Bernese Highlands, Switzerland

Berner Oberland, Schweiz

guest starring Tiny Kitty Tink

Gimmelwald

"Anneli", the chalet that we stayed in.

This time, we only took a Petite Blythe along - but Tiny Kitty sneaked into the luggage as well. This is Christine, nicknamed "Tink" enjoying the view from "Anneli"s balcony. We could see Eiger (Ogre), Moench (Monk) and Jungfrau (Virgin) from here!

One evening, we actually saw the alps glowing (Alpengluehen). It was beautiful!

It did remind me of a Heidi audio cassette from my childhood,  though (based on the books, not on the anime), where Heidi witnesses the alps glowing for the first time and runs inside to get her grandfather: "The sun is on fire! The mountains are on fire!"

On the left side, seen only half, the Jungfrau, in the centre the Rottalgletscher (glacier).

Walking from Gimmelwald to Muerren

Gimmelwald is a tiny village at about 1400m height with about 130 inhabitants and no cars. Muerren is the neighbouring village, a bit bigger. Both villages can be reached by funicular from the valley.

The only baker´s in Gimmelwalds - with very low calorie food ;-)   (home-made nut croissants, almond croissants, chocolate cake, "horse droppings" (a local specialty - sweet balls made with chocolate, sugar and almonds), apple cake and carrot cake)

Mürren

At 1650 m, Muerren is the highest altitude ski resort in the Bernese Highlands. Like Gimmelwald, it is car free - well, it would be difficult to get a car up there, anyway. It nestles at the foot of the Schilthorn with its revolving Piz Gloria Restaurant, made world-famous by the James Bond film "In Her Majesty´s Secret Service" (the one with George Lazenby and Diana Rigg). 
Mürren has 450 inhabitants and a total of 2000 beds in 14 hotels and 250 holiday apartments. (www.muerren.ch)

On the left going up the mountain you can see the funicular up to Allmendhubel. We went up there one day and had a cup of Ovomaltine. Behind Birg, you can see Schilthorn.

Looking towards Eiger. Its famous North Face is - as usual - hidden in mist.

The true owner of this souvenir store has a nap in the window...

The tiny square thing on top of the mountain in the middle is the funicular station where you have to change lines going up to Schilthorn. If you suffer from vertigo and an inherent distrust in small cabins on wires, you can also take the footpath. If you don´t take a break, you can make it in about 6 hours - but be prepared, there´s no inn or station anywhere on the way...

Hiking from Muerren into Saustal (Saus valley).

Our stay was shortly before the Swiss National Holiday on August 1, so many houses and store windows were already decorated with the national colors. The date was chosen in the late 19th century as the date of a written agreement between the three initial communes in the 13th century that formed what would become the Swiss Confederacy: Schwyz (from whose name the name of Switzerland is derived), Uri and Unterwalden.

Cow bells...

... and cows.

If you don´t like to walk, the train is a way of getting around the area. We  made use of it, too, but that day, we preferred to hike.

Moench and Jungfrau

Eiger, Mönch and a bit of Jungfrau.

Lunch time!

Hiking from Gimmelwald into Sefinental (Sefine valley)

Yep, that´s snow. In July.

Finally we made it. Sefinental is a picturesque moonscape, enclosed by mountains on three sides.

Petite Holly: "...err... beam me up, Scotty?"

"Jungfrau"? Virgin? I don´t see any... "

Tink: "Ahhh, cooling my feet after all that walking..."                                                              Petite Holly: "As if you haven´t been in the backpack right beside me all the time..."

(2005)