Made a pit stop in Kandersteg on our train journey from Barcelona to Lyon in France. As most of you (might not) know, the municipality of Kandersteg is part of the Canton of Bern, of which Bern is the Swiss capital.
We bought a Eurail pass in Copenhagen and decided that we'd embark on a spontaneous Europe trip from Barcelona back to Copenhagen in around 3 weeks, and Kandersteg happened to be situated on our train route between Lyon and Venice, so in the spur-of-the-moment we decided to spend a night there. For someone who had never visited Switzerland before, I was elated.
You would expect most of Europe to be crowded with tourists in summer, but apart from a couple of school groups on hiking expeditions and lining up to ride the Rodelbahn (mountain coaster) the place is relatively empty. Travel tip: If you want to avoid waiting, don't buy tickets for the Rodelbahn until you've taken the cable car up and seen the queue with your own eyes. You can also buy your tickets at the ride itself, and the line is much shorter if you buy your ticket there. # rookie mistake
The panorama hike around Oeschinensee is the best way to soak up the majesty of the Swiss Alps. It's peaceful and quiet, and without the noise and crowds, it truly felt like we had the mountains to ourselves. I would also recommend taking a dip (or a swim, if you're up for it) in Oeschinen Lake either before or after your hike. Its waters are freezing cold even in the summer, but it is extremely refreshing. Moreover, taking a dip in cold water does wonders for your blood circulation and overall cardiovascular health. It takes about 3-5 hours to complete the hike depending on your pace, but we started at around 3 in the afternoon and were down before sunset. It's a fairly easy hike so it's very suitable for families, and the young and old alike.