Wilderswil – Bern Highlands Switzerland – Day 2

Monday 21st November 2022
The plan was to be at the tourist information as early as possible as they open at 8am. Unfortunately I didn’t wake until 8.20am, so not the start we were after. Oops!

After a little more research we were finally parked at Interlaken Ost and on our way at 11am. A bit later than we were hoping for. Oh well.

The first part of the hike was a lovely, easy walk through Interlaken, a nice little town with many beautiful buildings, a river, church and snow-capped mountains inn every direction. It truly was beautiful.

Stage two was the start of the hike up to Harderkulm which was to an altitude of 1323m from Interlaken at 580m. Eek! I had forgotten that we had to climb at least 753m and it started up, up and up straight away. We have been taking it easy at Benny’s for the last week, with a couple of city and forest walks but not much else since our waterfall walk at Plitvice Lakes National Park in Croatia. The last decent hike up to elevation was back at Orebic in Croatia on 2nd November. Way too long ago. It is amazing how quickly your fitness deserts you. I am definitely out of practise and I suffered most of the way up which was for about 2.5 hours. As always when I am having a struggle, it makes it very difficult for David as well. He has to continually wait for me. He also gives me the option to return to the bottom and catch the train up. The train cost was ludicrous (13 CHF each, each way, so 52 CHF – which is about 82AUD) which always makes me struggle to quit. One day it will happen but at this stage I would prefer to struggle a little, or in today’s case – a lot. Apart from the pain, it was a lovely hike, albeit, up, up and up some more. Followed by some more up, up and up again. It was interesting to see that we were passed by about 5 people, which is unusual. David kept catching them, then had to wait for me to catch up, so we really never passed anyone today. The views of Interlaken and the snow-capped mountains were spectacular.

We finally made it to Harderkulm at 1323m above sea level at about 1.40pm. We were surprised at how many tourists were at the top, most having taken the train. After enjoying the view, taking a few pictures we found a seat to have our packed lunch. We then went in. to the restaurant and had a hot drink (5.80 CHF) and some hot chips (9.50 CHF) – we had to ignore the prices as we knew it would be expensive, as Switzerland is but it is hard to cope with. I just tell DB to close his eyes and ignore. So it was 21.10 CHF which is 33.80AUD. Ouch!! After enjoying our snack and a little warmth we headed on our way.

Stage three was another climb, shortened a little due to my tardiness and the time. We got on our way at about 2.30pm, sunset was 4.51pm and last light was 5.24pm, so the clock was definitely ticking. We had another 252m elevation to 1585m at Wannachnubil lookout which was a 360° view. it was spectacular. I managed this climb a little better, aided by a stop to talk to an Irish man and Swiss woman along the way. We were in snow for sections of this stage but it was okay, the mud was more slippery than the snow. At Wannachnubil we enjoyed the beautiful view for 10 or 15 minutes then continued on our way. We had to return back the same way for a bit which was down 40m and back up to 1652m, our highest point today.

Stage four was the trip back down from 1652m to Goldswil at 638m and by this time it was 4pm, So we had to get a wriggle on. It was quite steep, with slippery mud, loose leaves and rocks and a little snow. We enjoyed the views of Thunsee, Brienzersee, the snow-capped mountains and the city of Interlaken along the way. It was hard going and took us about 2 hours to get down to Goldswil. Lucky we always pack our head torches as by now it was very dark. We then had 30mins of city walking to the car at Interlaken. I wanted to see the city at night, so my wish was answered today, even though it wasn’t planned. It was very pretty. Only 15.50 CHF for parking. So a not too expensive day but we won’t tell David the total cost even though he knows how much it is, he prefers not to be reminded.

We arrive home totally exhausted with very sore knees from the constant downhill slog and very tired legs. Lucky we have a reheat for dinner tonight. We enjoy our beautiful apartment for tonight and need to plan tomorrow’s adventure or travels. Not sure where to yet!