If you spend a day hiking in these beautiful Alps, you can say you`ve hiked them. After two days, you have gained a level of comfort. But when you have hiked three good days here in the Alps, you can really say you`ve been there - done that. That is how Katie and I felt coming off our final hike today.
I am sad to report that this computer is not reading my card - I cannot get any pictures to load. I really wanted to get a couple pics uploaded here for you all to see.
Anyway, here is how our hiking went (pics to follow):
Thursday we had our most difficult day. Open this map (you have to zoom in once, and zoom in at different places to see detail). We started in Gimmelwald (bottom left) and went up to Murren. Then we cut left (on the map) and followed "3 and 4" up and around to Schiltalp. This is an easier hike in the summer, but there is still a lot of snow, so it was a very difficult day. There were parts where we were on our hands and feet crawling up the hill. It was great, but very tough coming down. The altitude really got to us. As anyone who has been in altitude knows, we were having to stop to catch our breathe, but weren`t necessarily tired. Still, the stops were necessary. The hike was 16 km round trip.
Friday we needed a more casual hike. Katie wasn`t feeling well with her sinuses acting up. On this day, we hiked up to Murren again, and continued (right on the map) across the top of the valley, on the dark red and black line towards Grutschmit. We walked along side a train the whole way and had excellent views of the Big Three (Eiger, Monch, Yungfrau). I cannot even begin to explain how beautiful the scenery is. When I have more time, I will describe the layout here in this valley and the surrounding mountains. So we walked to Grutschmit and took a gondola down to Lauterbrunnen. Then we hiked back (left) towards Stechelberg. At the station, we took another gondola back up to Gimmelwald. On that rectangle that we just hiked, the top part was an elevated view of the valley. Once we were on the lower part, we saw paraglider everywhere. Note: I will paraglide next time I am here. And there will be a next time. This hike was about 12 km.
And today we took it easy. We were up early and took a gondola up to Schilthorn. This is the top of the skiing here. And boy is there skiing. We actually felt very out of place taking the gondola up because we were the only ones without ski gear. Just wait until you see the pictures from this restaurant. It is also where part of a Bond 007 movie was filmed, On Her Majesty`s Secret Service. We took the gondola down, and were feeling the need for an early afternoon nap from that fantastic breakfast. We woke and hiked from Gimmelwald to Murren and then up to Sonneberg (just above Allmendhubel in bold type). It was our shortest of hikes, but had great views of Murren.
When you look at this map, Katie and I really explored the entire thing. Kind of crazy. We are very proud.
Again, I am so sorry I cannot get pictures posted. I will try again soon.
Tomorrow (Easter) we leave for Basel and Freiburg. We canceled our trip to Dublin - more on that later. It was too much of a hastle and we would be wasting time that we will spend (gladly) back in Munich.