On the 7th of August 2021, IAYSP-Switzerland organized a hike under the name of “Peace Hike”, that took place from Grütschalp to Mürren, in the region of Lauterbrunnen, Bern Canton.
The purpose of this event was to promote peace by sharing a warm event all together again, after being so many months apart due to the global pandemic. Connecting to each other in the nature was a great opportunity to open our hearts to each other and building bridges, seeing old friends and meeting new ones. It was also the occasion to continue the Peace Road project (see the USA peace road page: https://peaceroadusa.com/).
Another reason IAYSP-Switzerland organized this hike was to celebrate intergenerationally, the United Nation’s International Youth Day, which takes place every year on the 12th of August. (https://www.un.org/en/observances/youth-day)
IAYSP-Switzerland was honored to be sponsored (of a person who wanted to stay anonymous) to organize a contest to win 5 free train day passes for the hike. The winners were picked randomly among those who applied to the contest and thus joined the hike without any transport charge.
Meeting up in Lauterbrunnen, the 15 participants took the cable car from Lauterbrunnen to Grütschalp to start the hike. It was a very motivated group of diverse people, from French and German parts of Switzerland, and even from Liechtenstein, with some young adolescent and adults, and older relatives. Two participants were Ambassadors for Peace.
The hike was 5.1 km long, with about 500 meters increase. The participants enjoyed the gifts of nature; the beautiful landscape of the Swiss Alps, picking up mushrooms and wild blueberries, with colorful flowers along our paths and crossing streams, while cows and goats were roaming around.
After the first steep part of the hike through the forest, the participants took a break for lunchtime. Some groundhogs could be heard from afar. Later, the rest of the hike went smoothly as before. In Mürren, the end point of the hike, the participants took a cable car to return to the valley, with a grateful heart, as the rain just started pouring.
To conclude, the participants really appreciated the hike. The nature was a great source of peace and energy. Meeting in person after such a long tough time - as the Covid-19 pandemic kept us apart – was truly delightful. The participants connected to each other by joking around, having deep conversations, during the physical effort while hiking as well as in the train to get up to Lauterbrunnen. The event contributed to Peace Road 2021, connecting the world by bike and on foot.
Report by Anya-Aurore Mauron