Fondest memory: I came down to the lobby of my hotel to find a cat who was acting as if she owned the place. I took my camera out, and as it turned out, she was quite photogenic as well, even flashing a grin for me as I snapped my photo. I subsequently found her sleeping on various outdoor seats, sauntering across the street (only hurrying when vehicles forced her to), and being absolutely pampered by the hotel owners when it suited her. She gets all the food and cat treats she wants should she need it... or she can just go across the street and feast on all the field mice she can catch. What a life.
Kandersteg can be walked end-to-end in about a half-hour stroll. It would seem quite small to people who love cities, but if you are looking for a quaint, yet not too remote village, this is the place. There are two grocery stores, a Migros and Coop. Neither are very large, but you'll find enough... A few specialty shops, a few souvenir shops, etc. Plenty of restaraunts and cafes. All nestled together in charming buildings with a river flowing through it. Just beautiful.
Fondest memory: Each of us 'adopted' a mountain during our stay. Then we would remark on the beauty and the weather conditions of our 'own' mountain. Or conversely, we would say, "Oh look, your mountain is covered in clouds, while MY mountain is basking in sunlight." Here is Jenna in 'downtown' Kandersteg with 'her' mountain behind her.
Kandersteg lies in the Swiss state of Kanton Bern/Canton Berne. This is the 2nd largest state of Switzerland and is home to Bern, the capital. Both German and French are official languages.
Kandersteg itself lies just a couple hours south of Bern, within the Bernese Oberland region. The mountain range, the Bernese Alps, dominate the region. At 1176 m, it is an ideal base for hiking the mountains.
Fondest memory: And aside from the territorial acting cows, the sheep also ran around, frolicking, in the pastoral fields of Berneroberland. If I end up stuck out in the mountains and a storm arose, I'd be running after one of these little ones in attempts to steal their wool. It's a cataclysm that I was not born with layers of wool to protect my ever-cold body.
Ahh, set out for a hike in Berneroberland, and the only neighbors you'll encounter tend to not bathe, have smelly breath, and be a bit hairier. That's because they only species you'll run into in Berneroberland's vast wilderness are of the non-human kind.
While hiking up to a glacier, I took a break in a nice grassy field full of grazing cows. They seemed pretty harmless, but as soon as I neared their vicinity, the moo's became incessantly louder and they started to snort the way horses do. Not particularly wanting to be mauled to death by a cow in the middle of nowhere, I made the wise decision to back away and continue eating my snack.
Just be careful, watch your step, cow pies are your number one enemy.
I always enjoy walking in the fresh swiss mountain air, even if its not clear blue sky.
Walks in Kandersteg are varied - much more available than the few we managed in our short stay. With the cable car and chairlift options there are walks to suit all levels and as usual they are clearly marked.
Fondest memory: Staying in a chalet, taking care of ourselves, helped us to feel a part of the town. Our landlady provided us with a shopping bag and each morning we would visit the butcher and the baker. For more supplies, we'd go to the Coop, or perhaps the Migros. I wouldn't trade these experiences for eating at a restaurant every day. Eating in was a real money saver too!
Most chalets have flower boxes and gardens. There are some vegetable gardens as well. I was surprised at how many of the flowers were the same type as what I grow at home-but bigger, healthier, and more colorful! So we came up with 3 ideas why it is so: (can't be because of MY gardening skills)
1. the mountain air
2. the glacier water
3. the cow manure in the soil
My husband thought I should bring some cow patties home to experiment with in my garden. I rejected the idea. (although having that in my plane carry-on might have given me a few clear seats on either side of myself...)
One day we mistakenly left a piece of bread out on the balcony. When we got home there were these cute little chickadee like birds nibbling on it. Except they were more of an olive green color, and much shyer than chickadees I know.
So I spent the rest of the week leaving them out a piece of bread each morning. I wasted too much time trying to photograph these shy, but quick birds! The only way I could catch a photo was with the door shut, so I have a glass reflection.
I wonder if they miss their daily bread?
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.
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:
Here is Bob's mountain. That stinker had a rainbow on his one night! Kandersteg is surrounded by mountains, no matter which way you look...
Fondest memory: Clear mountains could become cloud covered within the hour. Those clouds could get 'hung up' or drift on away. I loved watching the constant changes...
I looked at this church everyday for months. When I got to Kandersteg I had in mind to look out for it, and I actually saw it on my first walk from the train station to our chalet!
It is on the webcam page of the Bernerhof Hotel, and I've been taking a peek at the weather on their site everyday for a while now. http://www.bernerhof.ch/
You can't miss this church, it sits out all alone in a field right off of Kandersteg's main street through the village. You will pass this church on a walk up to the Oeschinensee.
Not to be outdone by the Protestant Church right down the road, the Catholic Church also has English speaking services in the summer, and their's starts earlier in the season.
Kandersteg has two churches. The Protestant church is in the village hub-bub. The bells ring every fifteen minutes. We often stopped for a beer/ice cream break (one or the other-not both at the same time) at the Cafe Schweizerhof that is directly opposite the church.
Service times are listed on the boards in front of the church. In July and August there are services in English.
Favorite thing: At the beginning of August Kandersteg hosts a baloon week (it actually lasts for nearly a fortnight). Information is available from a temporary caravan that sets up on the main street opposite the tourist information office.