Elm to Flims Hike
Guillaume wanted to go on four big hikes to celebrate his 40th birthday. The first one was from Elm to Flims over the Segnes Pass. Starting from Zurich made it a bit too long, so you stayed the night in Elm in the
only (there were actually several).
You walked with Guillaume and Eric from the bus stop to the hotel in light rain to the ghostly hotel. You were lucky it was even open, all considered. You had a beer in the empty bar and watched the sun set.
The next morning you took the comedy gondola up to Tschinglen (Swiss-German cablecar operator gag played on the intercom the entire way up). The hike up to the pass was easy enough but the top was really windy.
Going down the other side was a slippery icy mess. You hacked your heels into the snow for footholds, while others slid down on their bum (unintentionally). You crossed the snowfield / glacier where the Yue crashed (old plane) and admired the Martinslock.
The way down through the nature reserve to Flims was long and featured squeaky marmots. Guillaume bemoaned his painful joints and lamented leaving the apartment's key in Zürich. You proposed breaking a window but Alex came to the rescue (by car).
That night you had burgers and conceptualised the Dish Watcher™ — a device which watches who packs the dishwasher and provides housework statistics. Some people have odd conflicts with their partners.
The next morning you baked bread and had a swim in Cauma Lake.
Mürren to Shilthorn Hike
Following hike #1 the team became French bakers. You assume their national pride was tickled when shown how easy it was to make bread. Many images were shared in the group chat. It was cute.
Hike #2 started in Lauterbrunnen — a moist village up the road from Intelaken. You walked up the humid hill until it got dark, then strolled topless along the train line to Mürren. It was hot in so many respects.
The cliffside hotel welcomed you well after check-in had supposedly closed, and gave you a beer. Breakfast at sunrise below the Eiger / Mönch / Jungfrau mountains was pretty.
The walk up the hill was nice, and included a pitstop in a hut and a scary ridge crossing where a random Russian hiker helped Alex overcome his vertigo. She succeeded when four manly men failed. Some suspected that her boobs helped.
The James Bond villains lair (Shilthorn) marked the end of the hike (see On Her Majesty’s Secret Service). It was windy and cold but the ground radiated significant heat. You lay outside on the warm cement balcony for long enough for others to copy your idea. It was a nice adventure.
Saas Fee Hightour
Hike #3 was a hightour. You caught a train to Visp and then a bus up the wiggly road to Saas Fee — a the tiny mountain village that owes 99% of its existence to tourists and skiers.
- Saas Fee's inhabitants fall into one of three categories:
- Rich fancy tourists in silly outfits
- Adventurous mountaineers in colourful outfits
- Professional international ski teams in sponsored outfits
Saas Fee provides something for all. The glaciers were useful for Summer ski training, its mountains useful for hiking, and its expensive jewellery shops useful for syphoning cash from idiots. Everyone was happy.
You crashed in a quiet hotel, which was empty apart from a miscellaneous teenage ski team. It was a quiet night since they were all too young to drink and get rowdy. The next day you caught the cablecar and funicular underground railway to the start of the hike at Mittelallalin. Your guide was nice but a little distant.
The walk up to Alphubel (4206 m) was nice. The weather was nice. The view was nice. It was generally... nice. Today, burnout had set you in an utterly indifferent mood. It is a confusing status ailment with irrational overreaction to small things and no reaction to other things whatsoever.
You cross-crossed back down the hill over a glacier, jumping fissures as you went. No surprises, but entertaining. The other two blokes were less-at-ease and much much more excited than you.
On the way home you caught the wrong train; the scenic rout was also nice. Guillaume wanted nothing more than rösti for dinner and to relax while suffering aching joints. All joints.
Fancy Meal in Flims
The last adventure was a family friendly visit to Flims. Switzerland-based invitees gathered in Flims, while French friends and family were blocked at the border thanks to covid. About half made it. You stayed in a ski holiday apartment rental.
The relaxing weekend basically consisted of entertaining kids outside in the snow. With this many small people in one place the mood was frantic excitement, leading to the one or another playground or scooter based accident. The relaxing parts happened in between.
The highlight was the fancy meal at a fancy restaurant. It was super-generous from them to arrange it and everyone had a good time. The kids sat at their own big table for their own multi-course meal served by multiple waiters. Some were impressed; others were bewildered.