Day 18 + 19 - Oeschinensee and travel day

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July 22nd 2019
Published: July 23rd 2019
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I always lose steam towards the end of my trips haha. The heat doesn't help.

Day 18: Kandersteg is honestly the best. I'm staying at Hotel zur Post and it's wonderful. Everyone who works there is super friendly and welcoming - the guy who checked me in helped me bring everything upstairs and was asking me all about my travels, another guy who works there was down for breakfast two days and was very helpful with info about the area and the wonderful lady who did breakfast every morning was a complete sweetheart. Such a BnB feel to the hotel and I love it.

And I met the cutest old couple from England - we became breakfast buddies. I can't remember the last time I did a trip and I didn't befriend and old British couple haha - they're always very chatty.

Today was off to Oeschinensee - a glacier lake up in the mountains. It's supposed to be superb, and it's my last real "outdoors/nature" thing for this trip... it lived up to the hype. It is stunning. And even more importantly, I got my full fill of seeing cows haha. First off was the cable car from Kandersteg - short and sweet, less than 5min. It's def one of those 'they-can-charge-any-amount-bc-people-have-no-choice' because one way is 22 CHF ($30) if you don't have a discount card. Total side note, the Swiss Half Fare Card is up there in terms of the best travel deals I've ever bought - it was around $160 but it paid for itself by the time I was done in Lucerne (so days and days ago).

Ok back to the lake! You have to walk a bit from the cable car, but the first view of the deep blue peaking out from behind the trees is stunning, and the closer you get the more turquoise it becomes. I've really enjoyed seeing how the sun and cloud cover impact the colours of the different lakes I've been to.

There's a hike that continues up the mountain for a gorgeous overview of the lake... but it's 4hrs and quite a bit of uphill so I'm like... nah. It was also starting to get pretty toasty already (10am) so that solidified my choice.

Once at the lake I walked around a bit - I had taken the "hiking path" rather than the "family path", so I came out not at the restaurant but further down which was perfect because it was vastly more quiet. After a bit of exploration, time to see if this glacial lake is as cold as I've been led to believe - time to swim! It wasn't that bad, at least not closer to shore... although I'm sure if you swam further out closer to the waterfall, you'd feel the cold. After that I just sat on a bench and people watched a bit while my bathing suit dried off - since it was so warm, it didn't take that long laying them out in the sun. I made my way back around the lake to head towards the restaurant (and the path back to Kandersteg) - as I turned the corner I got the best surprise ever: ALL THE COWS.

There, on the edge of the water (or some in the water) was a herd of cattle - easily 15-20 of them. Talk about a perfect last day in the wilderness of Switzerland. I happily made my way over to take some pictures, to watch the cows and to tsk-tsk at the stupidity of some people... people kept trying to go up to them to pet them - they are not pets people. Yes fine it's not like a wild bear or something, but they don't do petting and they made it very clear to the people who tried. I also happened upon a herd of goats that decided to stroll along the hiking path for a bit haha.

Walk back was looooooooong. I didn't think it would actually take an hour, but it did lol. Not much shade which was killer, but at least it's all downhill. Very steep in parts though - hiking poles would help. It's one of those walks where you almost have to lean back as you walk.

Day 19: Off to Geneva, last Swiss stop. Today was a travel and melt day lol. The heatwave has returned to Europe (although I hear you've been having it in Ottawa too!) The one downside with the travel backpack is when it's sweltering... it is super gross lol. Ah well. Today was only 34C plus humidity... tomorrow is 37C plus humidity so at least I wasn't travelling tomorrow. Tomorrow will def be a hunt for the shade day.

(Sidenote: waiting for the train a dad pretended to lock his kid in a luggage locker and the mom FREAKED and it turned into a whole ordeal and I'm just sitting there like... people are weird.)

Train ride was pleasant - Kandersteg to Bern was on a commuter train of sorts - all their trains are amazingly comfortable though so that's fine. I had a tight connection in Bern (they're always tight connections - they assume you know where you're going haha), and was on my way! Arriving in Geneva I didn't do much today - laundry, went to see Lion King (finally available in English haha) and bummed around the mall connected to the movie theatre - I really just wanted AC. Tomorrow I'll do sightseeing... or at least as much as I can with the heat.

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