Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Italy and Switzerland...Day 14: Heading Home and Other Thoughts...

With a 1:00 pm flight from Zurich, we opted to spend our last night of Switzerland in Lauterbrunnen and take the train in the morning.  Normally, you would want to stay near your departure city, but Switzerland is so efficient with trains that we decided to spend as much time as possible in our favorite village.  We took the 8:00 am train out of Lauterbrunnen and were on our way to Zurich.

As we watched the beautiful scenery go by, I realized how extremely lucky I am to have gotten to experience this beautiful area three times now.  We left this area in 2016, I felt like I needed more time here.  I needed more time to explore all of the beautiful areas in the valley and mountains.  As we rode the train away, I felt very satisfied with everything we got to do on this trip this time.  Now, that is not saying that we will not be back.  If I could board a flight and be there tomorrow, I would in two seconds!  I just felt that we got to see so much on this visit.

We arrived home in Kansas City around midnight.  It was a long day of traveling, but we know how fortunate we are to get to do it.  The travel home blues were somehow beat by eating Chili's at the O'Hare airport in Chicago.  After eating Italian and Swiss cuisine for two weeks, we needed a little chips and salsa in our lives.

I think it is difficult to decide what trip a person has taken that is the best trip ever.  I think each trip is unique, but this one was so very special.  We were gone for two full weeks and had 10 minutes of rain while we were eating dinner outside under an awning.  I am not sure we will ever get that lucky again.

We enjoyed our time in both Italy and Switzerland.  We will certainly be back to visit both.  If you are thinking of booking a trip and want to try something that is more off the beaten path like we do, please let me know!  I would love to share my tips as to how I plan things.

I have a few hiking videos that I am going to put together soon to post on here.  I feel like it is some times difficult to see the beauty we see hiking without videos.  Meanwhile, here are my favorite pictures from each area.

Happy Traveling!

Varenna, Italy

Camogli, Italy

Outside of Gimmelwald, Switzerland

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Italy and Switzerland...Day 13: Hiking to Lobhornhutte and Sulwald...

Tuesday started off with a nice six mile run for me down the valley.  This is literally one of my very favorite things to do ever.  It was so beautiful and I really enjoyed my solo time in the valley.  I managed to take a few pictures along the way.

It was another beautiful-clear day

I ran on part of the Jungfrau Marathon course.  Mark my word I will run that marathon one day.  I will.

The must have adorable church that is located in all of the villages.  This one is definitely a special one for us.  We have heard the long, loud church bells and it does not get any better.

After breakfast, we walked to the cable car to take it from Lauterbrunnen to Grutschalp to start the trek to the Lobhornhutte.  

We were, or course, greeted by the cows as soon as we started the trek.

I never tire of hearing the cow bells

We we went by this stretch last year, the waterfall was flowing and we used umbrellas to keep from getting soaked.

Deciding which way to get to Lobhornhutte.  We decided on the path that would have us get the climbing out of the way in the beginning.

Starting our climb up with the wild flowers

No matter how many times I see it, the greenery in Switzerland always amazes me.

The view approaching Lobhornhutte.  A pretty spectacular view, right?

The view from Lobhornhutte.  You can see Wengen across the valley

Lobhornhutte is always open for hikers to spend the night or grab a meal.  The staff was so nice to interact with.  I guess if you work in this beautiful area, what do you have to be upset about.  

Wine, cider, and views.  I am not sure that it can get much better.  The cider bottle was very adorable.

Happy hikers and hutte guests.  It seemed that everyone was ordering the cider, so Ken had to try it.  

Panoramic view of Lobhorn

We left Lobhornhutte after enjoying some delicious goulash soup.  We bought a postcard as a souvenir and started the hike down to Sulwald.  We were both so glad that we had finally made the hike up to Lobhornhutte!

More Swiss beauty

My favorite little farm on the way to Sulwald.  We got to see the cows this time and they were so cute.

There's Sulwald Stubli!

Sadly, there were no dandelions to roll around in this time.

The Sulwald-Isenfluh cable car.  We ended up riding it back down to Isenfluh.

I really do love Sulwald Stubli.  I cannot get enough of this place!

Loving our time in Sulwald.  We were sad about leaving this adorable place.

Watching the scenery on the cable car.  My heart did race on the ride down.

Some of the scenery on the hike down.

A great game of kick the pine cone down the trail.  We can make anything fun.

A baby cow friend

Hotel Staubbach on the left.  

We enjoyed our list dinner in Lauterbrunnen at Weid Stubli which is located in Camping Jungfrau.  We were both going to eat light, but both decided to get our favorite Swiss dishes instead.  Ken enjoyed a Rosti and I enjoyed some delicious fondue.  We met two British couples that were seated next to us and they enjoyed talking with us and asking us about trip.  We always meet the nicest British people while in Europe.  They always give us great recommendations for future trips.  

After dinner, we walked back to the hotel to enjoy some time on our patio all while cracking open the champagne that we received as a gift from the hotel for Ken's birthday.

Hotel Staubbach always takes such great care of us!


We decided to go for one last walk through the valley before calling it a night.  We ended up walking back through Camping Jungfrau and got one final view of Staubbach Falls.  

Weid Stubli at night.  Such a cute place!

We wrapped up the evening hanging out with Adam at Hotel Staubbach.  We absolutely adore this guy and he made our stay so enjoyable.  Until next time Adam!

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Italy and Switzerland...Day 12: Murren and Gimmelwald...

We woke up Monday feeling pretty tired.  We enjoyed breakfast at our hotel and then walked down the street to enjoy some lattes at one of the cafes in town.

I always love a good latte in Europe.

We sat at the cafe for about an hour or so people watching and enjoying multiple lattes.  It was a pretty great way to start the day.  

Our big plan for the day was to walk down the valley and make our way up to Murren and Gimmelwald for the day.  One of our favorite things to do is walk the valley floor and watch the BASE jumpers land in the valley.  We were fortunate enough to see several of them on our way to the Murren cable car.

Walking past my favorite house in Lauterbrunnen.  I have got to figure out how I can live here.

Nothing but blue skies

I cannot believe that Ken and I got to experience the trails on the mountains at the end of the valley.  

After a rather warm walk down the valley, we arrived at the cable car station and took the cable car up to Murren.  We wandered around Murren for a bit before deciding to find a place to enjoy a cocktail and a little lunch.


Ken waiting on our pizza.  Talk about lunch with a view!

The view of the restaurant.  It had amazing views all around.

After lunch, we walked around and shopped a bit before deciding to stop at Hotel Bellevue for some drinks on the patio.  We liked this place so much that we wished we had wandered upon it before we had eaten lunch.  Alas, we sat here for quite a while enjoying the views and watching the paragliders over the valley.

I do think the views from Murren are quite beautiful

Watching the paragliders

As we were sitting at Hotel Bellevue, we saw two American couples playing canasta together.  We laughed because they were debating about whether or not they should have their one afternoon glass of wine.  We laughed because we were both on drink number three at that point.  I mean, it is vacation after all and we do not have these kind of views at home.

As we were leaving Murren heading to Gimmelwald, we found a little shop that was selling cowbells.  We had decided that we really wanted to bring home a Swiss cowbell since we love hearing the bells so much while we hike.  We left with our own Swiss cowbell to enjoy at home.  Just wait until we get bored and put that thing on Kya for an afternoon.  I kid, I kid...

Armed with our new cowbell, we started our walk down to Gimmelwald.  Ken picked me a flower and then started flipping weeds at me.  We are all about entertaining ourselves apparently.

Ken mid-shot of flipping a weed at me.  P.S. I picked him a flower and he attached it to his belt.  It later fell in the urinal while he was peeing and almost gave him a heart attack.

Once we arrived in Gimmelwald, we stopped at this shop for a brownie.  I feel like I need to wear a sign that says will break for a brownie.

After we got the brownie, we came across a kitty cat.  I stopped for some kitty loving and Ken desperately tried to capture the moment to tell on me to our cats.  

This proves absolutely nothing, although I am sure Angel and Theo would be quite pissed to see it.

Some pretty flowers in Gimmelwald. They were so pretty!

We stopped in the biergarten that was located at the Pension in Gimmelwald.  We were right next to the Mountain Hostel, which is usually our go to place.

Overlooking the Mountain Hostel.

We quickly discovered that this might be our new favorite place because they serve one liters of Dunkel!  Ken was in Heaven.

Gimmelwald, where all of Ken's dreams come true.  Side note:  there was a rather odd situation going on behind Ken.  The guy was American and really drunk while wearing boating clothes.  The girl was German and he kept molesting her face.  It was a train wreck and I could not stop staring.

Enjoying a little taste of Ken's dunkel.  I also liked this place because they have rose!

After a while, it was time for us to take the cable car back down to the valley floor and walk back to Lauterbrunnen.  

One of the farms in the valley that sells cheese.

We were pretty indecisive for dinner.  We wanted to stop by the butcher shop for another sandwich, but he was not open during the week.  At this point, we were so tired of eating out and we did not stop at the Co-op before it closed for something simple.  We ended up at eating dinner at Hotel Steinbock by the train station.  We ended the evening with wine on our balcony.  Just a low key day in Switzerland.