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Published: September 28th 2007
Hello from the Alps!! Yesterday was a travel day for us; we spent the day going from Rothenburg, Germany to Murren, Switzerland, a small town in the Swiss Alps. It took 9 ½ hours - six train changes, a panoramic train, and a cable car. But it was WORTH IT!!! It is so beautiful up here. Our town is adorable - little Swiss chalets with flower boxes and vegetable gardens decorated with gnomes. And the view next to the town…well, just amazing. Murren is located about halfway (5,361 ft) up the Schilthorn mountain (9,748 ft).
As we walked around Murren, following our guide book to learn some history, we stopped by a cheese shop and sampled some locally made Alp cheese. Jeremy asked which one is Swiss cheese, and she said “it’s all Swiss cheese!” (Swiss cheese in the U.S. is actually Emmentaler cheese). For dinner we ate in our hotel restaurant and ate the local specialty - fondue!! We had a cheese fondue (tasted very strong like alcohol) but the entrée fondue was hot oil where you cooked cubes of beef. We were just happy to have beef!! (In Germany, pork is the staple.) The fondue came with about
20 different ramekins filled with veggies, fruits, dips, pickles, olives, etc. It was very tasty.
This morning we bundled up and headed to the cable car station to climb to the top. Two cable cars later, we were there. What a view. One of the old James Bond movies was filmed at the top in the 60’s - “Her Majesty’s Secret Service.” They have a film room to show you some clips of the parts done on the mountain. After taking a hundred pictures and throwing a few obligatory snow balls, we headed into the giant revolving restaurant (one of the first) for some lunch.
On the way back down the mountain we stopped at another little village, Gimmelwald. It is a farming community - the cows are herded up and down the mountain depending on the season. In the summer the cows’ milk is made into Alp cheese, and in the winter it is sold as fresh milk. The cows wear giant ceremonial cow bells (that can cost 2,000 Swiss Francs) and as they graze along the pasture, the bells sound like wind chimes. It’s like beautiful background music!!
Since I seem to be coming down
with a nasty cold I tried to slip in a nap, but was awoken by cow bells as one of the farmers walked them up our street! So, we had dinner and then called it a night - ever the experimental eater, Jeremy had wild goat. I tried a piece, and I have to admit it was pretty tasty.
Tomorrow we are leaving Murren and heading to Luzern, another town in Switzerland that is on a lake. We have heard from other travelers we’ve met that it is beautiful. By the way, we have met so many friendly Americans while over here! Everyone is carrying the Rick Steves travel guide books, including us. It’s a great ice-breaker. So is Jeremy’s Dallas Cowboys jacket - everyone asks us how they’re doing (English television or news about American football is hard to come by over here). Well, I’m done for tonight - talk to you again soon - miss you all!!
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