Switzerland 2020

With all the restrictions around covid-19 it was great to finally get away this year, even just for a week! Some much needed time was spent hiking in the mountains around Interlaken, clearing the head, and drinking beer!

Accommodation was booked early in the year and was a 1970s style tent provided by Canvas Holidays on Camping Manor Farm. Can’t complain about it, it was cheap and had all you needed including the important fridge to keep the beer cold.

Travel was another issue. Originally we were flying out of London City to Zurich with Swiss Air. About a month before we were due to go Swiss Air pulled the flights but gave a full refund. The hunt was on for an alternate and we ended up with eurostar to Paris, a quick schlep across Paris and then the TGV to Basel. A change at Basel saw us in Interlaken West less than two hours later. The train journey was great (cheaper than flying) and being able to drink our way across Europe in comfort didn’t influence us in the slightest, no sirree! For sorting out the train journeys The Man in Seat61 was an invaluable resource.

This was the nineteenth time in the region for me, it’s the perfect destination for walking and I’d stayed on Manor Farm about fifteen times before. We went specifically for the walking but I also was interested in the new V-Bahn cable car that had been built between Grindelwald and Mannlichen/Eigergletscher. The V-Bahn is a monstrous engineering project and when we were there this summer the new ‘Terminal’ was complete at Grindelwald and the new Mannlichen leg was complete and operational. The new cable car from Terminal to Eigergletscher was scheduled to enter operation in December 2020 so we were unable to grab a ride on that.

In terms of the walking we weren’t able to get as much done as we wanted, mainly due to the fact that on our third day we saw snow down to about 5500ft which curtailed our activities somewhat. The snow only lasted a couple of days and it actually made a real change to see the area under snow.

We did manage to complete the following:

  1. Kleine Scheidegg to Eigergletscher return, a short walk that took us just over an hour to complete.
  2. Kleine Scheidegg to Wengen via Wengernalp, a brilliant walk of about 7km with astounding views of the Jungfrau Massif and across the Lauterbrunnenn valley.
  3. Our most challenging day was a walk from Grindelwald First to Bachalpsee and then on to Bort via Waldspitz. A fantastic walk known as the Blumenweg
  4. Schynige Platte to Oberberghorn return. Part of a circular ridge route but the heavy snow on the ground necessitated some modifications so we couldn’t do the full route, more for safety than anything else.
  5. Grutschalp to Murren, a lovely easy walk along the high western part of the Lauterbrunnen Valley. We took the cable car down to Stechelberg then enjoyed a pleasant walk along the valley floor back to Lauterbrunnen.

Some highlights