As was the case with Norway, the motivation to go to Switzerland again did not come strictly from my own head. The idea to flee Germany instead came first as a passing reflection on the weather forecast, but it wasn’t until I had seen and then reconsidered a few other NWHikers.net threads (and in particular this one) that I decided resolutely to go. It took me five days to make up my mind and reserve a room, but I largely used that time to figure out what I’d do. Considering the amount of time Brian and I had in the area at the beginning of September, I think what we did was perfect… we got to hike a bit and see some of the most majestic viewpoints without feeling “rushed” to only see the highlights with no real appreciation for the area. With two and a half days in the area this time, I could slow down a bit and look into venturing a bit further astray.
The first hike I did (Schynige Platte to First via Bachalpsee and Faulhorn) was one of the most memorable hikes I’ve done. There weren’t many people on the train from Lauterbrunnen to Wilderswil at 6:30 AM, but the cogwheel train from Wilderswil to Schynige Platte was packed — they had to get a second train to meet capacity. It was clear why so many people visited this area once I arrived at Schynige Platte: the views there are spectacular. Not to say that views from elsewhere aren’t impressive; the difference is that from most places, such as Kleine Scheidegg, it’s usually only possible to see Eiger, Mönch, or Jungfrau:
From Schynige Platte, the Alps as a chain of mountains are fully visible. The deep valleys leading up to the mountains were also breathtaking in person and a stark contrast to the rising rock beyond. Continue reading “Always sunny in Switzerland”→
I was hoping to go to Oktoberfest in one of the previous two weekends, but timing proved difficult. Long story made short, I chose to go to Switzerland instead of drinking beer. The weather was right for hiking, and the long weekend was right for finally doing some more “extreme” photography.
First, I have to make a plug for the hotel I stayed at. As is usually the case, I started by looking at booking.com and saw that the Hotel Silberhorn was decently rated and priced. I called them to ask if they had availability — and they quoted me an even better price than what I had seen online. When I arrived, the owner (the hotel is family owned) asked if I would be able to attend breakfast, and I told him I’d probably be gone an hour before it started. He offered me a sandwich, but in packing it also packed me a lunch sandwich, bottle of water, and an apple. He did this the next day, too. Parking was free, breakfast was included, and the hotel was literally a three minute walk (across the street and up a small hill) from the Lauterbrunnen train station. I usually don’t writing glowing reviews about hotels, but this one was fantastic. The room even had a balcony. I could gush on about this forever, but…
As I wrote a long paragraph ago, the weather was right for hiking. In fact, it’s been nice for a few weeks now — maybe to make up for the dismal (i.e. cold and wet) July and August. While this seems perfect for picture-making, rain helps bring down dust in the air, which otherwise gets in between a camera sensor and the intended subject. This was especially evident in Hegau. 20 km before exiting the A81 autobahn for the Swiss border, there’s a rest stop with a decent dinner selection. A month ago, right before my second trip to Switzerland, this is what the sunset looked like.