Swiss Alps, cont.

Our second full day in the Swiss Alps, we traveled from Wengen to First via two scenic cable car rides.

riding the cable car with the sound of cowbells filling the air

descending into grindelwald

views as we take the cable car from grindelwald to first

First is called “Top of Adventure”. Seems there’s a “top of” everything here.

on first

On First, we did the Cliff Walk. It’s on the west side of the First Summit.

that steel walkway is part of the cliff walk

cliff walk

cliff walk

views of the snow capped mountain range from the cliff walk

After the Cliff Walk, we did the long hike from First to Schynige Platte, via the Faulhorn Summit. It’s a 10 mile hike with a total ascent of 2,300 feet and total descent of 2,900 feet. The hike offers magnificently varied scenery.

leaving first, cliff walk in the background

approaching lake bachalpsee

About

lake bachalpsee, the lake is split by a natural dam

lake bachalpsee

After Lake Bachalpsee, it was time for more climbing to reach Faulhorn.

may not look like much in the picture, but it was steep in this section

at the small hut above lake bachalpsee

just past the faulhorn summit

After reaching Faulhorn, we found a place to stop and eat lunch. We were above the turquoise Lake Brienz and the smaller blue Lake Sagistalsee.

lunch with a view

360 degree views

would have stayed here longer, but didn’t want to miss the last train back to Wengen!

After lunch, we started the descent to Schynige Platte.

steep again, but this time downhill

another dramatic shift in scenery

looking back up from where we came

beautiful meadow

See jay? I turned around and realized I’d gotten pretty far ahead of him.

mount eiger behind me

approaching schynige platte, another dramatic shift in the landscape

lake thun in the distance

lake thun

After reaching Schynige Platte, we took the cogwheel railway down to Wilderswil and then made our way back to Wengen by train.

The next day was our last full day in the Swiss Alps. We got up early and headed to Gimmewald.

gimmewald sits in the valley below

beautiful valley

After arriving in Gimmewald, we found Walter’s Place, where our friends Mark & Abby stayed during their honeymoon 16 years ago.

walter’s place

From Gimmewald, we did the short hike up to Mürren.

three leg mountings which serve as snow slide barriers

lots of cows in this part of Switzerland

picture perfect

mürren

From Mürren, we hiked down to Lauterbrunnen.

following the railroad tracks

these carless villages rely on the trains to transport goods

as we were walking, we heard a large piece of ice break off one of these glaciers, sounded like thunder

my legs are enjoying this flat stretch

that village in the background is wengen

so many waterfalls on this hike

this one was the most impressive

another view of wengen

in lauterbrunnen…can you imagine having a waterfall like that in your backyard?

From Lauterbrunnen, we decided to take the train down to Interlaken to spend some time at Lake Brienz.

scenic views the entire train ride

lake brienz

we ate a late lunch at this spot

stunning turquoise waters

on a small beach at lake brienz

wow, the color of that water!

taking in the views from the trail above the lake

For our last evening in Switzerland, we decided we would go out to eat. This was our only meal out in Switzerland (we saved a lot of money by going to the grocery store and making our own meals). We wanted to go out to try some Swiss food. We ended up ordering soup and some swiss noodles called Älplermagronen (Alpine Farmers’ Macaroni). It comes with a side of applesauce, which traditionally, is mixed into the noodles. We tried a few bites that way, interesting taste, but we decided to eat the applesauce separately.

Älplermagronen

Maximizing our time in the Swiss Alps before heading back to the states meant an early wake up call the next morning and a very long travel day. The trip back started with four train rides to get to the Zurich airport, a flight from Zurich to Frankfurt, a flight from Frankfurt to Denver, a bus ride from the Denver Airport to Boulder, then a car ride home. It was no small miracle that we made every connection. Especially since our flight out of Zurich was delayed and we ended up doing a two mile sprint across the Frankfurt airport to make our flight. Pretty sure that sprint across the airport was the fastest I’ve run in my entire life. It was a huge sigh of relief when we reached our gate and saw that people were still boarding, even though the gate should have been closed already.

our train itinerary…4 trains over 3 hours to go from wengen to the zurich airport

By the time we got home, we had been traveling for 23 hours. We were pretty exhausted, which was good, because it made it easier to sleep through the night even though it was morning in Europe. 🙂

Until the next trip…

“Wherever you go, go with all your heart.” – Confucius

5 responses to “Swiss Alps, cont.

  1. Fellow Coloradoans! We have met more people from Colorado out and about in Switzerland than any other place, it seems. We recently moved to Basel from Longmont. Loved all the pictures of our favorite places – you guys really did a lot!

  2. I have been to some of these places in Switzerland, but did not view it from your vantage points! Those are some stunning photos. (And all that running ‘experience’ sure paid off to make it home without delay! I’d have been doomed.) Enjoyed the trip “with you” — as usual. Glad you are home safe and sound.

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