Grindelwald: A Snowy Escape (Not the Harry Potter Villain)

If you’re looking for the next big tobogganing sensations, you might want to give Guillaume and me a call. Our first double-team toboggan experience started a little rough — if you can call nearly sliding off the edge of the mountain cliff rough — but by the time we embarked on our second run we were looking pretty darn good. “Lean left! Right! Left!” I would shout from my perch in the back, as Gui supplemented with some foot steering in the front. “Ah! Watch out! Don’t hit that cute family!”

The toboggan adventure — also called sledging in Switzerland — was definitely the highlight of our trip, but really our entire stay in Grindelwald was a delight.

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We took the train in early Saturday, checked into our room with a gorgeous, panoramic view at the Hotel Gletschergarten and grabbed some awesome veggie pizza for lunch at Onkel Tom’s Hutte. Then we rented snowshoes and spent the afternoon exploring. It was my first time snowshoeing and the beginning of the trail was a steep uphill climb, but luckily we came across a ski bar along the way for Gluhwein (for me) and beer (for Gui). Afterward, we hiked further out into the wilderness and had this spellbinding moment where Gui and I were the only souls around, in the middle of a snowy white abyss, watching the sun cast shadows around the valley as it started to sink behind the mountain peaks. I tried to capture it on my camera, but it doesn’t really do it justice. Dinner that night was at Bistro Memory where we stuffed our bellies full of traditional Swiss cuisine — rösti and mountain cheese soup — before retiring back to our room for some high-stakes card games.

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Sunday we woke up early, ate a leisurely breakfast at the hotel — the muesli was to die for — and then bought tickets for the bus to Bussalp for our day of tobogganing. The first photo below is one of the snow sculptures near the bus terminal that was left over from the international snow festival that ended a week earlier. The bus ride up the mountain was a little terrifying, though I suppose the tight turns on the cliff edges were roomy compared to what we experienced in Capri. Interestingly, the snowy path that the tire-chain-equipped buses take up the mountain is the very same path that the tobogganers slide down. As the bus would round the corners, the driver would thus sound a loud musical horn to warn the tobogganers of our bus caravan’s approach, and they would jump off the track with their sledges in hand to wait for us to pass. Initially, I thought that was going to be super annoying when it was our turn to sled, but during our two runs of roughly 2.5 hours, we only had to dash off the course for the buses to pass twice, so it wasn’t a bother at all. The views as you slide down are unparalleled and the course is filled with all kinds of people, from families with toddlers, to intense guys with professional sledges. It really is fun for everyone.

Before heading back to Geneva, we finished up the day with “linner” on the terrace of C&M Cafe back in Grindelwald. I partook in creamy hot chocolate, ricotta ravioli and, of course, apple strudel to hold me over for the 3.5-hour train ride home. Enjoy the photos!

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6 thoughts on “Grindelwald: A Snowy Escape (Not the Harry Potter Villain)

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