Feeds RSS

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Day 7 - Grimselwelt

From Aare Gorge, we drove for another 40 minutes to another place, called Grimselwelt. 

There isn't any parking lot along the hill side, so we got to park our car at the hill foot, and walked up. 

Ok, the reason why we were here is to get high, by taking this steepest funicular railway in the whole Europe. 

This must be the remarkable funicular that we would ride on. 

Gelmerbarn (Gelmer train station) is located just off the foot of the high Grimsel Pass, opened only in the warmer months from June to October.

The funicular is an inclined railway similar to a tram which is pulled up and down in incline with a cable. This steepest funicular in Europe's ascends 450 m up a mountain face. Then the trolley is pulled up a 110% gradient in only a few seconds. Sounds terrifying to know that. 

The funicular was built in 1926, for helping the construction of the Handeck Hydroelectic Power Station but is now purely a tourist attraction.

While waiting for our turn, we sat on the bench there to see the funicular being pulled up from the starting point. William started to feel anxious when he saw the vertical part the funicular would be ascended to, and his anxious became overwhelming as time pass.

He started to asked a lot of "what-if" question, like : what if the cable breaks off in the middle of our ride? what if the funicular fall down vertically instead of slowing descending? what if...

In order to distract William's from thinking too negativity, we brought them away from the scene to a nearby wobbly suspension bridge. But William refused to walk on it. Gosh, I think fear had really built up high in his little heart already.

Down the suspension bridge is 2 running waterfalls, probably flowing to a gorge inside there too. 

Husband said there is a restaurant hotel at the other side of the bridge, but not even Vincent wanted to cross over it. So, we had to give up this attempt. 

There isn't any place to go but to go back to the ticketing office, where we had to sit on the bench and facing this steepest railway again.

I couldn't believe myself when William started to weep and beg me to cancel this ride. Husband told him that the tickets were not refundable, and it's such a waste if we just cancelled off the ride like this. I have tried every method to console him, like "everything is going to be ok", "I have never heard of any tragic accident happen before" (but in fact, I didn't know if this is true or not).

Only then, I realized husband and I have perhaps, overestimated the limit of this little boy. Sometimes, we have forgotten he is not yet 9, that he may not ready for all those adrenaline rush. For this, I'm sorry....

The funicular can only takes 24 people for every 15 minutes, so it fills up very quick. When one buy the tickets, not only the departure time will be given, but one also have to also pick a return time since there are only limited seat in the funicular.

So we will need to estimate how long we expect to stay at the top. Without hiking around the lake, husband think 45-60 min is enough.

Finally, it's our turn to ride up the super steep funicular !! 

Without any chance, William had to follow us. He had requested not to sit in the front row nor back row. So, while most of the people were 'fighting' to get the front row, we were instead, 'fighting' to get the middle row. 

Even though I think this funicular ride is safe, still I feel very nervous when the funicular started to incline. 

Soon, the magnificent picturesque mountain world had blew up my mind. 

Absolutely spectacular. 

When the open carriage was pulled up vertically, I've become very nervous myself. In fact, I prayed that everything is going to be ok, that we can go down to the mountain safe and sound, in 1 piece. 

Ok, we made it safely to the top about 15 minutes later. 

Gelmersee (Lake Gelmer) can been seen as soon as we get off the funicular. 

Husband said we would linger a while in the lake area, but we would not do any hiking here, cause we needed to reserve the energy for tomorrow's event.

Yo, let's go.

Despite a bit too hot, walking along the lake is easy and relaxing. 

Spectacular Lake Gelmer is situated at an altitude of 1850 m above sea level in the midst of glorious mountains, boasting lots of hikes and walks of varying length and difficulty. 

Trying to fool around....

A typical setting of the dam...

The trip manager cum video man.

I like those beautiful flowers on the mountain top. 

Bee likes that flower too.

From far, I thought that house is a restaurant....

Well, obviously it's not a restaurant. Probably it's a power station or a shelter to the worker, something like. 

The kids who were playing on top of the mountain.

Some hikers on their returned journey. 

At first, we thought of crossing the dam to the other side...but fearing we might miss the funicular, we only walked till 1/3 of the bridge. 

By then, William seemed to get over his fear already. Good. 

Vincent has not much to say about this place though.

The power station / shelter as seen from the bridge.

The other side of the bridge.

The boys wanted to go down to that open area for a run. We approved.

William tried to change the words left by an anonymous.

Husband pointed to that far side and said we would be heading to that direction when we descended later.

15 minutes before the pick up time, we walked back to the funicular station. 

The purple color is very outstanding here.

5 minutes later, we were back to the station.

Since the time was still early, we rested our feet on this bench, and let the boys lingered around the lake... 

Vincent was trying his luck to find some gold nuggets there, again. 

They even went that close to the lake for their business. 

One of the walking trails around the lake. The path seems relatively undeveloped, so it won't be a very easy one.

Ok, time to go now....

The approaching funicular, as slow as a turtle. 

I have to say descending vertically is more dreadful than ascending vertically. Fortunately, my prayer was heard. 


Post a Comment