Most people in Switzerland have long since declared the hiking season vorbei. I was generally in this camp as well: since you can’t be sure when winter hits the mountains, it seems risky to travel several hours only to find that your planned route is snowed-out. However, a friend of ours was visiting from Canada last week and we wanted to show her the beauty of the Swiss mountains, so on Sunday four of us headed to Braunwald, a couple of hours southeast of Zürich.
To my surprise, this ended up being one of the most enjoyable hikes I’ve done in Switzerland so far. The weather was beautiful; strangely, it was warmer at 1600 meters above sea level (which is where we got off a gondola to begin the hike) and above than it was back in the city — I attribute this to the Föhn. The sun was not consistent, but we were never cold, and at some point when it was shining strongly, people were stripped down to their t-shirts or wicking layers, and it was hard to believe that it wasn’t a summer day. We had beautiful views of the Alps throughout our trek on the aptly-named panoramaweg, and it was a great way to really and truly close the hiking season.
And now, let’s let the pictures do the talking, shall we? 🙂
Okay, I’ll explain this last one. It is my post-hike dinner: a vol-au-vent filled with mushroom ragout, spaetzle (German egg noodles), brussels sprouts, red cabbage cooked in wine and topped with steamed chestnuts, and a poached pear and grapes. I obtained this plate of deliciousness at a Zürich restaurant specializing in sausages and German-style potato salad, which is what my fellow diners ordered. I did not envy them their meats at all, though they seemed to enjoy them, and they probably do not envy me my iron-deficiency anemia (but that’s a topic for another post).