Dwarf Trail

We heard a rumor about some friendly dwarfs living on a mountainside in Haslital area. We thought we better go investigate.IMG_0103

There are two adorable, family-friendly dwarf trails that can be found in the Haslital area. We decided on the Käserstatt trail. To get to there, you head up the gondola at Hasliberg-Twing and the trail starts right at the gondola stop.

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We followed this map to see if we could catch up with the busy dwarfs.

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We lucked out with beautiful weather and some amazing views.

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At each stop, you find a little house (of various sizes) and usually some kind of activity. There is also a story sign at each stop (both in German and in English) that keeps the excitement going for the kids.

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In this picture, E had to climb up a ladder and reach for the metal chain to “ring” the doorbell to see if this dwarf was home.

The bigger houses were absolutely amazing. The interiors were sparkling clean and there were so many detailed decorations in side.

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The kids loved having to search to find the houses (and climb up the trees).

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However, I think their favorite thing was this “cable car”.

 

The kiddos did an excellent job of hiking this trail.

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Though E needed help from time to time.

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The hike is about 3 km long and the trail website estimated that it would take 1.5 hrs. It took us 2.5 hrs and I felt we could have spent more time along the trail.

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We tried our best but we didn’t see a single dwarf. They were always off in the forest working. 🙂 We’re glad they were willing to leave their houses open for us to explore while they were away.

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For your trip:

As mentioned above, there are 2 different dwarf trails. You have to take different gondolas to reach each one. So you will have to plan ahead of which one looks best for you.

For our trail, we parked right at the Hasliberg-Twing gondola. There is a huge parking lot there. The drive up is a mountain drive for sure with lots of twists and turns. Here’s our GPS on the way up.

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Thats a pretzel road if I have ever seen one.

You take the gondola up to Käserstatt and then you will walk down to the middle stop of Lischen. You then ride the gondola back down to the Hasliberg station.

There was an excellent picnic area (with restroom) about halfway through with a nice little stream that runs next to it. I would recommend bringing a change of clothes so that the kids can play in the stream for a while.

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The trail is based on storybooks about Muggestutz. You can find out more about this dwarf on the website and there are also free coloring/activity sheets available to print to either take with or to do before/after the hike. That website is: https://www.meiringen-hasliberg.ch/en/  and then click on Muggestutz.

Happy Hiking!

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Aare Gorge (Aareschlucht)

The Aare gorge is a stunning stop just outside the town of Meiringen. This was about a 40 minute drive for us from Lauterbrunnen but I had tagged this as a rainy day destination. It was an excellent choice.

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We got there just as the entrance was opening. There were only 2 other families in line which allowed for easy distancing (as is needed in the time of COVID). From the outside, it doesn’t look like it is going to be anything spectacular.

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Once inside, the gorge shares her beauty with you.

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Part of the walk is through caves but most of it is done on wooden walkways, dangling on the edge of the cliffs.

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During this stroll through the gorge, the children are encouraged to look for the “Tatzelwurm” and its family. There are apparently multiple worms throughout the gorge.

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O and I looked everywhere and did not get a single glimpse of a worm. Ha! Guess we will have to go back!

After the walk, the kids got some time on the playground out front as the rain had stopped.

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The kids were holding up well with all the hiking so we decided our next destination would be a bit more of a challenge. That story is coming up next.

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For your trip:

There are 2 entrances to the Aareschlucht (East or West). The west entrance is the one that is considered more kid friendly as it has the large playground. It also has a shop and restaurant with plenty of outdoor seating.

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You can walk through the gorge and back, which is what we did due to very few people being present. Currently (due to COVID), they are allowing people to ride the train for free between the east and west entrances. They are trying to encourage one way traffic to reduce close contact between people and crowding. Remember a mask is required on the train so bring one with you if this is your plan.

Right next to the west entrance of the gorge is Reichenbach Falls. It is the setting for where Sherlock Holmes was murdered in the final book. There is a little funicular train that takes you up to the falls so this could easily be combined with a trip to the gorge.

If you are coming from Lauterbrunnen/Interlaken area, you will also pass the Giessbach Waterfall on the way to/from the gorge. This is a very popular waterfall to visit and could also be added to your day trip. Happy Trails!

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Allmendhubel

Another day, another playground. Day 2 of our Switzerland trip and we went up the mountain early to beat the rain. We decided on Allmendhubel, which was fairly close to our base in Lauterbrunnen.

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We caught the gondola up from Stechelberg, which took us to the town of Mürren. Mürren is an adorable, traditional Swiss mountain town that is completely car free. We had to walk across part of the town to reach the funicular train up to Allmendhubel.

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After a short ride, we had arrived! The best part…. we had the entire playground to ourselves!

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This was an excellent playground. It had all the essentials like slides, climbing ropes, swings and a zipline. It also had some bonus areas like a “cheese shop” with stackable cheese rolls, tunnels that ran under the playground, and a fake cow that you could “milk”. You had to pour water into the wooden cows mouth and kids could then “milk” the water out of the udders. Sounds crazy but was E’s favorite.

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It was such a peaceful location. We were able to sit and watch the kids play with nothing but the sound of cowbells echoing in the background.

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Next to the playground is a small flower trail. It has planters along the trail with all of the local wild flowers planted and labeled. There are also cute hands-on educational activities. Everything was in German and English.

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The trail cuts through a cow field so watch for cow pies!

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After our hike, we had an ice cream treat and retraced our steps back down.

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We made it back to our cabin just in time for the rain.

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Another lovely day in Switzerland in the books.

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Info for your trip:

There are 2 ways to get up to Allmendhubel from the Lauterbrunnen area. You can take the train from Lauterbrunnen or you can take the Stechelberg gondola. We heard the Stechelberg gondola was more scenic so we chose this option. For either option, there are gondola switches and train change overs but they are pretty straight forward. For either option, you still need to walk across Mürren to get to the funicular but it is a short walk with great views.

We were able to buy a combined ticket for the Stechelberg gondola and the Allmendhubel funicular at the Stechelberg station. The Stechelberg station also had a ton of parking available, which might make it easier to get to compared to the Lauterbrunnen station. Oh and it has a waterfall very close to the parking lot that you can pop over to see. Win-win!

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Männlichen

We recently did a week long trip to the Jungfrau region of Switzerland. It was the perfect place to get some fresh mountain air and some serious outdoor time. For our first full day of holiday, we headed up the Maenlichen gondola.

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Maenlichen is a kid friendly area and is know for the cow trail or LieselotteTrail. We didn’t get a chance to do the trail but did see the map and it looks super fun.

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The first cow stop is located at the gondola station at the bottom.

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It has been awhile since we have been on a gondola so it felt like a new experience for the kiddos.

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Once up top, you are greeted by a gigantic cow playground.

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You go up via the backside and slide out the mouth. Ha! On the inside there are a few play items and you can climb to the top for a view of the surrounding mountains.

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Surrounding the cow, there is other playground equipment with a stunning backdrop.

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(These are mini trampolines. It made it look like they were jumping for the udders. Ha!)

The top of the Maenlichen gondola is also where you can start the “Royal Walk” to the peak. At the top is a viewing platform in the shape of a crown and views of Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau peaks. The kiddos and I stayed at the playground while Gav ran to the top. He literally ran to the top and back down. He will use any excuse to run at altitude. Ha!

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It was a nice morning trip and a good way to start our holiday. We were back at the cabin in time for lunch.

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Info for your trip:

The Maenlichen gondola starts in Grindelwald. There is a large parking lot just outside the station and it is 5 CHF to park *cash only*. They are building a new Jungfrau cablecar at this location. The building is huge and they are putting in a parking garage next to it. This wasn’t open during our trip but you may want to check if it is open when you go.

Masks are required in the gondolas at this time. They were allowing people to space out and it was usually only one family per gondola which was nice. Kids under 6 travel free. Gondolas in Switzerland are always pricey so make sure to check the current rates before you go or you may be shocked when you get there. And as always, go early!

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That’s the end of day 1. More to come!