Saturday, 9 August 2008

Switzerland Day 2

What a great way to start a day! Wake up to a beautiful sunshine, look out from your hotel room balcony and see this view: strands of cloud like cotton wool wrapped around the mountains on each side of the surreal lake. Marvellous!

After asking the hotel staff for ideas where to go hiking, we set off for Axalp and Giessbach Falls. And stopped every now and then to take a few photos along the way.

We started climbing the mountain opposite to Brienz; first by driving along the narrow mountain road.

This was kind of a cabin hamlet, and it was only afterwards when we reached Axalp that I realised why it was where it was...

Lake Brienz is just an amazing colour. Down by the lake, about in the middle of this photo, is the town of Brienz.

Every now and then we saw a paraglider in the sky, and thought that the paragliders we see back home on the south coast of England would be incredibly jealous of this spot! Rather more dramatic than the South Downs and the humble (in comparison) cliffs by the sea.

Finally we reached Axalp. We thought we'd gone past it already, but luckily we kept following the narrow road and climbing higher and higher. And once we got there, we realised that it was a ski resort! Well, in the winter, that is. And that is why there were so many cabins around the area; ski cabins!

1 km further up the mountain road we came to a spot where a few marked trails start. We decided to do a 2.5 hour trail that goes to a lake and loops back via a different route a little higher up the mountain.

Along the trail there are sculptures carved directly into living trees. Here is one on the left of the picture.

An idyllic Swiss mountain view complete with cows. The mountains in the background are on the other side of Lake Brienz.

Another wood carving along the trail.

Then we finally reached the lake - Hinterburgseeli.

It's another curiously coloured lake. According to Wikipedia its surface elevation is 1514 m (5000 ft).

The Finn in me loves fir trees against the mountain backdrop.

The obligatory cow shot.

After we'd replenished our beer and cheese quotient at a mountain café, it was time to descent back to the beginning of the trail by the ski lifts. Last glance of the spectacular view.

After which we drove back to the bottom of the mountain to see Giessbach Falls.

Neither of us had a tripod so it was a little tricky to get anywhere near sharply focused long exposures of the waterfalls.

(click on the photo to see bigger version if you can't see a photographer in the middle of this picture)

But luckily you can't really see the softness of focus in a small size picture like this. :-)

The lake on our way back to the hotel.

1 comment:

Geminai said...

I'm just in awe of the scenery and photography! Incredible, Kati.