Bettmeralp is a tiny, car – free town and nothing short of sweet. Like taking a bite of a deliciously ripe summer fruit, this is a town you wish to absorb and allow the juices to linger a bit longer on the palate.
At first, as we slowly walked through the town, I admired its charm; the church perched perfectly on a grassy hill with impeccable views, the hotel that was beyond perfect and the weather that offered warm days and crisp, cool nights. But the town wasn’t the only thing that made this area perfect, for the magic was high up in the mountains, cascading down the valley.
The Aletsch Glacier (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) fills the valley with (23km) of ice (27 billion tons to be exact) from the Jungfrau area all the way down to the Massa Gorge. This glacier is simultaneously inspirational and heart breaking.
The hikes available in the area were all picturesque pushing walkers to stop, take a deep breath and enjoy the views. On a particular day, we made our way to the top of a peak only to be greeted by views that left us speechless, except for our daughter who turned to me and said, “Mom, this is stunning.” My heart echoed with her sentiment and in that moment, I felt grateful for her ability to “get it” at the innocent age of five and our willingness to push hard through the climbs for the views were a reward worth sweating for.
Descending that mountain on that day left us with a deep sense of melancholy, for the fate of the worlds’ glaciers are volatile at best. We were blessed to be able to witness such immense splendor, yet humbled by the glacial retreat that was ever so present.
More to come on, “Glaciers Will Break Your Heart.”
Is Bettmeralp child – friendly you might ask? Yes, indeed it is. Our hotel was very accommodating to our needs as a family, some of the hikes were very easy with children, and Bettmersee was a great spot to play and linger. There was also a fabulous outdoor play area for children and an indoor pool for less than perfect weather. There is also an Alpmuseum at Hohfluh at the top of the lift, which is free of charge and worth the visit to educate adults and children alike on the world of glaciers.