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10 day Alpstein & Jungfrau region hiking & biking

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Ashanaha
Ashanaha
24 posts
new member
Aug 13, 2019 - 8:37 PM

Hello again,

I am fine tuning my itinerary and needed some advice. I started off with a more relaxed itinerary but as usual I am now packing it full because there is so much that I want to do! We are very active and fit. My concerns below have to do with luggage transport and what is possible. Here is my latest itinerary:

day 1 - arrive 11am in Zurich, train to Appenzell, Overnight in Appenzell

day 2 -thru hike from Wasserauen to Berghaus Bollenwees via Ebenalp & Seealpsee. Overnight at Bollenwees. We will check our luggage at station to be tranported to Kandersteg prior to hike

Q - Can we have our luggage transported to Berhotel Oeschinensee in Kandersteg or only to the Kandersteg train station? We will be hiking for 2 nights so we have time for it to be transported.

day 3 - thru hike Zwinglipass to Meglisalp, lunch at Rotsteinpass Hutte. Overnight Meglisalp.

day 4 -Hike Meglisalp to Santis Summit and then cable down to Schwagalp. Train to Kandersteg. Cable car to Berghotel Oeschinensee. Go on Rodahlbahn, maybe rent boat on lake. Overnight at Berhotel Oeschinensee. Our luggage would need to be picked up at Kadersteg train station and then put on cable car to be transported to the hotel.

day 5 - Rent mountain Bikes - Kandersteg to Gasterntal valley and back. Afternoon hike around lake Oeschinensee. Overnight at Berhotel Oeschinensee.

Day 6 - early train from Kandersteg to Interlaken. Rent mountain bikes and do full loop around Lake Brienze. We will need to check our luggage in at the train station. After ride, we pick up luggage and train/cable to Wengen. Overnight Hotel Falken Wengen.

Q - Is there a better way to transport our luggage from Lake Oeschinensee to Wengen in one day? It seems complicated since both are not accessible by car. I believe we should bring it with us and check into lockers in interlaken.

day 7 - day hike near Wengen (likely Shynige Platte to First). Overnight in Wengen at Hotel Falken.

day 8 - day hike near Wengen (possibly Gruetschalp to Murren to Lauterbrunen). Overnight in Wengen at Hotel Falken.

day 9 - Check out kleine Scheidegg/Mannleichen early. Train to Zurich. Overnight in Zurich

Q - what would be the fastest way to view kleine Scheidegg/Mannleichen so that we can do it in a half day? I'm not so interested in hiking much of it since it seems very crowded and more of a walking path for tourists than hiking. Is that correct?

day 10 - early flight home out of Zurich.

Q -I would love to see the Trift bridge but I think the only way to do this would be to do Trift instead of the Brienzersee mountain bike. Open to suggestions.

Thanks in advance!

Jill

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
6935 posts
expert
Aug 13, 2019 - 11:34 PM in reply to Ashanaha

Hi Jill-

<<"day 9 - Check out kleine Scheidegg/Mannleichen early. Train to Zurich. Overnight in Zurich

Q - what would be the fastest way to view kleine Scheidegg/Mannleichen so that we can do it in a half day? I'm not so interested in hiking much of it since it seems very crowded and more of a walking path for tourists than hiking. Is that correct?">>

You are correct. But, that misses the point. The value of the hike is not how easy or hard it is, but what you see. The way the Eiger North Face (die Nordwand) grows over you as you head toward it is compelling.

Since you are an accomplished hiker, I assume that you know why it is nicknamed in German "die Mordwand" ? That means murder wall, or death wall.

I'd try to do it on the afternoon when you arrive. And, even though there are a lot of other walkers on the trail, your eyes will be on the surroundings.

My opinion, any way.

Slowpoke

Ashanaha
Ashanaha
24 posts
new member
Aug 14, 2019 - 2:36 AM in reply to Slowpoke

Thanks Slowpoke. That makes sense and I suppose I should give it more time as it is one of the highlights of the area. So how much time should I allow to go from Wengen to Mannleichen and then hike to Klein Scheidegg and then bus down to Wengen? and is that the route you recommend?

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
6935 posts
expert
Aug 14, 2019 - 7:19 AM in reply to Ashanaha

Hi Jill-

Here is a link from the extensive information about hikes on My Swiss Alps:

www.myswissalps.com/hi king/maennlichen-kleinescheidegg

It says 1 hr 30 minutes. It always takes me longer, not because I'm truly a slowpoke on such an easy trail, but because every time I walk it, I stop to take photographs along the way. And, about 2/3 of the way to the end, there is a place with benches , to the left of the trail, that allows a pause and a good look directly a t the North Face.

The trail on a good topo map:map.geo.admin.ch/?topic=swisstopo&lang=e n&bgLayer=ch.swisstopo .pixelkarte-farbe&catalogNodes=139 2,1538,1396,1430,1436& layers=ch.swisstopo.sw isstlm3d-wanderwege&E=2640274.2 9&N=1161574.78&zoom=6

The location that I describe at maximum magnification:

map.geo.admin.ch/?topic=swisstopo&lang=e n&bgLayer=ch.swisstopo .swissimage&catalogNod es=1392,1538,1396,1430 ,1436&layers=ch.swisst opo.swisstlm3d-wanderwege&E=2640002.1 8&N=1160996.69&zoom=13

Many people sit there for quite a while and just look. That is probably where they set up the TV cameras to watch the modern "Hero-climbers" who race up in a few hours what used to require a couple of days with an overnight stay on the cliff in hammocks.

And, as you can see from that aerial view, the trail is very popular. So, do your serious hiking elsewhere.

My Swiss Alps also describes the uphill hike from Wengen to Kleine Scheidegg. You could choose to walk down, or ride part way and walk partway:

www.myswissalps.com/hi king/wengen-kleinescheidegg

and:

www.myswissalps.com/hi king/wengernalp-kleinescheidegg

The views are better going up, in my opinion.

To determine the time of any trip by public transport in Switzerland, use the SBB timetable:

www.myswissalps.com/ti metable

That page has some details about how to get the maximum benefit from the timetable. Definitely wort a read.

Then, it sends you to the actual SBB timetable:

www.sbb.ch/en/home.htm l

The journey up is from "Wengen, Wengiboden," and the ride down from Kleine Scheidegg obviously starts at KS and goes to Wengen.

Slowpoke

So, it takes me at leats two hours.

Ildiko
Ildiko
496 posts
top member &
moderator
Aug 14, 2019 - 12:21 PM in reply to Ashanaha

Hello Ashanaha,

regarding your previous questions about the luggages: you can have your luggage transported door to door, just be aware you need to order this service two days in advance at the latest. Also it would be worth to ask your hotel if they can accept it for you. Please read this: How to transport your luggage on Swiss rail - www.myswissalps.com/tr ain/practical/luggage. I hope this helps.

Last modified on Aug 14, 2019 - 12:22 PM by Ildiko
pvonk
pvonk
242 posts
active member
Aug 14, 2019 - 12:35 PM in reply to Ashanaha

I'm assuming this itinerary is sometime during this summer? Right???

Ashanaha
Ashanaha
24 posts
new member
Aug 14, 2019 - 1:01 PM in reply to pvonk

Yes pvonk it is in September

Ashanaha
Ashanaha
24 posts
new member
Aug 14, 2019 - 1:04 PM in reply to Slowpoke

Thanks slowpoke. Two hours is a quick hike to me so I think we could do this very early in the morning before we leave for Zurich on our last day. I imagine it will be less crowded. Was there a reason you suggested late afternoon? Is the lighting better then? Maybe watch the sunset? Of course everything in my itinerary will depend on weather but it’s good to have a few options to think about.

pvonk
pvonk
242 posts
active member
Aug 14, 2019 - 1:14 PM in reply to Ashanaha

September! Perhaps the best month (unless you’re a skier)

Ashanaha
Ashanaha
24 posts
new member
Aug 14, 2019 - 1:16 PM in reply to Ildiko

Yes I had put my info in the luggage calculator but I got some error message about wengen or oeschinensee not being accessible by car. I will play around with it again. Maybe i’ll have better luck this time. The issue may have been that I wanted express same day service and that was not possible for the car free areas.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
6935 posts
expert
Aug 14, 2019 - 6:06 PM in reply to Ashanaha

Hi Jill -

Did you check the time that the first cableway from Wengen to Männlichen operates, and add the time to get back to Wengen by train? If you leave your luggage at Wengen station (desirable if your hotel is any distance from the station) you are lucky , in that the luggage office opens at 0700.

You will certainly have time to get to Zürich tha day, but I'm guessing that it won't be before 1400.

You'll still have late afternoon to explore the city, of course.

Slowpoke

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
6935 posts
expert
Aug 14, 2019 - 11:20 PM in reply to Ashanaha

Forgot to add -

Morning is usually a better time for that walk.

Fewer people on the trail, and clouds tend to come in during the afternoon.

Not a big difference, but worth being aware of.

And, regarding the trip proposed above, if you leave luggage at Wengen, you will have to get off the train to get it, then most likely wait to catch the next one. Could add 20-30 minutes.

Slowpoke

Last modified on Aug 14, 2019 - 11:23 PM by Slowpoke
Ashanaha
Ashanaha
24 posts
new member
Aug 14, 2019 - 11:32 PM

Great to know, thanks. We can probably leave our luggage at the hotel and it is only 200 ft away from the station but good to point out we will still need to wait 30 mins for the next train. Maybe we will get lunch in town before heading to zurich. How is the food on the train? We eat really healthy, mostly vegetarian, although not strict.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
6935 posts
expert
Aug 15, 2019 - 12:33 AM in reply to Ashanaha

Train food is fine. Whether or not it is "healthy" depends on what you consider "unhealthy." Those terms lack precision. Since human beings are omnivores, limiting your diet to any one class of foods requires thought to make sure that your body is getting what it needs to be healthy.

Food on the train will not poison you. If I have a stretch of long enough time, I eat on the trains routinely. The limited menu works for me.

You will have greater variety available if you eat at any of the intermediate stops - Wengen, Lauterbrunnen, Interlaken, Bern.

If the Cafe Eiger is open when you pass through Wengen, I'd consider it. Directly beside the train station, with a very good kitchen.

Slowpoke

Last modified on Aug 15, 2019 - 12:37 AM by Slowpoke
Ashanaha
Ashanaha
24 posts
new member
Aug 15, 2019 - 1:45 AM

Healthy = not processed, real natural food. Don't even start me on this topic. I am a cancer survivor with a strong belief in diet! lol.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
6935 posts
expert
Aug 15, 2019 - 6:22 AM in reply to Ashanaha

Much of the food on the trains is processed, but not all.

That is the best that I can say from memory.

www.sbb.ch/en/station-services/on-the-train/rail-catering/menu.html

Here is an interesting blog - although it is 3 years old. The first part is amusing; the second offers an interesting perspective on the Swiss restaurant cars:

railguideeurope.com/sw iss-restaurant-car-review/

I like the comment about the Feldschlösschen beer. I find it funny, because Germany has so many excellent beers, much better than that Swiss one.

Slowpoke

Last modified on Aug 15, 2019 - 7:14 AM by Slowpoke
Ashanaha
Ashanaha
24 posts
new member
Aug 15, 2019 - 2:56 PM in reply to Slowpoke

Thanks Slowpoke! That food doesn't look too bad for train food. The review makes me want to experience eating on the train just for the experience itself!

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
6935 posts
expert
Aug 15, 2019 - 6:38 PM in reply to Ashanaha

Hi Jill -

The SBB restaurant cars have always met my needs and expectations. That has been true more recently than the review was written, such as in 2018. Sometimes, exceeded them. Not so the case with my very limited experience with food on German trains, for what it is worth. I do tend to look at the time to destination. If I leave my luggage near my seat in a regular car, I try to eat during a time when there are no stops. On the Intercity trains, which have few local stops, that works out OK. I don't think such caution is required in Switzerland, but, it's easy enough to do.

Slowpoke

Last modified on Aug 15, 2019 - 6:39 PM by Slowpoke
Ashanaha
Ashanaha
24 posts
new member
Aug 15, 2019 - 7:11 PM

Good advice, thanks. I had my luggage stolen on a train in Italy while I was asleep by a "very nice couple" sitting next to me ...not so nice. I know Switzerland is far less problematic than Italy but I am much wiser now!

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
6935 posts
expert
Aug 15, 2019 - 7:39 PM in reply to Ashanaha

Especially on international trains, you never know who the passengers will be. And, under hose circumstances, where I'll be in the train for along time, I tend to travel in first class. Maybe it might be a little safer. Who knows.

Slowpoke

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