Grindelwald and the mountains of the Bernese Oberland were the highlights of our trip to Switzerland (not counting the friends we visited, of course). The scenery there is so dramatic and beautiful, it doesn’t really matter that Grindelwald itself is a bit touristy. Our friends picked us up from Zurich airport and we drove to Grindelwald stopping a few times for photos, and for lunch in Interlaken where we ate Schnitzel and Alpine Macaroni. Yum.
There was a music and food festival on, so we soaked up the last of the sun and ate some food truck burritos and burgers and chatted to some very drunk Americans we shared a table with. The weather finally looked like it would be decent for our only full day in Grindelwald, so we planned to get up early and hike.
From Grindelwald, we walked to Alpiglen, which is a restaurant and train station about half way to our final destination of Kleine Schidegg. The walk up was mostly paved with decent views of Grindelwald but STEEP, over 4 km you climb about 700 metres. The Wandervegs are well marked with distances and times that it would take to reach your destination. We stopped in Alpiglen to enjoy the view, and ate melted alpine cheese on toast with carbonated apple juice, the first of much cheese enjoyed on the trip.
The more beautiful part of the walk was the Eiger Trail from Alpiglen to Kleine Schidegg. There are two ways to reach Kliene Schidegg, one via the Eiger Trail which is about 700 metres of climbing or via a farm track which is shorter and about 400 metres of climbing. If you don’t think the entire hike is for you, definitely skip the part from Grindelwald to Alpiglen and just do the second half on the Eiger trail. It’s worth it.
The walk was beautiful, and not technical at all. With waterfalls, mountains and alpine meadows surrounding you, plus the north face of the Eiger looming overhead, it’s hard not to enjoy it. When we reached the upper lift station, we soaked up the views of the three famous mountains, the Eiger, Jungfrau and Monch. We headed downhill to the Kliene Schidegg, and JUST before we reached it, it started to pour. We rushed to the train station to buy tickets, and it started to clear up, so we sat at a restaurant and enjoyed the view (and some apple strudel) for a while.