A hiking paradise
When Fanny applied to be an Explorer, this is the reason she gave for applying: “Car j'aime les activités en nature, particulièrement en montagne et j'aime les faire découvrir autour de moi grâce à de belles photos.” (In English: “Because I love outdoor activities, especially in the mountains, and I like to capture them by taking beautiful photos.”) Her application was successful! The 23-year-old from Valais won our top prize: a week’s holiday in the Jungfrau Region. She chose to spend it with her sister Manon (25) and their mutual friend Caroline (41). Hiking was the focus of their time in the Jungfrau Region. Their hikes included the one from Stechelberg to Gimmelwald via Obersteinberg and the two-day hike to the Lobhornhütte. A fast downhill ride on monster scooters and a spin on e-bikes provided a change of pace. This holiday was the first time these three had tried riding e-bikes. A trip to the Jungfraujoch and the First was also a must. Our film crew accompanied them for several days: “At first, it was very strange and a bit irritating.” However, Fanny, Caroline and Manon didn’t let the filming put them off and they enjoyed their holiday immensely.
“There were spectacular views everywhere”
A beautiful place close to the activities they planned to do. That’s what Fanny, Caroline and Manon wanted. They found what they were looking for in Wengen. Fanny and Caroline also pointed out another great advantage of staying in Wengen: “The view of the Lauterbrunnen Valley with its vertical cliffs is beautiful.” And Manon was enchanted by the beautiful gardens of the mountain village when she took a stroll through it on the first day. The next morning, they visited the largest underground waterfalls in Europe, the stunning Trümmelbach waterfalls. After that, they hiked from Stechelberg to Obersteinberg, and then back to Stechelberg. Manon raved about this hike: “The hike was beautiful, the view was spectacular, the weather was great – we had lots of sunshine – and lunch was very tasty.” They went on another hike the next day. This time, it was a two-day hike to the Lobhornhütte. After the first leg – the ride on the aerial cableway from Isenfluh to Sulwald and the hike to the Lobhornhütte – Manon treated herself to a refreshing swim in the nearby Sulssee. “Yes it was raining a bit, but the water wasn’t too cold. It was a cool experience.”
Although the weather on the first day was nothing to write home about, the next morning made up for it. For Caroline, who got up before the other two, watching the sunrise was the highlight of her week. She vividly described the joy of her experience: “The sunrise, the quiet, the only sound the splashing of the waterfalls. It was divine!” On the way back, feeling invigorated by their delicious breakfast, the trio marvelled at the stunning views. “We did the last section on the monster scooters. It was hilarious! We had a great time on the descent.” Fanny and Caroline both agreed with a chuckle. And the thrilling ride on the monster scooters must have made an impression on them, because on the same day, they went up to the First and then went down to Grindelwald on the mountain carts. They also made an up-and-down trip the next day – this time on e-bikes. Although Manon and Caroline are both experienced mountain-bikers, they had never been on a battery-powered bike before. Manon was impressed by the bikes, saying: “Those bikes really have a kick!” Thanks to the e-bikes, the trio conquered the steep ascent easily. “At the top, there was a barbecue area with a beautiful view waiting for us,” said Caroline. What Manon liked most about the tour was the view – and the fact that there weren’t any other tourists around. “We had a few problems getting the fire started though,” Fanny interrupts, laughing. “But we overcame that obstacle too and we were able to enjoy our cervelats in the end!” After the barbecue, they took the Leiterhorn Trail back to the hotel. On their last day, the three got up early for the trip to the Jungfraujoch – complete with a ride on the new Eiger Express. This was an unmissable experience for them.
Caroline said: “I will definitely be coming back to the Jungfrau Region. Mainly because of the mountain scenery, with all the waterfalls and little lakes. I want to discover more of that.” Fanny nodded in agreement. She has already set her sights on even more hikes and activities. “I want to come back in winter for the skiing.” And Manon? “I want to show the Jungfrau Region to my friends and relive the downhill ride on the monster scooters with them.” She recommends that first-time visitors go to some of the lesser-known places, away from the tourist hotspots, to experience the region authentically. All three women were surprised that the Jungfrau Region actually does have plenty of lesser-known spots. “We thought it would be super touristy. But we were often the only ones around, and we liked that.”