Friday, June 17, 2016

Europe 2016: Day 4...Kleine Scheidegg and Sulwald...

On Monday, our last full day in Lauterbrunnen, we woke up to rain.  I am not going to lie, we were pretty disappointed.  I immediately started thinking of day trips we could do since I did not think any of us wanted to sit around.

After looking at the radar, it appeared as though we would be okay once this little storm passed through.  We decided to follow through with the plans we had made the day prior, and to hike from Wengen to Kleine Scheidegg.

We took the train up to Wengen after I clarified with everyone that they did not want to hike up.  No one else seemed all that interested, so away we went on the train.  We arrived in Wengen to no rain at all, which was very promising.

The view from the train to Wengen

Looking back at Wengen

So, the hike from Wengen to Kleine Scheidegg is up hill the entire way.  I had informed everyone of this prior, but I think a person or two had forgotten about it.  There were definitely a few moments where I think my death was plotted.  Oh well, I thought it was fun!

The cows just outside of Wengen. They came closer to the fence when they heard my voice.  I guess they liked me.  :)

Like I said, the hike was pretty steep.  There was a moment where Katie and I were up ahead and we heard one of the guys yelling for us.  The 3/4 of a nurse in me instantly thought that one of them had gone down and I was going to have to do chest compressions.  Obviously, that did not happen, thank goodness.  When we started hiking again, Katie told me she had the exact same thought!  

Steep trail.  See the snow, there may have been a snow ball or two thrown.

I can only imagine how beautiful this view point is on a clear day!  Hopefully I will have a chance to see that one day.

Katie and I did not mind the uphill trail.  We were plotting the dessert we were going to get later as a reward.

The trail runs along the train tracks for a large portion of the hike

Happy to be hiking to Kleine Scheidegg

The clouds moved just enough for us to get a bit of a view of the peaks.  

As we were hiking along, we heard and saw two avalanches.  It was a pretty cool thing to see.  They are quite loud and these were not all that big, so I cannot imagine the sound of a really big one.  

Mike and Katie had a fun day hiking in Switzerland

Wengenalp was a little stop along the way.  The restaurant was not open, otherwise we may have stopped for drinks.

Mike and Ken 

We were so happy to finally be hiking to Kleine Scheidegg!  

We continued on and saw the train heading up to KS.  Mike and Ken were both wondering why we were hiking and not on the train.  

We arrived to Kleine Scheidegg in just over two hours.  The hike is said to take about three hours, so we were excited that we beat the posted time, which is clocked by local senior citizens.  Flatlanders for the win.

It was windy and chilly at KS.  We instantly stopped for lattes and hot chocolate and then we had a little lunch.  

The view from Kleine Scheidegg into Grindelwald.

If only those clouds would lift a little higher!

For lunch, we walked up the hill a bit to a charming little chalet, but the name escapes me.  It seemed to be wear all of the locals were having lunch.  Ken scoped out what they were eating and he and Mike both decided that is what they wanted to eat.  They asked the waitress what the men were eating and she replied with "menut."  That is exactly what the guys ordered and it was delicious.  

Ken instantly started googling German menut to try to figure out a recipe for it so I could make it for him at home.  The waitress came over and Ken asked her again what the food was.  Again, she replied with "menut" and Ken asked for the spelling of it.  The waitress looked rather baffled and she said, "it is menut.  Today it is one thing and tomorrow it is something else."  It was in that moment that I told Ken that it was the special of the day.  Menut was really menu and that was the special!  It was much funnier than I can convey here and we had a good laugh about it.  I now ask Ken if he wants "menut" for lunch.

I will make this guy "menut" anytime!

Post hike drinks, yes please!

While we were eating lunch, we looked at the weather and saw that it was clearing up in Lauterbrunnen and we thought that we might have a chance to do another hike once we got back to the valley.  Me being the planner that I am, I had a favorite hike in mind.  

We took the train from KS to Wengen and then the train from Wengen to Lauterbrunnen.  Katie and I stopped off at the co-op for more chocolate and met the guys back at the hotel so we could get ready for our next hike.  

Our plan was to take the cable car to Grutschalp, hike to Sulwald, take the cable car to Isenfluh, and then hike back to Lauterbrunnen. Ken and I did this hike last time, but we hiked from Sulwald to Isenfluh and we did not think we had enough time for that.

And we are off to Grutschalp!

It started raining a little here and there, but we were prepared for small showers, so we were not too worried.

Looking over at Wengen where we were earlier.

My handsome hiking partner

I was super excited to be heading back to Sulwald to visit the Sulwald Stubli!

I felt like the only thing that was missing on this hike was Kya.

One of the beautiful waterfalls that we would hike right by later.

Mike and Katie enjoying the beautiful scenery.  

We came upon a section of trail that had a bit of a waterfall that was falling onto the trail.  What is one to do when this happens?  

You put your head down, umbrella up, and you cross!

Katie and I both screamed like little girls!

I feel like this picture is full of all kinds of emotions/attitudes.  Ken is checking on the clouds, Katie with her hands on her hips, and I am obviously whipping my hair around for some reason.  :)

It is not everyday that you get to make snow angels in Switzerland with one of your best friends.  By the way, Mike was throwing snow balls at us and nailed me.

Just a few Kansans enjoying the day in Switzerland.

One of those moments that will stick with you forever.

Happy 7th Anniversary Ken!

Yay for a full day of hiking in Switzerland!

Postcard scenery on the way to Sulwald

In other words, leave the baby cows alone!

Almost there!

We arrived in Sulwald and were so sad to see that the Sulwald Stubli was not open.  I swore I saw their flag flying earlier, which would have meant that they were open.  I figured they must have closed because of the looming storm clouds.  Not to worry, we had packed up our llama, Mike, and he had a bottle of rose for us to drink.  We borrowed a few chairs from the Stubli and enjoyed our wine.  

I obviously rolled around in the dandelions, again.  Switzerland even makes dandelions look beautiful!

Even on a cloudy day the view from Sulwald is beautiful.



Sulwald Stubli, I wish you had been open.

While we were enjoying our wine, a group of three hikers came rolling in.  They spoke to us in German and we responded in English.  The girl told us she wanted to take the cable car down from Sulwald to Isenfluh.  The cable car is located at Sulwald Stubli.

The Isenfluh cable car.  It will fit six people or one cow.  Your choice.

Long story short, she spoke to the conductor that you had to call via the attached phone and told us that it was 70 CHF per person to ride the cable car down to Isenfluh.  I almost choked on my wine.  I was not willing to pay 140 CHF for Ken and me to take a 10 minute ride when we could hike.  The hikers left and began their hike down to Isenfluh.  

Katie was very skeptical of the price and also wanted to know what the discount card from Hotel Staubbach would give us since we were visiting this area.  Katie said that Ken is a great negotiated and should call the conductor.  I laughed because Ken is a great English!  Somehow, someway, Ken was able to communicate half in English and German with the conductor and he informed us that it was 7.40 CHF a person for the ride down to Isenfluh.  He also provided Ken with instructors on how to operate the cable car.  

We were all super impressed with Ken's negotiating skills and for the card from Hotel Staubbach.  We loaded up in the cable car and took the ride to Isenfluh.

Ken working his magic on the cable car, which is rather frightening!  

I think this look says it all!  Frightening!

I even think Mike's stomach turned a bit on the steep ride!

The view of the steep ride!

Terrified to be on a cable car that Ken is operating!

Picturing a cow inside this cable car is enough to make the both of us smile!

Once safely on the ground, we spoke with the gentleman that Ken talked to and learned that the cable car is 8.40 CHF without a discount card.  I am not sure what the German lady heard, but it is not 70 CHF per person.  

We had so much fun riding the cable car down to Isenfluh!

So, we were checking my fitbit app later in the evening and Ken happened to notice that my highest heart rate of the entire day was right at 6:00 pm.  We were puzzled and wondering what we were doing at that time, when it dawned on us, we were on the cable car!  Talk about anxiety!  I told you it was steep!

I bought a few postcards from the cable car station and we started our hike back to Lauterbrunnen. We came upon the waterfall that we saw earlier from above.

My beautiful friend having a blast on our hike.

Ken wishing he could kayak down!

One thing that we noticed in Switzerland is how neatly they stack their wood piles.  We found a pile that had a broom, which we had saw last time as well. 

Ken's idea of how to use a broom.

My idea of how to use a broom.

I am not sure anything is more Swiss than seeing a herd of cows walk down a mountain road.  The funny thing is, the cows knew exactly where to turn to get to their pasture!

For dinner we ended up at my favorite restaurant in Lauterbrunnen, Hotel Oberland. Katie and enjoyed fondue while the guys has rostis.  

Cheers to a wonderful day hiking the Swiss Alps!

We were so happy Mike and Katie joined us in Switzerland!

My delicious dessert!  It was called the Swiss Dream aka, chocolate on chocolate on chocolate, just the way I like it.

Walking back to beautiful Hotel Staubbach.

This was our last day in Switzerland, as we were traveling to Germany the next day.  This was such a wonderful day of our vacation.  I will always remember this day with a huge smile on my face.  One thing I know for sure, Ken and I will be back again.  We cannot seem to get enough of this area and the people living there.  Lauterbrunnen, you have won my heart for sure and I am certain that a piece of me will always be in your beautiful valley.  Until next time!

Beautiful Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland, May 30, 2016

Next up - Munich, Germany!


Melanie said...

This post makes me certain we need to include Switzerland in our trip. The pictures are gorgeous, even if it was gloomy!

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