Saturday, June 18, 2016

Exploring Around Grindelwald

Our plans for this day were based around the town of Grindelwald.
We said good morning to the adorable sheep!

We appreciated the view from the balcony of our chalet.

Here's what I wore:
pants: SoHo Apparel
blouse, sweater, socks, shoes: Target

coat: DKNY from TurnStyle consignment shop
bag: from Ross

Here's how I set up the carry bags to cart around what I needed for the day.
by Madden Girl from Ross

My backpack (similar, another similar) contained:

* travel itinerary and rental apartment details in front pocket

* my InvisAlign equipment (case, toothbrush, toothpaste, floss) 
in this cute zippered case (from Target!)

* an extra layer (a sweater)

* rain hat (find it here)

* sun hat (I bought mine in Switzerland, and I'm newly in love with this style, the "cadet cap" or "Castro cap."  Find a few here and here in pink! and this adjustable one in multiple colors).

* ear-covering hat (mine was a gift, but here's a similar one)

* one pair of gloves (similar)

Basically, my backpack carried stuff I needed with me but that I wouldn't need to access very frequently.

My crossbody bag/purse contained:

* my camera 
(vital! I keep this in the front pocket all alone so that when I pull it out, nothing else comes out and falls on the ground and gets lost!)

* my train pass (the Swiss Travel Pass 15 Day version)

* camera batteries and extra data storage cards
in this adorable case (a gift)

* lip balm & lip stick (I layer them for moisture and protection)

* wallet (mine is by Kenneth Cole Reaction from TJ Maxx, but this one is adorable!)

* nail clippers

* nail file

* phone (in this phone case)

business cards (you never know!)

* small hair brush

* blush (similar - I get pale and pasty, especially when I get cold, and it helps to freshen up the blush!)

* hand lotion (I struggle with extremely dry, flaky, nasty skin I strive constantly to moisturize appropriately)

* sunglasses (in a hard case)

* hair bands (in case my hair gets crazy in rain, snow, wind, or sleet and needs to be braided)

As soon as we left, I was happy to have my all-weather gear along!
The clouds were descending and it was getting drippier.

This roundabout was the Routenegg roundabout, where the bus into the city center stopped.
See the sign that says "Zentrum"?  That means "city center"!
We missed our bus (we saw it driving away without us!), so we decided to walk into town (about 1 km, but uphill).

We saw interesting animals everywhere - let's begin with this big slug!

Look at how pretty he is!

This is the path we walked:

And YES! - this is really and truly the view we had on our walk!

This bird was singing loudly and happily at the top of the tree:

And all the little chalets were similar, but different:

There are a lot of funiculars and cog-wheeled trains around the area:

We saw the Grindelwald Feuerwehr (fire department) 
and thought the grass-topped building was neat-o.

And we saw cows and goats!!!

Look at this little guy!

I think this black & white chalet is very elegant.
I wanted to buy it and come back to Grindelwald all the time.
Or perhaps operate rental apartments of my own there.

I saw lots of little creatures and took pictures of them: 

I was capturing this cute little snail! 

Yep, we're in the canton of Bern - the poles are labeled to let us know!

The little yellow sign says, "Wanderweg," and it means hiking path 
(but it sounds much cuter!)

Eventually we got to the city center!

That coop was our main grocery store while we were in Grindelwald.

There's the mail delivery cart!
Stuff is covered up due to rain.

This basket was full of rocks, and some of them were painted like the Swiss flag.
I like it.

This store advertised that they were selling lingerie, wool products, and jewelry.
Not a natural sounding selection, but it must work for them!

We found Tom's Hut - my Dad's name is Tom, and I imagined him living here and welcoming all the townspeople to a meal and a cozy night of games and chat.

Tom's had its own bear guardian:

Our plan in town had been to see the town history museum, so we walked in that direction, appreciating the interesting things we saw on the way.

Like the amazing moss on this tree!

Here's the Heimatsmuseum . . . but it was closed!
Apparently, most things in Switzerland are closed in May. 

There were some cool examples of cog-wheels outside.
Here's how heavy heavy trains can pull themselves up steep inclines:

And this old millstone was propped up against the wall.
It was used in the mill from the 15th to the 20th century.
It definitely worked hard - for 500 years!

The building across the street had open bathrooms (free!)
and I took advantage.
The little people on the doors were cute!

Very stylish!


These troughs were all over the place.
Evidently the water in them is clean enough to drink, and people do.
I prefer tap water (though it's probably more dangerous these days!)

This little church and graveyard were right next to the museum.

We decided to keep walking to the Glescherschlucht (glacier gorge), a place where a walkway has been built along the rock walls carved by the glacier.  We were going completely the wrong way.
And it was all very steeply uphill.

But it was gorgeous!

We saw lots of wonderful cows:

Round-the-corner mirrors were commonplace
(can you see me?)

Can you see Greg and me?

Lots of beautiful flowers were enjoying the rain:

As were the plants in this living wall:

 We investigated this bus map and realized we were way off track,
but we decided to keep going until the end of the line - Oberer Gletscher (upper glacier),
thinking that there might be a glacier up there (we were right and we found it!)

Can you see a teeny little brown building on top of a flattish rock
near the middle of the photo: 

We don't know exactly what it is, but we did wonder how people get up there!

Maybe they have their own funicular?

And this building was hanging off the edge: 

Rushing water was everywhere:

And then - there was the glacier! 

Look at how beautiful it is!

And there was a restaurant there that we got to enjoy (it was warm and dry - it started to pour rain right about this time) until the bus was ready to leave.  The bus arrived about 45 minutes before it was scheduled to leave, and the bus driver got out, locked the bus, and went into the restaurant for lunch!

Here's some video from the day of hiking:

Hotel Wettershorn:

There's the bus, waiting for the right time to go!

That's our bus line right there - #11, Mannlichenbahn:

I had lunch outside and hot tea inside with Greg:

Greg had some beer and I had some mineral water ("mit gas" = with bubbles!)

Ibex on the wall!

. . . and roesti!
It's shredded potatoes with cheese and other stuff.  Hash browns, basically.
It would be healthy without all the other stuff (butter, oil, cheese, egg, ham . . . ).
It's a specialty of Switzerland (which doesn't seem health-focused at all).

Walking through town again, we saw a bunch of gnomes.
We learned from some tourist information we read that gnomes are a popular decoration in this area because of stories of gnomes coming out and helping people in need. 

We saw Bern chocolate with a big bear on it:

It kept raining hard, but we decided we still wanted to see the Gltscherschlucht.

We found the appropriate bus - the Gletscherschlucht was the very last stop: 

We got off the bus and were amazed by the gorge right away!

We walked around taking photos.

Can you see the walkway near the top of this photo?

There's a platform near the top of the gorge for bungee jumping - eek!

And the bridge is made of old stones:

There's the sign for the bungee jumping:

Oh dear.  Do you see that orange cone up there in the gorge?

Yes, that's right.
The gorge walkway was closed for repairs.  
Hopefully next time we're there (and we're planning for a "next time"!)
we can walk there.

Of course, the bus had just left and wasn't expected back for 45 minutes, so we walked back into town.

And I'm very glad we did because we saw amazing sights.
My favorite thing was the cows.
They all wear bells, and the bells tinkle and sound beautiful all together. 

Here are bells hanging off a barn.
I'm guessing the cows that belong to these bells are no longer in the land of the living.

Look at this beautiful farm!

It's called "little mountain brook":

They had posters of the different types of cows:

Houses had writing on them, describing when they were built and by whom, who lived there, and who lives there now.

And we walked under the cable car line!

And over a bunch of little rivers and streams:

Then we came across Grabenstrasse (grave street), so I thought we might be on the path to come into town behind the little church and graveyard we'd seen earlier next to the closed museum.

We saw llamas!

They are adorably gangly and awkward looking.

And there were wild strawberries growing everywhere.
Wild berries are the most nutritious (but it was too early for berries and I don't trust my berry plant identifying skills enough to eat wild berries!)

We DID come up on the back side of the church!

We like how there are flowers planted on top of the grave sites.

I couldn't think of a prettier place to be buried.

The cement wall had little niches, where succulents were planted.

In memory of the lead veteran,
Died on the Wetterhorn
on the 4th of July, 1882.
Mourned by friends.
Death is swallowed up in victory. 

My favorite sign to see on a church!
"Our church is open!
Come on in!"

I Corinthians 3:11
No other foundation can one lay than that that has been laid: Jesus Christ

"For the honor of God"


We wandered into town again to meet our bus.
I decided I liked this chalet even more than the black an white one.

Most chalets had piles of wood, decoratively stacked.

"Wir machen Zimmerstunde.
Zurueck um 17:00!"
"We're having an afternoon break.
We'll be back at 5 PM!"

We got some groceries (a bag of which I left on the bus by accident - whoops!)
and we saw candy pizza and candy sushi. Ew!

We are currently at the yellow oval, and we're heade to Rothenegg, where Greg's pointing.

Still in the Kanton of Bern! 

This was the first time I found a really good chocolate that worked for me.
It's free of gluten and dairy - in fact, it says "vegan" right on the front.  Nice!

Ingredients aren't bad and there aren't a lot of weird things in there:
Sugar, cocoa butter, glucose syrup, cocoa paste, hazelnuts, sea salt, vanilla extract.

I ate some with some dried cranberries. Yum!

Greg drank this weird stuff we got free at the train station in Zurich.
The big train stations often have advertisers handing out free samples, and we got free Ribella (this weird carbonated drink with MILK in it!), free shampoo, free chocolate . . . 

This fizzy milk drink seems like part of the dairy-pushing global conspiracy to me.

Greg bought a sandwich at the grocery store and liked it.
He ate these almost every day while we were in Switzerland.

We noticed that there was a 40% chance of SNOW! 

And it was chilly!

We turned up our radiators and enjoyed a deep long sleep after all that adventuring!

Here's a video I made of some of the cows and goats we saw while wandering.


  1. LOVED the polka dot carrying case for your dental hygiene products in it. I agree that the chalet with the blue shutters is the enjoying your journey with you...

  2. The pictures don't look real!!! Beautiful and I learn a lot, too.