Aare Gorge, Grimsel Pass, Furka Pass and Rhone Glacier

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Day 3 – First Swiss Alps Experience

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

On our way to Aage Gorge we passed by the picturesque town of Lungern in the Obwalden canton, which is 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 perhaps just a 30-min walk along the bridges that 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.




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

It’s incredible, our first funicular railway ride happened to be the steepest in the world with 106% gradient.

Up there? Whoa!


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

On top of the funicular was a reservoir.

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 here that Joaquin touched snow for the first time.

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


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

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

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



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


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.
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.


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

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. 


    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.





  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. 🙂


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