We loved Troyes too but I think you made the right decision.
I was diagnosed with “ breakthrough C-19 “ just before you left for your trip. It was horrid.

Wendy
 

Pauline

Forums Admin
I was diagnosed with “ breakthrough C-19 “ just before you left for your trip. It was horrid.
Oh Wendy, I am so sorry to hear this!

The current plan is to drive home spending a night in Troyes, and another in Arras again or Abbeville. But that is not for another 3 weeks. So, hopefully, we will see Troyes.
 

Pauline

Forums Admin
Saturday September 4
Sunny and warm

We arrived at the Cow Parade at 11:30, passing the first group of cows on the road (they were heading to their farm), and arriving in good time for the second group. The cows come down by family from the alpine meadows. The video is from the second group. We stayed for a large third group and I’ll post more photos from that.

It was a smaller event than usual. No singers, no alpenhorn. A few booths with crafts and the same food and drinks booths. We had Kaseschnitte, cheese melted on bread. Most people had sausages. There was a lot of beer. Lots of fun. And those beautiful cows!

 

Wendy Ashworth

10+ Posts
Beautiful cows, tortured by bells !
We saw a couple of parades when we were in Switzerland on national day.
It‘s great to see local traditions even though they are not unite as full on as usual.
Thanks for posting.
 

Wendy Ashworth

10+ Posts
Oh Wendy, I am so sorry to hear this!

The current plan is to drive home spending a night in Troyes, and another in Arras again or Abbeville. But that is not for another 3 weeks. So, hopefully, we will see Troyes.
Don‘t believe anyone who tells you that C-19 will be mild should you get a dose after being double jabbed.
Milder certainly but Chris, whom I got it from were both unable to do anything for a week except cough and sleep !

Richard and I stayed at
A beautiful B & B in Troyes but not sure what you’d make of it.
 

Pauline

Forums Admin
Sunday September 5
Sunny and warm, high 60sF

Another good weather day! We’ve had two days with no hiking because I needed a rest. I’ve been feeling tired. Of course my mind leaps to Covid, but I don’t think so. Not that tired. Just altitude, too much strong sun and too much hiking. I am feeling my age (66) on the trails. Maybe I got out of walking shape this summer. We were not hiking long hikes like we usually do, but were doing shorter hikes. The weather at home was bad this summer. At home we use a treadmill (walking only) and exercise bike on the days we don’t hike and an hour on those isn’t as good as hiking for a few hours. Also the treadmill has got us both walking faster, so I think we might be walking faster on the trails than usual.

Hike: Lenk to Simmenfalle and return, 5.5 miles, 2 hours, almost flat. This is not out and back, but is circular since you go out on one side of the river and back on the other and then into a neighborhood and through a park. Really a nice walk.

Today we did the easy valley trail that I love. We walk along the river towards the mountains and Simmenfalle, the waterfall at the end of the valley. We usually do this hike once a week. We started out slowly but picked up our pace as we went along. There were not many people out and it was very peaceful.

Near the turnaround point a farmer has set up a small shed along the trail where they sell cheese and cold drinks. This year they have added two picnic tables. We got a drink I had not tried before, apple juice and mineral, and sat at the table for a break.

A lovely walk! I had planned a few hours on the terrace but the field we are beside was being cut today. Everyone is haying everywhere right now! Maybe I am suffering from allergies!

0494AEE0-E173-4808-AFCB-4A62EDDCD55E.jpeg

At the start of the walk.

9B42D514-6550-4B97-94DD-30099978A28D.jpeg

Shorley, one of the cold drinks for sale. You do not often see Coke or Pepsi here, which is good.

27EF6C93-31BF-470B-A235-727CE3E30F53.jpeg

Our melted cheese and bread from yesterday. They have good pickles here. They sprinkle Swiss herbs on it.
 

cindyldoe

10+ Posts
That is gorgeous. I miss Switzerland. Thank you for sharing your days with us. I love trip reports and learn so much from them. I'm just awful at writing them. So, thank you!
 

Wendy Ashworth

10+ Posts
Marvellous.
Thanks for sharing Pauline. I‘m sad Richard & I never got to explore the area you are in. It was next on our list.
Hope you are feeling more relaxed about C-19 now. Don’t let the threat of it steal away your happy days.
 

Pauline

Forums Admin
Monday September 6
Sunny and warm, 70F

Hike: Gondola top station (Leiterli, 1946m) to middle station (Stoss, 1634m), 3.5miles, 1hr30min, 300m descent


Another sunny day! Easing our way back into hiking, we did another easy hike. We took the gondola to the top station and walked down to the middle station. This is a beautiful hike because it winds back towards the mountains and then curls down on the hillside, through fields and some woods, to the middle station where you hop onto the gondola. Great views along the way towards places we have hiked - Iffigenalp, Langermatte, Rezliberg. We sat on the hillside with the binoculars and found the Wildhornhutte, a cabin way up in the rock part of the mountains.

Further along the trail we walked around a newly built lake! I think the water is used for making snow in the winter but am not sure. We stopped at a bench and had our lunch, then made our way to Stoss. Very relaxed with great enjoyment of the views.

My weather app said full sun today but we were not in sun for the whole walk. A big dark cloud was hanging over the mountains keeping us in shade for awhile. We could see the sun shining over most of the valley but not on us. When the sun came back it was lovely and warm. Still hiking in short sleeves.

97A1975B-C624-41B6-B311-C6B9A511E4C2.jpeg
Great views!

1B3B2A4B-D4D5-434D-9BF6-24EF3F2D2D9B.jpeg

I took this off Twitter :) Not only does he look miserable, but he is an Eagle for heaven’s sake!
 

Pauline

Forums Admin
I‘m sad Richard & I never got to explore the area you are in. It was next on our list.
Hope you are feeling more relaxed about C-19 now. Don’t let the threat of it steal away your happy days.

I remember you both staying Gstaad and that is only one valley over, so you’ve been close. The Gstaad area is more stunning. I am hoping to get up to Launensee on this trip.

I am finding it hard to let go of Covid fear. That probably has a lot to do with my personality. Logically I know I should relax about it. And I thought I would be a lot more casual about it. Just heard that fully vaccinated Robert Peston (British news person) has Covid.
 

Pauline

Forums Admin
That is gorgeous. I miss Switzerland. Thank you for sharing your days with us. I love trip reports and learn so much from them. I'm just awful at writing them. So, thank you!
Once you start writing trip reports it gets easier. They are valuable for yourself, to record how you are experiencing the trip, and others. I read trip reports to help plan trips and I refer back to my own to go over details I forgot. Give it a try!
 

cindyldoe

10+ Posts
Where have you been in Switzerland? I see the cow on your profile photo!
I took that picture above Murren maybe 7 years ago. It was our only trip to Switzerland, but we fell in love. Funny thing is, we were not hikers back then. We are big hikers now, in better shape than we were then, and planned to go back last year before we got any older (64 & 67) and while most body parts are working reasonably well. We had plans last year for Wengen and Lucerne. Hopefully, next year.
 

Pauline

Forums Admin
Tuesday September 7
Sunny and warm, high 60sF

Hike: Lauenen to Lauenensee circular, 5 miles, 2hr15min, ascent 600ft


We drove to Lauenen, in a valley outside Gstaad for today’s hike. It is only a 45 minute drive.

On the way we stopped at a Gstaad bakery, Early Beck, to get their amazing sourdough bread. They have 3 shops - Saanen, Gstaad and one on the road into Gstaad. We stopped at the latter as it is not in a pedestrian area and you can park outside. Picked up two buttered pretzels. I wish our bakery in Lenk was as good.

There are two parking lots in Lauenen. The first at the bus station was full so we went to the second at the ski lift. Both are Pay and Display, but not expensive. You can drive close to Lauenensee but it is only a 45 minute walk around the lake. We wanted something longer.

We’ve done this hike before but years ago. The drive up the valley to Lauenen is beautiful. This valley is next to the Lenk valley. If the put in a tunnel, you could drive from Lenk to Lauenen in 10 minutes or less. We could see the Grydon ridge that we hike to from the Lenk gondola.

The walk started out up through a neighborhood, then up a no-cars dirt road through farms. We climbed up 500ft in 30 minutes. By then we were above the lake but could not see it yet. We walked down reaching the lake in 15 more minutes. I too the first photo where we first saw the lake.

We had our lunch on a bench by the lake. We had seen quite a few other hikers coming towards us on this hike, even a couple of groups of school kids. There were people walking around the lake but it wasn’t crowded. We walked around the lake, then returned on a different trail that went up into woods, then down through the woods to the river. From there it was a flat easy walk back to Lauenen.

This was a very nice walk and it was nice to see more people on the trails. This area is beautiful.

2D32EF13-8764-410C-87A6-D68BD51D769A.jpeg

Our first view of the lake.

9DB94847-3FC1-4940-966B-BE4A2F2BC578.jpeg

On the way to the lake. We see these same mountains from Iffigenalp which is very close - as the crow flies!

DA66A0E9-826F-4099-BAA1-5EECA2EC3DC1.jpeg

Walking around the lake. The hiker in the photo was on her second loop of the trail we are doing. We asked her for directions when we started out and talked to her again at the lake.

F2510571-A26A-434A-B8F1-6B2C891A1F0E.jpeg

We started on the Lauenensee via Hinderen See Trail and returned on the Lauenen via Rohr trail.
 

Wendy Ashworth

10+ Posts
Monday September 6
Sunny and warm, 70F

Hike: Gondola top station (Leiterli, 1946m) to middle station (Stoss, 1634m), 3.5miles, 1hr30min, 300m descent


Another sunny day! Easing our way back into hiking, we did another easy hike. We took the gondola to the top station and walked down to the middle station. This is a beautiful hike because it winds back towards the mountains and then curls down on the hillside, through fields and some woods, to the middle station where you hop onto the gondola. Great views along the way towards places we have hiked - Iffigenalp, Langermatte, Rezliberg. We sat on the hillside with the binoculars and found the Wildhornhutte, a cabin way up in the rock part of the mountains.

Further along the trail we walked around a newly built lake! I think the water is used for making snow in the winter but am not sure. We stopped at a bench and had our lunch, then made our way to Stoss. Very relaxed with great enjoyment of the views.

My weather app said full sun today but we were not in sun for the whole walk. A big dark cloud was hanging over the mountains keeping us in shade for awhile. We could see the sun shining over most of the valley but not on us. When the sun came back it was lovely and warm. Still hiking in short sleeves.

View attachment 33451Great views!

View attachment 33452
I took this off Twitter :) Not only does he look miserable, but he is an Eagle for heaven’s sake!
Love it !
 

Wendy Ashworth

10+ Posts
I remember you both staying Gstaad and that is only one valley over, so you’ve been close. The Gstaad area is more stunning. I am hoping to get up to Launensee on this trip.

I am finding it hard to let go of Covid fear. That probably has a lot to do with my personality. Logically I know I should relax about it. And I thought I would be a lot more casual about it. Just heard that fully vaccinated Robert Peston (British news person) has Covid.
We certainly loved the area around Gstaad.
We visited Lucerne on another trip & took the rack & pinion railway up either Mt Rigi or Pilatus. Views were awesome as you might expect although there was too much cloud about to appreciate them properly.
I expect Mr Peston had AZ like me !
 

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