The Jungfrau Region – made for active holidays
“My problem is, I have too many interests. Combining them all, preferably with my girlfriend, is hard,” wrote Tim Wegmann in his Explorer application. The 28-year-old narrowed it down, ultimately opting for running as his top choice. That is how he managed to get a free week's holiday in the Jungfrau Region with his girlfriend Sarah Etter, 25. After arriving in Grindelwald, Sarah and Tim went for a walk around the village to get to know it better before taking the PostBus to Bussalp later that evening for a convivial fondue. After dinner, they sledged back down to the valley. The couple spent four days in Grindelwald, out and about on the slopes of the Grindelwald-Wengen ski area. They visited the Jungfraujoch for the first time – taking in the Bachalpsee on the same day. They did the First Cliff Walk and rode on the First Glider and the First Flyer. The young couple also managed to squeeze in a spin on a Velogemel before heading to Meiringen in Haslital. Once there, they started off with a ski tour to Hasliberg with a mountain guide, followed by a snowshoe tour in Rosenlaui and night-time cross country skiing in Gadmen. Naturally, Sarah and Tim also rode the ski slopes in Haslital. You’d be hard-pressed to squeeze much more into one week.
“The sheer number of things to do is so cool”
Asked what the highlight of their free week's holiday in the Jungfrau Region was, Sarah and Tim struggle to come up with an answer. “Our highlight? The whole week was a highlight,” Tim decides eventually. Sarah nods in agreement. The Jungfrau Region was new territory for this young couple from Zurich. “If you dip into Instagram from time to time, every now and again you come across fabulous photos of Lauterbrunnen, Grindelwald or Haslital, so the region has always appealed to us.” What struck Tim as he clicked through the experiences on DiniWaelt.ch? “The sheer number of things to do is so cool.” And it was like it was made for the couple. “We’re not the types to lie around on the terrace all day, doing nothing,” says Sarah. Now it’s Tim's turn to nod in agreement. The couple therefore put together a full-on programme for their time in the Jungfrau Region. After starting off with the fondue and night-time sledging run, the following day the couple fulfilled a long-held dream to visit the Jungfraujoch. “Looking out from the viewing platform over the Aletsch Glacier to the Konkordiaplatz is simply stunning.” They also visited the ice palace and various exhibitions and then took the Eiger Express back to Grindelwald and headed straight back up to First on the other side. “We walked to Bachalpsee and then, at twilight, back to Grindelwald. What a wonderful atmosphere.” Obviously, the couple wanted to go skiing in Grindelwald. “We did every run in the Grindelwald-Wengen ski area at least once.” They conquered the famous – or rather, infamous – Lauberhorn downhill run, as well as quite a few others. “I now have a lot more respect for the skiers – they are some crazy people,” says Tim, laughing. “Over lunch, we looked up the history of the Eiger North Face while gazing over at it – and we even managed to spot a few climbers making their way up it. That was impressive,” Sarah explains. On their last day in Grindelwald, the couple ventured out on to the rocky First Cliff Walk, and then flew through the air at 80 kilometres an hour on the First Flyer and the First Glider. What they also remember, though, is that “we kept seeing chamois all day”. Finally, these two all-round sporty types, who have pretty much done it all, tried something completely new: the Velogemel. “At first, we were wobbling all over the place, but then we really got it together,” is how Tim describes their first time on these bicycle sledges.
“Yes, it was a bit strange,” says Sarah, commenting on the fact that a camera crew accompanied them during their trip. “I just ignored the cameras,” shrugs Tim, who found it less of an issue. They agreed, however, that there was great chemistry between everyone involved. “That made everything very pleasant.” And so on to the ski tour of Gibel – another unforgettable experience. Tim and Sarah had to get up really early for it. First, they had to change hotels, from Grindelwald to Meiringen. Then, they met up with their mountain guide, collected their equipment and were briefed. “The mountain guide was incredibly knowledgeable and gave us loads of information about the region and its history,” says Sarah, commenting on the day on Hasliberg. “We had a picnic at the summit cross, and the view from there was awesome.” Picture-perfect is how Tim describes the following day's snowshoe tour in Rosenlaui. “The woods, the river, the imposing peaks and the sun reflecting off the snow. Simply spectacular.” The mobile phones came out on the bridge in Gschwandtenmad, prompting Tim to observe: “Now we know why this is such a popular spot.” In terms of food, the couple tried a plate of delicacies from the region at the Chalet-Hotel Schwarzwaldalp. And that wasn’t the only culinary treat they enjoyed that day. For dinner, the couple went to the cosy Gadmer Lodge in Gadmertal. But first, they had to earn their meal by going on a night-time cross-country ski run. Tim was taken with “the scenery, the short, crisp uphills, the attractive trails – a cross-country paradise”, while Sarah adds: “We had a magic moment when a fox ran across the trail ahead of us and looked back.” These laps in the twilight served as good practice for the Engadine Skimarathon, which Sarah and Tim completed successfully just two days after they returned from the Jungfrau Region. The holiday was drawing to a close, but first the couple wanted to try out the Meiringen-Hasliberg ski area. “Beautiful, wide slopes, plenty of sun – and a view down over the lake. Things you don’t usually get when skiing.”
On the subject of “active holidays in a breathtaking landscape”, Tim concludes: “I often thought it can’t get any better than this, but then...” He's already told his father, a highly skilled camper, that he’s found a great new camping spot for him. “Quite possibly, the Jungfrau Region will be the next place he turns up in his camper van.” And will Sarah and Tim be back? “Yes, definitely. We’d also like to check it out in summer. For mountain-biking, hiking and paragliding. And there must be great via ferrata courses, too.” Yes, active holidays in a breathtaking landscape are possible all year round in the Jungfrau Region.