Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Hiking Lauenen near Gstaad

The day after my walk up Rochers de Nayes I was aching all over and I really didn't feel like more walking. However, I could see blue sky out the window and this was enough to motivate me to get moving.

I was going to catch the train to Gstaad, which is part of the scenic railway system that leaves from Montreux, but the timetable wasn't agreeable so I instead grabbed the car. In retrospect this was probably a good thing since it gave me some extra flexibility for the day.

So I drove to Gstaad, passing the Glacier 3000 cable car - which reminded me that it was still on my list of things to do (it's a long list) - and past numerous cyclists who must have been freezing in the light rain and cold at this mild altitude.

I arrived in Gstaad, which was of course mostly closed, even though it is a resort town, because it is Sunday. I wandered around and took some photos and it looks like it would be an amazing place to visit in Winter when there was snow on the roofs of the hotels and houses. I also grabbed an espresso and a pain au chocolat at a patiserie whilst consulting a Walking in Gstaad map that I luckily found.

I picked out what looked to be a nice easy (flat and short) path from Lauenen to Lauenensee (Gstaad in is Kanton Bern which is German speaking), and drove out to Lauenen to start my walk.

I really enjoyed this walk, even though it was not quite as flat or short as I expected (though this impression may have been skewed by my existing aches and fatigue from the previous day).

In fact not far into my walk I noticed a waterfall off in the distance. I didn't think I could be walking that far, so satisfied myself with a few zoomed-in photos, but as the walk continued I found myself increasingly sure that the path would take me by the falls.

Eventually I reached Lauenensee, and there was a side path off which led in the directon of the falls, which of course I followed. I found the falls and spent some time taking photos of the fast-moving water.

After I had exhausted the photo-taking opportunities, I returned to walk around the lake. Lauenensee is a lovely little lake, of the sort that reflects the surrounding mountains, and I again took many photos. I was a little foiled by the fact that the sky was clouded over and made it difficult to capture the contrast between the clouds and the dark trees and lakes, but I got some photos I was very happy with.

By the time I got back to the car I was again exhausted but really happy with my day of walking. I'm determined to make the most of the Swiss countryside which lends itself so easily to walking trips, and has so many opportunities to do so. It's no wonder you see so many people doing this with their weekends!

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