Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Up in the clouds... the Swiss Alps

Hi folks. We continue the journey to the south and west, past Interlocken and into the alps to a small ski town called Wengen. When I was first planning the trip, I thought that the this part of the trip would be my favorite. I was actually quite wrong about that. For one, the weather while we were there didn't quite work out. It was really cloudy and we couldn't really see any of the peaks of the mountains. There had also been a recent avalanche which shut down some of the walking paths. And it was so cloudy that we decided not to go to Jungfraujoch (just below the Jungfrau summit). We didn't really see the point in paying 90 CHF per person to look at a bunch of clouds (and that was the discounted Swiss pass price). Also, Wengen was the real start of my sleeping problems on the trip. It's not hugely advertised, but apparently, Switzerland is a difficult place to get rest. The altitude and the pressure systems can create problems for some people. And I was no exception. What's weird is that I haven't really had this problem in the states (even when visiting places like Denver and Idaho). I mean, I occasionally have problems falling asleep, but this time was different. It was multiple days, making it more and more frustrating. One night, I laid in bed for 6 hours just not going to sleep. It was pretty rough (and by was I mean it still is, because the problem seems to have followed me back to the states). J also says he had some problems in Wengen, though not to the same extent. And probably at least some of that was me having panic attacks at 3 am.

Regardless, we still had a decent time in Wengen. I think it would have been stunning had the weather been better, but we made the most of it. The hotel had a spa, pool and hot tub and served a 5 course dinner every night. So, we weren't exactly in that bad of shape.

Wengen is around 4,200 feet above sea level, so not as high as Denver, but rises steeply from the Lauterbrunnen valley below. To get there, we took a very scenic train from Luzern to Interlocken, one from Interlocken to Lauterbrunnen and then a cog train from Lauterbrunnen to Wengen. Our hotel was up on the hillside/mountainside and had some great views.

Our hotel room. The view was fantastic and overlooked the whole town.

View from the room.

The clouds... oh the clouds. The day after we arrived, we decided to see about going to Jungfraujoch, but ended up taking a train to Grindelwald (yes, Harry Potter fans, rejoice!). Grindelwald sits at the base of the Eiger mountain, which we sort of saw (top was in the clouds).


After grabbing lunch and chocolates, we took a path over to a cable car that would get us back to Wengen.

Beautiful wildflowers

Luckily, you can't really tell, but it was raining.

On the way up to Mannlichen, used for skiing in the winter.

We got some nice views from the cable car before we went into the clouds.

Mannlichen was literally in a cloud. It was white everywhere. I think you get some great views when it's clear. :)

Oh, also the snow hadn't melted yet.

This was me saying, "Take a picture of me in the cloud." Making the best of it. I think this would have been a view of Wengen.

We then descended in a larger cable car into Wengen, which was looking more sunny.

Our hotel from the cable car.

Our hotel up on the hill.

Views from walking around Wengen.

We then took a relaxing dip in the pool before our second 5 course dinner. The next morning, the views were the best we had so far (just as we were heading out to Geneva). We did have a relaxing morning, hanging out on the balcony before heading to the train.

We then headed back to Lauterbrunnen to get the train to Geneva.

So, all in all, we had a good time there. But we did wish the weather had been better and we could have seen all the amazing views that I imagined we would.

Next up... Geneva!


  1. Hi, Cathy! Meg from Bucknell, here. These are gorgeous! Hope you continue to have wonderful travels! Take care -- Meg