|Note the Swiss flags for Swiss National day!
For their first winter holiday in the Bernese Oberland, Liz and Rod did something
that Liz and I would still love to do, but so far haven't achieved it, go for Christmas!! Of course they didn't tow their
trusty caravan over, plumping for a nice warm chalet in Wilderswil.
Although Rod and Liz are sticking with 'Shank's pony' winter hiking, their two sons Richard
and Andrew aim to hit the pistes!
|'Do not feed the beasts!'
|The Dutch sign explores Andrew and Richard's reputation for constant eating!!
Rod and Liz of course normally visit in Summer, and I completely agree with Liz when she describes Swiss National day
August 1st as 'possibly the greatest free show on earth!'
Here's another taken in July by Liz from their campsite near Interlaken 'the orange Jungfrau'
Carl Comment ; I'm put in mind of Heidi in the mountains when she says to Grandfather ' look the
mountains are on fire!!' You become more aware of the colours of the mountain when you're a little further away from them
I always feel. On the shores of Lake Thun, we were stunned by the beautiful sunsets. Cars were stopping on the side of the
road to view the magical sight.. and Carlyboy forgot his camera!!! It will not happen again!
Oh.. they love the Bernese Oberland! After seven summer trips 1991 - 2004
Liz, Rod and the lads Richard and Andrew dipped their toes in the snow. Christmas 2005 was spent with friends Cyril and
Carol and their daughter Emily. Air, from Liverpool to Geneva, and rail to Wilderswil, then it was into the
ski hire shop and straight off to the slopes... well for Richard and Andrew anyway!
As for Dad and Mum, 'lets go hiking!' From the First above Grindelwald down to
Schreckfeld. A little more tricky than the same hike in summer, but as Liz tells me they were fortunate to have half inch
spikes on their boots loaned by some friendly neighbours!!
The lads on planks joined up with Liz and Rod on spikes at Schreckfeld.
Richard had a little skiing experience after a week in Vermont with his school when he was 13 (ahhh!) but
look at him with his Rugby playing Bruv, there was to be no stopping them, up to Kleine Scheidegg on day 3, and Liz and Rod
on the classic Grutschalp-Murren hike.
The Restaurant at Winteregg provided welcome refreshment half way, then it was on up the Almendhubel for
lunch! Rod tells me that Liz, with spikes, was going like the wind down the slopes! 'That evening', Rod continues, 'a highlight
of the holiday was a trip to see Mike at Radio Beo' and the revelation that the Coles are a three Volvo family!
The next day was Saturday, Christmas Eve, and the next Cole destination was Mannlichen with it's magnificent
Liz and Rod's friends Cyril, Carol and Emily, despite having been to the Oberland a number of times, had never been up
to the Mannlichen, and a bright day was perfect to show off the views to their Winter best.
Leaving the grey Christmas day below them Liz and Rod made their way to Bussalp above Grindelwald. The
postbus really needed it's tyre chains, and as it pulled out of the clouds, a beautiful sunny Christmas day was
revealed! A walk to Bort was on the agenda.
As Liz and Rod say they were 'above the clouds in BeO heaven!'
Christmas dinner wasn't forgotten, but not turkey, roast pork... without crackling!!
Boxing day, and to get good visibility, the boys went up to the Lauberhorn.
By lunchtime the cloud further down had dispersed, and the views of the Eiger North wall were back.
The planned walk to Wengenalp was not possible as the path was not open, so instead, a train and walk from
Almend down to Wengen.
At one point Liz and Rod were passed by 'hundreds of skiers' skiing into the village.
The last full day in the Oberland was spent having a go at tobogganning, from Mannlichen to Holenstein.
Rod and Richard got down in 35 minutes. Rod gaining a very cold chin in the process as his face was sprayed with snow from
his boots controlling his speedy descent!
Next to go were Richard and Andrew, who took much longer as Andrew was wearing his bulky ski boots, a little
impracticle for controlling the sled! Finally Liz and Rod took a turn ..... and fell off!
After leaving the Oberland winter behind them, Liz and Rod told me that they can really recommend it, indeed adding,
that now they can say that 'we love the Bernese Oberland in both winter and summer', and to prove it they went back in July!!
Climate change? What climate change?!! Well how about the fact that you have to
hike over and hour and a half to find the ice! Above at Baregg on Grindelwald's lower glacier the drama is that
the Eiger is falling apart!
So turn off the lights!
Christmas 2008.. and the end of the World didn't come so the Coles are back! Oh and this time
in High Definition. Click the pics for the grand vista.
These are truly lovely photos. Above Liz is climbing up the Mannlichen with the Oberland giants in the background
and the clouds lifting, and below the mighty Wetterhorn. The family were walking down from First to Bort and
this photo is taken just above Waldspitz.
Below the Cole's first glimpse of a Winter Bachsee above the First in shade and they report 'a little desolate'. Quite
a difference to the scene in Summer, a classic for the calendars.
Below the view from a little further on looking back the other way to the Finsteraahorn. The Bachsee is in the
foreground and although the view is stunning, the Coles say 'it is certainly better in the Summer!' The beautiful blue crystal
clear waters are under there somewhere!
Onwards and upwards, Richard, Rod, Liz and Andrew head up to the top of the 10000 foot Schilthorn. Rod says 'We
had perfectly clear views and the 360 degree panorama was absolutely gorgeous with even a gimpse of Mont Blanc on the horizon'.
Thanks to you for some magical Oberland memories, and some lovely photos.
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