Monday, 16 September 2013

Grindelwald Wet and Dry

We are having a few days to ourselves in Grindelwald. On Friday, the first day after finishing the Alpine Pass Route on Thursday, we had a short walk with Rob to the lakes near the First lift above the village. The clouds were going up and down on the tops of the big peaks which added to the pictures, as long as you had a bit of patience!


This moon shot was taken on my phone as we went to dinner.

Saturday was a good day too so we returned to the waterfall below the Klausen Pass. We came past it on our 4th day on the Alpine Pass Route but the clouds were down and it was raining. Nice traditional chalets in the foreground though. It was warm and sunny on our return. It took us over 4 days to walk from the falls to Grindelwald and just 90 minutes to drive back, then a 40 minute walk.

The waterfall is called the Staubi Waterfall in the village of Asch and is 90 metres high. I took photos with chalets in the foreground and the waterfall behind. Then I climbed up the hillside to the foot of the falls. It needed a scramble to get down into the riverbed. This put lots of small waterfalls into my shot with the big fall behind. My back was too painful to get right down to where I thought the best shot was but I made the tripod go quite low where I was able to get to and it still looked good.

All the important photos were taken on my Mamiya 7 film camera so it will be a few weeks until I get to these. I forgot to take similar photos on my Samsung S3 phone to illustrate this blog. I did take one as we were leaving the village to give an idea of the beautiful setting.

We have had a couple of wet days so taking it easy with short walks and no photos.

Tomorrow we leave the mountains and head to Luxembourg for some city photos as we make our way home.

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Alpine Pass Route Day 7. Engelberg to Meiringen

Another good start to the day. Dry but cold. Clouds on the tops though.

Started in the best way by catching the cable car to the top! Good view behind us over Trubsee Lake (lake photo taken by Jan as I forgot!). All of my photos here taken on my Samsung S3 and edited with Snapseed.

Walked past lake to another lift to Joch Pass. This resembled a building site so quickly moved on.

Fresh snow overnight above 1800m. Looked like winter. Hoped that tops would clear but stayed hidden from us.

Good views with nice skies. After the Engstlensee lake below the pass we climbed to Tannalp and on to Balmeregghorn. The weather was closing in here. Low cloud and snow.

The next section should have been spectacular. A narrow traverse up to Planplatten. The snow was falling harder and it was windy so we took the quick way down; a convenient cable car to Meiringen from 2100m!

We were down before the forecast rain and testing the local beer before reaching our very comfortable hotel.

Tomorrow, Thursday, we finish our 8 day walk in Grindelwald.

Monday, 9 September 2013

Alpine Pass Route Day 5. Unterschächen to Attinghausen.

Today started where yesterday ended, with rain and low cloud. The Hotel Alpina in Unterschächen was good and most of our clothes were dry.

The walking was not that memorable, being mostly along or close to roads.
The town of Burglen was interesting, with it's claim to fame being that it was where William Tell came from. Unfortunately it was shut! I took a few photos around the church while the rest of the group searched in vain for somewhere that was open for lunch.
Burglen church

William Tell statue in Burglen
We carried on along the river towards our hotel in Attinghausen as the skies above cleared. The Hotel Krone where we are staying is a very friendly place with good food and beer.

I also took some photos of the castle ruins near our hotel. Nice light, nice sky.

Forecast tomorrow is bad!

Alpine Pass Route Day 4. Linthal to Unterschächen

Today, our fourth day on the Alpine Pass Route, was our first wet day. It was raining as we left the Hotel Bahnhof in Linthal and it was still raining as we arrived at the Hotel Alpina in Unterschächen. The only thing that changed was the intensity.
It was a bit under 10 hours and 17 miles, with about an hour of stops through the day. We started at 8.15am.
The first few hours we climbed up through forest so we were sheltered from the rain but it was warm and humid. Not that pleasant but some stunning cliffs to weave through.
Above the forest it opened out to alpine meadows and the rain was harder. We took shelter at Urnerboden for a lunch break at 12.30. I did take a shot of Urnerboden but only on my Samsung S3.

It was raining too hard for me to use my Mamiya 7 camera.
From here it was a steady climb to the Klausen Pass, where we stopped for a snack at 2.50pm. At 1900 metres we had hoped for good views but with low rain clouds we saw nothing.
After a long traverse from the pass it was steeply down on a good path to Asch. This should have been one of the highlights of the trip with a very large waterfall immediately behind the village. Unfortunately it was raining but I managed 4 shots on my Mamiya 7 camera and several on my Samsung S3. Low cloud so unable to see the top.

The version I took on my Mamiya 7, added after trek

Aesch Falls on a good day!, taken on my Mamiya 7, added after trek

It was just an hour more to walk down to our hotel in Unterschächen, the Alpina. No wifi in the Hotel so this blog will have to wait until tomorrow, Monday, to send.

Garden gnome house near Unterschächen. 

Short day tomorrow, just 4 hours, to Attinghausen near Altdorf.

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Alpine Pass Route Day 3. Elm to Linthal.

Yesterday was a big day for us and jolly tiring so we decided to shorten today's walk by 4 miles by using the bus. The weather was due to close in later so this also gave us the best chance of decent weather for the high shots.

We were walking by 9.40am at 1700m. It was a steady climb from the Obererbs Ski hut to the first saddle at 11am. Good views and sunshine.

Richetli Pass from Saddle

Richetli Pass right on skyline

From here it was an easy downhill section to a bowl below the pass.

We were on the Richetlipass at 12.15pm. Nice light and clouds looking back. A bit hazy ahead.

View West from Richetli Pass

Steeply downhill for a long time, some of it along the top of old glacial moraines to the valley floor.

Another couple of hours saw us in Linthal at 4.30pm. Dunkel beer on draft aided recovery! That's 3 dry days running. Forecast not good for tomorrow.

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Alpine Pass Route Day 1. Sargans to Weisstannen

Yesterday we travelled from Grindelwald to Zurich where we had a couple of hours for taking photos around the city. I took photos along the river, across the lake and around the Old Town. After 2.5h I had the shots I wanted so we returned to the station and caught the train to Sargans.
We were meeting friends in the Hotel Löwen, just below the castle. Lots of catching up to do over a few pints and a few glasses of wine.

Today we resumed the Alpine Pass Route in Switzerland that we started 7 years ago when we walked from Grindelwald to Montreaux, on the shores of Lake Geneva. It's the same group of 5 walkers but unfortunately our support team has changed because of illness from good friends Rick and Glen to a commercial company, Swiss Trails. It's not the same but the bags arrived!

The whole route crosses the high alpine passes between Sargans and Montreaux
A total of 16 days walking by the time we finish this time in Grindelwald.
It was a short day today, just 7.5miles and 4 hours. Jolly warm though. Temperatures around 27ºC. Lots of walking in forest which was much cooler than open hillside. An easy introduction to the trip.

We arrived at our hotel in Weisstannen in time for lunch, I shared a Rosti with Phil and had a couple of Dunkel beers.

Weisstannen Refreshments

Tomorrow we cross the Foo Pass to Elm, a rather more serious and strenuous day than today.

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Trier Elephants, Frankfurt, Grindelwald Walk and Wetterhorn Avalanches

We left Trier after a good morning taking photos around the town, and the elephants! There was an exhibition of ceramic elephants across the town. Jan took a photo of me taking a photo of the only black and white one.

Then it was on to Frankfurt to stay with my image licensing agent, Antje. We stayed with her and her family and had a very nice time. Before we left we had a meeting and talked over the new Berlin photos and a few issues. Then it was time to move on to Grindelwald in the Swiss Alps.

Today we walked on the First side of the valley. Lots of avalanches in the heat, 26°C. I took photos of one on the Wetterhorn. No clouds so may be a day for panoramas!

As usual I forgot to take photos for the blog so all except the avalanche photos were taken by Jan on her Nikon D90. The avalanche photos were taken on my Samsung Galaxy S3. All were edited using the Snapseed editor.

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Photo Trip and Trier Photos

We drove down to Folkestone yesterday, Friday,  and caught an early shuttle across the channel. Then 6 hours from Calais we arrived in Trier, our first time here.
Overcast and rain showers so I didn't rush to take photos. My bad back needed time to recover anyway.
We wandered around to get our bearings waiting for the rain to stop and the clouds to break up, which they did at around 6pm. The pedestrian zone in the centre has so many vehicles driving around it the name is a bit of a misnomer!
Took photos of the old Roman gate, the main square and the cathedral then had a break as the light faded. Found a pub that sold Schwarzbier and reasonable food to while away the time until dusk.
Shooting resumed about 8.30pm, lights were on and starting to look good but there was still detail in the sky. Took the main locations again as night shots. All done by 9.45pm.
The photos included here were taken on my Samsung S3 phone and edited in Snapseed to resemble darkroom prints.
No wifi at our hotel so this may be posted a bit late!