After a long and mostly uneventful journey, we arrived in at our first Swiss Alps chalet mid-day on Tuesday. The “mostly” parts of “uneventful” concerned a one hour delay for lightning storms at Dulles and a nearly aborted journey for me when Emerson (16 week old kitten) failed to appear for our house sitter. As my neighbor Laura commented when he was found in the closet some 4 hours after the search began, “wicked kitten.”
Grindelwald sprawls along a glacial-carved valley surrounded, by glacial-carved peaks topped by (sadly shrinking) glaciers. Our lunch spot introduced us to cow decor (clearly a Swiss theme) and grand views (much grander than the food).
A taxi (thankfully) delivered us, our bags and our CoOp grocery bags to our super-sized Grindelwald chalet perched halfway up a slope on the eastern side of the valley. Key features are three stories of decks with sweeping views across the valley to the mighty Eiger Mountain, and a guaranteed workout every time we venture out the door, down two flights of stairs and an aerobic-workout hill.
All eight of our group straggled in by evening and we braved the hill to enjoy an excellent dinner at the Krueuz & Post.
Wednesday dawned with the promise of a bright summer day. We headed down the hill to Grund Station to catch a little cog rail train that chugs up to Kleine Scheidegg, with stunning views of meadows and mountains along the way.
One does not journey to this part of Switzerland for solitude or a wilderness experience.
At Kleine Scheidegg we transferred to a second train and traveled through an immense tunnel to to the Jungfraujoch, a.k.a “the top of Europe.”
The Tour of Junfraujoch (their capitalization, not mine) includes 360 degree views of jagged peaks – including the Jungfrau – and of the Aletch Glacier (once the longest glacier in Europe). Those views alone were worth the price of admission (which, being Switzerland, is as steep as those peaks).
Being Switzerland, opportunities to spend money are as frequent as the views.
An ice palace carved into the glacier makes for slithery walking.
Extracting ourselves from the delights of Jungfraujoch, we descended to Kleine Scheidegg, then switched to a train that took us down the other side of the ridge to Lauterbrunnen via Wengen, where we stopped for lunch.
Lunch al fresco at Sina’s pub and restaurant in Wengen.