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canoeing, kayaking and other adventures

canoeing and kayaking adventures born in the Southeastern U.S. and now centered in Scotland...

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Bettmeralp - 30/5/2008 - 31/5/2008

A conference in Milan, Italy, provided a good excuse to add some personal holidays to either end. Brian and I spent the first long weekend in the Swiss Alps, exploring the towns of Bettmeralp and Zermatt and, more importantly, the surrounding countryside.

We had a reminder of why it was unwise to book train travel in Italy over the internet. I got a discount on prebooking the Milano Central to Brig train tickets, but learned that I would have to travel to Switzerland to collect the tickets. So, I had to figure out how to buy Italian tickets, an adventure in itself. Upon arrival to Brig, I got a refund of my unused Swiss ticket in francs, so everything was right in the end.

At an altitude of 1950m, Bettmeralp is car-free town, accessible only by cable car from Betten station or long slog up the hill. I booked a room for one night at the Restaurant Alpina, which turned out to be the only restaurant open in Bettmeralp at all and one of very few sources of accommodation. The lull between the end of ski season and the beginning of the summer season is when many hotel and restaurant owners take their holidays. We found it easily enough from Bettmeralp station and settled into our room.

The weather outside didn't look very friendly, but we decided to take our chances with a walk to see the glacier anyway.

The Aletsch Glacier is the largest in Europe and the area around it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

We followed the well marked trail from Bettmeralp to Moosfluh overlooking the glacier. As elevation increased, more snow surrounded the trail. Along the ridge at Moosfluh, snow-filled crevasses made the walk far more challenging. The rain made it cold as well. We were soaked pretty quickly and made our retreat after reaching one of the glacier overlooks.

By the time we reached the restaurant

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At 16 June, 2008 02:05, Blogger Super Babe said...

I'm jealous of your Zermatt adventure... did you get to see the Matterhorn? :)
The Aletsch Glacier picture is awesome!


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