Travel slowly, staying in vacation rentals (villas, farms, cottages, apartments)
Report 1021: Switzerland in Slow Motion: 100 Miles on the Alpine Pass Route
By Kaydee from Tennessee, Summer 2005
Page 15 of 19: Day 12: Adelboden to Lenk
Typical alpine scenery between Adelboden and Lenk
We had breakfast at the hotel with Al, Kris and Phil. This hotel has a more substantial breakfast buffet than the other hotels on this walk. It even included scrambled eggs and a very wiggly type of bacon.
There were some choices about today’s route to Lenk. Our family decided to take the direct route up over the Hahnenmoospass (6,417 feet), but Al, Kris and Phil thought they would do an alternate route by a waterfall. That route potentially involved an additional two and a half hours, so based on Kelly's urging, we decided to take the standard route. Today’s route “only” involved an altitude gain of 2,913 feet, since we started the day fairly high up.
We hiked through Adelboden and then took a path between two rivers. A gondola traveled not far from us, moving visitors from Adelboden to the mountain/ski areas beyond the village. From the gondola station we followed a road up to a major ski center, which is a hiking center in the warmer months. We followed a long twisty road up the hill to the pass and saw quite a few other hikers. We've seen lots of cows and goats in Switzerland, but today our route took us through a farm with a pig sty right next to the trail, complete with several oinking and very muddy pigs.
We were back to beautiful weather again today, amazing how much conditions can change in just 24 hours. We all hiked in shorts today, and by mid-morning, we didn’t need our sweatshirts and just hiked in short-sleeves. I got some great photos today too.
It was such a gorgeous day that when we reached the Hahnenmoospass, we decided to take a break and have lunch at the inn. We sat outside in the sun and enjoyed the view. There was a model airplane center next to the inn, and we enjoyed watching the little planes flying overhead.
From the top of the Hahnenmoospass, a gravel path headed down toward a beautiful valley and the village of Lenk. There were pretty wildflowers and of course those beautiful views of snowcapped mountains. The scenery had shifted since our days back around Grindelwald and Lauterbrunnen. It was still intensely beautiful, but more open somehow, the mountains more approachable. The walk down was very pleasant. We saw several hang gliders lazily sailing down the mountains toward Lenk.
We were staying at the Hotel Krone, right in the center of the village, looking back over a large plaza. The hang gliders were landing in a field just beyond our hotel. We watched them land from our balcony. Our room was very large, actually a kind of studio apartment with a living area, dining table and a fully-equipped kitchen. Charley used the kitchen counter as his luggage rack.
We made very good time today and arrived while the afternoon was still glorious. We went outside to the hotel terrace on the plaza and ordered cold drinks. We relaxed and enjoyed the beautiful surroundings. Al joined us, and then Kris and Phil arrived and sat down too; they had just finished their hike in from the waterfall route. Kris was wearing the red scarf that we gave her, using it as kind of a kerchief on her hair. Kelly was really pleased that Kris was wearing our gift, and we took a couple of photos. We enjoyed another round of beers out in the sunshine and made plans to meet again at dinner.
We had yet another good meal. After dinner Kris and Kelly played a couple games of ping pong at the hotel.
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