As we came up above the treeline on the gondola from Grindelwald to Männlichen bahn (2225m) we saw plenty of marmot holes amongst the rough moorland but it was several minutes before Barbara spotted one walking – or waddling – over the turf, as if it was wearing incoveniently oversized pyjamas, raising its head to peer up the slope.
A few minutes later, I spotted two marmots which appeared to be smaller than the first one, scampering along to a low mound. A third marmot ran towards them and was soon involved in a fight (or a boisterous greeting) with one of the pair while the other looked on.
4 pm; At the top near the summit at the Männlichen Berggashaus, a restaurant run by the family Kaufmann, we share a slice of Studentenschnit, a traditional iced Swiss cake made with lot of ingredients and a Nussgipfel, a pastry croissant with nutty praline in it.
On the journey back down we thought that we’d passed back descended out of marmot territory when I spotted two by a stream. One flicked its tail as they encountered each other – like the other two we’d seen – and they greeted each other with a ‘hug’ – in this case it was less of a tussle.