Switzerland: Fiescheralp to Marjelesee
Right on cue, when I had reached my last destination, the sun was shining! It always seems to be shining in Fiesch! I just love this area of the Valais, and the two walks in this region perfectly display its appeal.
Staying high above the main town, at around 2200m in Fiescheralp, meant I had no need to catch the cable car each morning, allowing a more leisurely start. Case in point, this morning, I was waiting for my friend Madlen, and her son Maurice, to make the journey up from their home below, and the first car was full, such was the popularity. I had no problems sitting on the sun terrace of the Hotel Alpina waiting for another quarter of an hour, admiring the view!
Once met up, we were soon on our way along the wide dirt track that winds below the Eggishorn, affording expansive vistas of the Rhone Valley and mountains that make the Swiss and Italian border. It's a walk with negligible ascent and so should be within all walking capabilities.
Ignoring the lower path, Uber Talli, which you can take around the mountain, we continued on to Obers Talli. Here, you can see the Fieschergletscher. Impressive as it is, it is not the main attraction.
At Obers Talli, we entered a tunnel, that runs for 1200m under the Talligrat; ascending this ridge, or taking the Uber Talli route were once the only ways to Marjelesee, so this makes the journey much more accessible.
Once out of the tunnel, you reach Marjelesee. A glacial lake on the edge of the Grosse Aletschgletscher. There are early photographs of this lake which show the glacier closer, and it is a reminder of how the glacier is retreating.
We had planned to lunch at the Gletscherstube hut, but it was busy and we weren't too hungry yet, so we took the path to "Platta" which is a scenic lookout of the Glacier.
Along the way, we ran into some goats. A perfect alpine photo opportunity!
At Platta, we stopped for a bite to eat. Below, you could see the deep crevasses within the glacier. Looking right, you can spot famous mountains such as Jungfrau, Jungfraujoch, Monch, Eiger. In front of you, the Rothorn, Olmenhorn, slightly obscuring a view of Aletschorn. To the left, Bettmerhorn and the valley where the glacier comes to its end.
We made our way back to Gletscherstube, but it was even busier, so after a sit down by the lake, we retraced our steps to through the tunnel, to the Hotel Alpina, where he had a late afternoon lunch instead.
Good to be back here, I have to say this is my favourite place in Europe, and one I will always return to again and again!