When it comes to hiking in Europe, there are very few places which are more densely packed with top notch hiking trails than Switzerland. Whether you are looking for an easy meadow walk or an overnight backpacking trip into the alps, this is the place for you. You can find picture-perfect views, endless mountain ridges, crystal clear lakes and charming small towns almost around every corner. So in late August, some friends and I decided to explore this hiking dreamland, and all can I say is that it blew my mind.
Our first hike started at the parking lot of a small town called Tierfehd and lucky for us, we had perfect weather conditions: the sun was shining, the sky was blue, and the temperature was a comfortable 28 degrees.
Trail descriptions reported the hike as moderate, but with all our camping equipment, we prepared ourselves for more than the suggested 2 ½ hours, because you’ll never know how the conditions might change at the last minute. As soon as our feet touched the first part of the trail, I immediately felt a sense of joy and freedom.
As we continued on the first section, I felt that the route could pose some difficulty for inexperienced hikers. Staying on the path while holding on to a chain that was embedded in the mountain can be a little intimidating in the beginning, especially when your gear is constantly pulling you backwards towards a 250-meter drop. Hence, please be very careful not to fall backwards, which would mean a premature ending to whichever hiking plans you may have. Thankfully, we managed to stay on course and after approximately 25 minutes, the trail became well marked and easy to follow.
Nevertheless, we were still perspiring profusely as we had all our camping gear on our backs and it was a hot summer’s day, so do remember to bring sufficient water to stay hydrated. After another 2 ½ hours of hiking and a short visit by some wild animals, we finally made it to the top where we set up camp for the night.
One thing that I love about hiking in Switzerland, is the uniqueness of the different places.
Amongst all the different crystal clear lakes, the one at Oeschienensee was my favorite on this trip. Unfortunately, the weather wasn’t in our favor – with low hanging clouds and a weather forecast of 90% rain probability as we left our parking spot.
The hike started with a well-defined little road, which led into a forest and quickly ascended to a steep walk towards the lake. As soon as we reached the lake, big grey clouds started to block our view, but they made the atmosphere even more mystical.
Despite the bad weather, this lake had the most unreal color I have ever seen. Amazed by the beauty of this place, we felt rejuvenated even though it was getting dark and were initially very tired from the hike.
One of my favorite things about being on the road, is that no matter how hard you try to plan, it will always spring up some surprises for you.
After a short night, we had a simple breakfast and decided to explore the area around our camp. The sun rays were hitting on the peaks and we managed to get a little closer to the glacier with massive ice blocks right in front of us.
While we were climbing over some rocks, I spotted a small entrance into the glacier, which was only a hundred meters away from us. Out of curiosity, we decided to check it out.
Upon entering, we were completely blown away by one of the most amazing ice caves any of us have ever encountered. With chunks of ice above our heads coupled with a feeling of awe and wonder, we continued to explore this amazing cave for over half an hour.
This experience reaffirmed what I love about travel – giving me a breather from the hustle and bustle of daily life.
I often compare my present life to my childhood. When I was a kid, everything was exciting, everything was fresh and new. My brain was constantly activated and awoken, because it had to process all the different things around me. But as I grew older, I began to identify similar patterns and figure out general routines that I end up sticking to. Hence, to avoid growing more complacent, I made it a point to find something that would help activate my brain again and to make life more fascinating. That is what travel means to me, and it truly reignites my passions, helping me to achieve the similar feelings of pure joy and excitement that I used to have when I was a kid.
All images belong to Lukas, subject to copyright.