Porcupyn's Blog

June 14, 2015

A trip to Switzerland – Day One

Filed under: Family — Porcupyn @ 7:38 am

We reached Zurich at about 6:30 am in the morning; however, after an eventful morning that included some unwise decisions from me, as luck would have it, we reached our destination, Valley Hostel Lauterbrunnen, only at about 3:30 pm. We immediately checked in without any issues and freshened up.

Looking up towards the mountains, we could see the blue sky partially covered by clouds. But as we had nothing to lose and nothing else planned for the day (plans had been squashed because we got there so late in the afternoon), we decided to take the train to Wengen. As (our) luck would have it (and as we now know), that afternoon was the brightest it ever was during our three-day stay in Lauterbrunnen. When we reached Wengen, we realized that the clouds were getting thicker at the top (we had never caught sight of the top of the Jungfrau anyway) and so decided to hang around in the Wengen area for some time. My son and I walked up the path along the railway line for about half an hour. We were able to hear the sounds coming from the cowbells as the livestock grazed along the mountainside.

We then walked back to the station and took a train back down to Lauterbrunnen. As it was still daylight outside, though the clouds were getting thicker at the top, we decided to go up to Murren using the Bergbahn Lauterbrunnen Murren (BLM) via Grutschsalp. There was minimal waiting and we were on our way. The sight was spectacular (obviously) but I was so sure we would be back within the next two days to go up to Schilthorn anyway (that was my destination #1 for the trip).

After getting down at Grutschalp, we got on the railbus (that is the best way I can describe the little train) to Murren. As we were on our way, the clouds decided that they could hold water no more. It started drizzling. By the time we got to Murren, it was a good-sized downpour. As we were prepared (weren’t we?!!), we unfurled our ponchos and put them on. It was already past about 7 pm or so, and getting dark (more because of the clouds than because of sunset), but we gamely trudged on in the rain to the Schilthornbahn station at the other end of town. At this point, we were a bit anxious – if we did not find the other station or if the rain really got to us, we had to be back at the BLM station within an hour for the last connection to the gondola to Laterbrunnen. So, we did not really enjoy the sights around us but focussed on getting to the Schilthornbahn.

It took us about half an hour to get there without further incidents, though our ponchos came through in style. They got wet, but we didn’t! After a wait for a few minutes, a cablecar was ready to go down; however, I had figured out that though this cablecar would get us to Stechelberg, there was no connection from there to Lauterbrunnen for half an hour. So, we decided to wait at the station and let the empty cablecar go down. As we waited, we explored a bit. I discovered that a bach right by me (Murrenbach?) was flowing down the mountainside right next to the cablecar. Also, there is a nice water fountain at the entrance to the cablecar station where we filled up our water bottles.

We got on the next cablecar towards Gimmelwald. There were hardly a handful of people in the cablecar. At Gimmelwald, we changed to another cablecar to Stechelberg. As we were planning to come up to Schilthorn again and as it was still raining, we did not even consider getting out and about in Gimmelwald. (In retrospect, could we have been more wrong??!!)

From Stechelberg, we got the PostBus after a wait of a couple of minutes and a few minutes later, we were back in Lauterbrunnen. After getting down, I noticed that the PostBus was a Mercedes. Are all Post Buses in Switzerland made by Mercedes? I meant to observe – but as it turned out, I failed to do so. So, that is still a standing question! Anyone??

Today’s photos (Photo Credit: Baab) are in this album.

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