After breakfast we walked to the train station starting with a short funicular ride up a steep slope to start our day. We boarded our train to Interlaken and from there a narrow-gauge tourist train to Grindelwald, an alpine village with incredible views. Kids were pulling out cameras and cell phones and snapping photos with every step. It’s great to see kids impressed by scenery. Grindelwald is at an elevation of something over 6,000 feet with the surrounding snow-capped mountains rising another 1,500 feet or so.
A ten-minute walk through town and we were at the gondola station for our day of adventure on the mountain. We found no lines so had quick passage up the mountains to an area called First. The views in all directions were spectacular. We were treated to impressive and rugged mountains in all directions with plenty of waterfalls and creeks to gaze at. The gondola ride took nearly thirty minutes to First. By now we were in the clouds with a temperature of around 50 degrees F. Everyone pulled out jackets but the wind and the temperature didn’t keep the kids from eating their lunch outside.
The next adventure was getting down the mountain. The thirty-minute gondola ride got us to the top but getting down was up to us. The trip down starts with a zip line trip about 800 meters running at about 50 mph. The speed of the trip varies by weight as does the braking at the end. A couple of boys opted out and they took the gondola down to another station to meet the group. Once the zip line group made it to their short destination, they then hiked down the next leg. This was a good 30-minute hike, and so now they could say they’ve been hiking in the Swiss Alps. Their destination was the gondola stop called Bort and here the group made the final leg of their descent on seatless scooters. Guys picked up helmets, read and “memorized” the scooter rules, practiced their balance and braking, and enjoyed a rough and speedy trip back to Grindelwald. We had about ten minutes to spare before our train trip back to Interlaken and then onto Bern.
The hostel was a welcome site after such an adventure and the boys were ready just to chill. The hostel was definitely quieter and some boys played ping-pong, others started working on laundry, some took showers, most checked their phones, and some did virtually nothing – including me. We had dinner at the hostel, had our usual trip meeting, gave kids free time in the hostel, and called it a relatively early evening.
It was a great day.
And parents, just so you know…several boys decided they had to have a Swiss-made watch and many made purchases. We discussed budgeting and making money last, but I have no idea how each individual’s money is holding up. I’m sure they’ll call or email if they need/want more.
Photos coming, but until then...go to our Facebook page to check them out.