Walking from Horneggli to Rinderberg (again)

Today we did the same hike we did four weeks ago, when we were staying in Leysin – Walking from Horneggli to Rinderberg. It was almost the same – a sunny, warm Sunday with lots of people on the trail. This time I did not have the video camera and only took a few snapshots – so the hike went much faster. An easy two hours and a bit, with a stop for lunch at the start of the hike.

The cost for the mountains rides (a chairlift and a gondola), plus the train is 49.50SFr each, but we had our Easy Access pass, which cost 44.00SFr for 4 days – so the cost of today’s hike paid for the four day pass. I had suggested that we ride every gondola up and down today, to get full use of the pass, but that idea was shot down. 🙂

Gstaad - Horneggli Hike
Gstaad – Horneggli Hike

Today I freaked out on the chairlift! Just after writing about how I am not terrified on these mountain rides. The Horneggli chairlift could be great, but it is horrible. You sit on a nice chairlift, but they put a plastic bubble over you and lock it in place. Get rid of the stupid plastic bubble and the ride would be great. You go up the mountain, facing the mountain instead of facing out for the view (the view would distract you). Now I understand the chairlifts in Kandersteg that are sideways – at least you do not look at the mountain when going up. When it is a hot day, like it was today, the plastic bubble is hot and stuffy.

Note from 2015: This year I discovered that you can flip the plastic covers up. So now I like this charlift.

I don’t know why I did not freak out last time – probably because I was busy taking photos and video. This time, just as the chairlift started, I thought “I can’t do this”. I did not mention the freak-out to Steve, because that would only make it worse and there was nothing he could do. I sat there and recited all the things to calm myself down – air is coming in from where the plastic bubble meets our feet, it is not a long ride, if I freak-out nothing can be done anyway, I can probably slither down and out in that space near my legs. Finally I said to Steve “I am a little uncomfortable”.

Anyway, I made it without a meltdown, but my plan for “have a nice lunch, do the pony trail out and back for two hours, then take the chairlift back down” had to be changed. We decided to do the whole hike again.

I thought it would be boring to do the same hike, but it was not at all. The hike felt easier even with the one hour of uphill at the end. Plus, I know these valleys and mountains well now and when I look at the view, I know (somewhat) what I am seeing. I love pointing out the other hikes we have done and the towns we have been to. Steve has no sense of direction at all, so is always impressed that I know what I am looking at.

Gstaad - Horneggli Hike
Gstaad – Horneggli Hike

Now I am glued to a Sue Grafton mystery (“R”). I gave up reading her books around “M”, but this is a good one.

We only have four days left and Thursday is a travel day (but we don’t leave here until 1pm). I have done my last load of laundry, bought a few gifts (Swiss Army knife, soaps, Swiss herbal teas, instant Rosti). I guess we are almost ready to head home. The weather forecast is good for Monday, rain for Tuesday and Wednesday. I have our hikes picked out already.

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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.