We love to ski! We love the mountains! We love snowy scenes! BUT we really aren’t big fans of the COLD! So a Spring time visit to the alps – and on this particular occasion Switzerland – was an exciting prospect! Not only for the fine, warmer weather but also to experience the Alps alive, vibrant and green after being covered in snow for months! It did not disappoint in the slightest and the landscapes and views were nothing short of spectacular! Even though we were super lucky that it was actually ‘hot’ the days we were there you really do need to be ready for a change in weather and season in any one day!! And obviously the higher you go the cooler it gets as there are still snow capped mountains, glaciers and weather fronts all around!
We didn’t have a car on this trip and based ourselves in Wengen which was small, traditional and quiet which was wonderful … but if we went again to that area we would definitely hire a car and we choose to stay in Lauterbrunnen. Why ? Because Lauterbrunnen is bigger, lots of atmosphere, plenty of places to eat and drink, you can drive right into it, lots of parking opportunities, trains and cable car connections to everywhere, it’s very beautiful and we really loved it! And a car because we would have explored and seen a lot more!
Saying that everything is so well connected by the small cog trains that run up and down the mountains and which, by the way, ran like clockwork, were super cute, clean and a fun way to travel. The only slight drawback is it was quite expensive if you wanted to explore up and down the mountain each day! However Having a car is actually irrelevant the higher you go as all villages above Lauterbrunnen are car free and only accessible by the small trains anyway with further cable cars eventually getting you to the peaks!
We chose to visit The Schilthorn which is 2,970 m above sea level !! From Lauterbrunnen you have to leave the car and get a cable car up to Wengen where we were staying … a small mountain cog train then climbs and takes you up to the delightful town of Murren which had the most amazing viewing points to stop and have a drink! You have to walk through Murren to the other side of the village to pick up the large cable car that takes you right up to the top! There are very few words that can describe the breath taking views as you step out onto the glass fronted, panoramic viewing platforms of the Piz Gloria, Schilthorn!
A bit of trivia for you – in 1969 the James Bond film ‘On Her Majesty’s Secret Service’ a number of scenes were shot right there on the Piz Gloria, Schilthorn! This could have been a bit of a curse on the mountain as you will find a revolving restaurant that does a 007 buffet, there is a walk through Bond memorabilia gallery and a few screens around the building showing clips from the old Bond film itself … but luckily all of it is not too over the top, non intrusive on the wonderful natural views and landscape and the tacky level is kept to a minimal which we are very glad to report!
The star attraction here for sure is the wonder of nature! Another way to see the views and get close to nature is to do The Thrill Walk which is included in your Schilthorn ticket. This is not for anyone who suffers from vertigo and or for the faint hearted for that matter – it should be called ‘the terrifying walk’ in my opinion – the suspended metal walkway with glass floor was not for me but of course David absolutely loved it!!
Back with our feet firmly on the ground in the stunning valley of Lauterbrunnen we checked out just some of the 72 waterfalls that can be found and heard in this small area alone! And if that wasn’t enough for you then you must visit Trummelbach Falls which is ticketed but worth the small charge and effort to climb the stairs and witness the force, beauty and wonder of the 10 glacier waterfalls that cascade, hurtle past and thunder down within a mountain just inches from the cleverly designed walkways and viewing points that have been erected along side them! Mind blowing stuff!
If we had had a car we would have loved to have explored the base of the mountains spending time around Lake Thun & Lake Brinez which both have an incredible and unique colour blue to marvel at! Guess that is the perfect excuse to return again soon and take in more of this extraordinary area of outstanding natural beauty!