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  #21  
Old 05.11.2007, 11:57
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Re: Places to visit Bernese Oberland

Don't forget http://www.jungfrau.ch/ Was up at Jungfraujoch on Saturday. Fantastic (slightly expensive) train journey up with magnificent views on the way and at the top. Would recommend
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  #22  
Old 30.04.2008, 17:15
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Re: Places to visit Bernese Oberland

and this may, there are good offers from sbb for the bernese oberland.
50% for ballenberg, and 30% for jungfrau and some others.
http://ext.sbb.ch/?lang=4
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  #23  
Old 30.04.2008, 17:50
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Re: Places to visit Bernese Oberland

There's also a show dairy in Affoltern im Emmental. The site is in German only but they have a short information in English here.
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  #24  
Old 25.08.2009, 00:30
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Re: Places to visit Bernese Oberland

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Not far from there is a lovely old hotel near to the Giessbach waterfall, great for romantic dinners overlooking the lake of Brienz and surrounding mountains - http://www.giessbach.ch/

Also, if you're feeling fit, try hiking up from Interlaken to the Faulhorn. It has a wonderful hotel on the summit - no heating, more of a glorified refuge - and offers magnificent views over to the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfraujoch. Also: sunrise, sunset, stars, solitude. http://www.berghotel-faulhorn.ch/

We did the hike from Schynige Platte to Faulhorn where we stayed overnight in the dormitory at the Berg Hotel and then hiked down to First the next morning>

I am not a seasoned hiker (hate wearing a backpack) and so take the following in that context. Oh and it was an unusually HOT day (especially for Switzerland).

We took the cogwheel train up from Wilderswill to Schynige Platte - beautiful views and well worth it. We parked our car at the Wilderswill train station and then bought a ticket up to Schynige Platte with a retrun via First and with our half price pass it was around 35 CHF. Parking was around 9 CHF.

There is a nice hotel at the top of Schynige Platte with nice warm showers (in case your not up to the hiking bit to follow).

So once at the top we struck off across the Platte towards Faulhorn...with guidelines that it was a 3.5 to 4.0 hr hike (on the signs as well) and encouragement to walk fast if we wanted a proper dinner as the hotel only had cold plates available if we arrived after 7:30 PM !!!

Clearly from the get - go I was not the pace setter, my view always included the bumms of my husband and best friend who I had coherced into coming along (even though she said she did not want to hike while here visiting from the US ).

The heat & absolute lack of any shade took it's toll on our poor doggie and so we did have to do extra stops for the first two hours to make sure she was coping. After that we would hit some patches of shade fairly regular and then sun was starting to set so was less intense (we left at 15:00). But the hike was hard (uphill) and some rougher terrain than I was used to for sure (no ropes / dangling from cliffs - just big rocks and more of a goat path to follow). But we were making slow progress and at 7PM we had only made it to the Berg haus Mendohlsenn (not sure of spelling). Which seemd a nice enough place to stay (to me) nestled between two rocks, but with a big front porch and what looked to be food & beer. But we did not give in & pressed on uphill & confident that we could make our berg hotel by the 7:30 deadline.

Then the path got rough - big rocks - steep cilmbs - steps (and yes spectacular views when I wasn't looking at my feet). Here is the crazy part - shortly after this we met two mountain bikers coming down from Faulhorn - CRAZY people. We watched as one did a somersault over his handlbars and wiped out (landing on rocks). Padded up or not...that had to sting. His partner wisely decided it best to get off & carry his bike down the rest of the steepest rockslide bit. They are/were CRAZY. Off they went muttering about how it was better than hiking!

Then we made it to the next vista - confident we would see our hotel just ahead - and we did but it was WAY far away & still at the top of a mountain. I was sure that could not possibly (NO WAY) be it. I did not even see how you could get to the top of the peak were it was. But several ups and downs and our path never waivered - that was where we were headed!

Just before 20:00 (no laughing please!) - remember the poor doggie! we made it to the base of the last steep climb (thankfully we did not have to take the straight up path, but there was an "easier" Z path just a little further on. "Easy" I suppose is relative. While resting at the end of each Z to catch our (OK - my) breath I thought of absolutely nothing else ( I was that tired).

(to be continued)
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Old 25.08.2009, 00:39
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Re: Places to visit Bernese Oberland

Wonderful tale. I can almost feel your pain. Don't keep us waiting too long for the remainder. The suspense is killing me as much as if I were doing that hike.
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  #26  
Old 28.08.2009, 23:09
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Re: Places to visit Bernese Oberland

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We did the hike from Schynige Platte to Faulhorn ....Part 2 Faulhorn to First:
So to pick up where I left off we completed the final steep climb to our modest lodging for the night at 20:00. So after perusing about for where to check in we located everyone inside the restaurant. Unfortunately, we were too late to order from the menu...soup & salad only - this was interestingly enough no longer a big issue as we were thoroughly happy just to have arrived! (We did look longingly at the plates of fellow diners as they happily munched on their dinners though). Luckily for us we brought some snacks with us and so had a few light appetizers to add in.

After dinner we located our bunks in the dormitory (CHF 46 each for the night). There are two large rooms lined with two long bunk style sleep platforms (One above the other) on each wall. Each room can hold up to 30 hikers so plenty of room! Since there were not many other people they also let us keep our dog with us as long as we cleared it with the other roomies! She was relieved when no one else minded. (They do have a separate dog kennel where the dogs usually stay - but I did not see it).

Then it was up to the very tip top to enjoy the view and the remainder of the daylight...spectacular!

Since there were no showers we did a quick spit bath, brushed our teeth & hopped into our alloted bunks. The beds were suprisingly comfortable. They provide a pillow and two wool blankets and suggest you bring a sleep sack - I needed both wool blankets and wasn't willing to carry the extra weight of a sleep sack up there on my back (OK - I forgot it). There was a shared toilet - as in 1 (must be interesting with 60 people!) and a room with two long sinks and mirrors suitable for clean up & brushing teeth for about 8 people at a time - No hot water though! They did have 2 or 3 other toilets - but you had to walk outside & around the corner to get to them.

A brief but loud thunderstorm with a very substantial downpour woke us up briefly (dog does not like thuderstorms - oops!), but then back to sleep.

Up early to enjoy the sunrise and then back to bed for a quick nap before breakfast. The sunrise was pretty cool but as the day was cloudy the sun was hidden by clouds afer the first 5 mins or so.

Breakfast ...I had not thought properly about what the usual breakfast for a berg guest house located on top of a mountain catering to people about to set off on long hikes might be like. My husband and BF snickered coldy into their hands when I joined them at the table (had to feed the dog first) and started looking at the menu. Oh wait, that is a drink menu ! A quick desperate look around the room revealed that no one was eating anything close to what I considered "breakfast". No jogurt, no fruit, no muesli, nothing remotely resembling an egg! We were alloted a basket of the uckiest bread in Switzerland, some packets of jam, some small wrapped cheese packets & a ridiculous amount of butter ( I thought of stealing it away for later, but decided it would melt). Thankfully, plenty of coffee, tea, hotmilk, hot chocolate mix & ovaltine, because me without coffee would not be pretty.

While feasting on our stale bread we were treated to the site of the helicopter delivering the provisions for the weekend! That was pretty cool to see them drop down one load of supplies via cable and then fly away to bring in another load. I wish I had thought to take a picture! Our dog was calmly watching all of the activity from the porch outside where she was tied - I guess it was a regular thing for her to have a helicopter basically hover right over her head - MUCH less concerning than a thunderstorm!

Then we were off...I know you will be suprised to hear that we were the last ones to depart but that was our strategy...not to get passed! The sign said we should complete the hike from Faulhorn to First in less than 2 hrs and then we would catch the cable car down from First to Grindelwald. I would say we finally got started about 9:00 AM.

Downhill is much better than uphill and even though it was steep (rolling my hips like a race walker was very helpful for this part as my knees did not appreciate the jarring). I was MUCH happier. The path was almost a gravel road - very smooth & easy walking. After about 30-40 mins the path leveled off and then took us right along the shore of a beautiful lake (Bachalpsee) with a great view of the Eigergletscher (and I thought I saw people hiking on the glacier).

A nice mix of small up & downhills and the rest of our descent into First was MUCH more up my alley in terms of hiking!

We got into First and debated taking the First Flyer - a zip rider giving 4 people at a time a chance to harness up and zip down 800m to the next cable car station. It was 25 CHF each & we were seriously up for it, but it had started to rain and we thought we would get soaked. But we watched some some other people go from our dry cable car & it looked like fun.

The cable car ride was really long through multiple stations - looked like you could rent bikes in one of them (Bort?)and continue downhill on a bike (turning it back in at the last station). Nice views made the trip down relaxing and enjoyable.

A proper lunch in Grindelwald (Rosti with egg, ham & cheese and 2 Cappucinos!) insured my adventure did not leave me with a negative caloric intake! Then we caught the 13:00 ish train back to our car in Wilderswill.

I will never be tempted to walk the hike from Schynige Platte to Faulhorn again (glad I did it, but not my cup of tea & now I would know better!) BUT I highly recommend the cable car from Gindelwald to First and hiking up from there to the lake for a nice picnic lunch. This would be good with kids & with the First Flyer & biking back down from Bort could make for a great day out.

Given a long enough time elapsed period to dull my memory, I MIGHT even be enticed to hike to the Berg hotel from First (very steep climb once you pass the lake / but at least only 1 hr instead of 4 & on good footing). Although I bet a good many who set up from First turn back when they see where their hotel is & where they have to go .
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  #27  
Old 31.08.2009, 13:08
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Re: Places to visit Bernese Oberland

one more, meiringen is a beautiful village with great hikingtrails and skifields. it also has a lot of stuff for kids, like the "Zwergenweg". www.haslital.ch
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