Journey to Schynige Platte - Switzerland

Trip Start May 18, 2007
Trip End Jul 18, 2007

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Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Hi everyone:

Today was another beautiful day in Murren, Switzerland! We woke to clear warm weather which we found perfect for our travel up to Schynige Platte, elevation 7,354 ft.

After a good breakfast we ventured off to the series of gondola and train rides, stopping at Wilderswil, switching to a slow-moving train, which began taking passengers up the 25% grade which replaced mule and horse transport. This authentic, restored, damp flock h 2/3 locomotive from 1894, featuring hard wooden benches, traveled at ~10 mph up the mountain from Wilderswil. The train was equipped with gears in the middle of both the track and train in order for the train to pull us up the 25% incline to the top. The views were fantastic and once we ate lunch we went exploring.

No surprise, Ryan picked the goat trail to the top, which turned into a snow-covered rocky climb to the top of route #2, Panoramaweg Oberberghorn, about an hour up, STRAIGHT up. Our legs were still burning from yesterday's billy goat trek, but we made it to the top just as the clouds came pouring in to obliterate our view, and making Laurie quite nervous as it appeared that we would be socked in at the top.

We rested for only a moment or two at 7,800 ft, and then Laurie found the flat mule trail back around to the train for home. The snow from a week ago was still on parts of the trail, making it tricky yet Ryan kept reminding Laurie that we have been on hikes much worse than this - that helped!!

We made it down safely, stopping frequently to take close-up pictures of the many wild alpine flowers which were popping their sleepy heads out from the snow covered earth. It was another adventure filled with fun and excitement.

Switzerland welcomed us with an abundance of fresh snow and sunshine and as we took our final train ride up to Murren, the weather turned to a hard downpour which meant it was time to move on to another country. We weathered the storm out in the Eiger restaurant and enjoyed Roesti (Swiss specialty) and chatted with four friendly people from Arkansas.

Tomorrow we are off to Germany.

Today's walk: 4.5 miles
Total for the journey (101 miles, 19 days)

Ryan and Laurie
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