20.04.2009 After a long 10 hours drive from Prague (Czech Republic) we arrived finally at 19:15 in Adelboden (Switzerland). Hubby and I are taking part here in a conference and will stay until Friday in the Hotel Hari. Adelboden is a small village tucked away in the Swiss Alps, famous for its fresh air, hiking trails and skiing possibilities. Whilst it was already summerly in Prague, here it is still early spring with rather cold evenings and nights. Hotel Hari, where we are staying, is a family run hotel that is actually the oldest hotel in the village. But more about that in a later post, first a bit more background info for my ‘overseas visitors’. 😉 Adelboden is, like I wrote before, in Switzerland (Europe), more exactly in the Kanton Bern. I have inserted a Google Map so that you can see it better.
Describing Adelboden as being ‘lost in the mountains’ is a bit of an understatement. It was first mentioned in the 13th Century and its inhabitants were referred to as the ‘forest people’. The village is located in a one-way-valley and was until the 19th century only accessible via hiking trails. Only later in the same century was the first road built that connected the village of Adelboden with the so-called civilization. As the Swiss tourism industry took off in the 19th century, Adelboden, like its even more famous sister Kandersteg, became one of the places to go for ‘holidays/ vacations in the countryside’. Its first hotel, the same we stayed in, opened in 1873 as a private pension/ guest house owned by the village teacher. Now there are over 40 hotels, pensions and guest houses in the village.
The region lives nowadays mainly from tourism and dairy farming. Being sparsely populated, only 40 people/km² live here, makes it an ideal holiday/ vacation spot for the nature lovers. Adelboden is 1350m above the sea level and surrounded by gorgeous mountains such as the Wildstrubel and the Grossstrubel (3242m or 9926ft). It is still a traditional Swiss mountain village surrounded by alpine and sub-alpine meadows which are partially wooded. Another important industry of the region is the timber trade, wood carving and a mineral water source.
One of its main nature attractions is the Engstligenfall, a waterfall that thunders down over 600m from a high plateau, the Engstligen Alp, towards the valley. A specific Swiss tourist attraction of Adelboden is the yearly ‘Alpaufzug’ when the cattle, after having spent the winter in the valley, returns to their summer pastures high over the valley, the so-called ‘alps’. The cows are carrying ‘flower crowns’ for this occasion and the ringing of their huge bells is can be heard through the whole village.
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