*Sunday – July 20: Day 9 in Switzerland: It was a cloudy day today so we decided to have a little drive along the Brienzersee to the town of Brienz. We stopped at a few nice places to enjoy the views. There were many places along the lake where we could stop at to see the different views. We had a good view of the little castle in Iseltwald and the Castle/Hotel of Giessbach with the waterfalls. We could see it nicely from across the lake. Once we got to Brienz we parked the car, walked around a little and decided to go for coffee and have a snack. We found this little place called “Walz” which is some sort of bakery – tea room. They had a bakery attached to the tea-room where you could go and get a nice pastry and the coffee/tea/beer and such was bought at the tea-room. We all had a piece of the local Black forest cake, which was really nice. After that we went for a walk along the water and we could see that it was getting darker and that it was raining in the distance…we hurried up to the car and just as we got into the car it started pouring rain. My goodness it was coming down hard. We decided to go back to our apartment and spent a relaxing evening together.
*Monday – July 21: Day 10 in Switzerland: Today it was a mix of sun and clouds and our last day to use that regional pass, so we were going to take advantage of that last free day. The weather wasn’t really ideal for it, but we wanted to go anyway and who knows…the weather might get better as the day goes on. We parked our car at the Zweilutschinen train station again again where we took the train to Grindelwald. Once in Grindelwald we had to walk about 10-15 minutes to the gondola station for “First”, you pronounce it “Feerst”. First is is a well known mountain in the area where you can enjoy many different hikes. The gondola ride from Grindelwald up to the top of First was about 20-25 minutes with beautiful views. Once we got higher and higher we got stuck in the clouds. Sometimes some big clouds rolled in and we could hardly see in front of us and a few minutes later the sky was brighter and blue. This went on most of the day. When we arrived at the top of First we decided we’d go for the hike to the Bachalpsee which is about 7km return. I think we started walking around 11.00am. The trail was nice and wide and some parts were fairly steep, so my mom was huffing and puffing quite a bit (me too at times…hehe). We made sure we didn’t go too fast for her so it would be enjoyable for my mom as well.
Once in awhile the clouds would open up a little and we had some wonderful views. We got to the Bachalpsee around 12.30pm. We found a nice little spot to sit where we had our packed lunch and a drink. It was so nice to sit in an area of such unspoiled nature with these amazing views all around us. When the sun came out is was so nice and warm, but when it disappeared it was pretty cool out up there. We relaxed here for quite some time and then we made our way back to the gondola station to go down again into Grindelwald. Once in Grindelwald we took the train back and went home to the apartment. We had a wonderful day with so many beautiful views and a good walk on top of it. We all enjoyed it very much.
After we got back to the apartment and had dinner, Michael and I wanted to go back to the Niederhorn. So, we did go back and got on the right gondola this time and didn’t get off too early. Woohooo…we made it to the top this time and we had about 45 minutes to spend here. Darn it was windy and pretty cold up there. The views were great and we had this nice display of the sunrays…really beautiful. We also noticed some “Ibex” grazing in the grass. An Ibex is some sort of a wild mountain goat. So, it was a good choice to come up here again as we were blessed with some great views, beautiful sunrays and wildlife. That was a great ending to a perfect day!
Please see my next post "My life in Canada (July 2008)...Part 6" for the rest of the story!