Sunday, July 7, 2013

Adelboden, Switzerland Day Hike 3

Dad at Oescheinensee
I wish Dad and I had been able to see the Oechinensee lake from above. But we got a good view nonetheless. It was surprisingly far away from the hotel. Rather the rocky shoreline seems unusually broad.

Dad and I were feeling a bit under the weather. My problem was my usual issue with my colon. I probably could have gone but felt it wise to stay nearer civilazation (i.e., access to bathrooms). Mom decided to join the easier hike and avoid the big climb and descent that the folks doing the tougher hike would have to deal with. The weather today was a bit better than the previous days with the sun actually making appearances and the air temperature somewhat warmer than it had been.

Suspension bridge and Mom
This is a privately owned suspension bridge that leads to a cafe. The owners ask you pay 1 Swiss franc to cross. It is clearly well built but if you are uncomfortable with heights the swaying that occurs as you cross will not make you happy.
bridge 2
You can get a sense of the scale of the bridge now. A couple days later Mom would also get a photo from river level.

We all piled into the bus and our first stop was at a very long pedestrian suspension bridge that crosses a river whose name I am not sure of. The far end of the bridge takes you to a cafe which we would stop at later on in the week. This bridge is well above the river, I can easily imagine 100 feet above, and wide enough for a single person to walk across the grated deck. If you don't have a head for heights the sway of the bridge is going to bother you. I don't know why it seems worse at the ends, especially the roadside end, but it does. Still most of us crossed the bridge to see what views could be seen. The bridge is privately owned and the owners ask for a donation if you cross. I suppose we gave something.

morning break at the lodge complex at Oescheinensee
Dad and I were both a bit under the weather. My problem was, and I suppose still is, my usual one except that I was experiencing a bade flare up. Dad was just feeling a bit poorly. So while Mom would do the easier walk we elected to just go to the lake (Oechinensee). We got to have a nice bite at the hotel by the lake.

Our next stopping point was where the hike would start. We were in the town of Kandersteg (I think). People doing the tougher walk left the parking lot to climb and climb while the rest of us went to the gondola terminus to ride up to the upper terminus. The walk to Oescheinensee (Oeschinen Lake) is along a paved path that is just under a mile long and you descend about 350 feet. Dad and I walked down to the hotel, a big complex, that sits above the lake for a bite to eat. The lake is a rich green and surrounded by mountains on most sides. By us the shoreline seemed unusually wide and a bit rocky. I could easily imagine it underwater. In the distance, out of sight, we knew a nice waterfall was present. Mom would get some pictures later on. Dad and I enjoyed some strudel (the ice cream and whipped cream it came with were, I think, overkill). Mom's group came on by and left us to our own devices as they rounded the lake before ascending to a mountain cafe cum hut for their lunch. Dad and I returned to Kandersteg via the gondola and walked through the nice flowery fields to the town center to catch a bus back to Adelboden.

waterfall at Oescheinensee
You can't, well I don't think you could, see this waterfall from the hotel. Fortunately, Mom had a chance to walk near it.

Here is what Mom had to say about the hike:

Anyway, after we left the coffee place where you and your father were sitting, we moseyed around the lake (don't know its name). There were clusters of young folk some with boom boxes, although they weren't too loud, and some folks were fishing. We found a place to cross the inflow/outflow of the lake and got on the trail that climbed along a slope of the hillside surrounding the lake. There were a few narrow passages where a member of the group who didn't like heights was helped, but for the most part it was just a lovely walk. We crossed a stream that broke up a waterfall's descent into two parts and had beautiful views of the lake (greenish colors) all the time. When the hut we were aiming for came more clearly in view we crossed a bridge over some raging water and started the final ascent over a hilly, rutted path way, with wonderful yellow flowers. I don't know how might we were above the lake, but it was considerable based on the size of the people fishing below. I took a photo of that so you could see how small the people were, but I'm not even sure where the people are in the photo. The woman who operates the hut offered a wonderful soup and sausage meal for 7 francs (half what we spent the previous day). She lives there with her dog during the season (which has just begun) and her husband commutes each day. I was walking with the easier hikers, but after about a half hour the harder walkers arrived. Having sat long enough I ventured downhill to the bridge where I waited for the first contingent to depart. I joined them at a quicker pace, but I had to let them leave me at the lake (they were going to walk all the way down, but I hadn't told Geoff that I was joining them). The wait for the rest of the group was lengthy, but we continued to follow the trail that the harder walkers had taken initially, and it was near the end (gondola) that we met up with Kate (leader) and the woman (with her husband) who had been injured while taking a "rest" stop. Always watch where your head is vis-a-vis the sharp branches of a tree when you rise from a sitting position.

Oescheinensee hut
Alpine flowers above Oescheinensee.

The complete photo album which contains 45 photos chronicling the day hikes around Adelboden, Switzerland (no videos) can be found in two places. The real difference is in how they're presented. Pick as you prefer: the Flickr Album or the Google Album.


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