Day 3/6


As predicted, it has started raining tonight and it is literally pooring down. I stay in the motel this morning as long as possible. Around 11:00 I start driving towards Brienz. When leaving the Grindelwald I notice the wild and rough brown water in the river that has swollen three times its size. Everywhere around me I see large waterfalls in the mountains.

After half an hour I arrive in Brienz. From here the busses have to depart in the dark to Axalp, but I haven’t the faintest idea where that is going to happen. First continue to the motel, some 15 minutes further down the road in Innertkirchen.

Next to the motel is a wild mudstream en firemen in yellow suits are watching it closely. In the motel I meet a somewhat unpleasant lady that tells me that I can check in only after one hour, but passes me the key after all.

Luckily there is internet so that I can find out where the Rh⌠ne Glacier is located. This morning I have seen a photograph of it in the motel. A tunnel has been made into this glacier so you can see it from the inside. That really appeals to me. It is only one hour driving from here and somewhat in the direction I want to go.


Around 14:00 it stops raining and it’s getting a bit lighter as well. At first I think I should have gone to the Rh⌠ne Glacier earlier, because that is inside after all. But now it is almost 14:30 already and it seems better to start finding out how things around the airshow will be arranged.

On the internet I have already found that I have to buy tickets at the railway station in Brienz. Driving to Brienz is not without complications. A lot more of the brown water is coming down now and the river has grown even further. The river is overflowing the land around it and at some places even roads and railway tracks are submerged. The fire department is everywhere along the river and around the bridges. There are several roadblocks and it is a real puzzle to get to Brienz.

Finally in Brienz there is paid parking only, but you can only pay with coins and I don’t have them. After driving around for some time I can not come up with something better than to park in a paid parking area without paying the fee. At the railway station they tell me they do not sell airshow tickets and I need to go to the tourist office instead. There they don’t sell tickets either. They will be sold on the airshow day itself before you enter the bus.

The road to Axalp will be closed on wednesday and thursday, and I will have to take the bus. But I can already buy day parking tickets for my car. The busses start driving at 07:00, but there will be to earlier buses at 05:15 and 06:30. I file for one of these two buses. Thousands of people are expected and I can visualise the chaos already.

Hereafter I drive upwards to Axalp where things are going to happen. This in preparation for tomorrow, practice day. At Axalp there appears to be a small parking area. When I ask around I find out that I can park here for free tomorrow and that the lift starts working at 07:00. Fine, everything arranged, lets get back to the hotel.

On my way back I pass the airforce base. Better even, on the outward journey I had to cross the runway and this now happens again. No clue whether this is due to the high water or it is just common practice here. The runway is situated in a valley in between the grass lands.

Back in the hotel I have a look around at hotels for the coming days, but decide to try to stay here. Downstairs one of the other maids looks at me with a big question mark on her face and walks away. The other one of this morning looks at my if I have gone totally insane when I ask her if it is possible to stay not 1, not 2 but even 3 nights longer. Weird people here.

If I ask whether the front door will be open tomorrow morning early the cook/owner comes around for a chat. I explain to him that I am here for Axalp and that I have to leave very early in the morning. This one seems normal and shows me how I can get outside and back inside. He also tells me that he will prepare an early breakfast for me. That is really nice! There is another worker in the hotel that receives the same treatment.

Later in the evening I have dinner here in the restaurant: deer with mushrooms. Delicious. The ladies are now a bit defrosted and kind. But later when I get up and walk to the counter to pay, the completely loose it again. Some five times I am completely ignored before I finally am allowed to pay. It is very difficult to read them. Most probably they are kind of busy or something. I have not seen this kind of behaviour earlier: cool, distant, reserved, moderately friendly and that all in the same time. Tomorrow I better stay put and pay at the table. Maybe that will be better (-;

I have to get up early. I have to go out at 06:00 at the latest, but most probably I will depart half an hour earlier. The weather predictions for the coming 3 days are perfect. Axalp has been on my wishlist for several years now. I really want to go and am very curious how this will go.

Maps, Charts & Downloads

GPS Map with color coded altitude information

Color coded distance/altitude chart

Color coded distance/altitude chart, Switzerland Autumn - Day 3

Download the original gpx file here.