Unusually for us, H and I chose to go back to the same village and even the same hotel for this year’s walking holiday. Adelboden is a sweet little town in the Berner Oberland area of Switzerland. It’s set in a lovely valley with a waterfall at one end so picturesque it looked as if the local tourist board had carefully placed it there to complete the near perfect vista from our balcony. We stayed here for two weeks back in 2010 and walked our socks off. Thanks to a bug brought home from a conference by H then passed on to me, the holiday got off to a late start and the walking was a little less strenuous than usual although it became more so towards the end of our stay. It was a typical mountain weather week – bright early mornings with thunderstorms in the afternoon, one so heavy that it turned that picturesque waterfall latte brown.
We timed our visit a little earlier in the year than our last Adelboden holiday, hoping to see some of the wild flowers that had already been bound up in haystacks by the time we’d arrived. This year we were luckier, walking through fabulous alpine meadows alive with bees, butterflies, grasshoppers and a multitude of other insects I’m unable to name, all feasting on the gorgeous menu of flowers on offer.
Midway through the week we got in a rewarding bout of marmot spotting after visiting the herd of Highland cattle we’d seen seven years ago. A good day for animal watching which started with the surprising sight of two immaculately coifed goats on posh leads seen from the bus on our way to the marmots.
There’s not much to Adelboden other than its beautiful valley, mostly hotels and a few shops aimed at tourists like us including a delicatessen with a sculpted cow above it which moos now and again, advertising the cheese counter inside. Dead opposite those delights is a lovely little church immaculately kept – simple yet beautiful with richly coloured stained glass windows and stars painted on its wooden beamed ceiling. The central window, it turns out, was designed by Augusto Giacometti, a relative of the sculptor Alberto Giacometti. I wish now that I’d taken a closer look. This was the church where we’d seen a freshly married couple picked up and seated on top of some hay bales before being carried off on one of the miniature farm vehicles they have in these parts in order to reach the steeper slopes. I assumed they were farmers but whatever they were, they and their friends and family seemed to be having a lot of fun on their wedding day.
We finished off our holiday with lunch in Basel with A and L with whom we’d planned to spend the first weekend, and very nice it was, too. Still thinking about that scrumptious light and dark Toblerone mousse… I should have taken a photo but somehow dove straight in.