Aug 14, 2015
|Friday, August 14th.
The weather had been absolutely glorious the last 2 days and we woke to rain and drizzle. It seemed to be a good day to relax and re-stoke the fires within.
Around noon it had stopped raining and because our passes were good for one more day we thought we would chance the weather and explore another area.
With our rain gear and hats we caught the train to Grindelwald on the advice of the owners of the campground. They figured we would have enough time to walk across the street in Grindelwald to catch the bus to Grosse Scheidegg and we did. In fact we were able to sit in the front seat and were able to take some great pictures going up the mountain.
The road was a typical tree lined narrow mountain paved path. We stopped at Hotel Wetterhorn and then the road turned into that wiggling red road you can see on a map. There were only two buses on this route and they communicated on some device, so they wouldn’t meet on the road. I was grateful that we were traveling up-hill because I had no desire to put my foot through the floor of a full-size bus.
We figured the bus driver was either in training to drive a truck in Mexico or to be a race car driver on a very small track. I don’t think he slowed down once even on the sharp curves, in fact I don’t think he stopped to let passengers on or off he just seem to slow down a bit.
The only concession he made on the curves was to blow a loud, obnoxious and frightening horn that probably started a few avalanches in the winter and could probably be heard in Salzburg. I envisioned the cows on the hills all wearing ear muffs to protect their hearing.
Fortunately, we didn’t run into or scare anyone on the way up, though there were a few walkers standing in the ditch when we passed.
For obvious reasons everyone including the driver headed to the bathrooms at the little hotel at Grosse Scheidegg. It was drizzling a bit so we put on our rain jackets and brimmed hats and set out to the cable car at Schreckfeld a 2 hour mountain ridge walk thru high mountain pastures and waterfalls.
At the beginning of the paved trail we met a group of people, then a family of three about fifteen minutes later. Other than that, we did not see another sole for the rest of the walk.
The rain really pelted down at one point but we were well protected and as long as we kept the camera and the lens of the binoculars dry we were OK to keep on going.
The clouds were beginning to drop around us but we were still able to see the mountain tops and a plethora of water falls.
There were still many alpine flowers in bloom and I was able to identify, the Mountain Astor, the deep purple Lupines, and many others that I recognized but couldn’t remember their names.
As we were approaching a bend in the path we could hear cow bells but couldn’t see any cows. Then, there they were across the valley. Wow do they ever clang loud. If I was a marmot or fox I would definitely look for somewhere quieter to live.
We stumbled upon a little building that from a distant looked familiar. It was an out-house with toilet paper a seat and hand cleaner – Wow, in the middle of nowhere.
It was obvious that we were walking thru winter ski runs from the number of hibernating ski lifts we could see around us.
How beautiful would that be to ski them in the winter!!
The rain had turned to drizzle by the time we reached the cable car station. We walked around the building to check the view and low and behold we found a small heard of mountain goats taking a break from the weather (I supposed).
There was one more station to the top so we rode it up to have something to eat at the restaurant there and enjoy the view.
While we were ordering our food a cloud had surrounded the restaurant and it was raining. We ate our food in comfort, without a view, then walked inside down a corridor to catch the cable car without getting wet.
Needless to say, picture taking through the rain splattered glass was next to impossible. Picture me hanging out the little door window to snatch a picture when it stopped raining.
The ride in the cable car was a little eerie with the cloud around us. The cars coming toward us would appear out of the mist and the one in front would just disappear.
There were three stations on the way down and by the time we had descended to Grindelwald the rain had stopped and the cloud had moved on.
A 15 minute walk thru town brought us to the train station and after a short wait we were on our way down the valley to Wilderswil.
We started to chat with a young couple from the UK that had just arrived that day after a 2 hour flight. The cost of their flight was 60 pounds one way.
Imagine being that close to this incredible wonderland to fly down for a long week-end and at a fairly decent price.
What a surprise, for the third day in a row we returned exhausted from our explorations and another early night.