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Engelberg - mountain paradise

Engelberg - mountain paradise

January 2020 · 11 min read · Obwalden

Last weekend was probably the best weekend that we had in Switzerland so far. We wanted to go to the mountains, and it was up to me to find the right place and plan the whole trip. I was very excited as it's been more than a month that we went to the mountains for the last time. When I started to plan the trip, I knew that I wanted to go to a place that is not far away from home and that we haven't visited before.

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After doing some research I finally decided that we would go to Engelberg. It's a small town in central Switzerland surrounded by mountains. We planned to go on Saturday morning and return on Sunday evening. We would have plenty of time to explore the surroundings.

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I picked the place and started to search for a hotel. There are too many hotels to choose from and most of them are crazy expensive as we're in the middle of the skiing season. I wanted to book something reasonably priced with decent meals, so that we didn't have to spend time looking for a restaurant in the evening.

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I almost booked a hotel room when I saw a charming mountain cabin called Brunnihütte which is located on the sunny side of Engelberg at 1860 m. And I was sold. I called the cabin and they had a private room for us, so I booked it. It was the first time that we were staying in this kind of facility and I couldn't wait to go there.

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You can reach the cabin either by foot or by a chairlift. As we had a heavy backpack and didn't feel like walking up the mountain in the snow, we parked our car in Engelberg, purchased our tickets for the chairlift and our adventure could start.

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We were not sure how we would get on the chairlift with our backpack while carrying our hiking shoes as well but somehow, we managed and we were on the way up. It was a warm sunny day and it looked like there was not as much snow as we hoped for, but we were not losing our excitement as we were not up yet.

Can you see all those paragliders?

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We had beautiful views on the way but I couldn't take many pictures as I was afraid to lose either my shoes, my camera or my phone because the chairlift was open.

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The higher we drove, the more snow we could see. There was a slope next to the chairlift and we were watching the skiers. I saw these little kids skiing like pros. Amazing!

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And we are at the top! When we arrived, it was already quite late and there were not as many people as I expected which was good. The last chairlift ride was scheduled at 5 PM and then it was empty. It was just us, one more lady who booked a room and the employees of the cabin. Quite idyllic if you ask me. But before all this happened, we wanted to take an advantage of the sunny afternoon and went on a hike. When we left home it was foggy and dark, so we were happy to finally see the sun after a couple of weeks.

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We brought our backpack in the room, my husband started to clean his shoes and I couldn't wait for him as I was too excited, so we agreed that I will wait for him somewhere on the mountain and then we will hike together. The surroundings of the cabin are truly beautiful. Everything there is well maintained, and it is very easy to find your way back.

My hike started at this bench which was next to the cabin. I am not sure if I'm right but it looks to me like a man with a long nose and a hat.

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I continued on the path in the snow as the snow next to the path was up to my knees and it isn't easy to walk in such deep snow without snowshoes. I know it because I did it a few kilometers farther away as there was no path anymore.

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Very quickly I reached this small lake. It was all frozen, but I didn't dare to walk on the ice as I was not sure how thick it was. It wasn't that cold anyway and I didn't feel like swimming in the ice cold water which would definitely happen with my luck 😊

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My husband reached me somewhere here and we were walking together. We came across 5 people during our 2 hours long hike. One of them was sitting on a bench and reading a book, another one was paragliding and the rest of them were hiking. It was fairly quiet when you walked away from the slope.

The guy who was reading his book was sitting on a bench right behind those trees. It is common in the mountains that you greet people you meet, so I said hello and he started talking to me. He is from Sweden and was there with his family, but he caught a cold and couldn't ski, so he was enjoying the sun. We talked for about 15 minutes and he casually told me that a couple of years ago he acquired a hotel in Engelberg. Like it was the most common things to do. He even told me how much in total he has to pay to his employees each month! I wonder what he does for living as he was talking about that hotel like it was only his hobby.

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And here is that paraglider in action. He told me that it was a perfect day for paragliding. It was warm and the wind was exactly how they need it. I watched him take off and fly for a moment.

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Here he is flying above the valley. This seems to be a great starting point for them as there was a queue behind this guy. As soon as he was this far, there was another guy taking off. I haven't seen them preparing for a flight before and it was interesting to see what kind of checks they do and how they take off.

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All of the peaks that we can see here are taller than 2000 m with only one exception.

It's the mountain which is in the closest to us. This is the Salistock with its 1896 m. Right behind the Salistock is the Widderfeld with its 2351 m and on the left is from Widderfeld is the Bockistock with its 2223 m. All of these mountains are in the Emmental Alps.

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As it was already late in the afternoon, the sun was slowly setting down. I wrote down the names of these mountains too and can't miss a chance to share them with you.

From the left we have the Wendestöcken (3042 m), Mähren (2970 m) and Graustock (2662 m). One day I'll hike all of them!

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We were heading towards the place that is popular for climbing. I haven't done climbing before but would be excited to try it.

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Looking back at our mountain cabin...

Right behind the cabin is the Titlis with its impressive 3238 m. This is where we were heading the next day. Titlis is part of the Uri Alps and it is one of the most popular places in this area. I was a bit afraid that there would be too many tourists around but it wasn't that bad at all, but I will show you this another time.

Next to Titlis is the Chli Titlis (3028 m). It's where you get with a rotating cabin and then you can hike around.

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We wanted to build a snowman, but it was not possible as it was a powder snow. We walked for a few more kilometers and then returned to the cabin as it was getting dark.

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When we came back the staff informed us about our dinner, and we went down to the restaurant to read before they were ready. They were able to cook vegan for us which we appreciated as very often we would be told that it wouldn't be possible. It was a very simple meal consisting of some lentil soup and rösti but it was enough as they came back to ask us if we wanted more, so we received another round.

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It was only three of us in the cabin and the staff asked us if we would sit together as it would be better for them to serve our food together. We agreed even though I wasn't very happy as I was tired to make any polite conversations with a stranger. It turned out that it wasn't needed as this lady was very chatty and didn't let us talk much. We got insight into her life and I think a little too much information.

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After dinner we excused ourselves and went to the room as she was just too much. She was kind but we didn't feel like listening to any more of her stories, such as that she married a guy just so that he could stay in Germany. But they never had anything together. She mentioned a daughter too, so I guess that there was another guy.

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We finished our dinner at 8 PM but it felt like it was around midnight already. It was so dark around us. The only lights that we could see where coming from Engelberg in the valley.

It was so dark, and I was tired, so I hoped I would sleep very well. It wasn't the case as I had high fever and chills later and didn't sleep much. I woke up sweaty and my throat was sore.

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I hoped I wouldn't get sick, so I had some ginger tea in the morning. We had a lot of fun during breakfast as there was a cat that loved bread. I'm not a cat person but this one was adorable. It would sit next to me and watch me eating until I would give it a piece of bread. Just like the dog of my mom 😊

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After breakfast we packed our stuff, paid the bill, said goodbye and promised that we will come back in summer. And we will as it's a great place for hiking. There are many hiking trails which are closed in winter and you can't access all places so that you don't bother the wild animals who live there.

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(Here is my husband catching up with me)

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(Here as well)

It was so good to find a bench which was barely visible from under the snow and stretch our legs...

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This is the last spot that we could reach. The snow from here was too deep and we didn't have the snowshoes.

Here we could see the animals that live in this area. There is the alpine ibex, chamois, roe deer, deer, alpine marmot, hare, lynch and many more. We saw different footprints but couldn't identify any animals. It's good as long as there are no bears.

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Titlis has such a specific shape that you can recognize it from any angle.

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This stone wall was formed around 155 - 135 milion years ago. Such stone walls in Engelberg reach up to 500 meters. Isn't something like that called the climbers paradise? 😊

And yes, this is my shadow. I couldn't take a better photo because of the sun and the fact that I couldn't walk any further.

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There were so many footprints in the snow...

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And the last view of Titlis that was waiting for us!

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I hope you have enjoyed our tour!

Thank you for reading!


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