I had been waiting a long time to see Lauterbrunnen (many brooks)
and today was the day!!!
Here's what I wore . . .
|sweater, socks, shoes: Target|
jeans: Style & Co from Macy's
We got there on the train, and we got to enjoy the Aare river on the way.
It's a beautiful greeny color indicative of glacier water.
We could have gone up to Murren with a cable car.
That wasn't in our plans this trip; maybe next time!
We gook the bus to Stechelberg.
The bus traveled along the valley floor and we were able to see Staubbach Falls right away
(to the right in this picture, cascading off the cliff).
There are little farms along the way.
In a few minutes, we arrived at the bus stop for Trummelbach Falls!
By the way, please ignore my lack of umlauts (the little dots over vowels in German);
this blogging platform doesn't have a way for me to include them.
We walked along the river to where the falls come out of the cliff.
There were paragliders.
And there was a helicopter that picked people up on a long rope, carried them around a little bit up high and then brought them back down again. We spend quite a while watching to try to figure out what they were doing.
The falls themselves were arranged in a very organized fashion.
The falls have pummeled down into the rocks for a very long time, and there are 10 different viewing platforms, mostly inside the cliff wall.
Visitors can walk up the steps all the way to the top (that's what we did and my legs were shaking for a good hour afterwards) or take the lift directly to #7 and then walk up (or down!)
There's the lift, to the left of the sign.
And there are the steps to the first lookout spot.
There are railings everywhere to keep things safer.
It was a hot day, but the water spray was cold and wet!
We got all warmed up by hiking up the trail to the next part of the falls.
There was lots of foliage, and the views were beautiful.
Peek a boo!
Some of the walkways went over chasms.
You can see the spray in the air.
And the different parts had different names. This one goes down in a spiral because of the angles of the water and the shape of the rocks.
We had to climb stairs inside caves to get to many of the viewing platforms.
It was cold and damp and we got lots of drips on our heads from the ceiling.
Sometimes we could see out from the caves and see the floor of the valley stretched out.
And we could see Staubbach Falls.
See? I"m pointing right to it!!!
Some more stairs:
Here's what it looked like inside the caves!
Drippy and wet and cold!
And dark, too.
Here are some views we saw of the falls:
When we had seen them all, we walked back down to the valley floor and through the field beside the river back to the bus stop.
We decided to get some lunch at the Coop.
We sat on a bench and ate our picnic.
Greg took some cool photos of the trains and the train station.
It's quite picturesque.
We could see Staubbach Falls from where we sat, and as we looked up and down the valley, we counted at least 25 other waterfalls coming off the cliffs into the valley also.
We were sitting right in front of this big Swiss flag and the Bernese Oberland flag, which were hung there in order to hide the messy reconstruction (Umbau) going on inside this building.
I think it's a lovely patriotic solution to the problem!
Tulips were blooming cheerfully.
We decided to walk to see the Staubbach waterfall after lunch.
It's not hard to find - just look for the waterfall and walk in that direction!
On the way, we passed the electric station, which had a little information about water power and these two balls made out of stones. They were truly made out of stones and were held together by thick metel "ropes" inside.
We walked past the church, which stands near the center of town.
I decided this was an even prettier spot to be buried than the gorgeous cemetery in Grindelwald.
And then we found the walkway that leads behind the falls . . .
only to find that the path was still closed since it wasn't summer season yet.
Maybe next time!
Maybe next time!
Here is where the brook comes out.
Literally, "Staubbach" means "Dust brook".
Perhaps because the water spray and mist look like dust?
Or perhaps the brook carries a lot of dust?
Nope, brook looks beautiful and clear to me!
We took lots of pictures of the amazing falls.
Here are just a few of the other falls that were cascading down into the valley:
And the green fields:
And the snowy peaks in the distance:
Here is a photo of all of the above all together!
Really, it's hard to take a bad photo in Lauterbrunnen!
On the walk back to the city center, I saw this house, though I almost missed it because it has a grass roof and blended right in from most angles!
Here's what it looked like from another angle:
We saw mysterious lines on the hills above the valley (near Murren) and we wondered about them (we figured them out later - stay tuned!)
We investigated the cemetery and the church.
"Her life was love and work".
This woman's last name was "Waterfall"!
We think this was a little house for the church to keep stocks of food - perhaps townspeople tithed in goods rather than cash?
The church had this cool sun dial clock, but we couldn't figure out exactly where we were supposed to stand to read it properly. It wasn't too far off no matter where we stood.
And yay! The church was open for investigating!
"Our church is open.
Come on in!"
It was an Evangelical Reformed Church.
This bell was used from 1497 through 1952. Wow!
"From the year of our Lord 1497 to 1952 this bell called valley residents to prayer."
There was a lovely quote from Dietrich Bonhoeffer:
"Surrounded by good Powers
We confidently await what comes.
God is with us in the evening
and in the morning
and without doubt on each new day."
The garden of Eden, possibly?
Many churches in Europe have little spots for visitors to light a candle and say a prayer for loved ones or selves. This station was even more beautiful because it was a reminder about the significance of LIGHT in Scripture.
"Here in the stillness
I light a candle and quiet myself for a moment.
Here in the stillness, the light of the candle reflects another Light into my life.
Here in the stillness He speaks, 'I am the Light of the world"
"You are the light of the world.'
Here in the stillness, I light a candle for the people who need a light.
Here in the stillness, my candle will burn on after I am gone."
I wanted to check out the Talmuseum (valley museum),
so we ambled around the bend and over the bridge . . .
to find out that it, too, was closed!
That doesn't mean that we were any less enchanted with Lauterbrunnen!
We had an afternoon snack.
Greg had a chocolate & ice cream bar.
And then we headed home.
In the bathroom, I saw this weird sign:
I'm guessing the huge numbers of people from other countries with different sanitation systems don't treat the Swiss equipment quite right.
They certainly make it clear with visuals!
It was sunny and hot in the train on the way back to Grindelwald!
We saw this tiny little "house" only big enough for a small gnome on the front porch.
Perhaps he guards the cows and sheep?
Getting close to our stop!
The snow on the mountains in Grindelwald was beginning to melt, and there were waterfalls that hadn't been there the day before.
We got home and had dinner.
Greg tried a Rugenbrau, the local beer in the area.
I think it's really funny that it says "Lager hell" on it.
In English, that would make it sound like really bad beer.
In German, it means "light colored lager".
It advertised itself as "Beer enjoyment from the Bernese Overland":
Greg had another XXL sandwich with his beer. And some dark chocolate to ward of sunburn!
I decided it was time to do some laundry, so I headed down to the garage/cellar,
where this machine was kept.
I had a special key.
While I was waiting, I enjoyed the view and chatted with the sheep.
And watched the waterfalls.
And smelled the lilacs!
There wasn't a dryer available, but we had a convenient drying rack - though because it was cold and humid, it took a couple of days for our heavier stuff to dry.
Eventually, we had to hang the jeans on the radiators overnight.
Clean clothes - yay!
More beauty in the next post!