Day 3: Männlichen

25 June 2011

Wengen being a car-free city, it was shockingly quiet when I awoke. Opening my window, I heard nothing but the sound of birds.

On the doors in the hotel there were those bird cutouts that are used to keep birds from flying into the glass. However, the cutouts were, puzzlingly, on the interior doors.

Are these for the benefit of the birds? Or the guests?

After a continental breakfast, Piaw and I started on the hiking trail up to Männlichen under overcast skies. We saw that the town has tiny electric postal carts instead of postal trucks.

Electric postal cart

From Wengen, the way up looked almost like climbing a sheer cliff face. The trail first wound through the woods, then emerged into fields of wildflowers.

In one place there was a rock fall over the trail.

Consider just crossing this passage very, very quickly. Yeah, that's reassuring.

As we got closer to the top, the hillside got even steeper, and we had to weave our way through the avalanche protection devices. By this time I had started to get a bit disoriented, and I had to slow down in order to plant my feet more carefully. Piaw had gone way ahead of me.

Avalanche protection; wildflowers

View of Wengen and Lauterbrunnen

At the ridge, there was a panoramic view in all directions: Wengen and Lauterbrunnen Valley; Grindelwald Valley; and all the way out to Interlaken.

View of Grindelwald

Xiaoqin had taken the gondola up to Männlichen, on the ridge. Since Piaw had arrived there some time before I did, they had started along the Panoramic Road to Kleine Scheidegg, along which you can see the face of the Eiger. (Switzerland is an advanced country, so we had cell reception, and even 3G data, on the ridge.) I caught up with them along the way.

Kleine Scheidegg and the Eiger

We had lunch at the Restaurant Eigernordwand at Kleine Scheidegg, then started the walk down to Wengernalp.

At Wengernalp we took the train back down to Wengen. We bought some groceries, and then ate dinner at a different Italian restaurant.

The grocery store had a bewildering array of recycling bins. Not just bins for glass, aluminum, and plastic, like we have in the States, but also separate bins for batteries, water filters, CO2 canisters, and more.

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