Sunday, July 10, 2016

Bernese Oberland

Summer is finally here bringing seven weeks of holidays for me and peak race season for Daniel! We combined our respective schedules for a trip to the Bernese Oberland for a week of camping, exploring and training.

Home for the week

Our first stop was in Grindelwald where we set up camp for the week. This is a quaint Alpine town surrounded by peaks, glaciers and breath-taking views. It is favoured by tourists in winter and summer and is the gateway to the Jungfrau, Eiger and Mönch, a mountainous wall overlooking the Bernese Oberland and the Swiss Plateau, and one of the most distinctive sites of the Swiss Alps.

We spent an afternoon in Lauterbrunnen, "the place of clear springs". The valley is one of the deepest in the Apline chain and is famous for the numerous waterfalls gushing down its steep sides. We visited the most famous of these, the Staubbach Falls. The height of the cascade is 250m, one of the highest in Europe formed of a single unbroken fall. The water becomes spray before it reaches the level of the valley. We climbed up a rocky mountain path and walked on a ledge behind the waterfall!

Lauterbrunnen Valley and the Staubbach Falls

Free hiking poles to borrow for the climb up behind the falls!

Exciting tunnels and stairs chiselled into the side of the mountain

Beautiful views from the top through the mist of the waterfall

While Daniel was out running in the mountains, I took a trip to Interlaken, an important and well-known tourist destination in the region. The town is located in between Lake Thun and Lake Brienz and alongside the Aare river which flows between the two lakes. The town has a system of canals to navigate to other lakeside towns and is the starting point of a sequence of connecting mountain railways to get visitors up into the high peaks of the Alps. I strolled along the canals and had lunch while watching the paragliders land in the big park overlooked by the Eiger.

The Eiger peak peeking through!

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