Two factors influenced us to visit
Grindelwald in the Winter of 2005. One was the beautiful
summer hiking experience (from
Murren). Another was that our new
friend, Ruth, from the
Mexican cooking class, is from Grindelwald and was going to show us around.
Grindelwald and Murren are nearby.
Secluded Murren is a better (& quiter) base for summer hiking, whereas Grindelwald is
the ideal base for winter sports. Grindelwald the center of three ski areas accessible from town by a combinations of Gondola, chairs, buses, and even a
cog railway (which takes you to the base of the Eiger). One lift
ticket covers all areas.
Besides skiing, Grindelwald is also famous for
alpine hiking and tobogganing (as we only discovered after getting
there). The ski areas maintain separate trails especially for
tobogganing and hiking. We saw many people (kids and adults) riding the gondola with
snow shoes or toboggans rather than skies.
Tobogganing (***) is a serious sport here. The Tobogganing runs
are the longest in the world - one is over 15 km long.
Steering and speed control is done by foot and hand actions. It takes
10 minutes to learn and about
1/2 hour to get the method down.
We stayed at
Hotel Sonnenberg (**,$), Grindelwald. It's in a
very central and convenient location, only 3
blocks from the RR station but also quite, and has great
balcony views of the town and the Eiger. They serve a very decent
breakfast (included in the room charge). The only slight downside is
the uphill climb to the hotel. You need to haul your luggage up - even
when the path is icy. Don't let this deter you. This
inconvenience is the price for a great view location at a very modest price.
The Grindelwald-Zurich train ride offers
fantastic views around Interlaken lake. Just look at the photo on the
Room with a view at Hotel Sonnenberg. The Eiger as seen from the deck
of our room at Hotel Sonnenberg.
Here are some pics from the ski slope on First. First is one of the
three distinct ski areas in the Grindelwald area. First has the best
Dusk on the First ski slopes
View along a toboggan run. Interlaken lake from the Grindelwald-Zurich