Permission to act with surprise and alarm, Sir? Yep, our first day of proper weather.
A reasonably lazy start to the day, we’d agreed to stick to the low, direct route today, so had an acceptable breakfast at half 8, carefully watched to make sure we didn’t nick it all for lunch, still dodging the flies.
The walk down the valley into Grindelwald was utterly perfect, well, it would have been if my sore throat hadn’t erupted into full-on Man Cold. Still, the clouds lifted and the sun shone, got up past 25 C, which is where I usually start to feel useless.
The walk was down wooded valleys, over streams and waterfalls, with dappled light
and alpine huts in meadows looking out over snowcapped mountains.
We got into Grindelwald to catch up with the weather forecast, still looks like today and tomorrow are our best chances, with it increasingly crap or uncertain after friday. I loaded up on Swiss drugs so the dequacane was safe from me, had a pint of very nice ice tea, then we set off walking.
Trudging up the hill alongside the rather special BOB railway in the heat with packs and whilst full of a cold was a really special experience. It’s not often my inner voice shuts up completely, but even my internal lift music was muted whilst I walked. My legs were warmed up and, I think, enjoying the work. , , , . Was mentally very relaxing, should try writing a book on it, but I suspect it would be nothing but “this page intentionally left blank”.
Again, the gadgety took the strain of “fsck me this is hard, how far have we come now?”. Navigation a non-issue, Swiss wanderwegs are perfectly signed.
Got to the goal of the day, Brandegg and pretty much keeled over, although 10 mins rest and a Grun iced tea helped a lot. The BOB railway took me and the packs up to Alpiglen for a mere 5 CHF, where we checked into the guest house there. Very nice rooms, only 1 other resident so we got our pick. At this point my cold caught up with me and I just sat and dribbled for a bit looking out at the truly fantastic view whilst the others found a bit of shade to enjoy the wine and picnic we’d carried up.
The view is worth describing, strong sunshine highlighting the snowy mountains, town in the valley, slight breeze, forests of pine up to the treeline. Even a small, distant avalanche. You can tell this is Switzerland because there’s also full 3G phone reception up here at 1608m and a train track.
hopefully tomorrow will bring an early train ride up to Dr Evil’s secret underground lair at the Jungfraujoch, then onto Kleine Schidegg. It would have been along a nice ridge to Mannlichen, but that route was closed again yesterday. Bah.
Dinner was simple, but good. Took nearly 20 minutes from ordering to the mains arriving, we all had a good mixed salad in that time too. Anybody would think we had our own private alpine restaurant with a view. Oh, the view. Eyesight has a wonderful built in zoom lens, but there were many things to look at in the view, and the view itself. We could see all we’d walked so far, more than managed at the time. The evening’s entertainment was provided by the Eiger, which had many avalanches for our viewing pleasure.
I’m not convinced that going up to 3454m is a terribly clever thing to do whilst feeling this crap, but I’m not missing it, even if I spend friday in a small dark room in Lauterbrunnen valley somewhere 🙂