There's definitely not much room for oncoming traffic here. Well, for the curvy parts there's still the well-known horn. Beep beep...
We admit it, we're impressed: the Grindelwald bus chauffeur drives safely and skillfully towards the sun. High-precision work.
The road is blocked. What's kept «in captivity» here?
When we see the view we're speechless – so early in the morning.
The use of the alpine meadows in Grindelwald is documented in writing for the first time at the beginning of the 15th century. The dairy kingdom «Eigeralp» is part of the Alpgenossenschaft (alpine cooperative) Bussalp near Grindelwald. The area of the Bussalp is around 450 hectares in size and is situated at a height of 1,600 to 2,200 metres.
The roofs and several of the exterior walls are still covered with wooden shingles. The cabins were built in 1892. The cheese storehouse even originates from the 17th century. It seems like modern times are taking a break here.
Directly under the watchful eye of the Faulhorn is the «main building» of the Eigeralp. For us it's still early, but here it's all go. Actually, there's always action in this building. Constant action.
A really romantic overnight stay – we put it on our «bucket list» straight away.
I wonder which side of this hut gets more sun?
dairyman on the Eigeralp
Each cow should recognise the sound of its own bell. Now that's a statement. We ask for a demonstration – and yes, when the bell is sounded, a cow comes trotting along. That's really not a coincidence, it's just amazing.
There can only be one: Louis XVI – the secret commandant of the alp. Although he can't whistle, everything dances to his... er, beak. Most of the «poor» chickens have no choice. It's not seldom that he behaves like a little Napoleon. It's just that the «Eigeralp Napoleon» is much too amusing to be banned to the Island of Elba.
dairyman on the Eigeralp
The tangy herbs of the alpine meadows give the cheese a unique aroma which connoisseurs all the way to Paris appreciate. We can confirm that. The cheese really does taste good. Also, the milk is used to make Mutschli, Ziger and Raclette cheese as well as alpine butter.
But that's not enough. We mentioned constant action before. Everyday, fresh bread is baked and can be transformed into an "Älplerfrühstück" (Alpine breakfast) with alpine butter, various cheeses, self-made jams, yoghurt, tea and fresh milk.
Dres Michel gets the cheese out of the cauldron with great skill – that's how it's done, no differently. Good old traditions...
Is anyone sceptical? They're crazy, those locals.
Seems to have tasted good though. Drinking the «Schluck» is an old tradition in Switzerland.
Of course we too, the «modern dairymen» also get a turn. It looks easier than it is.
Following the hard physical work – at least for the real dairymen – it's time for a leisurely "Älplerfrühstück". It's all home-made of course. Finsteraarhorn, Schreckhorn and the Eiger wish you a pleasant meal.
The bus is already waiting. Optionally, we could walk to the Bachalpsee – or climb the Damengipfel. Then we would definitely have digested the «Älplerfrühstück».