hiking the alps

Our “class” days are finished, so we’ve had the past week to do whatever we want to do. So of course Pat and I spent it exploring the Swiss Alps. Because let’s be real, there’s not really a better way to spend your time…DSCN3252

We’ve been on some incredible hikes this past week. We hiked up the mountain directly behind our hotel and had a breathtaking view of the valley below us. Well, until we were completely engulfed in clouds…DSCN3222

DSCN3240DSCN3234

We got to the top, and the clouds were completely surrounding us. It felt like we were on another planet.

DSCN3219

Another day, we hiked to Lake Oeschinensee. It’s a beautiful lake tucked in to the mountains outside of Kandersteg. Once we made it to the lake, we decided to hike up along the steep edge of the cliff side for an even better view.

DSCN3330

We found a herd of sheep and they were so adorable, I’ve decided I want one as a pet. Maybe I’ll make a powerpoint presentation to convince my new husband why we need a pet sheep…

DSCN3328

DSCN3333

Another day, we hiked to the Gorge de la Rouse. Imagine a slot canyon with deep turqoise water trickling thorugh it, then put the slot canyon in the middle of a jungle setting and add medieveil bridges along the way. Yes, this hike was incredible…

DSCN3268

IMG_1035DSCN3293

IMG_1044 IMG_1036

However, I think my very favorite hike had to be the Via Ferrata in Lauterbrunen Valley.

It. Was. Spectacular.

The valley alone is absolutely breathtaking…waterfalls plummet thousands of feet off of cliff edges. The snowy peaks of the Alps rise high above the green mountainsides, and the wild flowers are out-of-this-world beautiful.

DSCN3157

The Via Ferrata, which translates to “the iron way” started in Murren. We rented harnesses from a sports store because the entire hike is along the cliff’s edge. At some places there were just metal rungs stuck into the cliff face. You actually climb out onto the cliff…the only thing keeping you from falling thousands of feet is the carabineer attached to the iron cable that runs along the entire hike.IMG_1215

DSCN3338

We came to a giant gorge with a waterfall running down the middle and plummeting over the cliff’s edge. There were three cables that stretched over, so we assumed we were suppose to use these to cross the gorge. It wasn’t until we were half way across that we realized the cables were used for a zip-line…the bridge we were suppose to cross was just to our right.

IMG_1235

It was completely exhausting, shimmying our way across the gorge. But, we made it to the other side alive, although my poor arms will never be the same after that one…

We climbed down steep ladders next to gushing waterfalls and out onto cliff faces that dropped thousands of feet. One of the highlights of the hike was when we decided to spit off the edge of the cliff. There was no wind where we were standing, but the air currents were so strong, our spit literally hovered in the air in front of our faces. It didn’t fall. Instead it just floated along, slowly drifting down. Apparently gravity doesn’t exist in Lauterbrunen Valley…IMG_1250

At the very end of the hike we had to cross a giant suspension bridge that hung over a HUGE canyon. It was pretty intense because the whole bridge was wobbling and there weren’t really handrails so you had to rely on the carabineer to keep you from falling. We were having so much fun taking pictures on the bridge, we almost missed our train.IMG_1264

This week of hiking was the perfect way to end our Switzerland adventure. It’s a beautiful country, and I’m so glad we got to explore it.

Now…we’re off to Amsterdam!

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s