Monday, 5 May 2008

Interlaken - Part 2

Our next day in Interlaken we headed up the 'other' valley towards Lauterbrunnen.

We stopped in Lauterbrunnen, a very pretty little town deep down in the U-shaped valley, to wander around and check out the amazing Staubbachfall (Staubbach Waterfall).

We caught the little train (somehow much of the Swiss train system looks like a toy train set) up/through the hill to Wengen where we hoped to catch the lift to Männlichen.

Unfortunately the lift to Männlichen was closed for servicing so we had to satisfy ourselves with a view over Lauterbrunnen and up the valley, and a coffee at a local café. The sight of the two workers sitting on top of the gondola as it ascended towards the top station was quite amazing.

We continued up the valley to Stechelberg where we caught another lift up to Gimmelwald, a little rural town that happens to sit on en route to the Schilthorn, our ultimate destination.

A couple more lifts later and we were at Schilthorn, situated at nearly 3000m and overlooking the Jungfrau range of mountains.

I had wanted to take my dad to Schilthorn for lunch for his birthday because the view was meant to be amazing, and possibly also because the revolving Piz Gloria restaurant at the top also doubled as Blofeld's base in On Her Majesty's Secret Service (starring Australian George Lazenby).

Indeed the view was spectacular, and you could see all the way down to the lakes of Interlaken along with the surrounding mountains. We had been very lucky with the weather all weekend.

After lunch we headed back down the numerous lifts to the valley where we had parked the car and began the drive back to Bern where mum and dad would be catching their train to Zurich.

This all went well except for navigating through Bern without a map, and I'm quite sure driving up the cobbled, medieval main street of Bern, with people milling about in front of us and trams queueing behind us is not actually allowed, but anyway it meant mum got to see the town like she had wanted to.

It was really good to see my parents again, after a year overseas. At the very least it provided an excellent excuse to see some of these amazing places that somehow we hadn't gotten around to before.

All of my photos from Interlaken can be found here.

3 comments: said...

Hey Mark
I loved Lauternbrunnen! Actually bought my Cookoo Clock there and had it sent back to Oz! Did u hear the story about the water fall being man made and is turned off @ night? Not sure if thats true or not!


Mark said...

Hi Sean,
Wikipedia doesn't mention it so it can't be true! Still, you can't put anything past these ingenious Swiss so who knows...

The Swan said...

I too have a soft spot for Lauternbrunnen. The first hour I was there I watched two BASE jumpers hurl themselves off the cliffs and into the valley. Also saw my first (and only) avalanche. And I made it all the way to the top station - the most beautiful, clear blue day you can imagine...really was top of the world. I'd broken my sunglasses so didn't have any, and almost ended up with snow blindness (which I'd only ever read about). Ahhhh...utterly cool.