Friday, July 22, 2011

Gurten or Bust!

After walking for hours yesterday in the rain, and looking at the upcoming forecast of more rain, I decided today was the day to go to the top of Gurten, the local hill that rises over 1000 feet above Bern, whether I would get any views or not!

It is possible to take a tram to the top - but I am too frugal to pay for that when I can still walk.  Of course, the tram passed me on the way up!

The up-tram and down-tram pass each other halfway up the hill.
When I got to the top I climbed this tower - which people who know my fear of heights might be surprised at.  I counted all 122 steps - it was a good way to keep me breathing and getting too scared!

They should have a wind turbine at the top!
I took a few pictures from the top, but the alps were not that clear, so you get a picture of town.

The Bundeshaus (Parliament) is the big building in middle of picture, left of river.
The top of the hill is actually a broad expanse.  They just held a huge music festival there last weekend (see that included three stages plus three dance tents, numerous bars, and a huge camping area.  They were still taking apart all of the temporary construction they had for the festival.

Taking apart a temporary structure

Map shows permanent structures and large park area - note the ski jump on the right side!
It was a lot easier walking down than it had been going up, so I continued walking upriver on the west side of the river where I hadn't walked before.  This is what the trail looks like on both sides of the river. In many places, the river is on one side and a quieter back-channel is on the other.

One of the straighter sections of the trail.   Lots of runners, bikers, and hikers use the trails.
When you get to an intersection, there is often a sign that points people in the right direction - that is if you know where those places are!

Note they give you walking times as well as connecting transportation.  I ended up taking the tram from Muri!
To cross the River Aare so I could get on the "Wanderweg" (trail, I presume) home, I took this lovely wooden bridge.

Pedestrian bridge across River Aare
I started heading back on the other side of the river.  There were large fences and verboten signs around this property.  Notice how there is only one person in the pool!

Lovely pool by the river.  Many pools are free and open to the public, but not this one!
At this point I had been walking for over five hours - not to mention up and down over 1,000 feet - so I finished up by crossing a meadow, being cheered by this cow, and then catching the trolley car home!

Many cows where large bells that ring as they walk!
Teaser for my dad: I am collecting pictures of local plants for an upcoming blog.  They look like ones on Grey Cloud Island to me!

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