MY SON TRIED TO KILL ME THIS WEEK!!!!
This is only the 3rd time our son has been able to be here in the warmer months. The first time really doesn’t count, because he was only here for a few days, and his main task was to move his Mother out of the hotel and into our apartment. This time he has decided he wants to try some hiking. Last weekend he and Julie went on a lovely hike from our home to Uetliberg. It is a fun hike of about 9 kilometers. You hike over one ridge to a nearby town, take a gondola up the next ridge, and then it is a fairly level walk the rest of the way. He and Julie took the hike, while I went for a long bike ride. His second hike he wanted to do in the mountains. He decided to visit Seealpsee and Ebenalp.
I read up on the hike, and found that this is one of the most popular hikes in the country. At least the hike to Seealpsee is. Now most people doing this hike, take the graveled trail from the train station up to the lake. If people are doing the entire hike, most people take the gondola up to Ebenalp and then hike down. Not my son. He wanted to be Swiss. We drove to the train station, and then started going up, and up, and up. We got to the top of the first ridge, and I was “OK, that wasn’t that bad. It was hard, but I didn’t die. We will have a nice level walk to recover. Have some lunch, and since we are halfway up I should be OK.” Then I looked across the valley. As you can see from the elevation map when we leveled off, we were not 1/2 way up, we were only about 1/3 of the way up the mountain. We have some good pictures, but I also hope you enjoy the video I made by splicing together a bunch of TikToks. Ignore the heavy breathing toward the end of the video. I was EXHAUSTED!!
The hike was even harder because the day before I went on a pretty hard bike ride, that had over 1500 meters of climbs. My legs started tired, and they were pretty shaky at the end! If you look at the elevation picture, where the climb was the most steep I was only able to walk about 25-30 meters at a time. The trail at that point was nothing but steps and switchbacks. I basically went from switchback to switchback and took a two – three minute rest at each turn. The strangest part of the hike was near the end. You can see the restaurant we stopped for a breather. The restaurant is built into the side of the mountain.
I was a little concerned about how we were going to get from the restaurant up the top of the mountain. The trail started as a bridge built off the side of the cliff. I was a little worried that was going to be how the hike ended. I stumbled and fell hundreds of feet down! However, after a few hundred yards the trail came to a cave. You actually hike through the cave to get up to the field at the top of the mountain for the gondola ride back down. The change in temperature was very striking. We were very comfortable up to the point we left the cave. I think the temperature was a good 15 – 20 degrees colder up at the top of the mountain versus the bottom. Thank goodness there was a building to wait for the gondola, or we would have gotten hypothermia.
Growing up on a cattle farm, I am still impressed with how the Swiss cows live on the mountains. When you look through the photo gallery. Look for a picture of 3 or 4 cows on the side of the mountain. The next picture is zoomed out to normal, and you can see the whole hillside. The cows actually make little terraces as they walk across the hill finding what little grass is available. It seems so strange to me, that the cows are able to find enough nourishment on the mountains, but I guess they have been doing this for hundreds and hundreds of years, so what do I know?
This weekend we are heading to Luxembourg. So I should have some more travel photos for next week’s post. Talk to you soon.