Hiking, hiking, hiking

Posted from Holzhäusern, Canton of Zug, Switzerland.

Everywhere I go in this part of Switzerland there are signs for hiking. They list the name of a location and how long it will take to get there. The signs point the direction to go. Each of my first 5 days I have selected a hike. The weather has been very nice. Totally clear one day, partly cloudy the other days. I take endless pictures of the amazing views.

Sunday – Sprutz, a hike behind a waterfall followed by a place that serves great cakes. While eating the cake a could see paragliders soaring in the air above me.

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Monday – a gondola ride up above Wengen to Mannlichen (or as Emily calls it ??) then a hike down toward Grindelwald with views of the 3 famous mountains, the Eiger, the Monch and the Jungfrau.

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And I made some friends high in the mountains!!

Tuesday – I started with my cable car transportation to the valley floor, a train ride then a cog train ride up a very steep mountain to Schynige Platte  with views down toward the lakes of Interlochen in one direction and the mountains in the other. Then ending with a beer in Kliene Scheidegg.

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Wednesday – a funicular ride up above Murren then a hike above tree line looking down in the Lauterbrunnen valley.

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Thursday – I started with an adventure I’ll blog about later then a stroll along the river in the Lauterbrunnen valley then a gondola out of the valley and a downhill hike home.

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Friday – back to Manlicken but hiking down toward Wengen this time.

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It only took 24 years

Posted from Lauterbrunnen, Canton of Bern, Switzerland.

In September of 1991 Matthew and I took our first journey to Europe. We met Kathleen and John in Zurich and spent a few days seeing Switzerland , Germany and France. Then we parted ways. They told us to go see Lauderbrunnen, a beautiful little village in an amazing valley. So we went. It was unforgettable. It made me want to see more of Europe and started my many travels there. It would be 23 years before I returned to that lovely valley. 

In July of 2014 Carolyn, Emily and I visited Lauterbrunnen again.  We drank pitchers of beer where the base jumpers hung out. We visited the Jungfraujock. We hiked the alps where we had lunch in a small village high in the mountains. It was Gimmelwald. At first sight I knew this was a place I wanted to spend time in. 

In September of 2015 I returned to Gimmelwald. Perched on the cliffs high above the Lauterbrunnen valley. No access by road only by hiking or cable car. I chose the cable car. Through airbnb I found a very old chalet. I was met at the station by Andreas the owner. He walked me up the hill to his home (actually weekend home). A very old chalet in the middle of heaven. He showed me his place. He told me of  hikes. He pointed out the names of the mountains. The next day he and his wife returned to Bern. Now I’m living in Gimmelwald. 24 years after my first visit. It is more beautiful than ever. 

   

View from behind the chalet  
 Looking down on Gimmelwald. 

Our ability to travel

Posted from Bern, Canton of Bern, Switzerland.

It is 9:00 pm, I am sitting on the roof of a hotel in the charming city of Bern, Switzerland.  

 The air is cool, it is quiet. I can hear a few people on the street and every 15 minutes the bells from the churches I can see. I am looking over the roof tops thinking how amazing our ability to travel is. 24 hours ago I was sitting on my couch, waiting for Stacy to pick me up and take me to the bus. Three bus rides later I’m at DFW. I board a gorgeous 777 and even snag a seat with a comfortable amount of leg room. Two meals, 3 glasses of wine, 2 movies and a 30 minute nap later I’m in the London  Heathrow airport. That place it huge, chaotic and a bit  exciting. Another flight gets me to Zurich. I catch a train and arrive a bit dazed in Bern. I find my hotel (I am carrying way too much stuff, my back hurts). It is mid afternoon. I shower and crash for a two hour nap. I wake up groggy but I know the best medicine is to get outside and see the town. I wander the streets of the old town down to the Aare a River.  

 The town is quaint, charming but also crowded with fancy high end stores. There are few people. I see a building above the river, it is a brewpub and restaurant. I can’t resist. I’m seated at a table with another lone diner. He is an older man with a long thin mustache that is 8 inches long and sticks straight out. I have an excellent beer followed by a sausage and röti dinner. Delicious. 

  

  I make my way back through town to my hotel. I walk up the stairs to my top floor room but see a set of stairs going higher. They emerge on to a roof top terrace. Though it is dark the view is amazing. I’m looking out over the town. It is beautiful. 24 hours ago I was sitting on my couch. The ability to travel is an amazing gift. I wonder where I’ll be in 24 hours?