At this point we had spent 2 days in Switzerland and visited Zurich and Lucerne. We were now heading farther south to the small towns of Engelberg and Meiringen. Both towns were very different than the big city of Zurich and the stunning architecture and history of Lucerne.
Our agenda for the day included waking up early to take the train to Engelberg. Due to our Swiss Train Pass we were able to jump on and off as much as we needed for a one month period, which was a good thing because we were planning to see a lot of the country.
We could see the falls from below, but we wanted to have a closer view so we hiked up a muddy trail for a few minutes until we reached a good stopping point. There was some construction taking place around the falls and I remember that kept us from going too much further. There were actually two falls that flowed into each other. It was actually very pretty and green. The rains had made the falls run a little stronger, plus snow from higher elevations was melting.
We spent a few minutes at the top and then began our hike to Aare Gorge. We didn’t know if there was any local transportation, either way we didn’t want to spend the money, so we decided to walk. It seemed like a long distance at the time, but it may just have been because we weren’t eating very much and had no energy.
It took us some time to get there, but I'm not sure how long. Maybe 30 minutes or so. There was a visitor center with a restaurant and gift shop. We purchased tickets to enter. Everyting in Europe costs money. At the time it cost $7.50 to do the one-way hike.
The Aare River cuts through the middle of the gorge. The water was rushing through very fast and had a greenish tint to it.
This history of the place was interesting too. Even though Switzerland was a neutral country during the war German soldiers hid here during World War II.
We walked to the end of the trail in about an hour and a half. There was a large parking lot and some great views into a valley. We took some pictures and then hiked back, much faster of course because we still had more to do and didn’t need to take as many pictures.
When we arrived at the base of the falls there was a funicular that you could take to the top; however, there was also a trail. We decided we would take the trail not really knowing if it would lead to the falls and how close we’d actually be able to get. I didn’t think we were going to have that great of a view, but we took the chance anyway. Like all the other trails in Switzerland it was straight up. Unlike American and Canadian trails that zig-zag up the side of mountains, the Swiss prefer straight lines. Even if that means going straight up.
The trail to the waterfall was very steep and slippery from all the rain. It was very scenic, mostly bright green grass, flowers in bloom, mountains all around, and views of the town below. This gave me an excuse to rest and take pictures.
We got some really good pictures and then continued along the trail back down to the bottom. We made it back to the train station and got back to Engelberg. We made the short hike back to our campsite and stopped at the campground restaurant to eat. I wanted some American type food so I ordered a hamburger and fries. It wasn’t very good. It tasted more like Salisbury steak on a bun. It cost 12.50 Swiss Francs.
After dinner we recharged our camera batteries at the laundry mat. It was really late at night by this time and I was tired and ready to go to bed. We could only charge one battery at a time because we only had one outlet converter. Switzerland is very safe and I doubt our stuff would have been taken anyway, but didn’t want to leave my camera equipment unattended. Also, since it was raining I didn’t feel like going back to the campsite anyway.
"Nexte Halte, Engelberg to Grindelwald..."