Hanging with the locals

I am staying at the very cozy and old (built 150 years ago) Chalet Keller.  Named for Andreas and Iranni Keller the current owners.  DSCN4165

I found this lovely chalet through the online Airbnb website.  This site connects travelers with people that have a room to rent out.  Unlike the other rentals I have done in the past using Airbnb means the owner will be in the house as well.  The Keller’s actually live and work in Bern so they only come up to the chalet on weekend.  This means for the most part I have the house to myself.  A week ago Andreas and Irnanni invited me to go with them on a day hike the Saturday they would be in Gimmelwald.  Of course I accepted.

Bright an early we headed down the hill to catch the cable car down to the valley where they keep their car.


Our destination was Gelmersee (The Gelmer Lake). To get to the lake you take a funicular up.  It claims to be the steepest funicular in Europe at a 105% grade.  I believe the claim.


Luckily Andreas had purchased tickets in advance.  We boarded, they lowered a bar to keep us in and UP we went.

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The lake at the top was a man made lake but filled with the runoff from glaciers so was a wonderful turquoise color.   And of course surrounded with views of gorgeous mountains.

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We took a hike that went around the lake.  The colors changed as the position of the sun changed.  Is was a pretty level hike but there were some interesting cliffs and ledges that the trail crossed.

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It took about 2 hours to walk around the lake and get back to the dam.


Back at the beginning we hiked down instead of taking the funicular.


At the bottom the path crossed a cool suspension bridge over to a cafe where we had hot chocolates.  A great hike.


On drive home Andreas explained that they often just drive around looking for sites to see.  Sure enough he suddenly veered off the main road and started up an extremely narrow road.  When we met another car someone had to back up to find a pull off for the pass.  We came to a little hut where we paid 8 dollars and started a hike, I had no idea what we were going to see.  The hike climbed up to a narrow canyon.  there were catwalks, tunnels that followed the water around waterfalls and pools.  It was very loud as the water crashed down.


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It was a great day and certainly an opportunity to see something I wouldn’t have had the chance to do if I wasn’t staying at an Airbnb.

3 thoughts on “Hanging with the locals

  1. The funicular looked terrifying, but fun; I have neve seen it before. The hike up to the interior waterfalls and catwalks, was it located outside Grindelwald? We walked on a cool one in that area, I think they had bungee jumping if the urge strikes you!

    • It really wasn’t that scary but very exciting. Yes the hike was outside of Lauterbrunnen valley. Probably a 90 minute drive. You are probably thinking of Trummelbachfalls near Gimmelwald (not Grindelwald, us locals are very sensitive about the difference). I’ll pass on bungee jumping, not enough excitement.

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