It was a long train ride from Venice via Lake Como to Geneva. In Geneva we caught our first train to Interlaken and from there another train transfer to Lauterbrunnen.
The train snaked lakeside and revealed some of Switzerland’s most wondrous countryside. But the true marvel was walking into the valley. A few things in life have taken my breath away. Walking in to Red Square and seeing Saint Basil’s Cathedral, seeing a Sequoia Redwood, entering Yosemite Valley. Walking into Lauterbrunnen was one of these experiences. It most resembled descending into Yosemite Valley from the west. Lush greens and yellows decorate the valley floor and hillside while over 70 waterfalls fell into the valley from both sides. High above the valley shelf, Mount Eiger, Monch, and Jungraugh on the left and Schilthorn on the right reached up above the clouds and touched to the sky.
From the valley floor we took a cogwheel train into Murren. We arrived in between ski and summer seasons. The entire town was silent except for the Alpenruh. We could hear the clop clop clop of our feet on the stone pathways as we walked. All the chalets were closed to tourism and took this time to make necessary repairs. We did not see a single person as we walked to the end of town to our destination.
The hotel was fantastic and they gave us a room us amazing views of the Alps. We had some fondue and stroganoff while looking across the great valley at Eiger, Monch, and Jungfrau. The next day we hiked along the rim of the valley through Gimmelwald and down to the valley floor and back to the cogwheel train. The fresh alpine air along with magnificent panoramas of the Alps made each step easy to take. The hillsides erupted with yellow, orange, and blue flowers. Cows with giant cowbells wandered about. Sharleen wanted to roll down the hills. “What would stop you from rolling off the edge?” The frosty white mountains starkly contrasted against the vibrant colors below making a spectacular dichotomy. The lack of people, mechanization, and wildlife make the hike surprisingly quiet. Sharleen and found each other whispering when we talked.
Jungfraujoch is a UNESCO world heritage site. From the valley floor we boarded a train that went up. The train is celebrated as the highest train tracks in the world. Out of the valley and onto the valley shelf were miles of green fields with herds of cattle. Up, up, and up through Grindlewald where the greenery abruptly stopped and the snow started and the train took us through the mountain to the Jungfraujoch station. We walked through glacial blue carved hallways and made our way to the Shpinx observatory. At 11,782 feet (3721 m), it is the tallest point in Europe.
Another memorable experience was taking the gondola up to Piz Gloria on the top of Schilthorn. The Piz Gloria was helped to famed status in a early James Bond movie. It is actually a rotating restaurant that offers amazing views of the alps. Drinking Swiss hot chocolate while looking down the on the rest of Europe was unforgettable. What an amazing part of our honeymoon.