Aare Gorge, Grimsel Pass, Furka Pass and Rhone Glacier

Posted by

Day 3 – First Swiss Alps Experience

Our 3rd day in Switzerland was truly breath-taking… It was our family’s first time in the Alps.

On our way to Aage Gorge we passed by this picturesque town of Lungern in the Obwalden canton, located in the center of Switzerland.

Lungerer See or Lake Lungern
Lungerer See or Lake Lungern

We had to pull over to get a closer look at these purple flowers.

Mum loves alpine flowers!
I love alpine flowers!

It was nice and cold during our 30-min walk along the bridges which snaked through the gorge.  Aare Gorge or in German, Aareschlutcht, is in Berner Oberland (Bernese Oberland in English) in the canton of Bern.  It is 1400m long and 200m deep.  It’s our first time to walk through such an interesting, and in some parts narrow, gorge.

DSC_0447

DSC_0459

DSC_0465

We moved on to drive up the Grimsel Pass, a high mountain pass in the Bernese Alps, with an elevation of 2164m (7100ft) above sea level.  In the town on Handegg, we took the world’s steepest funicular, the Gelmerbahn, to reach the Gelmersee Lake.08

This was what we took up and back down.  It’s incredible, our first funicular railway ride happened to be on the steepest in the world with 106% gradient.

DSC_0483
Up there? Whoa!

DSC_0568

What an enjoyable ride for me and Joaquin. A bit scary for Benjamin and Daddy.DSC_0566

At the top of the mountain, was a reservoir that came with a spectacular view.

DSC_0520 (2)
Surrounded by snow but not cold. The sun was our friend this entire day.
This was the dam at Grimsel Lake (Grimselsee), an artificial lake on top of the mountain, and that was Mum holding her baby.
This was the Gelmersee lake/reservoir.

It was also here that Joaquin touched snow for the first time.

This was Joaquin's first time to touch snow.
No gloves!
DSC_0538

Dad didn’t like his shirt in this picture, but we agreed that we love this shot of him, so here it is.
Dad didn’t like his shirt in this picture, but we agreed that we love this shot of him, so here it is.

We finally went back down and after lunch of sandwiches, apples and chips, we made our way to Rhone Glacier.  We first made a stop in front of Hotel Alpenrosli to admire the still-frozen Totensee, a small lake at Grimsel Pass.

09
Totensee
Totensee was behind us.
That’s Totensee behind us.  It’s our first time to see a frozen lake!

DSC_0594 And luckily that day, the kids also got to see some exotic cars parked in front of the lake. That’s another highlight of their day.31_LI

32

30_LI

After driving on the winding and quite dangerous roads of Furka Pass, which has an elevation of 2429m (7969ft) above sea level, we finally reached the Rhone Glacier in Belvedere.

It was truly special because it’s our first time to experience a glacier – walk on it, play in it and enter it!

Rhone Glacier and its hikers
Rhone Glacier and its hikers

DSC_0669

The starting point of our walk down the glacier and the ice grotto was just a few meters off Furka Pass road near the Hotel Belvedere.

Future hikers walking down to the glacier and ice grotto. Some were covered to reduce melting due to global warming.
Future hikers walking down to the glacier.  See some parts of the ice covered by white blankets? Apparently, they were to help reduce melting.
Slippery, icy walk down the glacier.
Some parts of the narrow path were actually exposed without holding rails – scary for some, an adventure for many.
DSC_0679
Careful boys we don’t want you ending up in the icy lake.

And this was the 100m-long ice grotto carved out of the ever-changing and constantly moving Rhone.

DSC_0663
That ice won’t fit in your bag Benjamin.
We were practically inside the glacier!
We were practically inside the glacier!  The tunnel was really this blue and it became bluer and bluer as we went further in.

Frozen lakes… icy glacier… blue tunnel…even these hikers were a sight to behold.

DSC_0639

What a day! It’s one with many firsts.

10
Furka Pass

And on our way back to Zurich we came across and managed to capture this picture-perfect scene – a cottage and a barn beside a lake with our Swiss Alps not so far away…

DSC_0425 (2)

Next, we visited Rhine Falls and explored Zurich city center. 

Advertisements

8 comments

    1. Hi Piyush, going in May is a bit tricky. From my research before, the ice tunnel only opens in June. Furka pass could also still be closed in May. They usually open in Summer and according to their websites, they will open only in the beginning of June 2017. Below are some of the websites I used. Some of them are in German but google can translate 🙂 …

      The ice grotto is not big and may not be appreciated by some, to my family it was quite an emotional moment when we entered bec we could tell it’s been badly damaged by global warming. If you look at one of my pics, it’s the one that’s covered in cloth. Anyway the glacier and the whole place is still very impressive and hopefully, it’s still there when we visit again someday.

      https://translate.google.com.sg/translate?hl=en&sl=de&u=http://www.gletscher.ch/&prev=search

      https://www.obergoms.ch/summer/alpinepasses/icegrotto.php

      http://www.myswitzerland.com/en-sg/furka-pass.html

      Like

  1. Thanks so much for your information! I traveled here 35 years ago and am going again this summer with my son. I’d forgotten some of these moments and seeing your family photos brought back many happy thoughts. I’ll be tracing a few of your steps with my son!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi thanks! Yes, really a day with many firsts especially for our family which lives in the tropics. And we were lucky that we got to do all those because it was summer, I heard most of those roads are closed in winter. 🙂

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s