Sunday saw us heading to the 3000m mountain named Mt Titlis. The area of Engelberg is surrounded by mountains with cable cars to get up them. There are several cable car stops and different routes you can take to explore them all. It would take a very long visit to get through them all so we decided to go for the biggest!
There is a small cable car that took us up the mountain for the first leg. They are very small ones and we just fitted in with Lottie in her buggy. As the top of Titlis is 3000m above sea level, we had been advised to take Lottie up in stages so she ould not suffer any adverse effects at the top. So we stopped at Trubsee – 1800m above sea level.
We had taken our usual picnic lunch and walked round the Lake Trubsee. It was very pretty here with little signs along the away in English to describe the many different plants and herbs that were growing in the area. There were also plenty of cows around to fertilise for the plants!
We sat for lunch on the edge of the lake and took some nice pics in the sun. There were little round stone barbecue pits complete with boxes of wood and paper for you to light a fire and cook your lunch. We saw a family using one with spare log seating around them, so we started chatting with them whilest our sandwiches were toasting!
Swiss Family Mathis not Robinson!
It was here we met the Mathis Family. Denise and her hubby Hans are both Swiss farmers. They own milking cows and spent the summer on the Alps, following the cows to various levels up and down the Alp where they live in a hut- with their 7 children! They have huts on each level and they live, wherever the cows are living! In winter, they have a house in Engelberg.
Denise also has bees and makes her own honey. We asked her where we could buy some of it and she invited us around to her home (the winter one!) that evening. We found the Mathis home and were overwhelmed by the beauty of it. A traditional Swiss Chalet perched on the side of a mountain, with stunning views. the Mathis Family built this house themselves – mostly Hans and his son, and they had help from a co-op style organisation. It took them 3 years! Plenty of wood, sloped roof, planter boxes with bright coloured flowers, spread over 3 floors – with 7 bedrooms and 2 kitchens it is an amazing home – you should be very proud. wWe were treated to a lovely supper. We sampled Denise’s honey with her homemade butter and cheese.
We met some of the Mathis children – Antonia (who at the age of 5 and speaking no english, was fearless in her playing with Charlotte and took great delight in showing off her bunny rabbit and one of their 9 cats!) Vreni and Barbara – whose English was great and it was nice chatting to you both. Good Luck to Barbara who is off to the USA in a week or two – have fun and hope to hear from you soon Barbara!
We had an unexpected meeting on a mountain over lunch, that led to us meeting a wonderful family. We wish you all the best with your farming and your family – and Thanks again for the lovely hospitality!
Up to the top
After our walk and lunch at Trubsee, we headed further up towards the top of Mt Titlis. You take a large cable car where you are all crammed in like sardines and standing until you reach Stand. Here you change into another type of cable car where the centre rotates. It only taked 4 minutes in this car, but as you are rotating it seems longer! Charlotte drank milk during this time to make sure her ears did not suffer. She was fine.
At the top of Mt Titlis there is an Ice Grotto. It is a cave in under the glacier that has been naturally formed. It is a fairly constant temperature of -1deg to 1 deg c and the ice temp sits around -1degc. We rugged up and went in for a look. It is free and pretty amazing in here!
We decided to be brave (or stupid perhaps!) and take an open chair lift over the glacier itself. The visibility was pretty awful as we were surrounded by cloud. The sun glare off the white ice made it impossible to see without sunnies on and Charlotte was squinting badly for most of this time.
The chair lift was scarey but we survived and went down into the Glacier Funpark. They have free ‘toys’ for big and small kids to play with – so we took it in turns to nurse Charlotte in her sling and have a go! Dave tried SnowTubing – which involved sitting on a big rubber tyre and shooting around a curved track in the ice.Narelle tried her hand at a toboggan! We had a great time. When our wet undies got the better of us, we headed back to the top of Titlis for a hot chocolate and to begin our descent back down the mountain.
A truly awesome day.