Bannalp - almost perfect mountain experience



Last Sunday I wanted to go to the Alps for a hike to see if the autumn colors have started to appear. Also the summer heat is not the best for doing demanding hikes. Now that temperatures are cooling down, it's perfect time for hiking. Originally I didn't plan to go to Bannalp, but to Maria Rickenbach instead. Fortunately I missed the right train stop (happens even to people who have been living in Switzerland for some time already) and got off at the next stop - Wolfenschiessen (which means wolf shooting). There was a bus waiting at the train station to take people to the cable car, so I just hopped on and that's how I ended up at Bannalp.

View at the upper cable car station
What a perfect mistake it was! I did not expect to end up in such a gorgeous area. Already when you get off from the cable the views really struck you. The walk around Bannalp lake takes about an hour and is very easy walk - you can see lots of families with children doing it. The views are gorgeous.

First glance at a lake

Bannalpsee
I walked half way around the lake and then took a path to go higher and see the goats. In about half an hour I reached to Oberfeld - there's a small restaurant and a farm shop where you can buy goat cheese and local sausages. On a way there I passed by lots of goats.

Goats figuring out who is the strongest
The most magical thing happened when I was just next to the goats with lot of goat bells ringing and then one guy started to blow alp horn a little bit higher - it felt like travelling back in time.

Batches of unmelted snow

From Oberfeld I continued towards Walegg. The path is quite steep and a bit wet and slippery because of a small stream that is running right next to the path. Good hiking shoes are really recommended.

Walk between Oberfeld and Walegg
At one point you start seeing the lake again quite far below. I walked until the viewpoint and then turned around and went back down to the cable car station as the sky started to get more and more cloudy in every minute.

View down to the lake and Oberfeld farm restaurant
Autumn colors
When I reached down to the lake it started to rain. The biggest issue was to actually get down again with the cable car. The cable cars that operate there are quite small and there were more than 100 people waiting in line already when I reached to the station. In the end I spent about an hour just waiting to get down. The guy who was operating the cable car seemed to be quite used to the situation as he was very organized. So it's probably a common problem there. I guess it's better to go there in the middle of the week and not on the weekends. Although I had to wait for quite some time I was still really happy that I ended up there in the first place. It's a wonderful hiking area and I definitely want to go back there to conquer some other mountain tops.



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