Swiss Heartland 2009
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Flew from Houston to New York JFK via Delta. Good flight, no problems. Found our way around JFK with no problems. Boarded SwissAir flight at 6PM bound for Zurich.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Arrived at Zurich airport about 7:30AM (not a great flight, crowded and cramped) and met up with the Untours staff. We went from Zurich to Chalet Sternen in Reuti via train and bus, arriving around 1:30PM.
Went to grocery store and took a very short hike towards (but not to!) Meiringen. Checked bag did not come in. Came back and went to bed about 5PM. Slept until 8AM Thursday morning!
Thursday, September 24, 2009
We walked down to Meiringen for orientation and some shopping.
Lost our rail pass and spent a couple of hours backtracking to find it (we did). Took the lift up to Planplatten (2200+ meters above sea level) and began walk back to Reuti (960 meters above sea level). Bob’s legs gave out about 1600 meters above sea level. Missed the last lift at Bidmi (1400 meters above sea level) and had to walk all the way back to Reuti. Bad feeling when you know there is no 911 to call!!! Finally made it back to Reuti after 4+ hours of walking/hobbling (Bev made it with no problems, other than trying to figure out how to get Bob down).
Friday, September 25, 2009
Waited for checked bag to come in and immediately unpacked ibuprophen and jointflex! Saw the cows coming down from winter pasture in Reuti (right in front of Chalet Sternen).
Took the lift down to Meiringen and the train to Brienz for a little shopping and gentle exercise for Bob’s legs.
Saturday, September 26, 2009
Took the train to Schupfheim for the Cheese Fest. Big parade down mainstreet with yodeling clubs and alphorn groups providing entertainment. Also lots of cows and goats coming down from winter pasture.
Sampled kasse brattzle (cheese toast) and brats und brot (sausage and bread). A little of that went a long way. We took the train back to Meiringen and walked to the Aareschlucht. Walked the length of the Aareschlucht and then took the lift back to Reuti.
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Took the train to Lauterbrunnen, then a lift to Grutschalp and walked the “Grandfathers Walk” to Murren and then back to Grutschalp. Beautiful trail with views of the Eiger, Monc and Jungfrau mountains and the Lauterbrunnen valley. The weather was good, but a bit hazy.
After the walk, we took the train to Grindelwald just to see what was there. Grindelwald is a beautiful town at the foot of the Eiger with lots of shops to browse. We decided to come back there on a not so good weather day to browse the shops.
Monday, September 28, 2009
It was a beautiful day with no clouds in the sky, and a wonderful view from our apartment window.
Took the lift up to Planplatten to take pictures and enjoy the view.
Went back down to Meiringen and took the train back to Lauterbrunnen to do the Grandfathers Walk again.
After the Grandfathers Walk to Murren, we took the train back to Grutschalp and then over to Mannlichen to do the Grandmothers Walk from Mannlichen to Kleine Scheidegg. It was a beautiful walk with fantastic views of the Eiger, Monc and the Grindelwald valley. We didn’t get back to Chalet Sternen until after 8PM.
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Got an early start and took trains and lifts to Bettmeralp and the Aletsch Glacier, the largest in Europe. Beautiful scenery and cold! Much more to see than just the glacier. In the distance were mountains all around, including the Matterhorn (on the horizon). We had a picnic near the crest of the ridge overlooking the glacier. It was a long day and we did not get back to Chalet Sternen until after 7PM.
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
On a lark, we took the train to Wilderswil and then a cog railway to Schynige Platte just to see what was there. That was most fortunate for us! Schynige Platte is a small village on the south side of the mountains overlooking Lake Brienz. Wednesday turned out to be a “bluebird” day and the view of the Eiger, Monc, Jungfrau, and Wetterhorn mountains was spectacular. We took a three hour hike (loop) from the railway station and got really nice pictures of the above listed mountains and of Interlaken and Lake Brienz. We plan to go back there!
Thursday, October 1, 2009
We got an early start and took the lift to Planplatten, planning to walk to Melchsee-Frutt and back. However, we found out that the lift from Ballmeregghorn to Melchsee-Frutt was not in service, so we decided just to walk to Ballmeregghorn (about 2 miles) and back. Since it was early morning, the sun was coming over the mountains to the south of us and the pictures are not as good as I had hoped. The trail was along the southern face of the Rothhorn mountain ridge and literally fell off for about 3000’ below the trail. It got a little cool at times.
Friday, October 2, 2009
We were ready for a down day and decided to take the bus to Brunig, and then trains to Grindelwald for a day of shop browsing. The bus turned out to be a bad idea as Bev got motion sickness and fought that for the rest of the day. We got back to Chalet Sternen around 4PM and relaxed the rest of the day.
Saturday, October 3, 2009
Went back to Schynige Platte and walked the Panoramaweg Loucherhorn, a 2 ½ hour walk that took us 3 ½ hours due to lots of pictures and UP and down trails. It was a beautiful day and the scenery was spectacular. Excellent views of the Wetterhorn, Eiger, Monc, Jungfrau and the Lauterbrunnen Valley.
Sunday, October 4, 2009
Went back to Lauterbrunnen and walked the Grandfathers Walk to Murren and then took the lift to the Schilthorn (Elevation 3000M). Had a panoramic view of most of Switzerland from there. It was a clear day and we could see all the way back to Planplatten. We planned to check out the available hiking there, but it was well beyond our capabilities! We just thought that we had seen steep trails before!!
Monday, October 5, 2009
It was supposed to rain today and we had planned a down day to rest up. However, the day dawned clear and cool, so we decided to walk the trail down to Meiringen and look around one last time. Before we left for Meiringen, I caught the morning sun on the Wetterhorn from our window.
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
It was a little rainy today, so we just stayed in and got the packing for the return flight finished up.
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
We left the apartment early (6AMish) and caught the bus to Brunig, where we boarded a train for Zurich, by way of Luzern. We arrived at the Zurich airport around 11:30AM and had lunch. We boarded our SwissAir flight home around 1:30PM and made it back to Houston about 10:15PM, via JFK in New York.