|Buzzing around the Swiss Alps in a C172|
After more than three years without even a minute sitting in a general aviation aircraft, finally the time had come again. And this was today's means of transport...
...uhm, nope, not really. That one's just delivering fresh air and power. Mounted on it is this one here, a Reims/Cessna 172 built in 1972.
Short look at the routing: Departing from Berne, it led via Thun, Spiez, Kandersteg, Gemmipass, Leukerbad, Sion, Sanetschpass, Gstaad to Saanen airfield (168km). The way back was a bit more straightforward, via Gruyères, Schwarzsee and Thun back to Berne (100km).
After two hours by public transport, I had finally reached our captial's airport, Bern-Belpmoos
My friend was already waiting for me, and after completing some last calculations, we were all set for the flight. Taking off from Rwy 32, we passed the cute little terminal
Performing a left turn we joined the left-hand upwind heading south now, and left the field via the direction of Thun
Here we are, overhead the city of Thun: Looking down at its station and skyline
Guess we need to rename it to Canthun now, thanks to the Caribbean-like waters!
Meanwhile my friend is busy trying to make the C172 climb...
Catching a glimpse in the direction of Interlaken, while we're turning into the Kander valley.
*Some* distinctive chunk of stone
Lovely lake Oeschinensee
The village of Kandersteg
Bietschorn, 3'904 meters high
Another gorgeous mountain lake
My friend's still fighting for every foot of altitude...*g*
Finally we're high enough to use this pass and get over into the Valais region
After that short stint, we're already navigating back north headed for the Berne region again, overflying this nice rock formation
Finally today's destination comes into view, Saanen airfield, at the bottom of a small valley
So the time has come to lose all that accumulated altitude again and get ready for the approach
Turning around in the valley
Waiting for another plane to land, we enjoy a wonderful view of the resort town of Gstaad and its famous Palace Hotel
On finals for Rwy 26
A brief view of the village of Saanen
I fell in love with that airfield right away. Small, cute, laid-back, idyllic - perfect! Apron view from the small terminal building
Yeah, we made it! :)
Getting the Cessna ready for the return flight
Tension rose on the small airfield, an elegant Bentley pulled up, followed minutes later by the Bentley of the Air, the Pilatus PC-12. Someone arriving for their summer holidays in Gstaad probably...
...and looking back at the charming airfield
Some mountains in the Fribourg area
Back in the approach area of Berne, we pass the towns of Oppligen...
...before we end up on finals for Rwy 32 again
After a soft touchdown and a brief taxi back to the hangar this nice little trip was over way too soon. Thanks for reading!
To wrap it up, Lake Thun again from another angle - bye bye!