Gimmelwald, Switzerland - Saturday, October 04, 2003

We headed south again toward Switzerland for more hiking time in the Alps. We made a pitstop in the capital - Bern - to see one of Dave's friends from his GMAT crash course in NYC this summer. Mario was a good tour guide and showed us some great views of the Alps. We ate at a fabulous brewery and had some typical Swiss food. Mmmmm..

The next day we headed toward a small, mountain town called Gimmelwald (population 130) which is situated on a cliff about an hour's train, bus, and gondola ride from touristy Interlaken. From the cable car, we walked straight uphill 10 minutes to our hotel where we arrived just in time for our hot dinner.

Walter, the 85 year old proprietor, prepares breakfast and dinner daily with help from Rosemary, a woman from up the hill. There were about 12 Americans sitting around the big dinner table, all of whom heard of this special place from the same guidebook. 99% of Walter's business if from readers of this guidebook... This rustic hotel perched on the hillside was a bit creaky yet comfortable. It was nice sitting around chatting/having beers with the part-time British resident Tim and the other Americans.

We spent a beautiful day hiking down from ~9000 ft~. back to the ~4500 ft. Gimmelwald. The day began with a cable car ride up to the top of Schilthorn, where the James Bond film "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" was filmed during the late 60's. We were treated to a bunch of clips of the movie which featured a big battle between Bond and Telly Savalas...who looks suspiciously like Dr. Evil... The clips were very over the top..

Our hike took us down a steep grade, along a mountain ridge, down through the cow-filled pasture land and back into Gimmelwald. Fabulous views...we are sore today for sure. There's not much going on in Gimmelwald. It's a great place for hiking, skiing, and soaking up the beautiful mountain views of the Eiger, Jungfrau, and the Monk. Our rooms looks directly out at these peaks. We keep adding a day to our stay b/c it is so peaceful, relatively cheap, good food, and not so crowded..

Tomorrow we head for somewhere in Italy. Our plans are going to hell in a handbasket b/c we are trying to avoid the beginning of the Fall rainy season. We mostly want to just drink wine and eat pasta, so the weather shouldn't matter much...

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