Friday, July 27, 2012

Best Day of Hiking Ever

Our forecasted sunny day dawned, and we headed back over to the Lauterbrunnen Valley (only a 15 minute drive) to take the cable car up to Murren, another car free, mountain town, this time on the opposite side of the valley. Hikes from Murren provide the views of the Eiger, Monch, and Jungfrau. On our trip the previous day to Wengen, we'd actually hoped to hike a ridge line on a walk reputed to be one of the best in the region...only to find the route was still closed due to June. Not something we expected, but at an elevation of 7000 feet, we should have. We wanted to do a walk called the North Face Trail from Murren - actually, from yet another "town" (hamlet) a cable car ride up from Murren. Stopping in at Murren's Tourist Office, we found that one part of the North Face Trail was open - not the one we'd planned to hike, but we'd take what we could get. Riding the cable car up even higher, we stepped off at Alpenhubell and into glorious mountain views. The Jungrau mountain was front and center, right in our faces, the entire hike.
I'm 26 weeks along here.
Switzerland has these handy, yellow, directional signs that point your way toward towns, toward specific hikes, etc. Sometimes they just say "Wanderweg," which means walking trail. While these little signs are normally quite helpful, the North Face Trail signs gave us some confusing moments. The trail has a few split offs where you can walk to different towns, walk a different trail down, and so on. The trail we were following ended, or so we thought, at the front door of a house. We thought we'd missed the trail and gotten on a long driveway, so we backtracked, picked a different split, and that trail just petered out fairly quickly. Our only other option was to follow yet another split that headed up. We did not want to go up, so we headed back down the "driveway," and in walking on and over the front doorstep to peek around the corner, found the trail did in fact continue...along the side deck of the house, down some stairs, and then back on the real trail again.

We reached Murren in the amount of time the trail signs had listed (oh yeah, those handy walking signs also list distances and/or hiking times to the destination - so efficient!), and we were quite proud of ourselves since we've tended to become slow pokes. Although we had aching feet, we were just not ready to give up those views and call it a day, so we headed out from Murren on a family friendly trail (mostly flat and mostly paved) to the next village down the mountain, where we could catch the cable car down to the valley and our car. This second trail had views of all three of the biggies in this mountain world, and we had a slow pace with lots of stops for "photos" (i.e., rest). Even now, when I look back over our photos, I cannot get over the beauty of this region. Nathan called this his best day of hiking ever...high praise indeed.


  1. Any chance you might ever be stationed in Switzerland? :-) This is absolutely one of the most enticing blogs you've ever written.

  2. We wish! I've long said it was my favorite country overall...but you have to pay for all that beauty. A hamburger at a sit down restaurant was the equivalent of $20! The prices were pretty steep for everything - food, hotel rooms, public transportation.