Bettmeralp: The Better Alp!

Trip Start Feb 06, 2011
Trip End Sep 15, 2011

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Flag of Switzerland  , Swiss Alps,
Monday, July 18, 2011

After only 3 hours of sleep, we got up in the wee hours of the morning, packed our bags, and took the 3 hr train ride to Bettmeralp.  A's friend whom I met briefly in Australia works and lives in the ski village.  Even better, she runs a bed & breakfast with her boyfriend so we were able to stay at their place for free!  The train to get to the base of the mountain was a whopping 106 Swiss francs (~ $122 CDN) and it was another 9.20 Sfr to take the gondola to mid mountain.  And that's just one way!  We arrived at 9am, dropped our bags off at the B&B and immediately started on our hike.  Most people take the gondola up to Bettmerhorn and start the hike from there, but no, we would be hardcore and hike up the mountain adding another 2 hours to the final tally.  I could definitely feel the altitude change from Zurich (472 m).  We were at 2647 metres.  In comparison, the peak of Blackcomb is 2284 metres.  When we reached the peak of Bettmerhorn, we went for another 3 hours across the challenging ridge (it goes up and down, up and down) for a spectacular view of the Aletsch glacier, the largest one in Switzerland.  This portion of the hike has been declared a UNESCO heritage trail and it didn't disappoint!  We finally reached Eggishorn and decided not to go to the peak since the weather conditions were changing.  It was an amazing feeling to be in the middle of the Swiss Alps!  After the 2.5 hour journey down the trail, I was exhausted but happy to have completed the hike.  I'm still not sure how A convinced me to go on this death hike (it's rate as CHALLENGING on the website and I'm definitely not an experienced hiker) but I'm so glad I did it!  Needless to say, I had a fantastic sleep that night.

We enjoyed a scrumptious breakfast the next morning and took it easy for most of the day.  The clouds rolled in and it rained the entire day so I'm glad we did the hike when the weather was nice!  I was a bit sore when I walked up and down the stairs but other than that, I wasn't doing too badly.  After dinner, it stopped raining so we took a nice stroll to the lake and enjoyed the last remnants of the sunset.  Again, I can see why people would be more than happy to call this place home.  

Of course A wasn't going to let me off scott free after just one hike.  The Swiss love the outdoors and they would never let a good weather day go to waste!  We set off for another hike the next morning... this time it was *only* 4 hours.  We walked to the other side of the glacier and it was a much easier hike but still very scenic.  We saw so many parents bringing their toddlers up this trail.  They train them from a very young age!  We chilled on the balcony of our room after the hike and just soaked the sun's rays for the rest of the afternoon.  It was great to just chat about everything and nothing at the same time :) 

Switzerland is everything I thought it would be and more.  The cities are spotless and environmentally friendly (each resident has to pay 2 Sfr for EVERY bag of garbage).  The cheese and bread are fantastic.  Everyone is always on time.  After trying half a dozen varieties of chocolate in the country, Lindt 70% dark chocolate is still one of the best mass produced chocolate found anywhere.  I had a fantastic week in the country and will be back once I find a find a rich husband! Thanks to A and K for being such wonderful hosts and spoiling me!
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