Hi everyone, and happy Sunday to you! I hope you’re having a lovely weekend so far, wherever you are in the world!
The next morning, on the 25th, dawned nice and early, with the green mountains swathed in mist as we headed downstairs for our breakfast.
The sun poked out while it rained, and it was just letting up when we finished our AWESOME meal and headed out for the train station. We passed by a koi pond on the way, and stopped to look at them and take some photos.
The train wound between the lush mountains and alongside the Weisse Lütschine, which rushed along cold and white. As we disembarked in Lauterbrunnen, I caught sight of the huge distant Jungfrau massif rising into the thick clouds. We rode the small cog train up to Wengen, and as we ascended, the view of the valley and the massif opened up and I was awestruck by the utopian beauty stretching out before my eyes.
Riding the cog train:
We arrived in Wengen at around 10:30am. We headed straight to Hotel Edelweiss, following the road downhill as it curved back underneath the railroad.
We headed inside, our anxiety peaking, and explained to the manager, Andrew, what had happened. Our hearts fell as his face did, and with his thick German accent he told us he had given away our room. But he was determined to right the situation, so he headed into the adjacent lounge area and made a cup of tea for Jon and a coffee for me, and he bade us relax as he hurriedly typed things in on his computer. We sat, wondering what on earth we were going to do, and then Andrew looked up with a very happy smile on his face and told us he’d gotten us a room.
Jon and I were overjoyed! We got our room key and headed for the elevator… Which was very interesting. There was a button to call it down and a door with a silver handle on the outside only, and the elevator itself was green-carpeted and barely big enough for both of us. There were walls on three sides of us, but not on the front, and Jon’s backpack scraped the white concrete wall between floors. We were on the third floor, at the very end.
Our room was a light reddish wood. The walls, the furniture, the window frames. There was a large wardrobe, a desk with a chair and a small wall-mounted tv, two radiators, two nightstands, and two beds with yellow, edelweiss-covered duvets folded on top. Lacey white curtains adorned the two windows and the balcony doors, which opened up onto a spacious deck with table and chairs and a beautiful view over Wengen, the Lauterbrunnen Valley, and the Jungfrau massif that was still mostly shrouded in clouds.
Later, the clouds parted, and this is what we could see from our room. The first picture is from the balcony, the next two are from the south-facing window, the next two are from the window that was directly across from our beds, and the last one is also from the balcony.
The next day we decided to hike down to Lauterbrunnen and explore. The sun woke me up at 6am, and I turned over in bed to see the Jungfrau rising proud and sunlit in a perfectly clear sky.
Now that’s a sight to wake up to!
We went downstairs and enjoyed an Alpine breakfast bar, which consisted of meats, cheeses, a basket of different breads, cereals and granola and yogurt, fruit salad, and orange and elderflower juices. Then we headed out, backpacks on and ignoring the hiking sticks available near the front door.
What we discovered pretty quickly was that we were a bit dumb and didn’t consult our guide to the Bernese Oberland or ask the hotel staff what the best hiking trails were. The one we found had a nice view going all the way down, but it zigzagged and was steep, so we had to rest often to give our tortured knees a rest. So what was supposed to be a 20-30 minute hike turned into two hours.
But we got some pretty good pics, including a selfie Jon took which has been his profile picture for nearly two years now 🙂
As we got to the bottom of the mountain, we encountered a pasture and made a few friends.
We explored beautiful Lauterbrunnen and sat down for a while to have some drinks to refresh ourselves. I remember trying a very nice, thick apricot juice but I can’t remember what exactly it was! Then we we kept walking.
My problem is that my mind and heart bid me to walk forever to see what’s around the corner, but my body isn’t willing. If we’d taken an easier path or the train down, I would have had the energy and the knees to go further! I was in too much pain to even climb the small hill and stairs to see the about Staubbachfall closer up. My knees and Jon’s back had had enough, so we turned around and headed to Lauterbrunnen’s train station, crossing the Weisse Lütschine and then walking beside it much of the way.
We were grateful to get back to our hotel and sit down to a nice dinner! The dinners there were 25 francs per person, four courses, and absolutely amazing! Everything just fit together so perfectly and Jon and I were constantly wowed.
The next day, we took a leisurely stroll through little Wengen, hoping to get the cable car up the mountain to Mannlichen.
I chickened out of riding the cable car up to Mannlichen, because it seemed so steep and I hate heights. So instead we took the train to Wengernalp, about midway between Wengen and Kliene Schiedegg. The conductor was surprised that we got off here instead of going out to Kliene Schiedegg, which in retrospect is what we really should have done in the first place, but the view from Wengernalp was just as incredible. When we got off the train, my breath caught in my throat.
Photos don’t really do the Jungfrau massif justice. I felt so very small standing there and seeing the huge glory of the Eiger, the Mönch, and the Jungfrau herself looming ahead of me and above me.
Our days and nights quickly blended into one another. Mornings were Alpine breakfasts, afternoons were outings and trips uphill to the Co-op where we’d buy interesting foods and drinks, evenings were the wonderful dinners that we couldn’t praise enough, and nighttime was movie-watching and hearing nothing outside but the wind in the trees, the whisper of the Staubbauchfall, and cowbells. The smells in Wengen consisted of crisp, clean Alpine air, sweetgrass, and hay. On rainy days we sat in the green and white-decorated lounge, drinking tea and coffee and enjoying each other’s company. Gratefully, the time went by very slowly.
Stay tuned for the fourth and final part of this post on Thursday! 🙂
Love and light,