Gimmelwald, Switzerland – Europe Day 24 – June 20


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Being in Gimmelwald, without any attractions or specific sights I “had to see”, I thought this would be a good opportunity to sleep in. I woke several times but forced myself to roll over and go back to sleep. When I finally woke up, it was 9am, so much for sleeping in.

Bryant was sleeping in the bed next to mine, and we got up about the same time and met Alex, already up. The three of us got ready and made our way to Murren, the next town over, and the only town in the area with a grocery store, Coop. The three of us stocked up on food for the hike and set out. Leaving Gimmelwald at 1363m we traveled to Murren at 1638m then onto Spielbodenalp at 1793m. From there we hiked along a ridge until we reached our first peak Bryndli at 2025m. At the top of Bryndli was an iron cross and a stone bench, the sort you would kill Aslan on. Beneath the cross was a small box with a book in it for everyone who’d hiked the mountain to sign. I was the 5th Floridian to have climbed the peak, beat out only by the group from Tampa the day before. We stopped for lunch at the top of the peak, feasting on cheese, bread, cookies, and Nutella.

We were still 600m away from our goal of Birg, the second highest peak in the area you could hike to. Wasenegg was next at 2280m, at this point Alex went on ahead with the goal of reaching Schlithorn, the tallest peak. Bryant and I continued on towards Birg via Grauseeli at 2315m. Grauseeli, despite not being the highest place we hiked to, was my favorite stop. Grauseeli is a glacial lake formed from snow runoff from the two peaks it divides, Schlithorn and Birg. The water collects in Grauseeli then spills out through a waterfall and runs down the mountainside. Bryant and I filled our water bottles in the glacial lake with ice cold water straight from the glaciers above it. From there, we crossed the top of the waterfall and made our way up to Birg at 2677m. At the top of Birg on either side of the trail were large banks of snow 3-4ft deep. When we finally reached the peak, we could see for miles in all directions. I took pictures, but none of them will do justice to the vista that lay before us. A camera can only capture so much and I could only capture so much more than that myself. It’s truly breathtaking standing at the top of the world and being able to look down on everything you know. Bryant and I stayed at the peak for a half hour walking around it, taking pictures, and eating cookies with Nutella.

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We made out way back down via a cable car and stopped into Coop again for dinner supplies. Back at the hostel, we feasted on eggs and pasta. After dinner, Alex finally made it back. He had hiked up to Schlithorn and finally made it back. His trip took the better part of the day and led him through a lot of snow towards the peak. Neither Bryant nor I were equipped for walking through snow so it worked out well that we went to Birg. That night we played cards and exchanged hiking stories from that day, before turning in for bed around midnight.

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