Welcome to the A to Z Challenge, an initiative that invites bloggers to post an alphabet-themed post every day (excluding Sundays) during the month of April. As part of this challenge, I’ll be sharing some of my travel memories to known and unknown places in the hope to inspire your travel dreams.
G is for…Gimmelwald (Switzerland)
I first visited this tiny mountaintop town in 2000 as a backpacker. I had been nervous to visit Switzerland because all I heard was that it would break your budget. And I was on a budget! But I had read about this cute little hostel from Rick Steve’s Europe Through the Backdoor guidebook and it sounded right up my alley. It took a bit of work to get there. I had to take the train to Interlaken. Another train up the mountain. Then a gondola. And then I had to walk. All of this on my own and with a way too heavy backpack. But it was worth it.
Looking back now, that trip up the mountains had a lot of firsts for me. I had never been on a gondola before. I had never hiked in the mountains or to a glacier or even seen cows grazing on near vertical fields. The few days I spent in the Swiss Alps were some of the most beautiful of my inaugural Europe backpacking trip.
In 2013 I was lucky enough to be able to retrace my backpacker steps while attending a wedding nearby, but this time with a toddler and a husband in tow. It was exactly as I had remembered it. We started our excursion in Murren and hiked our way down the mountain before taking the gondola a bit further for more level hiking. It was such a beautiful day hiking in the Alps with my husband and son, sharing my backpacker memories with them, chatting with locals along the way and being pushed aside by a herd of cows with their beautiful but noisy cow bells ringing away.
It’s not often that I repeat countries in my travels, much less small off the beaten path backpacker haunts. This was a true pleasure to return to, making me wonder if I should return to some of my favorites more often.