2021 Hiking – Finally!

“Blame everything on Covid!”

Well, that’s one way to shed the guilt over not doing much these days. But really, is there a good excuse for not getting out and enjoying the beauty of Swiss nature? No. Not really. So Dan and I finally got out for a couple of day trips. I’ve combined both days here, since there isn’t much to either of them. Enjoy – we did!

Trip 1

Delémont area (Jura), September 25, 2021

Dan and I took the train about an hour south of us and followed a short loop trail that flowed along the gentle Jura hills. It was a great day and a fairly ease “hike”. From Delémont we followed the road east to Courroux and then north into the hills. It was early enough that low clouds clung to the forested slopes.

It was a really nice route that started through the fields and then made its way through the forest. It was a quiet and peaceful walk.

Freshly turned fields

Trip 2

Triftbrücke (Bern), September 29, 2021
* times given in this account may not be wholly accurate, but they are close enough

We had bought two “Day passes” a few weeks ago but never got around to using them. I was surprised to see that they would expire in the coming weekend – but we already had plans. Time to take a mid-week trip! There was a recent hike done by a club we know and we thought it would be fun to do on our own. I had checked the train times and determined that we needed to be on the 7:58 train. Easy enough – it would be like getting up for any other work day – but followed by fun instead of work!

We missed the 7:58 train and caught the next one. Unfortunately, this meant that our connections were not super efficient. After three trains and a bus (and over three hours of travel time!) we had finally reached the start of our hike: the Triftbahn.

On the train at Lungernersee

It was strange to be in this area in a train – my first time, actually. I’ve been here numerous times, but always on a motorcycle. This was a nice way to see the countryside for once.

Secret train stop just past Meiringen to see the Aareschlucht

The Triftbahn at Gadmen

This is where things got weird. We told the woman that we wanted to visit the Triftbrücke and would come back on the Triftbahn. She looked something up behind the desk and said (or so we understood) that the last bus would come at 16:30, so we should plan to catch the 15:35 cable car, and to be there early (15:15). This all seemed strange, that everything would shut down so early but hey! She works here; she should know! So we got our tickets and hopped onto the next cable car.

Going up!

Almost to the start of our hike

Our goal was just around that ridge

When we started the hike we checked the “estimated hiking time” on the nearby Wanderweg sign. The sign said that we had just over 2 1/2 hours of hiking to get there and back, but since it was already after 13:00 and our cable car was at 15:15, it would be tight. Really tight. So let’s get moving!

Looking down at the glacial river

The clouds kept changing the view

And then we saw the bridge, way off in the distance. Looking at the time, and the distance, and my own lack of fitness, we realized that I’d never make it. But Dan could! Dan is a strong and fast hiker, so I sat down on a rock and he took off for the bridge. I played with my super zoom camera.

Eventually Dan appeared

He wandered out onto the bridge a little ways, but said that it was really unstable. Apparently the bridge was built in 2004 when the glacier receded so far that it was no longer possible to cross this gorge.

Dan came back to me and we started the fairly easy descent back to the cable car station.

The cable car station is to the right of the lake (dam)

We reached the cable car station early and were surprised to see that there was a car waiting there (it is an automated and unmanned station). Apparently they keep an eye on things with a camera, as shortly after we arrived the car door opened to let us in. We rode back down to the lower station as the rain started to fall. I was glad not to be hiking down in this weather.

And this is where it got weird. We had come down the mountain in plenty of time for the “last bus”, but when we walked over to the but stop to check the times, we could see that there were buses until well past 18:00 – hours from now! So why had the woman rushed us back down the mountain? By her doing so, I felt that I didn’t have time to see the bridge myself – the entire reason I wanted to go on this particular hike! I was annoyed with the whole situation.

We stood there in the rain, waiting for the next bus (and not the last bus!) and then repeated our long, drawn-out bus-train-train-train ride home. We spent almost 8 hours of traveling to hike for less than 3 hours. It was not the best day I’ve spent out in the mountains – but at least it was beautiful!

Thunersee

Bern from the train

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