Again, it was on the way!

Trip Start Nov 15, 2005
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Trip End Aug 15, 2008


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Flag of Switzerland  ,
Thursday, May 25, 2006

Regained some confidence in hitching - I reached Interlaken without too much difficulty, though it took quite a long time to cover the 150km, and I didn't turn up until quite late in the evening. Fortunately, I was dropped right at an idyllic coampsite on a lake, so at least no problems having to walk for miles to find a place to pitch a tent!

So Interlaken wasn't on my original plan for this journey, but it broke up the journey a little and I couldn't pass up the opportunity to get up in the highest mountains in Europe when I was so close!
The town itself is nothing special, quite a touristy place (justifiable for its location) and a bit of an adrenaline fuelled, extreme sports mecca. Great if you have a small fortune to spend, but not so good if you're just there to do some hiking. Basing myself in one of the smaller towns further up the valley, like Wengen, probably would have been a better idea, but I wasn't to know. If you've been to New Zealand, it's remarkably similar to Queenstown.

My hike was truly spectacular. I can't really say much more than that. From Grindelwald (where the cows actually wear cowbells!) to the top of Mannlichen, the views of the Wetterhorn, Shreckhorn and the breathtaking Eiger (whose neckwear was celebrated so memorably by the unfortunately dyslexic group Survivor) just got better and better, with the gradually gathering clouds forming a beautiful soft blanket over the peaks (check the pictures) and framing it all perfectly. The only slight disappointment was that by the time I reached the top, the clouds were obscuring the peaks of Monch and Jungfrau, on the other side of the hill. Okay, 2000 and something metres high, but it felt like a hill in comparison to all around.
Willfully ignoring the "path closed" sign, I made my way down the other side along some frighteningly steep paths (at least there was no snow this time!), to Wengen spectacularly set in a glacial valley, and for a brief moment the clouds cleared and I was rewarded with some views of the highest peak in Europe. Pity it hadn't happened an hour and a half earlier, when the photo opportunity was there, but never mind. It was impressive enough, even when half obscured. From Wengen, I walked back along the valley through some disgustingly pretty alpine villages a long, long way to Interlaken.

Just wait for the pictures!
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