Thursday, September 4 – Hiking on Eggli, near Gstaad

Sunny and warm

The pain!! Yikes!! I can barely walk. I am not a person who ever notices steps, but I do now! 7 steps to the front door, 7 more to the basement parking garage, steps in Gstaad on the main promenade. Steps everywhere!! My legs hurt all the time, but even more so on steps.

What we needed today was a level hike – what we got was more downhill (blame me for poor map reading). This time we left from the apartment and took the walking trail to Gstaad (45 minutes and flat). This is a lovely trail along the river, through town outskirts and farms. It went straight to the Eggli gondola station, just outside Gstaad. We rode to the top. This time I had packed a lunch (cold noodles and vegetables from last night’s dinner). And this time there was an excellent restaurant at the top of the gondola ride. We stopped and had a bowl of soup. Another time we will have a lunch here.

From the restaurant, we walked for about an hour back into the hills. Again, the hiking choice was either go straight downhill to Gstaad (too short a hike and too steep) or hike back into the hills and then take a more gentle down route. You could hike further back into the mountains here on longer trails. We hiked back for about an hour, then sat on the perfect hillside with a perfect view into the Gsteig valley and had our lunch. We could see the parasailers (those guys who jump off the moutain with a parachute and float down to the town) jumping from Wispile.

Then we did another 1 ½ hours of downhill. It was a gentle downhill, but our legs still hurt. There was no one on the trail – except people on bikes. After the first hour, the trail was along a paved, but unused except for the bikes, road – not the best for walking. The valley we walked down was lovely – farms, even a couple of restaurants, houses scattered along the way. We ended up on our street in Saanen.

After the hike we went into Gstaad (drove) and had coffee. We were considering dinner out, but didn’t find anything we wanted, so got some groceries. We located the web cam (on the tourist office) and are going to try for a web cam wave next Wednesday. Chris will be in our house in Santa Fe and she will call me on my Italian cell phone (Wednesday, September 10, 5pm Swiss time, 11am east coast, 9am mountain, 8am west coast). We have our banner with us and Chris will grab a shot. I think it only refreshes every 30 minutes (hour and half hour).

We have not been getting early starts to our days. We still stay up too late at night and then sleep until 9. At least we are sleeping well. And the timing is not that bad – we have a leisurly morning, coffee and toast in the apartment, then head out around 11 or noon.

Under the “more information than you really need” category: When hiking, I always have to nip off into the woods for a pee. It is such a dilema – I need the coffee in the morning to get me awake and going, then I have to pee several times on the hike. My bladder can sense when I am somewhere not near a restroom. Usually there are restrooms at the gondola rides and on the trails it is easy to find a place to nip off to.

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Pauline Kenny

Pauline Kenny and Steve Cohen are US expats living in Dorset. We moved to the UK in 2010. Read about our move. If you would like to talk about travel, please join us on the Slow Europe Travel Forums.