We left Blatten after seeing the helicopter and headed off to Betten where we wanted to see the Aletsch Glacier. Unfortunately Andy’s ankle was not great so he decided to have a rest day from walking so Finn and I did the trip alone. On route we saw all the team buses and support vehicles for the Tour de Suisse which certainly slowed down the traffic.
From the very large car park at Betten you take a gondola to the village of Bettmeralp. The reason there are three large car parks is that the village is car free so you have to park at the bottom and it is a very popular ski resort in winter. In summer it is beautiful and full of traditional wooden chalets so I can imagine in winter the snow would make it even more stunning. It is one of those places where the pictures do not really do it justice.
After a walk around the village the next stage is to get a cable car up to Bettmerhorn. Finn had not been phased by the gondola as you see in the pictures he just fell asleep. They are so large and steady you don’t really feel like you are moving. The cable car was a slightly different experience. It wasn’t busy so we had a car to ourselves. In the cable car station all the floors are metal grids for the snow in winter, Finn isn’t a fan of these floors as they are not really made for small paws so he starts to walk like Bambi. Then he really didn’t want to jump into a moving box with automatic doors, so I had to carry him in. Once in and the doors had closed he was happy to look out at the view. He looked for some reassurance when we started swaying and clattering a bit but overall I would say he took it all in his stride.
The cable car ride was worth it to get to get to an elevation of 8694ft. I was so lucky that it was clear blue skies over the glacier which is a 23km long swirl of ice, described as a frozen six lane superhighway. Beyond the glacier you can see the summits of Eiger and Jungfrau. I sat on the viewing platform all alone in total silence with the blue skies and sunshine and it was totally spectacular. I would say it is worth the money to make the trip, about £30 for me and half price for Finn, but only do it on a clear day. Andy didn’t totally miss out on the views, I did video call him from the summit and show him around.
As the weather was so good we decided to head round to the Bernese Oberland region as we really wanted to drive the Grimselpass on a clear day to make the most of the views.
On route 19 and then route 6 we drove through some lovely villages and then the Grimselpass revealed itself. The edge of the roads can be seen where the stone walls are and it was constructed in 1894. It is times like this that I am pleased we are in a right hand drive vehicle so I am not on the edge. The pass is usually closed from October through to May and as we were driving the snow was piled in high banks by the road side. When I jumped out to take pictures I was a little chilly in a t-shirt. The road reaches an elevation of 7109ft.
After another 40 Miles we reached the end of the road. Our campsite is at the end of the Lauterbrunnen Valley with steep cliffs each side and the mountains in front of us. We have driven right round the mountain range and are almost opposite where I was this morning in Bettmerhorn.
Weather – hot & sunny
Miles Driven – 86
Miles Walked – 11.1 across the 2days
Overnight – Camping Rutti, Stechelberg for 2 nights
34CHF per night with electric. Great little camp site, good location at end of valley. Note as in the valley you do not get the morning or evening sun.