I’m a huge advocate for taking the opportunity to travel somewhere new whenever it presents itself. I’d never actually heard of Bachtel, Hinwil, or even the village of Hinwil. That was until I’d met a couple of lovely Swiss ladies on a tour in Australia.
We became good friends and spent a few days mooching around Noosa Heads together. I was kindly invited to visit them back in Switzerland. As I said before, I believe you should jump at such opportunities.
Hinwil is a quaint little place, picturesque and quiet. You can see the mountains in the distance from pretty much everywhere. Yet, you can also spot a little tower sitting on the top of a hill. That ‘hill’ is Bachtel, Hinwil, and the tower is Bachtel Tower.
How tall is Bachtel, Hinwil?
You’ll find Bachtel in the municipality of Hinwil, part of the canton of Zurich. The mountain sits at 1,115 metres, or 3,658 feet above sea level. If you reach the summit, you’ll be higher than at any peak in Britain. Don’t let that put you off though. The actual climb to the peak is much shorter, given that the Swiss live halfway up a mountain range.
Climbing Bahtel, Hinwil, was great fun, but don’t make the same mistake as me. I stupidly tried climbing it wearing thongs (flip-flops for the majority of the world). You’ll also notice that the route to up the mountain takes you through various fields that happen to be filled with cows. They’re curious, and they’ll likely ‘chase’ you. Don’t be too concerned about trespassing, the public access in Switzerland is great.
Here you can see where I started from, its the slightly further settlement (Hinwil).
At the top of the mountain is Bachtel Tower, and a cafe. Bachtel Tower is a radio tower that happens to double as a lookout. Designed with various markers carved into the frame, it shows which of the alps you can see. You’ll also find the height of each one.
You can also spot the famous Zürichsee, or Lake Zurich, depending on where you’re from. In fact, you can see a ridiculous amount of the surrounding area from atop the tower.
As for the restaurant, it was unfortunately closed when I visited. I can imagine it would make for a great pit-stop. There is a small play area and a few other facilities up there too. I may also have neglected to mention that you can opt to drive up – but that would take most of the fun away.
If you’re planning to take a few photographs while you’re up there, keep in mind that given the altitude, you may need to wait for a few clouds to pass. I was fortunate in that most of my time in Switzerland was actually quite hot and sunny. I’m told this isn’t usually the case.
Funnily enough, I actually met a cool Brazilian guy when I got to the top. So if you read this, Olá! I can’t say I was expecting to make acquaintance with a Brazilian chap at the top of a radio tower in Switzerland. My adventure to Bachtel, Hinwil, failed to disappoint.
I mentioned the cows, and although numerous, I didn’t actually snap any until my descent. I still managed to get one though, so now you can take a look at an authentic Swiss cow! They even come equipped with traditional cowbells.