Against the prediction of the Böögg (this year the snowman’s head exploted after 17min and 44sec… not a very good forecast!), this summer is being hot in Switzerland. There had already two heat waves, when temperatures have reached 36ºC in Zurich. That is hot, very hot… scorching! There’s been also a few sporadic rainy days, of course. Summer is a beautiful season in Zurich but, after the heat waves, I need fresh air and cooler temperatures and the only place where I find them is in the mountains.

A few days ago we were in the middle of one of those heat waves. We decided to take our backpacks and hiking poles and head to one of my favorite mountain regions in Switzerland: Alpstein (you can see the map with the summer hiking routes clicking on the link). I’ve been there a few times already and it never disappoints. Its rugged and capricious peaks and rock formations are an spectacle for the eyes, specially when there are clouds in the sky and the sun light comes and goes, creating a beautiful palette of different greens and grays in the landscape. And there are so many hiking routes in Alpstein that it’s difficult to get bored! There are always new routes, new sights, new perspectives waiting to be discovered!

This time we decided to do something challenging, hiking from one valley to the other through the mountain pass Bogartenlücke (1710m), where we enjoyed a different perspective of the famous Saxer Lücke. After reaching the valley, we hiked up again to Meglisalp (including a shot break at Widderalp, an alpine farm with cows and goats, where we enjoyed one of the best yogurts I’ve ever tasted!). In our way, we saw Swiss cows and Saanen goats and a herd of a wild animals that had eluded me for two years: Ibex!! I finally saw Ibex, the king of the Swiss Alps! 🙂 I took there a few photos and then we descended to Meglisalp, a Berggasthaus surrounded by alpine meadows where cows and goats graze during the summer. From there, we descended to Seealpsee and then to Wasserauen. But just before we jumped on our car and drove home, we saw a young red deer staring at us from the forest… What a beautiful last sight to end a hiking day!

It was an exhausting day. Almost 20km, an ascension of 1400m and about 9 hours walking… Even if it was a hotter day than what I would have liked for a hike, it was also a beautiful day full of great views! Now I’m looking forward to our next adventure in Alpstein!

Here are some photos I took that day. I hope you like them!

14 Comments

  1. What a happy goat! And stunning photos as always. And look at that deer in the last photo! So Cute! What was the temperature range in the mountains? Did you really walk 9 hours or was that with breaks in between?

    • mercedescatalan

      Thanks a mil, Amanda!! Just the goat and the deer at the end were worth all the effort of the hike!! Hehehe
      Well, the temperature that day was reaaaally high… 27º C in Wasserauen, where we started, it didn’t really decreased a lot when we ascended (the first slope was the steepest and even if it was in a forest with a little creek along the way, it was very hot and I felt like I was going to faint!!! It was just at the very beginning, but the feeling was horrible…)… Up in Meglisalp the temperature was better… It’s been a hot summer in general, and that day was during one of the two heat waves we’ve had in Europe this year.
      We stayed for 9 hours in the mountain… Of course, we did some breaks (brief lunch, at the alpine farm and in Meglisalp… and of course, I stopped to take photos!!). We walked for almost 7 hours in total! But this route isn’t very conventional… you can take some cable cars and save some time and energy going up in different routes! And the most common routes are easier, hehehe. We just try to make it different and more challenging every time we visit Alpstein… 🙂 If you really want to visit this area, I’ll recommend you some routes when you come to Switzerland!!

      • Aw thank you, Mercedes. I would love your recommendations but it won’ t be for a few years yet. I can relate to the feeling you describe when the weather is intensely hot. I do not feel like eating, and if I don’t drink enough water, feel nausous, weak and headachy. I am so impressed with your hike in the heat & hours spent walking with high temperatures is an effort. Take care

        • mercedescatalan

          Well, while you wait, I hope my photos inspire you to plan the trip! Hehehe. For such a small country, there are so many places to visit… and there are still a few hidden gems that tourists don’t know yet… So maybe you can include one of those in your visit 🙂
          I love summer hikes, but this year is being too hot for anything!! Autumn is gorgeous too, but there are not cows in the mountains… and they are such a great company! I always say that, in summer, there’s music in the Alps thanks to these ladies and their bells, hehehe. I’m ready for autumn cooler temperatures, but not for saying goodbye to the cows yet!

          • Now that comment about the bells makes me think of the story of Heidi. And the sheep in the mountains of Norway who wear similar bells.

          • Ah, the little Heidi…. she’s always on my mind when I’m hiking these green meadows full of flowers and meeting goats and cows, hehehe. I’m waiting until my German level is strong enough to buy the book in its original language and read it!!! (the author, Johanna Spyri, was born in rural Zürich!!)

          • I have seen the house where Johanna lived and wrote. Heidi would be wonderful in its original language!!

          • Wow, I haven’t been there!! I’ve been in Hirzel but I didn’t know you could visit her house, hehehe… But I’ve hiked in the area known as Heidiland and it’s so beautiful that any book inspired by those landscapes must be a great read! And I think the day I could read a whole book in German would be the day I’ll really start to integrate in Switzerland, hehehe 🙂

  2. That goat makes me laugh so hard! You should really make a separate account for them 🙂 Wonderful landscape as always! But hiking under the scorching heat is a difficult task, right?

    • mercedescatalan

      She look so happy and satisfied, right? It didn’t even run away when I took the photo so close to her… she just posed so straight and proud!!
      Ah, the landscape needs little edition… this part of Switzerland is awesome!! I can’t get enough of it! 🙂 And yes, at the beginning it was difficult… we though it would be a bit cooler than in the city… but going up is always hard, and the heat didn’t help that day… fortunately there are a few farms and mountain refuges so we could rest a bit and have some refreshments along the way 🙂

      • Glad that the hike went well 🙂 36 degree is too hot, even for someone living in a subtropical country like me.

        • mercedescatalan

          Well, thank God it wasn’t that hot in the mountain… but around 30º in the mountain is already too hot for doing exercise! Fortunately, the worst part was just the beginning… once the clouds covered the sky, it was way easier!! hehehe and once I started seeing animals, I forgot about the heat!! 🙂

  3. Beautiful post. I loved the composition of the Classic Vies and also the smiling goat. They are fun to photograph. It’s been a hot summer here too. We’ve been getting a lot of triple digit days (farenheight) and weeks. For us older folks, the early morning is the only time to go out on a photo shoot.

    • mercedescatalan

      Thanks a mil, Anne!! I am having a lot of fun this summer chasing Swiss cows, lambs and goats in the mountain, hehehe…. they’re not wildlife, but they can be also quite challenging! I just love to photograph animals, wild or not so wild… And this goat posed like a pro model here 😛 And the classic view… well, you can imagine how many photos like this are there… but I always take it not matter what. The lake, the reflection, the clouds… it’s the same and a different view every time!
      When I was living in Dublin I was always complaining about the summer weather… so cold and humid… Here in Switzerland we have a proper summer… but these last two years it’s starting to feel a bit like Spain, so horribly hot! It’s not always like this (right now it’s raining and temperatures are below 20ºC, like 68º for you…), but the heat waves have been horrible!!! We should have gone a bit higher that day, Alpstein is not high enough to run away from the heat… hehehe

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