Switzerland - Hiking from Grindelwald First to Lake Bachalpsee

To be honest I had little expectations for Grindelwald First.
Shocking, I know.

We had already hiked in Zermatt and Schynige Platte, and I thought this would be a super touristy place.

Indeed, it was packed with sight-seers right from the very start. First you have to get yourself to the Grindelwald train station, then walk 15minutes to the Gondola station. Expect long queues.

Yup, the queue spilled out all the way to the street. (Around the bend, even)

You need tickets to ride the Gondola up to Grindelwald First. The cash line is really long and you can beat this if you join the shorter queues at the card/automated ticketing machines. We used our YouTrip credit card. Sometimes PayWave doesn't work so expect to plug in your card and type in your PIN number.

You are supposed to fit 6 in a Gondola but most people want the whole car to themselves (which explains the long line). Nevertheless, we found like-minded people and fit 5 to a car. We began our ascent! 

A gondola is basically what we call a 'cable car' in Singapore.

There are 'extreme' activities you can do at First. You can zipline, paraglide, Trottibike (down steep hills... not for me. I've read reviews and people have gotten hurt even though the official website insists that children can also do this activity), and also go-kart down the hill. 

We skipped all these and went straight for the view. 

This was then followed by a 50min hike to the lake called Lake Bachalpsee. 

The 'hike' is largely a gravel hike with some ascents. It is kind of boring to me after my previous hikes though you get views of the mountains if it is not cloudy.

There were so many people on the hike, so sometimes it's hard to relax and walk at your own leisurely pace or take too many photographs because people (and sometimes dirt bikes) are always coming at you.

The fun part for us was encountering some ice. We made little snowmen and 'threw' snowballs at each other. Haha.

After a tedious walk (my legs ached from previous hikes), we were rewarded with this stunning view. It made the trek absolutely worth it!

Isn't it simply gorgeous?

I am very pleased with myself for choosing to bring my digital camera to take such photos on this trip! My phone could never!

We sat by the lake and ate some food that we packed, soaking up the wonderful views.

There was another smaller lake behind that was frozen over and not accessible.  I wonder if people skate on the lake in winter? Or maybe the snow covers all the paths? I'm not sure.

There was also a family having a barbeque! It smelled so good. 

Another bad thing about this hike is that you just take the same trail back. So.... that can be boring as well. 

We saw many optimistic people just making their way to the lake at 4pm near the start point and shook our heads... they probably didn't know what they're getting into since the last gondola leaves early at say 5pm or so. Hope they managed complete the loop to catch the last gondola down!

I had little expectations of Grindelwald First region because we were not doing the activities, and the lake did not look impressive from web photographs. That just goes to show that some things need to be experienced with the human eye. 

I hope I managed to capture a fraction of its majesty and beauty though!