On this day, I left the group and hiked for two hours from Holenstein down to Grindelwald
The last full day of our trip, the Swiss Alps were illuminated by a bright, clear sun. I was thrilled for my Swiss hosts, for my comrades who had never seen this country so clearly, and for myself. Because this was the day we were headed up to First, a tram station high above Grindelwald that offers incredible views of the alpine majesty that defines this country.
The night before, we had all felt the blush of sunlight at our evening meal high above Interlaken at the Harder Kulm restaurant. As a result, our meal was festive and alive with anticipation of the sun to follow the next day. We ended that evening in the bar at our hotel, the Hotel du Nord, in Interlaken. Our group was at ease with each other by then, and we had a ball in the bar just relaxing with Swiss locals and a dog or two that found its way in.
The following day, we took the train to Grindelwald, then the tram to First. We began the morning with a new zipline ride, the First Flyer. Then we enjoyed lunch at reserved tables on the patio at First. Hikers and families were everywhere enjoying the first sunny day of September. It was intoxicatingly beautiful outside.
Afterwards, all of us took scooters down from Bort to Grindelwald, dodging cars, hikers and bicyclists along the way. Then many of my comrades rented bicycles for more touring of the countryside around Grindelwald. I stuck to my plans to hike. I left the group and walked a mile or so to the lift at Grund and took it most of the way up the mountain to Holenstein. From there, I spent two hours walking and photographing the Alps, always in the shadow of the Eiger, which was serene and solemn.
This day in sun in Switzerland proved the perfect dichotomy for a group of travelers who ended up seeing two Switzerlands, one as enthralling as the other.
I was thrilled for our hosts in Interlaken when the sun came out and brilliantly lit this picturesque city
At Harder Kulm the evening before, traces of sunlight began to appear in the clouds--a sign of things to come
From the terrace in First, the grandeur of the Bernese Oberland Alps is almost more than one can absorb
This father and son enjoyed close communion in the beauty of the Swiss Alps at First