Sunday, August 01, 2010

Two days from Innertkirchen->Engelberg

Day one starts pretty late, we leave Basel on a train at 8:01 instead of the more usual 6:01 or 7:01... Ah what a luxuriously slow start. The train takes us to Interlaken and then from there on to Meiringen where we change for the (full... Boy are things full this late) bus to Innertkirchen. Now we're on foot an a path that more or less follows the road (the Sustenpass road... Not an empty one) for the first bit before heading up a bit and then paralleling it. It is not greg's favorite kind of walking to be sure, but that's just the way it goes sometimes, onwards for a while until we hit Nessental where we make a sharp turn and head up the side of the valley. At first the way is road, but then it eventually becomes a nice path through the woods. Nice bit of climbing and climbing, a bit slower than normal because Andrea's legs are heavy, and then we make it to the Tällihütte, our destination for the day. Nice rest with a cool beverage on the terrace and then a quick nap before dinner. Good eating here... It's a bit more expensive than an SAC hut, but there are some bonuses for the hotel experience.

Sunday starts with good weather and a good breakfast, then we head out around 7:40 and up to the Sätteli. Original plan was to do the klettersteig, but Andrea's heavy legs plus the hoards of people we see heading that way (the first gondola arrives at around 7:30 and dispatches a group of 8 who head to the 'steig... this is how it starts) change our minds, we will just do a normal hike. So... steeply up to the Sätteli where we have great views towards the Trift glacier, parts of the Berner Oberland (including the Raenfenhorn and Dossen), Titlis, the Sustenhorn, etc. Very nice.

After a bit of enjoying the views, down the other side towards Engstlenalp. Great path round the side of the valley, descending gently, takes us there. A short break above the "kiosk" and then it's up, up again through the Schaftal towards the Jochpass. Good ascent beside a really nice looking climbing wall (plenty of routes visible, but only being climbed in one place). After a while we start hearing alphorns playing, which provide a very cool soundtrack for the climb. Unfortunately they stop playing just as we get close and decide to do our lunch break, so we do not have a lunch time serenade... damn. After lunch down a bit to the pass and the thick of the people (the Jochpass is served by chair lifts from both sides). Nice views down to Engelberg and across to the Walenstöcke, Ruchstock, and the Engelberger Rotstock. We also start to hear a really good cow concert from up here; behind is quiet but in front is a very musical herd.

Down the other side we go, heading inevitably towards Engelberg. At the Trüebsee we do a refreshment break (mmmmmmm beer and french fries) before continuing on our way down, down, down. At Untertrüebsee the signs for an alpkäserei are too much for Greg to resist. A quick detour is made to get some cheese. This turns out to be doubly rewarding because not only do we end up with a couple of nice pieces of cheese, but they are selling the cheese from the room in which it's made, so while we are waiting to buy we can gawk at all the cool cheese making stuff and the cheeses in various stages of completion.

Further down and we hit Engelberg, where a train awaits that will take us back towards home.

Things didn't quite go according to plan on this trip, but it was still a nice bit of walking, particularly on Sunday.