June 5: Lauterbrunnen to Murren
The day left us very tired but I think the three of us would agree that it has been a very rewarding day.
We caught the mountain railway at Lauterbrunnen (altitude 796m, 2611 ft) at 8:45AM for the 11 minute ride to Grutchalp (1489m, 4884 ft), a rise of 2274 feet. We walked along the top of the cliff to Murren, 3 to 4 miles away. From the beginning of the trail we got terrific views of the mountains, including the Eiger, Monch and Junfgfrau. They were almost completely snowclad and so bright that you could hardly look at them.
We took about two hours ton the trail to Murren - surely two of the most memorable hours that we have ever spent. There was every variety of mountain scenery - green pastures dotted with flowers, green forest land with patches of snow, rushing streams with snow reaching to their edges, steep cliffs, and always the magnificent white mountain outline to our left across the narrow valley.
At several places along the trail we got good views of the village of Wengen, up on the cliff on the opposite side of the valley. We caught only rare glimpses of parts of Lauterbrunnen, deep in the valley below.
The wildflowers added much to the scenery, but we noted that most of the varieties were those that are also common in North Wales. In fact the abundant yellow fields of flowers that do so much to enhance the scenery are lowly dandelion flowers. They grow everywhere in the world, I guess, but here their abundance approaches the fantastic. You see fields which are essentially nothing but dandelions.
Murren is a very nice little village. The view of the alps from its vantage point on the edge of the high cliff is magnificent. There is a beautiful little wooden church in the center of the village. The Shilthorn cable railway and the mountain railway are the only mechanical means of access to the village. There are small electric carts in the village for deliveries.
We poked around in the shops there - very nice and more reasonable than many that we have seen - and then hunted for a place to eat lunch. We settled on the side of a hill under some pretty conifer trees, above a rushing mountain stream, with a view of the snow-clad alps - what more could you ask of a lunch spot!!
We caught the train back to Grutchalp and then down to Lauterbrunnen. We were all three exhausted. We took showers and gave up any plans for further excursions. It was extremely hot at midday - but as soon as the shadow of the cliff fell over the campground the temperature dropped sharply. At suppertime we were shivering in sweaters.
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