Thursday, June 5, 2014

Germany and Switzerland: Day 6...Murren & Gimmelwald

Monday morning starting off with a little running for me.  I was super excited to take off and take in all the beauty in Lauterbrunnen.  I ran down the main road (there was only one real road) and quickly found myself running with the cows.

Guten tag Mr. Cow!

As far as running with the cows goes, I was really running with the cows as in they started chasing me.  I just about peed my pants in excitement and stopped for a quick picture.

Because it is not everyday that you take a selfie with a cow getting a kiss by another cow.  Only in Switzerland.

After my run, we had breakfast at our hotel where one of the associates recommended a wonderful hike for Ken and me.  We took the cable car up to Grutschalp (B), hiked to Murren (C), hiked to Gimmelwald (D), hiked to Stechelberg (E), and then hiked back to Lauterbrunnen (A).  It was a very full day of hiking.

A view of our day (source)

We got up to Grutschalp and realized that most people take the train to Murren instead of hiking to it.  We were all alone on the trails and it was fabulous.  I mean it was horrible, absolutely horrible to be looking at the gorgeous scenery.

On the way to Murren it was like a postcard at every turn.

We stopped and took several pictures with the mountain views behind us.  You know, since it looks so similar to Kansas and all.

Ken's signature pose

Having a blast

As we made our way closer to Murren, we encountered a little bit of snow. Ken told me to pose for a picture for Kya, who we missed terribly.  So...

I picked up a giant handful of snow and took a bite.  That is what our husky would have wanted!

We arrived in Murren and was greeted with a picture perfect village.  We quickly realized that we liked Murren much more than Wengen from yesterday.


In the Lauterbrunnen Valley, it is common to see BASE jumpers.  They make their way up to Murren and jump off the cliffs into Lauterbrunnen.  While we were in Murren Ken walked down to an area that looked like it might be where they jump.  When he got down there is saw the platform and then he saw a guy walk up there and jump!  The BASE jumper walked up to Ken, said hello, and then calmly jumped!  It was pretty crazy!

Hello and good-bye Mr. BASE jumper!

One of the things that we liked about hiking so much in Switzerland was that you hike for a while and then make it to a town or village and stop for lunch or a snack and drinks.  And, since water was more expensive than alcohol, beer or wine was always ordered.  Perhaps we should pack our backs now and beg for a Swiss Visa to become a Swiss citizen???

Switzerland is quite expensive!

We enjoyed our lunch of wine, beer, and pizza and then made our way to the teeny tiny village of Gimmelwald complete with 120 full time residents.

A view of the Schilthorn

The cable car to the Schilthorn and avalanche barriers

The hike to Gimmelwald was a nice paved path and was downhill for the most part.  It was a very easy hike with unbelievable views.

We made it to Gimmelwald and quickly made our way around town.  In a village with only 120 residents, it did not take long!  Our first stop was the Honesty Shop.

Ken was super confused by the concept

Our next stop was my very favorite of the entire day.  We were walking along and saw a sign for cheese.  Swiss cheese sold out of a farmers barn?  Yes please.  It was an honor system and we left our 5 francs for some cheese.  It was really cool!

More Gimmelwald scenery

We made our way (with our cheese!) to the Mountain Hostel for drinks.  I had never been to a hostel before, so it was kind of cool to see.

Ken ordering our drinks

We sat outside and enjoyed are drinks and cheese and of course the views.  There was a kitty cat that lives at the hostel and we saw him.  I am not going to lie, I was slightly jealous of the kitty cat.

We left Gimmelwald and made the very steep decent down to Stechelberg.  It was so steep.  There were many moments that we wondered why the Swiss did not build switchbacks.  We got to the river where it flattened out for a second and we saw that the bridge we needed to cross to get on the other side of the river was under construction.

Ken being Ken quickly told me that we got down to the river that I needed to sweet talk the workers into letting us cross.  He told me to bat my eyes, flirt, do whatever I had to do, he was not hiking up the steep mountain to Gimmelwald!  I laughed, but was also very prepared to flirt my butt off.

Guess what?  In Switzerland, they let you cross right on over without a second thought.  We crossed on a wooden board with the rapids rushing beneath us.  I may have panicked for a second and pictured myself falling and floating away in the rapids.  Never fear, I manned up and crossed it.

In the US they would have kept us from crossing, you know, in case we fell and sued someone.

The rapids.  Clearly not the Ohio River, but the rapids were pretty fierce.

We were really thinking that the trail would level out, but it didn't.  It seemed like it even got steeper as we went along.

I was wrong, I guess the Swiss do believe in switchbacks.  It was more like a corkscrew!

We finally made it to the valley floor and started the 90 minute walk back to Lauterbrunnen.  Walking along and hearing the cow bells was absolutely priceless.

Hello Moo Cows!

Like I said, you could seriously take pictures non-stop, it was that gorgeous.  We had gorgeous weather and had such a wonderful day hiking around.  We ended our night with rosti for Ken and fondue for me.  How Swiss of us, right?  After that we sat on our balcony drinking wine and looking out over the valley. This was my favorite day of the entire trip!


One Crazy Penguin said...

It's like a freaking painting!

Heather said...

Absolutely beautiful! I have loved seeing all your pics & reading about your trip :)