I want to start off by saying, I love hiking. I grew up in the woods and find peace nowhere greater than on top of a mountain looking at the world from above. I definitely owe a lot of this passion to my homeland because Switzerland is truly, a hiker’s paradise. The mountains are limitless, trails clear to follow, and you can find some of the most amazing cusisine stored away in the most secluded valleys.
Our first big hike was the mountain where my grandfather use to hunt, the Stockhorn. This mountain is a very local and free of tourist, which contributes toward it being one of my absolute favorite mountains in the world.
You get to the trail head by trekking through the local mountain farms and slowly ascend until reaching the first valley. When you stop for rest at the first valley, this is the first one many times you breath will be swept away. The surrounding mountains fold and gently cradle a crystal clear lake as the sound of cow bells ring all around, it's magical. After descending into the valley, weaving our way through the many cows grazing in the trail, we hiked to the next valley.
After about a two hour hike, we arrived to the next valley, which is home to a hut with some of the best local food and atmosphere you can get in Switzerland. This hut is located in the center of the mountains and is a humble place that most of the local hunters stay, like my grandfather. Underneath the hut, cows provide milk for the delicious cheese that is made for the restuarant above. For lunch, we feasted on beer, cheese, fresh baked bread, hearty lentil soup, and for desert some delicious Swiss chocolate. Our stomachs full and spirits high we decided to hike to the peak of the Stockhorn, which seemed world’s away.
It took us about two hours to summit and as we hiked higher and higher, the clouds gently sweeping away to reveal the most incredible panoramic view. Everywhere I turned, I could see the surrounding valley’s, villages, and neighboring mountains ranges. We sat and relaxed at the top, letting the sun warm our very cold, fatigued bodies.
After the Stockhorn, we did many other hikes including trekking through the amazing Aareschlucht, an incredible gorge hike, the Reichenbach falls, and Saint Beatus Caves. Our days consisted of large hearty breakfasts and unimaginable landscapes, which did come at some great physical effort.
On one of our rest days we traveled to the Emmental, the region of Switzerland where my family is original from and where I hold my Swiss citizenship. Though it was quite grey that day, the weather in no way infringed on the beauty of the rolling hills, farm houses, and white churches. It’s odd because I’ve always dreamed of living in a place like this, and it turns out to resemble the place where all my ancestors are from.
Our last big hike as a family was definitely the most difficult but surely the most rewarding. We decided to hike the Schynige Platte, which is a ridge hike at the foot of the Gumihorn located between Gsteigwiler and Gündlischwand in the Bernese Oberland. This hike was quite the challenge and it took us 10 hours to complete. However, this hike was absolute breathtaking and worth every hour and sore muscle (seeming as going down stairs for the next three days proved extremely difficult). For the whole 10 hours, all I could see was the famous Swiss snowcap mountains the Eiger, Monch, and the Jungfrau. Everywhere I turned were vast mountain ranges stretched for miles, reflecting the blue from the clear day above. I’ve never felt so close heaven or more in love with the overwhelming, majestic power mountains evoke.