Updated: Aug 18, 2020
Having spent the night in Bern, I woke up early to get a train to Grindelwald, which only took a couple of hours. There were many areas around Interlakken I had considered, but I think Grindelwald was a good choice, it was a beautiful town with plenty of scenery to admire.
As you walk through the town, you’ll see various shops and restaurants on the main street, with beautiful views of mountains in the distance. There are various walks and hikes to take in the area, but I would recommend visiting “First”.
First is a popular summit on Schwarzhorn with plenty of hiking trails and activities. You can easily reach it by taking the “Firstbahn” cable car to the top, which takes around 30 minutes.
Once at the top there are some beautiful views of the Alps. Take part in some of the many activities or hiking trails, or simply chill out in the café or restaurant whilst admiring the views.
One of the most popular activities to do at first is the cliff walk. It’s a walkway attached to the side of a cliff, which although I’m not scared of heights, made me feel a little uncomfortable. I was quite happy to keep walking, but any people ahead of me slowed me down. The times I did want to stop to take photos wasn’t too easy either, as many people behind me also wanted to walk across it quickly, making me feel pressured to keep moving.
It was free to do, and there are some lovely views here, as well as a slight thrill is you dare to look beneath your feet.
There are several hikes you can try from First, but I decided to hike to Lake Bachalpsee. It was an enjoyable hike and took around 40 minutes each way. There are plenty of beautiful views along the way, and the sounds of cowbells chiming in the wind gives it an atmospheric feeling as you walk along.
The lake itself is beautiful, especially the slightly smaller section which if viewed facing southeast gives a beautiful photo opportunity for the reflection of a distant peak in the alpine lake.
I arrived fairly early when the light was good, but by the time I had left it was starting to get more crowded. So I suggest making this your first stop and to arrive here as early as possible to avoid the crowds.
When you’re ready to leave First, you can take the cable car back down or take some much more exciting modes of transport. The first of which is the zipline, or “First Flieger” as it’s better known. Unfortunately I had to queue for quite some time here, possibly due to Covid 19 precautions, but it was a fun way to start my decent to the town of Grindelwald. There are some beautiful views as zip along at speeds of up to 84 kilometres per hour, and it was here that I witnessed a nearby avalanche.
The second mode of transport you can use to make your descent was without a doubt my favourite. The mountain cart reaches high speeds simply by rolling downhill. Make sure you always have your hands by the breaks, as there are many tight corners, and often people hiking up and down the track whom you’ll have to avoid. I was surprised just how fast this went, but it was so much fun speeding along with shear drops you’re your left as gravity continues to pull you along.
The last mode of transport was a type of scooter called a Trottibike. This was the most difficult mode of transport to control, and I was shocked at just how fast this went. My hands were constantly on the breaks in an attempt to control it. It was still fun, but you have to make sure you’re in control of it. The best thing about the Trottibike was that it was easy to stop and take photos of the surrounding area, some of which was truly beautiful around this part of the decent.
At the end you’ll reach the main road in Grindelwald and have to avoid passing cars, so be careful. You’ll then have to walk and push the bike uphill to the drop off station, which was a bit of a pain in the summer heat.