- Published: Friday, 24 July 2015 09:00
- Written by Dan
Dispatch and Opening Photo by Robert Brodey
I should have clued in what we were in for when I saw the playground at the centre of Grindelwald, with kids and adults alike climbing and swinging from various apparatuses. Behind them, the Eiger and Wetterhorn rose up like the most stunning backdrop imaginable. I’ve heard at least once today that the mountains surrounding Grindelwald are a playground. A very big playground.
Swingset with the best view in Switzerland
Photo by Robert Brodey
Apparently, tourists began flocking here in the late 1700s, as word got out of this alpine gem. The 18th century saw the English arrive in droves, tackling the largest peaks in the area. Where there is demand, there are roads and railways, and Grindelwald saw both arrive in the 1800s, which made a trip to the valley as simple as buying a ticket. Of course, as tourists flooded in on mass transport, hotels and resorts were built to keep up with the demand, including in winter for the ski season.
We get our first taste of Grindelwald’s “playground” reputation, when we hike through the Glacier Gorge (Gletscherschlucht), which not so long ago was covered by a mass of ice.
For a kilometre, the walk takes us along elevated walkways and through tunneled rock, always with the sound of the thrashing river within earshot. There is a sense of wonder staring up at the 100+ metre gorge walls, and I’m grateful to be surrounded by such natural beauty.
Above Photos by Jimmy Martinello
Speaking of experiences, did I mention thousands of people are descending on Grindelwald this weekend to partake in the Eiger Ultra Trail race? Yup, a 16km, 51km, and a 101km run with lots of challenging mountains to climb up and down. I won’t be at the start line (this year!), but I’ll be cheering on all the athletes.
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