Its always a joy to meet fellow VT'ers and it was an extra special joy when I managed to find an internet cafe in Kandersteg (in the tourist office) and discovered that Elisabeth (VT'er Rebibi) and her husband were actually staying overnight in the Zur Post for our last night. Elisabeth and Remo had been wonderful hosts to me in Hasliberg when I came over for a Swiss VT meet and it was lovely to be able to see them again.
Still we were spoilt by them - being presented with chocolates and a beautiful book on Switzerland. Thank you both so much and I hope we have opportunities to meet again and do a hike the next time.
It was a chance for Dave to meet Elisabeth and Remo too. Unknowingly to us they had postponed their planned hike on the Eiger trail and arrived in Kandersteg mid afternoon. This must have been about the same time we had a small snow flurry on the Gemmi Pass hike we were doing. It always seems to snow when Elisabeth and I get together!
Even though Kandersteg is easily accessible by train (and car I suppose), it really is a quiet village. Even though our chalet was right off the 'main' street, there was very little traffic.
I was a bit worried about this, because I knew that Kandersteg rail station is a loading point for cars to access the train passing through the Loeschberg Tunnel, but it all occurs on the outskirts of town.
Swiss Phone Booths
Take no money. You must have a phone card. Available at the post office and the Coop in our village. You can send an email too! Up to 250 characters. (but not check your's-sending only)
You could buy a phone card ahead of time at:
or rent a cell phone:
Throughout Kandersteg (and most other places in Switzerland), you will notice many yellow trail signs indicating various destinations. Signs are marked with the amount of time it takes to hike to a location, rather than the straight-line distance. Remember that "Std." means "hours" -- for example, in the picture, you'll notice one sign says "Allmenalp -- 2 Std. 15 Min.", which means it takes 2 hours and 15 minutes to walk to Allmenalp.
One other aspect to notice about the signs is the color at the tip of the arrows. If a sign is all yellow, this is a "wanderweg," or walking trail, suitable for most walkers. If, however, a sign has a white-red-white tip, this is a "bergweg," or mountain trail. This means the trail has very steep uphill and downhill portions, and may not be suitable for beginning walkers. So, in our Allmenalp example, you'll notice it's a "bergweg." If you haven't hiked in the Swiss Alps before, you might want to try an easier trail until you get used to the exertion.
Once you're on the trail, you'll see both signs and trail markers. "Wanderwegs" are marked with yellow diamonds, normally painted on trees or rocks. "Bergwegs" are marked by white rectangles with a red stripe across the middle.
As always, before setting out, be sure to check with your hotel and/or the tourist office to get the latest updates on trail conditions.