If I were given a chance to do the Europe trip all over again but I could only visit one country, I will choose Switzerland without a shout of a doubt. For most of the time in Switzerland I actually felt like I was actually having a holiday. Instead of rushing from one place to another to visit the attractions, we were walking leisurely to enjoy the breathtaking sceneries.
Thanks to the diverse landscape in Switzerland, every photo is postcard beautiful.
By the time we reached Zurich it was already at night. Due to summer season there wasn’t any room available and even if there was one, it would be too expensive. After checking with every single hostel but to no avail, we decided to give up and catch a train to Interlaken instead. Although tiring, at least we got to see Zurich, which is a modern city with an active nightlife.
Panini (sandwich) stalls were aplenty at the train station.
Ever had a bacon pretzel? They are pretty common in Europe and come with many different type of fillings.
Using the hotel reservation kiosk at Interlaken West’s train station, we finally secured two beds at Balmer’s Herberge, which happens to be the first and oldest private hostel in Switzerland. Talk about coincidence. After spending the night in one of the 32-beds dorm (like a chicken coop) at Balmer’s Herberge we quickly left for Lauterbrunnen.
Do note that even with a Eurail Global Pass you still have to pay for the train to Lauterbrunnen @ 7CHF, a municipality that comprises some villages like Wengen, Murren, Gimmelwald and Lauterbrunnen itself.
Although the journey was quite short it was not short of beautiful sceneries, like this river flowing through under the tracks. If you are wondering, the river is turqoise-grey because it is fed by water from the melting glacier.
And the view of the Swiss Alps, it never seize to amaze no matter how many times you look at it.
The Staubbach Falls has got to be the first sight to greet any visitor to Lauterbrunnen, the 300 meters high waterfall in the background. When viewed from afar, the water seems to be spraying from the hanging valley instead of dropping. It is the most impressive waterfall I have ever seen in real life.
There are many things to do at Lauterbrunnen and the most popular and costly one would be visiting Jungfraujoch, widely known as the “Top of Europe” at more than 10,000 ft high. Or you could choose to visit the nearby villages either by hiking or taking a cable car.
If you are planning to visit Jungfraujoch, be informed of the local weather during your stay because it is the main factor in deciding your Jungfraujoch experience. Always pick a sunny day and start in the morning.
Our choice of accommodation at Lauterbrunnen for the next two days was Valley Hostel, a clean and homey hostel equipped with a self-service laundry room and a fully functional kitchen. Each dorm has a great view of Jungfrau that can be enjoyed from the room’s balcony.
So for the first day we decided to take a cable car to Murren then hike to Gimmelwald. The cable cars use here are similar to those in Genting but about 5 times larger.