The Lovely Mountain Town of Murren
Our bodies are starting to get weary from traveling, and carrying way too much on our backs. But of course, the misery of trekking from one place to the next, is quickly forgotten when you arrive in a place like Murren. The valley town is called Lauterbrunnen and you have to take a huge gondola up to a train that then takes you to Murren. Four train switches and we arrive in Murren. It overlooks the highest peaks in all of Europe. It was jaw dropping beautiful. The train ride itself was a highlight.
Holy whoa these views are stunning, and so is walking through town in this altitude, it is actually taking our breath away. Ha! Remember, home base is in Florida, and Orlando is a whopping 82 feet above sea level!
Murren is a little over a mile in elevation, and we can’t wait to get to Jungfrau, the highest point in all of Europe! But our room and view helped solve tires altitude ‘issues’.
We had dinner at the hotel’s terrace and watched the sun paint the mountains pink…and huge bonus….they had a slack line right outside our porch!
These pictures are from the next morning…our porch and town of Murren
Hotel Bellevue (highly recommend staying here)….
Jungfraujoch, the TOP of Europe!
Switzerland has proven its expensive, and it’s worth every penny! Every destination is offering a pure, unique experience from the last, rejuvenating us at just the right time. Well today’s mission has a little extra meaning, this happens to be a place Scott’s mom traveled, back when she took a tour of Europe with the wayfarer camp. To add some irony to this, when we ‘coined’ ourselves Two Wayfaring Wanderers, we had no idea of this connection.
With the help of Scott’s big sister Alicia, we were able to get some excerpts of her journal and share some of the same experiences!
Down the peak from Murren through Lauterbrunnen, and up the highest peak in Europe to Jungfraujoch. This train system in Switzerland is no joke, so much so that we are spending a great deal of time on the train, and loving it!
This particular train that takes us up to the top was a special project, starting in 1896. Sixteen years later: including way too many casualties, a two-year hiatus for funding, and doubling the originally budget, the Swiss were finally able to break through this mountainous region and finish this railway to the top of Europe! The train ride was so beautiful!
And we, like millions of other visitors each year, are amazed and thrilled they did! Tunnels through the mountain led us to more remarkable, never tiresome views of the Swiss Alps.
Other than the challenge of hiking around at 11,333 feet, we found a couple of other activities to enhance our experience, ziplining and snowtubing.
Wait, and of course a visit to get some Swiss chocolates from Lindt. Probably doesn’t need to be mentioned that this is the highest chocolate factory in the world!
The Top of Europe!
A journey down, then another journey up, and we are back in the quaint town of Murren eating dinner overlooking a ‘fake’ backdrop, wait it only looks fake, even in person. Switzerland seems to be too good to be real!
Pathways for everyone! That is what we finally figured out what that sign meant, and it holds true throughout Switzerland. Well, last day in Murren and we decide to venture out to capture the beauty first hand, a day of hiking in the Swiss Alps!
We settle on the Northface Trail, a moderately challenging hike that provides views of all the peaks in the Jungfrau region, including Eiger, Monch, and Jungfraujoch! The trail is also outfitted with information about the peaks as they come into view, including the challenges climber faced on their first ascents, and the year that these feats were first accomplished. A recommended trail for anyone who visits this region!
We trekked our way through Allmendhubel, Sonnenberg, Suppenalp, Schiltalp, Sprutz, to Gimmelwald. You could call these towns or villages we suppose, however when the cows outnumber the people and buildings overwhelmingly, it surprised us that these places were even named. Cows over 100, local people less than 10. Huge bonus…the wildflowers are amazing in Switzerland!
So our photographic trek back to Murren got derailed as we ventured a little deeper into the Alps, accidentally… Following the wrong path led us to Sprutz, a fascinating waterfall that swung out over the cliffs, allowing the trail to weave behind the falls. A spectacular view looking out into the peaks!
Thank goodness our missteps on our path led us to Gimmelwald, where we could jump on a cable car back up to Murren. These villages high up in the mountains are carless, which makes them even more unique, but also means you either rely on your legs, or thankfully a few cable cars strategically placed throughout these mountainside towns. By now our legs ached, and shook (literally) from over use, and we were yearning for the comfort of our pleasant accommodations at the Bellevue Hotel.
The town of Murren from above on the Northface trail
An accidental nap, a nice evening, and the fun of experiencing the clouds roll right into our room led us into the next morning. It was fascinating experiencing an active thunderstorm happen as you are right in the middle of the cloud. Loud rumbles, periodic lightning, and less than optimal vision carried through until the morning.
Murren to Montreux, our last destination before flying out of Geneva the following day. We can’t complain about the wet weather, since we were able to experience some of the best Switzerland has to offer on extremely perfect days. Plus, a three and a half our train ride in the rain adds an element of adventure through our FIVE transfers on this journey. I guess the only challenging part of the Swiss rail system is the amount of transfers it seems we have encountered throughout the week. I guess taking a nap on the train is not a norm in these parts, because you may just miss your stop! Breakfast of champions……
Sadly, the excitement and eagerness to experience Montreux was squashed! Over the years we have been extremely fortunate: we hiked the Inca trail in rainy season, and stayed dry the whole trek; spent fifty days in Southeast Asia and mother nature played nice with us the whole trip! So I guess we owe a few days like this…
The Swiss Riviera lies on Lake Geneva, in the French speaking town of Montreux. We arrive for a one day, one-night stopover on our way to Geneva. Obviously not long enough to enjoy this vibrant city, but thought one day is better than none. AND, to make the pit stop more valuable, the Montreux Jazzfest is happening right outside our hotel room. Our hopes of paddleboarding on the crystal clear glacier water, listening to live music, and walking to the Chillon Castle are washed out by consistent rain. We venture out when it breaks for a few minutes, but unfortunately our day is mostly spent indoors, anxiously waiting for the rain to subside. Our bodies thanked the rain, as the whirlwind of traveling had taken a little toll on us.
Coinciding with our departure from Geneva the next day, we popped in for a visit with a friend from back home. A good friend has been living in Geneva for her husband’s work for the past few years, and due to good timing, we were able to stop by her home in Geneva to spend some time with her and her adorable two-year old daughter!
Geneva is short-lived, as we are jumping on a plane to our next destination, ICELAND!!