Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Interlaken - Tag Eins

To satisfy our need to explore the Alps, we took a short weekend trip to Interlaken. We boarded the earliest train we could bare this past Saturday leaving at 8am. Ate our yummy Nutella croissant breakfast and tapped our feet in anticipation for the two hour train ride through Bern, arriving at Interlaken West.

During the train ride, I just kept praying that the rain would stop and the clouds would break up just as we rolled into town. Can't you picture it? A ray of light shining directly over Interlaken, maybe even some humming in the background. But, it wasn't looking good. We got off the train and immediately were trying to figure out where to buy cheap...wait, nothing is cheap in Switzerland...I mean, where to buy less expensive water-resistant jackets. First things first though, we had to check in to our quaint Bed and Breakfast. Drop off our bags and figure out how the rain was going to effect our semi-planned day of hiking and exploring.

The receptionist at Hotel Lötschberg was amazing. She pointed us over to the Migros for jackets and helped us make decisions for how our day should flow based on the weather.

We headed back to the train station to make our way to Lauterbrunnen.

There we boarded a cable car to Grütschalp and skipped this part of the hike because the trail would be too slick. We actually lucked out because this would have been the most challenging part of the hike. Thank you rain!

Once in Grütschalp, we started hiking towards Winteregg and then on to Mürren. About an hour and a half trip for most, but with Josh and I shooting a bizzillion pictures and leisurely taking in all the sites, it was more like two and a half hours. It was beautiful, and the rain just added to it. We were surrounded by waterfalls, wild flowers, and snow-covered mountains in the background.

In Mürren, we stopped for lunch to dry off and have a beer. We sat next to a large picture window and watched the fog roll in around the mountains enjoying every minute of the day. Next stop took a hike over to Stechelberg, a cable car ride to Gimmelwald, and then a bus ending at Trümmelbach Falls. Gold star for the recommendation by the hotel receptionist.

Trümmelbach Falls was like nothing I had ever seen (I feel like I have keep saying this throughout my blog posts...oh well. It's a good thing, right?). You pay 10 CHF with your Interlaken discount card and take an elevator up to top of this mountain. The door opens up and you follow the trail into the mountain. We had no idea what to expect. We were still a little pissed that we had to pay for this tourist stop. We had already seen a ton of waterfalls throughout the day. What could make this one better? We were so wrong. This is a must see if you are going to Interlaken and 10 CHF is a deal. Back to the story...the doors open, you enter the mountain and BOOM giant waterfall. There aren't words to describe it. I think we all forget how powerful water can be. You could feel the vibration of the falls, hear the rush of water, and feel the spray across your face. I get chills just writing about it.

After following the trails in and around Trümmelbach Falls, we boarded the bus and headed back to Lauterbrunnen and then on to Interlaken. I don't think I stopped smiling the whole day. Well, maybe just to pick my mouth up from hitting the floor every time I turned a corner. This is the place people dream about going to...and we are here. How did I ever get so lucky?

We made it back to the hotel just in time for my tummy to start growling and my blood sugar to drop. I needed food NOW. We walked over to a nearby local joint (also recommended by the receptionist) for some true Swiss food. I think it was called Baron's Grill and was just off the main drag on the other side of the lake.

We ate rösti and fondue til our hearts content. And, of course had to wash it down with some Swiss Wein and Grand Marnier to warm us up from the inside out.

As we rolled ourselves back to the Bed and Breakfast, the sun was just setting (probably around 10pm) and the Alps were almost highlighted in the sky. What could have made this day any better? I would have said nothing, but when we got back to the hotel and crawled in to our bed, we heard something that sounded like fireworks. No...couldn't be. We both looked up and out of our attic window, and no kidding, there were fireworks going off over one of the lakes. We slept well that night in anticipation for the next day.

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