We needed a distraction, something to take our minds off of Dad’s long departure that would take him to South America and ever so far from us. We understood his need to support an incredible organization (Operation Smile), but that didn’t mean we would miss him any less. The perfect remedy for his absence seemed to be to escape and the mountains were the ideal destination.
As a mother traveling solo, I needed something quick and relatively easy. Thus, we made our way to Engelberg, a short 2:00 train ride from Basel. We dropped off our belongings at the Angels Lodge, made our way to the Tourist Information Center, obtained a map and headed out to explore. We happened to stumble across the iconic Swiss celebration of bringing the cows down from the mountains for the season, which was a hit with the children. We then made our way to the Monastery, meandered through, and entered the shop where we were able to witness cheese being made (excellent educational opportunity), before purchasing some locally made yogurt, which we ate in the warmth of the sun.
Just a short walk past the monastery to the left (towards the end of the valley), there is a lift station that will take you up to Brunni. Brunni is a haven for children of all ages. With swings, a trampoline, rock climbing wall, a water station, slides, ropes course and knock your socks off views, the entire family will be happy. We spent most of the day playing, and exploring and when we grew tired, we had an early dinner at the restaurant located at the lift station. For more hiking options and less crowds, take the chair lift up to the top.
The next morning we woke to heavy fog blanketing those gorgeous peaks I came to see, bummer. Instead of throwing in the towel and heading for home, we took the gondolas up to Trübsee and hiked around the lake. Fresh air, glimmers of mountains and virtually no one on the trails, we were all happy, despite the pang in our chest for the man of the house.
We stayed at the Angels Lodge located about a 10-minute walk from the train station. The hotel was perfectly clean, the staff was warm and welcoming and the breakfast was a great spread. For those not traveling with small children, there is a hot tub and sauna onsite, which is a lovely treat after a long day of hiking in the mountains. There are no special facilities for children, however, we spent very little time at the hotel and there are plenty of play opportunities in the town and up in the mountains.
The Angels Lodge – Alpenstrasse 1, 6390 Engelberg – 041 637 20 45