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Published: November 2nd 2019
After leaving Lucerne, we headed towards our cabin for the week. We drove through many more tunnels and made a stop in Interlaken, where we stocked up on supplies (expensive of course). This would be the largest grocery market around, so we figured to get as much as we could here, which included, bread, pasta, meat, fruit, veggies, and drinks. Gimmelwald
We then drove through the Lauterbrunnen valley, past the quaint Swiss villages and towering waterfalls, on the way to Stechelberg, where we were to ride the gondola up to Gimmelwald. After finding the parking area (expensive), we found a nice lady at the gondola ticket booth who recommended a pass of 6 rides for each of us for 30 euros. Dana and Lindsey were a little nervous about the gondola, but I was excited! It was a beautiful sunny day (at that time) and we got magnificent views of the valley.
We had to lug all our crap up in one go, including our many groceries, so that was fun. We had just a little trouble identifying exactly which cabin was ours, but it was right near the gondola station and super nice. The cabin has two
large bedrooms a full and a half bath, a huge living space and a well supplied kitchen. Oh, and an incredible view of the mountains and valley running the length of common rooms.... It was perfect!!
When we first arrived, we decided to check out the village a little. Sadly, there was not much to see. Oh, it was beautiful, to be sure, but dead. We came in definite off-season, between summer and ski season. We were looking forward to the biergarten next door to our cabin. Closed until December. Hostel restaurant. Closed until December. This was just the beginning of seeing how dead the entire area was yet still charging us the exact same prices for things like ... parking. Parks. We walked up the hill and had a great view of Gimmelwald below, so we enjoyed the peace of where we were, and were happy we stocked up on some wine. Hike #1 - Down into the Valley
For our first hike of the day, we decided to hike down from our cabin rather than take the gondola. It took about 1 hour 40 minutes, and it was lovely the whole way. Such a nice
start to our time here. We made our way down through the village an along a road - it was confusing as to whether this road was actually utilized by cars as it was just barely wide enough, rough and dangerously steep. We saw and heard two guys shoveling, possibly doing continuous clearance work. we also so lots of waterfalls, large and small, the beautiful changing and falling leaves (this made it a little precarious with the wet leaves covering rocks, making it slippery on the decent). We passed cows with their cowbells. Cute random cabins or sheds. When we finally got to Stechelberg at the bottom, we were able to see out over the valley and followed the river to the parking area. We also saw a few other people walking along this trail, though we had seen no one other than the workers on our descent.
We got our car and decided to get some lunch. Our next planned hike was the Trümmelbachfalle and there was supposed to be a nice restaurant near the park entrance. Oh yeah, it was closed for the season. So we figured we would go into town, Lauterbrunnen. Surely something would be
there. The first two places we check: closed for the season. Finally, we saw the Hotel Steinbock, which was open. The menu seemed limited, but the pizza looked good so we ordered two to share (trying to cut costs...). The pizza was actually delicious - Quattro formaggi and one with prosciutto and arugula. Perfect. Hike #2 - Trümmelbachfalle
We drove back to the entrance to the park where parking was fairly easy. Then we walked up to the ticket booth. 11 friggin francs to get entrance to the park. At first we were put off and even contemplating going to one of many other free hikes, but figured, wth. Fortunately, in this case, we could see where the money goes as there is an interior funicular, built in 1913, which makes its way up the steep slopes so you can view the 10 different waterfalls viewing points. It was quite spectacular. The first two stops are just outside and you get your first indication of what you will see - it was so loud and powerful. Then you take the ride up nearer to the top, to point 6. Then you continue to climb up, mostly inside the
cavern, where there four more places to see where the fast moving water drops through this giant fracture, draining the glacial waters from the nearby mountains of Mönch, Eiger, and Jungfrau.
There were some waterfalls inside up to the tenth. Then you come back down to point 6 and you can take the funicular back down, or continue down the stairs to see points 3 through5, which are exterior. We took the stairs. It really was lovely with the waterfalls, views and autumn colors. Hike #3 - Dinner in Mürren
After a fairly busy day, we thought we should do one final night hike from our cabin to the nearby village of Mürren, a 45 minute walk slightly uphill from Gimmelwald. It's a bit larger than our village, so we figured there had to be something available. We did not head out until about 6pm, in the rain, and made our way up, sometimes stopping frequently in the steeper areas. We had researched online and saw a couple of possibilities for drinks or dinner, all of them saying they were open, thinking at least one of them had to be open. It was dark when we
finally got into town and our first option, the Gondelbar, which was supposed to be a cute bar in a former gondola, was closed. Of course, we weren't too shocked on that one. But the Singapore food restaurant? Closed for season. The bistro? Closed for season. The Jungfrau hotel restaurant? Under construction and closed for season. We were just about to give up (and cry) when we decided to walk just a little further from where we were to Hotel Eiger. There's lights??? They're open!!!!! Yay!!! So, at this point, we were like, we will not complain about the costs, just give us food and beer! They got schnitzel and I got a pumpkin soup with a cheese plate. I think we wound up splitting two small (500ml) bottles of Pinot Noir. Happily. So much better - we would have been miserable if we had to walk all the way back in the dark and rain on empty bellies and have to make dinner ourselves.
We enjoyed the hike back town with Lindsey having a Halloween playlist, with spooky music to accompany our slightly inebriated way home.
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