Thursday, our last day in Grindelwald, dawned sunny and clear.
A different grouping of the Fabulous Four headed up valley for a hike from Phingsteg to Bäegg. I’m promised pictures of their hike for another post.
Matt had not seen Mürren and Gimmelwald in the sun, so we decided to take one last jaunt to my favorite villages. Our day involved the usual multi-trek from Grindelwald to Lauterbrunnen (with a train change at Zweilutschinen); gondola to Gruitschalp; up the cog railway or walk to Mürren; down the gondola to Gimmelwald; down again to Stechelberg; bus to Lauterbrunnen; and train back to Grindelwald (changing at Zweilutschinen one last time)
Zweilutschinen is the transfer point for trains to and from Interlaken and Lauterbrunnen. The last cars on the Interlaken-bound train decouple and wave goodbye to the front of the train. These cars then then re-couple to a train headed for Lauterbrunnen which arrives about 7 minutes later.
The gondola was its usual mob scene.
Matt disembarked at Gruitschalp to walk along the ridge up to Mürren. Still favoring my blue-wrapped knee, I opted for the train and a quiet sit in the sun while Matt trudged along the trail. This trip, I scored a seat on the view side of the train with an open window, opposite a fellow photographer who sang praises of the view – in Japanese – all the way up. Sweet.
Winteregg, the stop-along-the-way.
I had a lovely hour on the sun terrace a Hugs and Cups Cafe at the Alpine Sportcenter – great bakers!
After a delicious lunch (consisting mostly of mushrooms for me), we waddled to the gondola and joined the queue for the ride down to Gimmelwald.
This was mowing week. All week long, we saw people mowing, scything and weed-whacking every meadow and verge. I was glad to have seen the wildflowers before the knives descended. All of this meadow grass is then raked (by hand) into long rows, scooped up by a little tractor-vacuum, then tucked away as winter fodder for those precious cows. Above is the funicular meadow getting its haircut. We saw the end of the process in Gimmelwald.
The gondola queue for Gimmelwald.
Our friend the tabby met us on arrival, and farewelled us as we left. (I do hope Emerson is reading this blog and learning from his mentors.)
The Holstein dairy farmer (remember that very large array of cowbells?) was uploading fodder into the hayloft, as trucks carted meadow grass downhill to other destinations.
Below: hops and its delicious output from the folks who bring us that lovely Schwarz Monch dunkel bier.
This little girl’s owner perched her on the gondola’s window ledge for the ride down to Stechelberg (presumably to keep her from being squished in the gondola people-press). Poor little thing was terrified, shivering all the way down.
Two paragliders landed at Stechelberg as we descended.