After a very successful week walking in the hills and valleys of Norway last year, we thought we would try Switzerland this time (2010) as at this centre the ease of walking pointer in the HF brochure equally matched our capabilities. As the departure date approached we wondered if our holiday would be affected by the problems BA were having with staff and volcanic ash. But we were not unduly worried as we were confident that HF would efficiently undertake any necessary alterations either before departure or whilst we were away. However as it turned out, by sheer luck we passed through a window in those troublesome weeks.

Unknown to us, almost all the members of the party were on the flight from Heathrow to Geneva although we had only managed to identify a few of the twenty or so in the check-in queue. Viv, one of our two leaders, awaited us in the arrivals hall and she soon had the party ensconced in a comfortable coach for the transfer to the rather remotely situated Adelboden. The journey which was mostly on two lane motorway style roads via the Bern outskirts, lasted about three hours including a break at a large service facility.

The terrain was largely unspectacular for the most part but became distinctly more interesting as we approached the valley containing a rather drab Frutigen and then delightful Adelboden. The Waldhaus-Huldi hotel is situated at the far end of this small town of traditional buildings set on the side of a deep valley. The Waldhaus is the chalet style building shown here and the Huldi is on the opposite side of the road, the two being connected by an underground corridor. We were greeted in a most genial manner by hotelier Kurt Gygax who allocated our keys and we were pleased to find that we had an very pleasant double aspect corner room with two small balconies - the one behind the "RIE" in the picture.

Front of Waldhaus hotel            Corner of our room.

And these were the views from those balconies :-

The associated Huldi across the road.            Looking back up the main street of Adelboden.

Smaller buildings.            The Gross Lohner mountain.

We were very happy with our room, it had ample cupboards and hanging space so we were able to unpack our cases completely. Our one criticism is that the windows did not have small ventilator openers and hence we had to resort to jamming open one of the pairs of double balcony doors to achieve the night time air flow necessary (for us). The bathroom was entirely adequate and everything worked well and we heard no plumbing noises at all from the other rooms.

Our meals were taken in a very pleasant dining room in the Huldi where a separate section of four tables was reserved for our party. The Huldi has a most comfortable lounge at its rear and the bedrooms above share the same extensive views across the valley. The corridor from the Waldhaus has a dual purpose in that it houses the tables for the self service breakfast. No cooked breakfasts were available but a simmering saucepan provided the means of providing oneself with a self service boiled egg, the time required for a soft boiled one being six minutes due to the reduced air pressure causing a lower boiling point temperature, Adelboden being situated at 4439 feet above sea level. A motorised toasting machine provided toast of varying quality and much amusement.

The evening meals which were varied and served by a trio of pleasant young girls, were very good although for English tastes lacked in vegetables.

Prior to our first evening meal we handed over over our excursion money to Geoff the other leader and in return received a ski lift pass which also gave free travel on the local buses.

Drinks at the hotel cost 4.50 for a small beer or 4.60 francs for bitter lemon. The hotel offered a filled rolled and a piece of fruit to serve as a packed lunch for 11.20 francs. Items for a packed lunch could have been bought in Adelboden had one bothered to do so, or one could have relied on finding something at the cafe(s) visited during the walks.

Little was on offer for evening entertainment mostly because dinner was such a leisurely affair. One evening an exponent of the Alp Horn turned up and serenaded us through the open patio door as we were on the sweet course. A few people took up his offer to try the elongated instrument but not many notes were forthcoming. On another occasion a local silver band played in the town square and surrounded as we were with the traditional wooden chalet-style buildings and with a mountain backdrop, a wonderful atmosphere prevailed as they did so. On Saturday morning our host Kurt and his family bothered to turn out to wish us well and wave as the coach took us off on our return journey.

The Walks

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Text © 2010 D.C.Adams. Pictures © 2010  J.C.Adans

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