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Old 03.08.2009, 18:26
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Egglishorn vs. Jungfrau - another approach to the Aletsch Glacier

All tourists here have prob. visited the Jungfraujoch, with its imposing views. However, if you want to view the Aletsch glacier more from up close, and maybe interact with it a bit, there is another option.

The Fiesch (pronounced Fiaahsch)/ Eggishorn gondola is kind of a well-kept secret, one mainly encounters the Swiss there. From this peak, you can see the Aletsch winding its way though the mountains like a giant highway laid by long-departed aliens...with its planet-belt-like black stripe.

You can descend for about 2 hours to the actual glacier border, lying in a fresh-paint-blue lake. The benefit is: you won't have to walk back up. There is a long, lit, kilometer tunnel going through the mountain, and gentle walkway to the Fiesch station. Try yodelling in the tunnel, you'll sound pro..!

As you descend toward the glacier, there are older sheep approaching you to pet them, and younger ones galloping away at once when you make a sudden step. 30 min. before the glacier is the Maerelen lake, which because it is lower is warm enough to take a brief swim. There is a Glacier-hut with accomodations for 12 + dinner at CHF 60. The trip to the glacier border can also be done by bike, most of the way, from the Fiesch intermediate station.
There is no railaway special to this one, if you are not staying overnight buy a single-day train pass. (Covers Gotthardbahn also)
Not to be missed by the Hardy: the Bettmeralp trip to the Aletsch hanging bridge.

This is a 2-3 hour hike downwards, to a huge gorge and a hanging bridge. When you stand in the center, this bridge REALLY swings. Then you hike another 3 hours to the Riederalp and take the gondola down to the train. This, plainly, is a fairly tough trip for city folks, tougher than the Fiesch descent above, but rewarded with truly spectacular wild views. You will be able to look back at the path and say "I can't believe I walked this distance.."

If you want to see a similar hanging bridge with less hiking, there is the Trift-bridge, discussed in the swissinfo for Socal thread.

Both of the above destinations are from Brig, in the Wallis. (A Canton) You should check them out, it gives you a feeling like being in the arctic, but with August weather. For times, google: EGGISHORN, FIESCH not Eglishorn, as in header)

Last edited by sandiegan; 04.08.2009 at 10:29.
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