One day in the Swiss Alps needs two blog posts! Part 1

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Flying over glaciers, ice caves, hikes with mountain views, trails that have hammocks.  If this wasn’t my favorite day of the trip, it is certainly in the top five!

We booked a fairly inexpensive (for Switzerland!) Airbnb in the popular winter ski resort town of Engelberg. We chose it for its proximity to Mt. Titlis and Luczerne – oh, and because this accommodation was seriously the cheapest we found. Don’t get too excited, it is still much more expensive than any other country we stayed in, but in Switzerland terms, it was a bargain!

Well, we arrived in Engelberg, and we were delighted with what we found. A walkable little town, surrounded on all sides by mountains.IMG_7286 (2).JPGIt has a nice playground overlooked by mountains (love me some scenic playground spots!)IMG_7298 (2).JPGAs much as we enjoyed Engelberg, we really loved the day we took a cable car up to the top of nearby Mt. Titlis.  The cable car station was an easy walk from our Airbnb, so we went first thing one morning.IMG_7313 (2).JPG

We hopped in the cable car and enjoyed a 25-minute ride up the mountain to get on ANOTHER cable car.IMG_7323 (2).JPG

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Once we got off the first cable car, we took another shorter, steeper ride in a rotating cable car, up to the top of the mountain.IMG_7335 (2)

IMG_7347 (2)At the top of the mountain is the Titlis glacier, the only publicly accessible glacier in the area.IMG_7401 (2)After we got off the cable car, we headed down an elevator and into an ice cave built into the glacier.  The cave is built about 20 feet under the glacier’s surface.  It was (predictably) cold down there, but a neat experience.IMG_7356 (2).JPGSince we got up and going early in the morning (and were staying right in the town), we were there before it was too crowded, so it was only us and one other family in the cave,  which was perfect for exchanging family picture taking ;).IMG_7358 (2).JPG

IMG_7361 (2).JPGWe emerged from the ice cave, and headed up to the glacier’s surface.  When we got outside, we were surrounded by beautiful snow-covered peaks.  I mean, seriously, whose breath isn’t taken away by the sight of these mountains? Not to sound cheesy, but it is hard to not look at this and just feel happy (also you can assume it is like 100% better than I make it look in a picture).img_7364-2.jpg

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From the top, we headed to “Europe’s highest suspension bridge”.  The little boys were kind of (hilariously) nervous on the bridge.

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okay not the best quality picture, but for the amount of money I paid for it – we are going to post it!

Then, A and I took the Ice Flyer chair lift over the glacier (the little boys had used all their bravery to make it across the suspension bridge) .IMG_20171020_102213 (2).jpgThe scenery was spectacular.  The ride only lasted about 10 minutes or so – we took the chair lift to the bottom, and just stayed on it for the ride back to the top. You can’t tell from the picture above, but the glacier was right below us.

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And here is the glacier….

As you would expect, we got great views on the ride.

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Remember the lake in this picture – it comes up later in our day

IMG_7388 (2).JPGAfter we got off the Ice Flyer, we walked over part of the glacier back to the main building, and on the way, we stopped to watch some skiers take off down the mountain.IMG_20171020_102917 (2).jpgWe had a quick snack overlooking the mountainsIMG_7410 (2).JPGand since at this point, we were pretty much elbow-to-elbow with huge tourist groups, we decided to head down the mountain.

But, never fear, the day isn’t over yet.  If you were reading this blog carefully, you can guess our next stop (and if  you didn’t, you will just have to wait (with baited breath I am sure) for our next post…

In the meantime, if you want to read about how scientists are trying innovative approaches to try to save Swizterland’s glaciers, you can read about it here or here.  Let’s hope these glaciers are still around for A, L and N to take their kids and grandkids to see one day!

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