Day 11 - First, Bachalpsee and Grindelwald in the clouds

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July 15th 2019
Published: July 15th 2019
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Rain and cloud cover can't even dampen my spirits here. It was a cloudy miserable morning, but screw that, I have a rail pass I'm going exploring! I decided to start with Grindelwald and First - the hope being if it did clear up, I'd go for the Cliff Walk and the First Flyer (zipline)... yeah, I did not haha. Oh well, another day perhaps. It certainly was the tale of 2 days though - the majority was spent in the clouds and mist, but it cleared up for Lake Bachalpsee which was incredibly fortunate on my part. I'll get to that.

So the train ride to Grindelwald was eerie and I loved it. Horrible glare in the photos (lights on train)... but basically ~200ft or so is clear and then all you see as you look up is tree tops poking out every so often behind a cloud. It's pure mist and cloud. It's stunning.

Arriving in Grindelwald I puttered around a bit - slowly making my way towards the cable car to First. There was this little area with some statues, so took a few photos there and then off I went. I figured if I took my time I'd lose the majority of tourists from the train... I was successful lol. I got a cable car to myself as I went up to Grindelwald via Bort (bless) and Schreckfeld. You don't have to change which is nice - you can just hop-on-hop-off if you like. I stayed all the way up and the higher we went, the thicker the cloud cover. At first you could at least see things around you, but that last leg to First, we were fully inside the cloud cover. Like, you couldn't even see the outlines of the trees anymore cloud cover. Again, I loved it because of the eerie quietness, but also because I found it incredibly funny lol. It wasn't quite as funny when the cable car stopped in the middle of nowhere for a good 2-3min. That was not cool. Thankfully we finally continued on our merry way.

Getting out at First, I honestly couldn't help but just laugh to myself. I'm +7000ft and I'm literally inside a cloud with zero visibility lol. You're at basically the same height as Pilatus, so the views are supposed to be spectacular... and I'm staring at grey/white nothingness. You really have to laugh. I decided fuck it, I'll do the Cliff Walk and experience "the views" lol. You basically go along the cliff side (but they have metal guards and pathway that you take, it's not like a hiking path), go over this bridge and then you have a viewing platform. Ha. You had a wonderful view of white and grey cloud... and that's it. I also had fun people watching (well... the 2 people I could see at a time through the fog) - people were so sketched out by the bridge, I guess because you can't actually see the other end of it in the clouds. I loved it, myself. I'm telling you, I was weirdly happy to be in a cloud.

I figured I might as well start the walk to Lake Bachalpsee - it's about an hour and I thought meh, maybe the sun will come out? The first 10-15min is uphill (ugh) and the cloud cover def wasn't improving haha. You could see around you at least though - so lots of little flowers all over the place (covered in water drops, so pretty!) and there were still giant patches of snow here and there. About halfway to the lake, the cloud cover seemed to somewhat divide - as in there was a layer above and below where the path was. This ended up being perfect because it made for some wonderful shots of the mountain peaks that you couldn't see back at First/the Cliff Walk. It really was something else with the clouds kind of sandwiching the mountains.

I continued on to the lake and literally as I was turning the last corner/hill there was the slightest bit of blue that was starting to peak out from behind the clouds. Literally perfect timing. I got a few shots of the lake with cloud cover and then BAM SUNLIGHT. Hello brilliant blue lake and amazing reflections. I had my lunch, I sat and just enjoyed the view. I was there maybe 30min before I figured I should start heading back (who knows with the weather). Sure enough, about half way back the cloud cover came back... and when I say it came back, it came back with a vengeance! Towards the end I couldn't see more than 5-10ft in front of me... like at all. It's fine because the path is super obvious, so really it just gave me more to laugh about haha. Also, I found it really cool how you could see the mist/the cloud move around you. I also got soaking wet (well my hair did) which I didn't even realize until I went to fix my hair on the cable car... I guess it makes sense, walking through a cloud and all.

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