I have a confession: when I left the US for Europe, Norway and Sweden were lumped together and only given a cursory spot on my list of places to visit. There was a chance, my manager told me, that I could support testing, and Bosch has a thriving winter testing facility in Sweden. “Norway is like Sweden,” I thought, “so it doesn’t really matter if I don’t go to one or the other. Besides, there’s plenty to do on the mainland.”
This changed about two weeks after I arrived in Germany, and the reason was an until-then unknown mountain called “Reinebringen.” The hike, I was told, was very steep but doable, and I agreed with the consensus that the view at the top would make it entirely worth it. I set out the morning after my Aurora Fiasco in search of the trailhead. Cue my thanks for staying in a hostel — one Swiss woman who had recently hiked it drew out a map for me.
The hike really… wasn’t a “hike.” I was expecting steep and rugged walking, not rugged crawling. There were a few places that I had to scramble up, and in other places I was actually using bush roots to pull myself up steep sections. I even had to tramp through some blueberry bushes, though I admit this was because I had wandered off the trail. Even so, the trail wasn’t quite as I imagined: it wasn’t as strenuous as I though, but the dropoffs were far more exposed than I had made them out to be in my mind. (I later saw a description in another trail description that the hike was only for experienced mountaineers — a bit of an exaggeration, but it was the only warning of its kind I had seen.) Even so, as promised, the view at the top was quite astounding. The mountain looks down at the fishing village of Reine, roughly 400 m straight down. I grabbed a few shots with dirty hands, signed the trail register, and headed back down after about 20 minutes at the ridge at the top. The water, even from this high up, was startlingly clear. I can’t see that the blue waters of Lake Michigan are quite this calming.