Category Archives: Switzerland

Augstmatthorn, a part of the Hardergrat trail.

Not very long ago I wrote a post about an amazing hike at the Hardergrat. We gave it a try but realised quickly that it was not possible with our toddler sitting in a backpack on her dad’s back. You will understand why if you click Here.

But then I found out that we could do a small part of the Hardergrat trail and walk down from Augstmatthorn. After studying the map and reading blogs we decided that this could be done.

The very next morning we took the first funicular at 8.10am up to Harder kulm from Harder railway Valley station, at Interlaken Ost. It takes about 10 minutes up!

There is a restaurant and a fun balcony with a great view of the surrounding.
The trail starts by the restaurant. Just follow the yellow road sign to Augstmatthorn.

I will divide this hike in 4 parts.

1. Harder kulm to the feet of Suggiture

2. The climb to Suggiture

3. Suggiture to Augstmatthorn

4. Austmatthorn and way back

 

1. Harder kulm to the feet of Suggiture.

This part of the trail is mostly in the forest. The “boring” part as you will be walking up about 400m elevation with no view. It took us around 80 minutes to reach to “the feet” of Suggiture.

At the “feet” of Suggiture was a good picnic spot for us as there were spaces for Mirabelle to run around and shade to sit under.

Eating Miang Kham, a thai speciality!




2. The climb to Suggiture

When you get out of the forest you will se the Suggiture and you will feel very scared just by looking at it. Don’t worry, it looks scarier than it really is!

The trail is steep and very rocky, but very short. It took us about 30 min to take us all up to Suggiture. Now enjoy the view and have a break!

 

3. Suggiture to Augstmatthorn

This part is what I was looking forward to the most; walking on the ridge of the mountain!

But I have to tell you that I got quite disappointed as the ridge between Suggiture and Augstmatthorn is not as narrow as I thought and the distance between those summit is very short. So we have been walking more in the forest than on the top of the mountain.

That said, it was still beautiful! And if you can and want you can walk all the way to Rothorn where the trail suppose to be very “thin”.

 

4. Augstmatthorn and way back

From here on you either walk back the same way you came or you can walk down to Habkern and take the bus to Interlaken. We decided to take the steep path down to Habkern.

We stop by for a drink and cake. And a play pause for Mirabelle.

But once we came down to a restaurant Jägerstübli at Lombach on the base of the mountain we realised it was better to hitchhike. And I am glad we did it because not only it was another 1 1/2 hours to Habkern and Mirabelle started to be impatience. Beside that, the couple drove us all the way to Interlaken!

 

Another option of how to get to Augstmatthorn

Knowing about this restaurant now afterwards it could have been easier to park the car here and walk up to Augstmatthorn. There are two ways up. The same way we walk down. Not recommended as it’s boring! I suggest to take the path up to the “feet” of Suggiture and from there up to Suggiture and then Augstmatthorn.

We parked our car at indoor parking by the Interlaken Ost railway station. As it was on a sunday it cost only 1chf/hour instead of 3chf. And from there we walked about 5 min to the funicular station.

The funicular timetable.
I am still dreaming of doing the Hardergrat trail all the way to Rothorn. One day!

Engstligen falls, the coolest waterfalls in Switzerland?

People who lives in Switzerland or has been to Switzerland knows that this country has atleast thousand of waterfalls. It’s hard to tell which of them is the most special as each waterfalls has it’s own charm.

 

But today, we hiked to the coolest waterfall in Switzerland! Engstligen falls in Adelboden, the second highest waterfalls in Switzerland. 600 meter high with two gorgeous drops.

We found this waterfalls so cool because of the easy access to the waterfalls. From the car park and the cable car station, there is an easy ten minutes walk to the base of the waterfalls. From there you either hike or take the cable car up to Engstligenalp and walk down. Or you could just stay down here…but you would miss the best parts.

As the cable car station was still close for the season we hike up and down. It took around 90min up and 1hour down with about 600 meter elevation each way.

There were still snow on some part of the path. Don’t panic, there is always a way!

We were already very impressed when we saw the lower falls and didn’t expected anything more. But as we walked up to Engstligenalp we came to what seems to be the upper falls, that we didn’t know existed. All three of us were like:

WOW, WOW, woow!

We could have stay there all day…but with a toddler with ants in the pants it’s impossible even with this view!

To get to this point you will need to walk. Walking down about 20 min from Engstligenalp or walking up from the base of  waterfalls about 90 min. Dont miss it as I belive this is the best part!! 


Another cool thing about Engstligen falls is the amount of water pourring down! Please remember that the water flow depends of the season your visit. We were there late spring, at the end of mai when the snow melts.

Another VERY cool thing about this particular waterfalls is that you can get very close to the falls. I hate seeing a waterfalls faraway where you can’t feel the waterdrops, the wind and hear the thunder of the falls.

And again more cool thing about this place are the different levels of the falls you get to see. The streams from Engstligenalp to the upper falls and then splash down to the lower falls and last into the Engstligen river.

An extra cool thing is that beside the awesome watefalls itself you have a beautiful view of the valley.

AND Engstligenalp is very extraordinary aswell! This is where all the water comes from.

Momstotzurich has great information of this place in her post. Please click Here.

Just a few weeks ago I wrote a post about My ten favorite waterfalls. I should add Engstligen falls on that list!

What do you guys say, is this the coolest waterfalls in Switzerland?

A sea of Narcissus in Les Pléiades, Switzerland

Everybody loves a field full of wildflowers. Imagine a field full of wild white Narcissus, thousands of them spread all over on green hills with mountains behind as decor. You think that I am dreaming. If I am dreaming please don’t wake me up!

 

Ever since I have discover the Narcissus hikes around Montreaux, Blonay and Vevey area by the lake Leman I was waiting with patience for the wild Narcissus season to begin. They are in fully bloom between mid-may and last until mid-june. The Narcissus flowering is dependent on height and sunshine as well as the weather conditions. Click here where you can get all the information of all the six Narcissus hikes and you can enter your planned date to be informed if the Narcissus are in bloom or not for that particular hike you want to do.

A few weeks ago as the Narcissus were in fully bloom at the Les Avants I was so excited to take our first hike on mountain slopes covered with white flowers. All I can say is that I was heartbroken as it was not as dense and beautiful as I have imagined. I didn’t want to give up on laying on a bed of thousands of Narcissus so when the Narcissis forecast for Les Pléiades (and the weather ) looked good we decided to head there.

And I am so happy for our decision as the place was so beautiful! So dense and so much more white flowers on places all along the hike.

It’s not a stroller friendly hike but it is very short, 4km with not much to climb. You can take the train either from Vevey or Blonay to Les Pléiades. We parked our car at the parking Motalles in Lally and then walk up 20 min to the Les Pléiades. It’s a loop hike so you will end up at the parking lot.

Parking aux Mortalles, Lally.

Walk direction Les Pléiade.

Take right where the couple are standing and then about 10 meters on the right again. 



You can pick the flowers but only a handfull without the leaf and the root.


 

So what do you think, has you seen anything as beautiful and unique in Switzerland ?

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Ogoz island by foot

Each time we have been driving on the highway E27 by the lake Gruyère I have seen a tiny island with an old castle and a small chapel. It’s called Ile d’Ogoz. Someone have told me that you can reach the island by boat. Even though Ile d’ogoz seems cosy I just feel that it is not worth taking a boat to get there. If you are intressted click here for more information.

The island surrounded by water. Photo credit: Here

Yesterday we drove pass the lake and I noticed that the water level of the lake was very low, which I have never thought of before. I then suddently saw people WALKING ON THE LAKE?!? But no, the people were actually walking on a stripe of land to the island! I understood quickly that it’s only possible because of the low level of the water. Once at home I made some research and I found out that this happens every winter and spring. 

As it looked beautiful and we only live 40km away we went there this morning. 

I wouldn’t say it was extraordinary but if you are passing by the neighborhood (like going to the Gruyère castle and the Cailler factory) during this time of year I think it’s a nice little stopover. When we got there around 10am we were almost the only one but people keep coming and it is not at all a hidden gem as I thought.

The island itself is very small. There are a chapel and an old castle. From the castle you have a nice view of the surrounding. There are benches and BBQ spots but I am not sure if there is a WC. 

The walk is not difficult nor far but I wouldn’t recommend using a stroller as you can see the path is full of rocks. 

The parking and the starting point is   at the adress Pont-en-ogoz 3, at the Le Bry village. From the parking you will see a clear path to the island.

Perhaps the island would be more impressiv when surrounded by water and getting there by boat? I am however very pleased to have walked to the island!

But by kayaking might be fun though!!

Cherry blossom trail in Frick

I so so love having a picnic under a blooming tree. Especially under a huge Magnolia, cherry or apple tree. That’s one of my favorite thing to do in spring! (No, spring cleaning is not one of them!)

When we lived in Lausanne we had our favorite places to have a picnic under blooming trees. But now after a year living in Bern we still have no clue where to view cherry blossom. I asked around and someone suggested me to take a walk on the “Chriesiwäg” in Frick in the Canton of Aargau. It is about 40km from Basel, 50km from Zurich and 110km from Bern. Normally we wouldn’t drive over an hour just to see some cherry trees but something made us go there last friday and we don’t regret the decision! 

We parked our car infront of the Frick railway station. It was 0.75 chf an hour, not expensiv. From the ticket office at railway station we got a map of the 5km round hike.

The wow-moment start almost as soon as we arrive to the starting point of the hike around 1km from the railway station. It’s easy to find the way as all you need to do is follow the family cherry sign!

The road is in good condition no problem for using a stroller but as we had our daughter in a carrier we were free to explore, walk around the field as we wish and took our time. I suggest you to use one because to fully enjoying this place is to go off the beaten track!

It was heavenly to walk among and between the trees feeling the spring in the air. And the whole field was smelling so sweet of flowers! I might exaggerate but I think the spring got into me !😊

We were there on a friday between 11am to 4pm and there were not much people around.

Along the 5km there are information panels on the trail about the cherry varieties, the bees and the landscape ect. But unfortunally only in german. There is a picnic, BBQ and WC area.

Tips! Incase you like better the fruit itself than the flower then come later on the summer to eat some cherries directly from trees marked in blue...for free!! 

I can already imagine us sitting under a cherry tree reaching up for a cherry one after another…mmmm my kind of happiness !

For more information: Here

Do you guys have any favorite blooming tree you want to share?

What Thailand made me miss about being home.

Yes, I still have Travel hangover and yes I am still crying over to be home. But when I was in Thailand I missed alot of things about being home. To move on with my life and to get over this depression I am now trying to focus on those positve things I missed with home when we were away.

It is important that you understand that I am comparing being away in Thailand and not being away in generally because each country is different.

1. Walking

Lumbini parc in central Bangkok is a good place to walk.

My husband and I love to take long spontaneous walks and in Thailand (mostly in Bangkok) we missed walking alot. Yes you can walk mostly everywhere in Thailand but I wouldn’t call it enjoyable. Here are the reasons why.

  1. It’s to hot! You have between 6-9 am and 4-6pm to walk if you don’t want to melt of the heat.
  2. There no sidewalk! If there is one, it is often occupied by street vendors, dogs, parking cars and bikes.
  3. Traffic! People are driving like crazy and people are driving where they don’t suppose to. I am constantly looking over my shoulder when I am walking.
  4. I have already mention dogs! They are everywhere and they can be nasty!
  5. People! To much people!


2. Eating healthier food

Crispy porc is my favorit!

This is more a problem for a health freak like David but one of the thing we missed was eating healthier food ! When you are in Thailand you are surrounded by food everywhere, 24h! It’s easier and cheaper to eat out than to cook at home. The problem is we thai people (included me) love our food very greasy, sweet, salty, sour and spicy and we put meat in mostly everything. It is so delicious but not always very healthy! And when we ate out we had zero control of what they have put in the dishes. Once I ordered an ice tea without sugar. But the ice tea came very sweet. The vendor explained to me that he have put sugar in it beacuse without sugar the ice tea wouldn’t taste good! And we bought once fresh sliced pineapple where the vendor marined the pineapples with sugar to sweeten them. I have no proof but the pineapples cleary tasted like white sugar!

At home we like to buy our food organic and we eat less meat. Don’t get me wrong, in Thailand there are alot of fresh veggies and fruit everywhere but what we missed was a simple home cooked quality meals.


3. Crazy drivers and traffic jam

A fully loaded tuk tuk.

It’s aweful to be in a car jam with a toddler who hates being in a car. I can survive a car jam, but always having fear for my life everytime I am in a car beacause people are driving like I-don’t-care-about-my-life-neither-yours…that it’s so stressful! There where times we had crazy taxi drivers so we asked to change the taxi. We are happy be to back safely!

 

4. Baby chair

How we missed Mirabelles tripp trapp stokke chair!

Without a baby chair she would constantly jump up on the table. Switch between David and I. Go down on the floor and then up on our knees again. Bon appetit!

What we really missed was Mirabelles hight chair! At home she would sit nicely eating in her high chair. Many restaurants in Thailand have chair for baby but so many more don’t have them. For us it was a problem because without the chair Mirabelle would act like a ape by the table jumping around. We had no peace by the table. It was impossible to make a conversation because one of us always have to look after her. Every meal was a disaster!


For those of you who have been in Thailand, do you agree with me? What do you miss when you away from home?  


 

Five beautiful and child friendly hikes around mountain lakes in Switzerland

Before my husband and I got our baby girl we loved to go hiking for hours on the mountains. Now when we got our baby our passion for the hiking hasn’t decreased, on the contrary! Now we love to go hiking even more because we think introducing the mountains and the nature to our daughter is one of the best gift we can give as parents. But it’s not always easy to find beautiful mountain hikes suitable for children. We have done a couples of hikes this summer that are easy but most of all very beautiful and fun for both the kids and the parents!

 

1.Oenschinensee, Kandersteg

         

Oeschinensee is on the top of our list. It has everything to make your familyday very fun! We go back to Oenshinensee every year! Our favorite hike is the blue line, nr 7. It’s the most beautiful hike because you get the first glimpse of the lake from above! Magic! But I don’t recommend this hike for young kids under 10 years old because it’s quite steep and the path on some places is very slippery because of the waterfalls. The easiest, safest and fastest way to the lake is the pink line, nr 1. And you can use a strolley! Another option is to take a shutterbus that brings you all the way to the lake. I think it’s 8chf each.

For more information: http://www.oeschinensee.ch/english-neu/

Another great tip is to pass by the small but beautiful crystal clear lake Blausee just before you arrive to Kandersteg!

Information about Blausee: http://www.blausee.ch/en/

2. First to Bachalpsee, Grindewald

    

For some reason this is not our favorite hike, perhaps of the crowds when we were there last time…but it’s still a beautiful and an easy hike! It’s quite flat and not much climbing to reach the lake but some kids might find this hike a bit long. Even thought the road seems to be in good condition I still think that this hike is not suitable for a stroller!

Something extra about this hike is once you reach First by the cable by the restaurant there is a Cliff walk made by Tissot.  Not bad!

More information here: http://www.jungfrau.ch/en/tourism/destinations/grindelwald-first/hiking-trails/walking/Report/showWalkingDetail/first-bachalpsee-first/

3. The two lakes. Hinterstockensee and Oberstockensee , Erlenbach.

    

This hike is all about going down! (A bit of going up from the lake) You just need to take the cable car from Erlenbach in Simmental up to Stockhorn and from there you will have to walk down to Oberstockensee. From Oberstockensee you will need to walk down some more to reach Hinterstockensee and the cable car.

More information here: https://www.stockhorn.ch/experiences/summer/hiking-and-walking

4. The three lakes. Lago di Ritom, di Cadagno and di Tom, Airolo

   

Absolut favorite thanks to the lake Tom (next last and last picture). There are so many hike around here so my husband and I wish to do some without our baby…but the one we did with her is also very nice! You can reach Lake Ritom via the funicular from Piotta. The ride is very spectacular as it is one of the steepest in Europe with a maximum inclination of about 89%. If you wish you can aswell drive your car all the way up to Lake Ritom or even to the lake Cadagno and start your hike from one of these lakes.

More information: http://www.lagoritom.ch/index.php?lang=en

5. Arnensee, Gsteig/Feutersoey


This must be the easiest hike of all the five if you chose to walk around the lake. We thought it was to easy so we did another hike above the lake. It was not much harder so it’s worth hiking up. There are huge fishes in that lake and most of people who were there were fishing. Perhaps something new to try with your kids!

More information here: http://www.huettenzauber.ch/en/huus-am-arnensee/welcome