Cornell Club of Switzerland - back to hiking

You never can keep the Swiss away from hiking, even if it has to be appropriately distanced. Sure enough, popping up in the inbox was an invitation from the hike promoter of the Cornell Club of Switzerland, Dr. Professor Jürg Hari, announcing a walk in the Emmental region.


I read it warily. It described an “easy hike”. But easy for the Swiss is not your normal easy for a non Swiss – even though I grew up stomping the Himalayas as a teenager. The Swiss are born wearing hiking boots and skis. They trudge up or ski down literally as infants, maybe attached to a parent. Nevertheless, I decided to bite the bullet.  No matter what came, I would persevere..

As it turned out, Jürg was right! This was indeed an easy, beautiful walk – and literary as well. It followed a trail dedicated to Friedrich Dürrenmatt (1921-1990), a Swiss author and dramatist. Fifteen panels en route described the writer’s life and writings. An opportunity for philosophical discussion – or better still, taking a break!

Walking through the village of Konolfingen, climbing through mysterious woods and dales, we arrived at an enormous mountain-top plain overlooking the valley. A stunning place to unwind, munch on our self-packed lunches or have a power nap.


Never short of surprises on a Cornell walk, on top of the mountain we are witness to yet another example of Swiss inventiveness – a game called Hornusser. Ever heard of it? Most hadn’t. One swings around a long, flexible golf club like implement to hit a tiny ball which has to be blocked by a train of equally spaced guys with paddles, reminiscent of Alice in Wonderland’s game of cards. For the bored elderly, I thought, till I ran into young Simon, 25 years old. Bedecked in shades and nifty sneakers, he proudly informed me that he’s a Sunday regular representing the Häutligen team. So be it.  Another best kept Swiss secret!

Deserving mention, the oldest baseball cap was worn by Jackie B. whose father was a graduate, class of 1928!



The charm of Swiss mountain hikes is the assurance of running into well fed cows, happy goats and truly pink pigs – as we have in the past.  The cherry on the cake of this hike was to end up at the blissful Schloss Konolfingen, a hotel set in a gorgeous park – rose gardens, hammocks, rippling brook, a perfect setting. What more could one ask for? Well, a triple decker ice-cream for Peter K.!