Tuesday, July 22

Today we took our longest and best hike yet, and one that Paula and I had done in 1982. The weather was great, and we took a cable car to First, and then hiked to Bachalpsee Lake, over to Bussalp and then back down to Grindelwald (after stopping for lunch in Bussalp). We had great views of the entire Jungfrau Range throughout our hike, and the combination of the rolling green mountain sides, pine forests and snow-capped mountains is really wonderful. We all enjoyed hearing the melodies of bells strapped to the cows, goats and sheep grazing along the sides of the mountains.

We had a relaxing lunch in Bussalp before walking back down to Grindelwald (proudly deciding not to take the bus back!). The walk down was steep, and we arrived back in town with very tired feet. Paula and I were very happy to have shared one of our fondest memories of Europe with David and Katie. We were thrilled to see them enjoy and appreciate the beauty of this wonderful place. ~Steve

To be back in Grindelwald is a blessing. Although the village seems much larger than I imagined, the mountains and surrounding countryside remain thankfully the same. The French Alps were spectacular but I kept thinking that Grindelwald was different - at least my memories from being there 21 years ago made me still long to return.

I'm so thankful we decided to take the extra journey into Switzerland. The difference was almost immediately apparent after we crossed over the border. The wider valleys were checkered by small farms and the hills were dotted with chalets and grazing cattle. When we arrived in Grindelwald, we found a very civilized little town - so typical of Switzerland. The tourist office offered a map that clearly delineates the area, hikes and lifts, including the amount of time required for each hike. The town is tidy with flowers on each building. Each street is clearly marked. There is a bus system that leads to all the hikes and lifts - all so organized and Swiss! We found a cute chalet up in the mountains about 10 minutes from the village. The mountains are just outside our patio along with a small farm complete with cows and goats serenading us with their bells. ~Paula

So far, hiking in Grindelwald has been absolutely spectacular. The combination of snow-topped mountains, rolling hills, lush meadows and thick, green forests takes your breath away. In the mountains you can find small meandering streams, small frams and houses, and grazing cows, sheep and goats. All the animals have huge bells around their necks, which you can hear from high up in the mountains. Our hikes have taken us to ice cold lakes, waterfalls and wide open fields. You can never escape the fresh air (with the exception of the cow pies!) or the ringing of cow bells in the distance. I have enjoyed the Swiss Alps more than the French Alps for a couple of reasons. Although the French Alps have towering summits and cliffs everywhere, I like the lush mountains and valleys much more. Grindelwald has been the highlight of my trip so far, and I hope to see more places like it in the future. ~David

Distance Walked: 11.34 miles


























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