An absolutely gorgeous day to spend hiking in the mountains. We took a funicular part way up the mountain behind Mürren to Almendhubel. I think with this ride I have conquered all the various modes of mountain transportation in Switzerland; the long commute train, the intercity train, the short climb the steep mountain train, the cogwheel train, the cable car, the gondola, and finally, the funicular. Phew.
Today however, was about using our legs to get around. We started by walking down into the valley where there were two small hotels with restaurants. Yes, we walked a whole half hour before sitting down for a soup and beer at The Suppenalp. The many mountaintop restaurants are wonderful though, they really make you slow down, relax and appreciate what’s around you.
As we were eating some cows wandered over to visit the water trough just across the fence from where we were eating. Now my mom and I have seen cows many, many times before, we use to live in farm country, but these cows had large bells around their necks. When the cows are up on the mountains grazing they wear bells so they’re easier to find, and when it’s time to come down from the mountain, the cows sometimes wear large, specially decorated bells as they descend and walk thru town to they’re farm field. Anyway, my mom and I have a soft spot for cows.
By the time we were done eating, a large group of cows had wandered over to the water tough and were providing some light entertainment. There was a hiking path that came into the restaurant from the cow pasture, so we watched as hikers came down off the mountain and the had to navigate between all the cows to get to the restaurant. When we were done eating we slipped thru the gate, we just had to touch a cow. We both got to scratch a head, pat a neck, and get our hands licked and clothes nibble by a cow. Have you ever been licked by a cow? I will admit it’s far from the first time for me, but it’s quite an experience. Their tongues are really, really scratchy, like sandpaper! It’s similar to a cats tongue, but even scratcher.
After we’ve had our fill of cows, we hiked back to Almendhubel and then continued across the mountain with the end goal of the town of Grütschalp. This hike was supposed to be a quick 1.5 hours, but we stopped several times to admire the changing mountains ranges, green sweeping hillsides and more bell ringing cows.
There were a lot of downhill parts of the hike and the end section was steep with small rocks and tons of tree roots, so it started to take its toll on my poor moms knees by the end. We made it to Grütschlap though where there was a little train that took her back to Mürren. I however, decided to continue hiking and take the trail that followed the train tracks back to Mürren. It was an absolutely gorgeous day.