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Guaranteed fun on and off the mountain

14 September 2018

Ideas for wonderful weekends with the family
In the summer, Engelberg puts on a spectacular performance for parents and their children. The breathtaking Alpine landscape is only part of the attraction.

My family and I take the cable car up to the Ristis and admire the magnificent view down into the valley. As we ride further and further up, the valley, the buildings, the souvenir shops become smaller and smaller and the stresses and strains of daily life fade into insignificance. Upon arrival at the Brunni, we breathe in lungfuls of the fresh summer air – and get ready to enjoy loads of fun and frolics. Today is not the day to come here if you’re looking for peace and quiet. The Alpine Schlager Festival is taking place in and around the Berglodge restaurant. Plenty of other parents and children have arrived, and even cheeky blue parrot Globi is here. My son is delighted to see this local celebrity, but he can’t spare much time to chat – a wonderland of play awaits, complete with a thrilling slide and plenty more exciting play apparatus. Suddenly, there’s a roar of disappointment – the Sunshine Radio Runner toboggan has to close temporarily as some drops of rain have made it dangerously slippery.

Riding high
We decide to take the chairlift past the restaurant and up to the Herzlisee lake and Brunni mountain hut. Lots of other people have had the same idea. Many of them have come along to walk the invigorating Kneipp barefoot path that leads around the small lake. Others gather in the barbecue areas, amidst beautiful panoramic views, babbling brooks, and fluttering butterflies. We avoid the hordes and head to the stand to buy a sausage each. We weren’t expecting to find barbecue grills for personal use up here, 1,860 metres above sea level. The whole thing is very professionally organised, and our trip up the mountain is an absolute pleasure. We want for nothing, we’re having so much fun – and you couldn’t ask for a more beautiful setting. If you like to take your pleasures at a more sedate place, the Obwalden valley has plenty to offer. In Engelberg there’s something to do whatever your mood and whatever the weather. If you don’t feel like climbing, mountain biking or hiking to the End of the World (yes, that is the name of a one fabulous four-hour hike), you can take a gentle bus ride through the valley and past the beautiful natural stage set of Engelberg’s open-air Western spectacular, which has been performed here since last summer. Then you can take a ride in a rustic gondola lift up to the Fürenalp mountain restaurant, marvelling at the mountain landscape, the steep cliffs, and the gushing waterfalls. We take our seats at a table on the terrace, and while the whole family shares a big bowl of Älplermagronen (a traditional Swiss pasta dish), we enjoy the splendid views. Then, there’s delicious home-made cake for those who still have room for dessert.


Abbey cheese and happy play
There’s also plenty to do if you decide to stay down in the valley. Engelberg’s 12th-century Benedictine Abbey has a dairy where we watch the cheesemakers producing creamy Klosterglocke cheese. The cheese can be purchased directly on site in the delightful Abbey shop, which also sells jams, syrups and natural cosmetics. Alternatively, you can walk up past the Abbey cemetery to the excellent Robinson playground at Grotzenwäldli. This is a place full of adventure for kids, with its little huts, climbing apparatus, and lake with hanging bridge. Children can paddle and swim in the lake, and even the little ones can punt rafts across it. There’s also a barbecue where you can grill your own food. When I ask my son what he liked best about this eventful summer weekend, he gives me his top three: having his feet tickled on the barefoot path around the lake; zooming down the summer toboggan run; and meeting Globi – although as I recall it he barely had any time to spare for the famous parrot.

Text: Melanie Kollbrunner
Photos: Engelberg-Titlis Tourismus
Source: Tamedia/Tages-Anzeiger