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Winter break in Wilderswil 2005

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After over twenty summer holidays in the Bernese Oberland, and with Catherine just turned  four, we felt it was the right time to dip our toes into Winter in the Oberland. We had absolutely no idea what to expect. All we knew was that it would be very different from Summer.
We 're obviously not winter sports enthusiasts, our several skiing lessons a year or two ago had ended in disappointment and bruises, but we are of course keen hikers, and so looked forward to hiking some of the snow paths we had heard so much about!
 
By the way all the photos are clickable for a much larger image to aid your enjoyment.

The fountain outside the sports centre.
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Where are the poor old Sparrows getting their drink of water now?!

The black wobbly disc thing is now....
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... the white wobbly disc thing!

Sunday January 2nd 2005
 
The  Easyjet Stansted to Basel service is a real winner. Stansted is as yet, still easy-ish to use, and once at the currently under used Euroairport at Basel, transfers are simple via the 2 CHF bus trip to Basel Hauptbahnhof, and then legendary Swiss Intercity to Interlaken!!
 
We were so nervous about our first Winter holiday in the Oberland that we headed for 'safety'. On the first day, up to Grindelwald.

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The warmth of an open fire ...
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.... even behind a piece of glass!

Monday January 3rd 2005
 
There was little snow in Wilderswil, it was the only place on Mike's snow report with no snow, but jump on the BOB and only a hundred metres further up the valley and the winter wonderland began. Still it was cold and we found the wood burning fire place a real winner!! There was a snow plough in Wilderswil station though!

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A statue in memory of Adolf Guyer Zeller...
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... the man who built the Jungfrau railway to the Highest railway station in Europe.

It's never too cold for an ice cream!
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Hang on to that umbrella Catherine, we might need it!

Tuesday January 4th 2005
 
A day in Interlaken to buy some waterproof gloves for Catherine, and up to the 18th floor on top of the Hotel Metropole, a must for great views of Interlaken, Ice cream and too many Santas to count!!

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The BLM snowplough!
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Winteregg bouncing!!
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Wednesday January 5th 2005
 
Train to Lauterbrunnen and funicular to Grutschalp, then our first winter hike, and a classic one at that, to Murren.

Latest news on The Grutschalp Funicular auto translated from the German original at beo-news.ch

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Bodmi on Terrassenweg above Grindelwald
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Next time we'll get TWO toboggans, and THREE helmets!!

Thursday January 6th 2005
 
Up to the First, first serious tobogganning down to Grindelwald via Schreckfeld and Bort  and some very thick cloud!
 
The promise that Catherine could get up on skis the next day at the ski kindergarten.

Below the Schreckfeld bend above Grindy. Time for a bier!

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I believe it's been completely revamped inside!
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Looking forward to trying it again!

The ski runs up here are really wide....
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.... and we're not taking the piste either!!

A great vantage point into the Lauterbrunnental!
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Friday January 7th 2005
 
Back to Grindelwald to clamp skis to Catherine's feet for the first time, but sadly it wasn't possible. Children have to start on the Monday. So up to the Mannlichen to visit those huge pistes. Catherine enjoyed a couple of hours in the Felix Creche, and we enjoyed an 'unhurried' Rosti! We missed out on the Winter tanning deckchairs though (below)!!

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Saturday January 8th 2005
 
Back to Interlaken for coffee with Mike and Rosemarie, and to stock up with stuff to take back to the UK. Well you've got to haven't you??!!!

Our first winter break was a steep learning curve, but we're now much better 'equipped' for when we return to the snowy Oberland. We had a good time. Mike told us 'a week is too short', and he is right really, but then there's only so much holiday entitlement!!

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