Woke up to a sunny day with some cloud. We decided to do the Zweisimmen (Sparenmoos) to Schonreid (Rellerli) hike with the last day of our Gstaad pass. We drove to the Zweisimmen train station intending to take the train to Schonreid and start there but the 10:30 bus to Sparenmoos pulled up beside us and we hoped on. This meant we would start with a 25 min bus ride up a restricted mountain road, then walk across the hill tops to the Rellerli gondola which would take us to Schoenreid where we would get the train back. And that is what we did.
The walk was supposed to be 3 hrs according to the hiking signs, but it took us 4 hours including lunch. Years ago we were told the hiking times were set to the pace of Swiss grandmothers. Back then we were much younger than Swiss grandmothers but we found the pace about right. Our first hiking trip in Switzerland was 1988. Now, as Steve pointed out today, we are older than Swiss grandmothers so it takes us a bit longer.
We started walking at 11am. The first 30 mins was on paved road but no cars. There were a few groups starting out from the bus, but we all eventually spread out and we did not see many people on the walk. In September the weekends are busy, but during the week the trails are quiet. The next 30 mins was on dirt road and then the trail went out into the woods and fields.
Beautiful views at first towards the Zweisimmen valley, then the trail goes way back so you see the mountains and valley to the west. The walk was harder than the one we did on the other side of the valley on Tuesday, and harder than I remembered. Lots of up and down. In this direction it is overall uphill, but with only a 200 meter difference. Some mud from all the rain yesterday. At the end you have a good view of Gstaad.
We had sun at the beginning, then some dark clouds but it did not rain and we got the sun again. Perfect walking weather.
We took the gondola down then walked a few blocks to the train station and made the 3:33 train with 2 mins to spare. We were not rushing because Steve's watch is fast and we thought we missed it. Nice train ride back, then drove back to Lenk from Zweisimmen.
Steve and I are both loving being here. I like how well set up it is for walking. These walks we do are listed on the tourist information, are well signed and are designed to eliminate big climbs by using the mountain rides. The Swiss know how to look after tourists. There are lots of hikers around.
The apartment we are in is in a chalet with 3 apartments - one below us and one beside us. They have been empty. There is another chalet beside us. A family turned up for that chalet but they only stayed for the weekend (we met them because we were in their parking space - I forgot where we were supposed to park). The town is not that busy.
Two more days. I have a longish hike planned for Friday. The forecast is sunny but colder - 55F. It has been in the high 60s until now. Tomorrow something easy I think. Saturday we drive to Samoens in the French alps.
The only downside of this apartment is - no washing machine. We usually wear our hiking trousers and the same old t-shirts. After an hour on the trail you don't look clean anyway. I have done a bit of hand washing because I packed for colder weather, not realizing how warm it would be.
Photos of another cow. This is a nice female. Later on the walk we entered a field of young males. What a different energy! Not wanting to be patted, looking a bit aggressive.
Photo of one of the many water troughs, fed from a spring.
Photo of the view of Gstaad.