Interlaken, Wengen

If you are not staying in Grinderwald,  you should stay in Wengen, but don’t stay in Interlaken.  It’s not that I hate Interlaken, it is growing on me.  For breakfast this morning we ate local yogurt mixed with fruit, berries, and musli, from a  local supermarket.  We ate it on the balcony of our hotel overlooking a big grassy field with the mountains on the horizon.

The yogurt was great (and it should be, with all those free-range cows on the green alpine pastures), the view was nice, and the sun was shining.  But still, I would not stay in Interlaken again.

After breakfast we went to Wengen.   We had to take the wretched train again to get there, as no cars are allowed in the town, but this train was not quite as crowded as the one yesterday’s, so it was not unpleasant.  It is beyond words how magnificent the road to Wengen is, with jaw-dropping views of mountains, gorges, waterfalls, and rivers rushing off the mountains over the rocks.  From Wengen, we took a gondola to Mannlichen, and from there we walked along the ridge of the three tallest mountains to the next train stop.  I can’t really call it a hike, not after the Inca Trail.  We walked on a rather wide gravel path, mostly flat, and absorbed the views.  There were a lot of walkers on the road, but it was not overly crowded.

There were all kinds of  walkers: human and canine.  The winners were:  a little Russian girl, 3 or 4 years old, holding her father’s hand and wearing tiny hiking boots, who finished the 1.5 hrs hike on her own two little legs, and a French grandma, well into her eighties, walking with a cane, who was hiking while  leaning on her slightly younger companion.

I love mountains, and they are not all alike.  The Alps are shaped completely different from the Peruvian Andes.  In Bariloche, the Andes are separated by many lakes and have no snow in the summer.  The Alps are more ragged, with eternal snow on top. Between the two, my vote goes to the Andes.

We came back to Wengen, a town set on the slopes of magnificent mountains.  We walked up one of the hills, past some more izbushkas and into the woods to a little memorial marking the spot where Felix Mendelssohn, who visited the area 160 years ago, was so overwhelmed with the beauty before him, that he made a sketch (displayed).

Tomorrow, we are going to some other towns and, hopefully, on more hikes.

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