My husband and I are going on the My Way Alpine tour in early September. I have asthma, and walking up hills can be difficult for me, not impossible, but I will have to stop. I am beginning to get nervous that perhaps I won't be able to do anything but sit in a cafe and look at the mountains. Has anybody been on this tour? Are there some hikes that would be considered easy? I feel like I need to walk stairs for an hour everyday in order to be ready! Any insight would be appreciated!
I have been on this tour and am currently signed up for the Best of Switzerland.
Salzburg - don't worry. There is a funicular that will get you someplace higher than most of the city and relatively flat to walk along.
Hallstatt - I went off on my own and was not making the progress I thought I should so I returned to town. I realized, sadly, that perhaps a woman of an age should not best be walking alone on stony paths by herself and no one knowing where she is. Ha. I wish I had gone with some others. Again, I think there are options that will meet your needs.
Fussen - I went with some other folks to Hohenschwangau. I really enjoyed chilling in a café by the lake eating boar burgers.
We went up the Matterhorn, but that is cable car and not strenuous.
Dolomites - I regret to say I took the day off and did not go hiking. I stayed in the environs of Bolzano and took a funicular to the surrounding hills. Once up there, again, it was pretty flat. Other folks may be able to share additional experiences.
Berner Oberland - take the transport up to Murren - see Rick's book - then the walking is not strenuous going toward Gimmelwald. There is a nice place near the flower walk to sit and eat or have coffee, tea, beer. It was delightful, and there is nothing wrong sitting and enjoying the alps, IMO. I continued with others on to Gimmelwald and we spent some hours there at the hostel café eating and enjoying an adult beverage and taking in the fantastic scenery. Take the cable car down to Lauterbrunnen.
Wengen - took a late afternoon train ride to this town/resort. It was pretty flat and somewhat boring, but had more restaurants than Lauterbrunnen.
Chamonix - we took the cable car up the Aiguille du Midi. Will cable cars bring on your asthma? If not, you are golden. Took the car back down to the half-way point for some additional viewing. Then, spent a really relaxing afternoon on the lawn of the hotel watching folks rafting down the vigorous river. We asked for ice for our wine!
I know my description is banal and makes it sound like I am a huge slacker. In the beginning of the tour, I had set a personal agenda of locating parts of the Way of St. James. It was very time-consuming. By Fussen, I decided to relax and go with the flow. I hope to do that in Switzerland this time around. There were some hearty hikers in our group, but I think we all enjoyed our group despite less vigorous people like me. Actually, this was the friendliest tour I have been on.
I wish I were more fit, but since I am boarding a plane tomorrow, that seems hardly likely, baring an overnight miracle. I have said to friends that if any of my shoes hurt or my feet ache or any other aches kick in, I am going to sit and look at the Alps. How bad can that be? Drinking in the Alps visually sounds great to me.
So yes, there are easy hikes - google hikes near Gimmelwald in the Berner Oberland. I believe they are graded. There will be something for you. I enjoyed the flower walk and the walk down to Gimmelwald.
Sorry for the omission of umlauts. I am using a new tablet and am unfamiliar with even copy and paste.
Good Luck. Debbie
I did this tour a couple of years ago and don't think you need to worry about the walking. Since it is "un-guided" the walking is all at your discretion as to how much you do, and what speed you do it. My group included everything from serious long-distance hikers to those who just took the lifts up the mountains and enjoyed the views and a hot chocolate at the top. Access to the mountains at all the locations is available by lifts, so you can get right up to the tops of the mountains with hardly any walking needed. In Lauterbrunnen there are relatively short, level walks available from some of the lift stations. So you can relax and look forward to a great tour. (Hope you have better weather than I did; it rained for 6 of the days, but it was still a lovely tour!)
Thanks Debbie & Kathy, I feel better already!
To fill in a little about the Dolomites and Bolzano: to get to the Italian alps from Bolzano requires a bus ride up to the Alpi di Suisi. The bus station is several blocks from the hotel that we stayed in, but the walk to get there is all flat. Once up in the Alpi, there are many well-kept hiking paths (roads, almost) which are not steep but have beautiful views, and there was a man with a team of Halflingers at the trail head so it was possible to take a ride in his pony wagon on the nice paths rather than walking! The Italian alps are really gorgeous and much different looking than the Swiss alps, so I thought it was worth the effort of taking the bus. But Bolzano is an interesting town, too, and the Iceman museum is good. Also many nice restaurants in easy walking distance of the hotel.