Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Lauterbrunnen Valley, Switzerland: A Travel Recommendation

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We had a long, free weekend and decided to head to Switzerland, THE best country there is! We were planning on going to Istanbul, but that didn't work out. Then we were planning on taking the dogs hiking through the Black Forest in Bavaria, but changed our minds once we saw Switzerland once again and loved it, once again. So I got out my travel books, started googling, and decided on the Lauterbrunnen Valley of Switzerland. Great choice, if I do say so myself!

We rented an apartment in the center of town that was dirt cheap, huge, and allowed dogs. Another good choice. While the apartment itself was nothing too special, it was in a great location and offered us plenty of space. Instead of eating out every night while we were there, we decided to pack food and cook (A said that was the Karla way!). We packed lunches for our hikes everyday and cooked dinner every night when we got home. It was perfect - a great combination of relaxation, being outside, working out, etc.

While we were there, we were planning on going to the 'Top of Europe....' Jungfraujoch. We've been close to going a few times, but never gone because of the price. Well, here again, we didn't go. It's SO ridiculously overpriced, we just couldn't bear it, so we skipped it. Part of me really wants to see the glacier and the views from the Sphinx, but this trip, just didn't happen. Instead, we hiked. The first day, we arrived later and the valley was already shaded. We stayed in town and walked to Staubbach Falls (not far at all from our place) and Trummelbach Falls (maybe 45 minutes). IT WAS FREEEEEZINGGGG with no sun out, but still gorgeous. There is a walkway up to Staubbach Falls which we thought would just be a good view point, but it was actually a tunnel and you were under the Falls - pretty cool... Worth the 20 minutes for sure. That night we cooked dinner and woke up to the watch the HOKIES beat GT!

The next day, we explored the town of Wengen and then hiked Kleine Scheidegg for great views of the three - Eiger, Jungfrau, and Mönch. The hike was STRAIGHT up hill, but worth it. The views were amazing and the dogs had a great time. There is a train stop at Kleine Scheidegg to go to Jungfrau.. we were tempted.. We stopped at a little restaurant, had a local beer, got the dogs some water, ate the remains of our packed lunch, and took the train back down. It's funny - we passed people who were walking DOWN Kleine Scheidegg, but no one who was walking up.. maybe we should've taken the hint. Oh, and the gross part, there were silk worms EVERYWHERE - this goes for all the hikes, not just Kleine Scheidegg. It was hard not to walk through. Ew. Again, after we got home, we cooked a delicious dinner and watched football on the computer.. the Internet is a glorious, glorious thing.

On Day three, we found yet another hike we wanted to try. We were both thinking this one would be a little easier than the K. Scheidegg.... not. From Lauterbrunnen, we took the 'difficult' (why?!) trail to Mürren and Grütschalp. Again, views. WOW. Not sure which views were my favorite because they were both so impressive. Again, we packed lunch for us and the dogs and our books, got up there, took some pictures, baked in the sun, and this time, hiked back down.

There are other places to see in the Lauterbrunnen Valley for sure. We didn't get to see the Schilthorn or the Piz Gloria (the restaurant from the James Bond movie), but with the dogs being with us and the weather being so very perfect out, we just wanted to spend the entire time outside. Next time?! Overall, great trip and great weather - now on to the next travel adventure: Porto, Portugal to port wine taste!

UNDER Staubbach Falls

Lauterbrunnen Valley - cute house with an awesome backdrop of Staubbach Falls

First night in Lauterbrunnen - lots of cows - lots of cheese for sale

View from climbing K. Scheidegg

A, B, & R - so small, Jungfrau so big

cloud cover over Interlaken

Kleine Scheidegg

K. Scheidegg

Kleine Scheidegg

Wearing North Face at the North Face.. and drinking the local brew

Jungfraujoch - the viewing station of the glacier


Relaxing after a long, straight uphill hike. Sun + a good book... ahhh

Kleine Scheidegg

Train ride back from K. Scheidegg - cloud cover over Lauterbrunnen.

Boston & Riva's first train ride!

Apartment View of Staubbach Falls

Apartment view on the other balcony - this is the quaint little town of Lauterbrunnen

This is actually a view from the apartment - can you believe it?!

Staubbach Falls from the start of the Mürren hike

The start of the hike up Mürren and Grütschalp - seeing the back side of Staubbach Falls


A and his dog

The views throughout the whole hike were just amazing. Pictures really don't do it justice. I know people say that, but REALLY.

Family Pic at the top with views of Eiger, Jungfrau, and Mönch

We made it to the top (Grutschalp & Murren).. and now the dogs need a snack!

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