Sunday, June 12, 2016

Europe 2016: Our Anniversary, Day 1 and 2 - Traveling and Lauterbrunnen

Whew!  We have just returned from a wonderful trip across the pond to Switzerland, Germany, and Austria.  The jet lag is definitely very strong today and we have both been awake since 5:00 am.  It is nothing that a little coffee and donuts cannot cure!  We had a great trip and I have a ton of pictures and stories to share.

Before we get to the trip, I do want to post about our anniversary, which was the day prior to us leaving on vacation. Unfortunately, Ken had a work event that night, but he made it up to me with dinner and drinks downtown and then we stayed in a hotel so we were already half way to the airport.  Score a few points for Ken!

We had a great dinner at the Rieger and then made our way down to the Manifesto for cocktails.  We had a great time, despite getting stuck in a complete down pour leaving dinner.  I am very grateful that Ken enjoys spoiling me so much!

Cheers to seven years of marriage!  

I am pretty sure this was Ken's favorite part of the evening...

We had a wonderful evening celebrating our anniversary and were very excited about the next day.  Unfortunately for us, we had a 6:10 am flight out of Kansas City, which meant a super early wake up call.  Usually those early morning wake up calls mean a lot of silly bickering back and forth, but we managed to get to the airport without any difficulty.  

We flew from Kansas City to Miami.  We had a few hours to kill in Miami, which we killed by walking around and people watching, stopping for lunch, and eventually going into the American Airlines Admiral Club Lounge.  That was the best part of our lay over if I do say so myself.  Free cocktails, wine, and snacks?  Yes please!  The funny part is that Ken knows me so well and came back with snacks with a few brownies for me.  He knows the way to butter me up!

Our flight to Europe was on AirBerlin, which ended up being a wonderful airline to fly.  Our flight was from Miami to Dusseldorf Germany and besides it starting off rocky with two little kids behaving like demons, it was a pleasant flight.  

Cozied up and watching movies

Just like last time, Ken did not sleep at all.  I was able to sleep for about two or three hours, but nothing major.  We killed most of the flight by watching movies and drinking wine.  It could have been worse!  

We arrived to Dusseldorf and made our way to passport control.  One thing that was interesting was that they had an airport employee that was moving people in front that had a super quick connecting flight.  I thought that was really nice until two Americans walked up and she told to go to the back of the line because they had plenty of time until their flight.  I knew exactly what they were doing and they tried to get right in front of us.  I completely lost my shit and told them it was not happening.  Of course no one else really knew what was going on and they jumped in line a few places behind us.  I was not about to let some entitled person jump in front of us in line, even if he was with his old grandpa.  Back of the line folks, back of the line.

The toilet I used at the Dusseldorf airport.  I can hover like the best of them, but I like to have a toilet seat as a safety net, you know?

Alas, we were on our very short flight from Dusseldorf to Zurich. We were still on Air Berlin, just on a much smaller plane.  We both had aisle seats that were across from each other.  The guy that had the middle seat next to me asked me if I wanted the middle seat and he would take my aisle seat. Um, no I do not, thanks.  I have been known to give up my aisle seat for a taller guy on most days, but you catch me without any sleep and apparently I am not as nice of a person.  Sorry dude, you should have booked your own aisle seat, the flight was not full.

One huge perk on Air Berlin is that they pass out Swiss chocolate.  We had male flight attendants and they must have really liked me because they brought me handfuls of chocolate.  Apparently, a little flirting and smiling goes a long way.  I did share some with Ken later in the trip.  I am not that big of a hog.  :)

We landed in Zurich and walked out into baggage claim to find Mike and Katie waiting on us!  It had only been a few days since we had hung out with them, but we were so excited to see our friends!  We did a quick ATM visit, purchased our train tickets, grabbed a latte, and we were on our way to what I think is the most beautiful place in the world, Lauterbrunnen!

At the train station in Interlaken on board our final train to Lauterbrunnen!

Ken aboard our final train

My crew headed to the hotel.  We stopped at the Co-op for the essentials: wine, beer, chocolate, and gold fish crackers.  


We made it to our hotel, Hotel Staubbach, dropped off our bags and headed out!  We had a beautiful day and did not want to waste it.  We took the 1:30 pm cable car from Lauterbrunnen to Grutschalp and began the hike to Murren.  This is an easy three mile hike with spectacular views.

The train headed to Murren.  Most people take the train, but in this family, we walk!  I think this picture is absolutely stunning.

Just another day hiking the Swiss Alps with some of my favorite people.

The views are amazing.  I wish I could put into words how beautiful it is, but alas, I cannot.

There is a waterfall that comes down along the hike that triggered our memory from our last trip.  In 2014, there was snow there and we stopped and played.  Two weeks later this year, there was no snow!

2014, taking a bite of snow for Kya

2016, a girl has got to pretend there is snow!

About halfway on our hike to Murren, we came across this restaurant at a stop called Winteregg.  Ken and I had passed by this location on our last trip, but it was not open.  With it being open, obviously we had to stop for a bite to eat and some drinks.  We are on vacation after all!

I have never known these two to turn down a beer!  Cheers to Switzerland!

Katie and me enjoying everything about the day.

It was a beautiful day and we were surrounded by beautiful views.

We were so grateful to get to share this beautiful adventure with our dear friends, Mike and Katie. This ended up being one of my favorite pictures of the entire trip.

I am going to share my very innocent, dumb blonde incident that happened.  I was taking pictures of the scenery and noticed these trekking poles leaning against the fence.  I angled my picture to include the "poles"  and felt quite proud of myself.  I did think they looked like different trekking poles than I have ever seen, but you know, we are in Europe.  About 20 minutes later, I noticed a nice gentleman with the poles I had photographed earlier, only I realized they were crutches and not poles.  The nice gentleman was usually them because he had an amputated leg.  I immediately felt mortified and horrible.  I had hoped that he did not see me take the photograph.  In my mind, I wished him a wonderful recovery and was quite impressed with his way of getting around with the crutches.  I certainly wish him well!  I felt like a complete idiot!

That moment when you realize you are obviously an idiot thinking these are trekking poles.

Looking back at Winteregg.  Do you think the people of this area know how lucky they are to live in such a beautiful place?

After refueling at Winteregg, we continued on to Murren. Murren is quite the charming mountain village.  We were originally going to stop for a drink, but decided to watch a few BASE jumpers and then head on down to Gimmelwald.


Hiking in Gimmelwald

Beautiful scenery in Gimmelwald

I love the Swiss cows!  We saw a baby cow that was jumping around and playing.  He was having so much fun!

Ken and I had hit up all of the hot spots in Gimmelwald last time, you know, the Honesty Shop, and the farm for cheese, so this time we went right to the Mountain Hostel for drinks.

The Mountain Hostel

While we were enjoying our drinks, a group of Germans that were staying at the hostel busted out this delicious looking food item.  Katie swore it was Danish cake and I thought it looked like bread in the shape of a layer cake.  It turns out it was German party bread, which was bread with different layers of goodness inside.  The group brought us over two slices to enjoy.  It was delicious!

A delicious treat from our new friends

One of the guys busted out this alphorn and played for everyone.  I have no idea if he was any good or not, but we enjoyed it!

Enjoying our time in Gimmelwald

Since it was getting later, we decided to take the cable car down to Stechelberg instead of hiking down.  We loaded up and took the quick ride back to the valley floor.

No matter how many times I walk the valley floor, I am still amazed at the beauty.

The stream was really rushing through the valley

I cannot even tell you how excited I was to be back in Lauterbrunnen with this guy!  

I could not stop taking pictures of the beautiful valley!

I mean, this seems like something that would happen in Switzerland, right?


On our walk through the valley, we saw several BASE jumpers.  Four of them went back to back and I was able to capture all four of them opening up their parachutes.  These guys are insane!

If I could pick any place in the world to live, I would choose this chalet right here.  I can almost picture the husky puppies running in the field!

We had been awake for over 30 hours, but had an amazing first day in Lauterbrunnen!

Next up another day in Lauterbrunnen!

1 comment:

Melanie said...

Yay! I'm so excited for these posts about your trip. These pictures are gorgeous and are already helping me add to the list of places we should consider going. So glad y'all had a good first 2 days, and happy belated anniversary!