Saturday, July 2, 2016

Lauterbrunnen: Piz Gloria & The Most Glorious Walk

We woke up bright and early to a sunny clear day.
The sheep were happy to see us!
(Probably not true).
I was happy to see them (always true!)

We headed back to the train station to go back to Lauterbrunnen for the day.
Today we were going to go up to the top of the cliff walls (and higher)!

We accidentally got on a train headed in the wrong direction and needed to get off in a tiny little town to go back the other way.  We had a chance to get some snacks and use the toilet there.

And we looked at these pretty old-fashioned viewing trains.

Eventually we got back to Launterbrunnen
and saw our old friend, Staubbach Falls.

We were headed up to the Shilthorn via Murren (which is on the cliff top).
Oops, blurry - I took it while walking.

We were in a cable car STUFFED with people from many different countries,
all with differing ideas about how close is too close and how loud is too loud.
Everything was too close and too loud from my perspective!

There's the station our cable car left from!
Up we go!

We went right past the falls.

Here's a car going in the other direction.

And here's our wires going down down down.

There were all sorts of little towns on the way up - here's a car stopped at Stechelberg.

Cows from above!

Avalanche blocks (more about them later):

We made it to Murren, but we need to go farther still to reach Piz Gloria,
which is the station at the peak of the Schildhorn.

There was construction going on up there and this walkway was bolted right into the rock face and it did not look very fun!

We "landed" in Birg, and got off to see the building at the top, Piz Gloria.

This structure was used in the movie, "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" in the 1960s, 
and there's a fun Bond theme to the whole thing, including a Bond museum.
There were advertisements all the way up.

There are the cables that brought us up!
They don't look sturdy enough to do the job, but they did!

There it is!

There are some more cables that do not look up to the job . . .

But we made it!
(That dark shape is me).

Construction going on here, too.

The entry was right by a little viewing area and cafe, and it was NOT FULL!
We easily found a place to sit and had our lunch first, thinking that everyone else would see things first and then eat.

This doesn't even look like a real photo, but it is!

The decor up there was 60s mod with a rustic Swiss feel.

Greg ate this:

and this!
"Alpenruh" = the calm of the Alps.
I don't know what that has to do with sandwiches!

There was a little loop playing of different scenes from the movie
that showcase the Piz Gloria.

We decided to go outside . . . brrr!

It was very windy and chilly and there weren't very many people out there.

For awhile we had the viewing platform to ourselves!

There's the main part of the building.

There was a little walkway along the orange plastic fence
that took people out to an even smaller platform.
Apparently those things sticking up out of the ground are memorials to the actors and actresses who worked on the Bond films, but we couldn't read them because the snow was too high.

Snakes for hair!

There's the last stop our cable car went through to get up to the top.

Of course, I decided to walk in the snow out to the farthest viewing platform.
It was really slippery, and at one point the fence had fallen down and my foot got tangled in the plastic.  I got out, don't worry!  I was laughing almost the whole time because it was windy and very cold and I was sinking in the snow and the wind and caught in the fence, and I felt as if  I might blow right off the mountain altogether.  But I didn't!

Out there was a photo machine that said to push the button and then stand in a particular spot and it would take a photo, which would be available later.  Unfortunately, this feature was not working during the time we were there.  Cool idea, though!

This is something like the view it would have gotten.

We were the only people who had ventured out there right then, so we took LOTS of photos and really enjoyed the isolation.  These tourist spots are usually completely stuffed with people (and people who have different personal space comfort levels from mine), so having the place to ourselves was a special gift.

Here comes the cable car!

On the way back, Greg slipped on the icy snow;
It's all part of the experience!

The store was willing to sell us all sorts of James Bond things.

Here's my get-up to stay warm that day.
Under the coat I'm wearing a blouse and a sweater.
When we were inside, I switched from the ear-covering hat to a cadet cap.

The bathrooms were hilarious.
They were extremely Bond-themed, with silhouettes of Bond and Bond girls on the doors.

This is the women's bathroom:

There was a strange mirror above the toilet in the stall.

And the toilet made moaning or screaming noises when flushed!

The mirrors did cool things when the sink was used, too!

Then, of course, we saw the James Bond museum.
I had a message on the red alert phone from X! In two languages!
I didn't understand the German one at all, sadly.  I don't know why; the quality of the recording wasn't that great and there was a lot of background noise, but I expected better from myself.

This little kilt had a movie playing underneath, and when a person was standing in there watching it, it looked like the person had her head up some man's kilt!

While we were up there, there was a wifi named 007.

Then we headed down again, but decided to stop somewhere in the middle.

Can you see me?

We stopped in Murren!

Swiss German is extra super cute.
Sometimes the words don't make sense to me until I say them out loud and then I had to smirk.
"Uf dr Mur" = "Auf der Mur" = on the Mur

Look at the cute little baby cable car!

And the sign says, "A fireman lives here with the most beautiful FLAME of his life"

And there's a Feuerwehrmann gnome!

Almost every little house had flowers.
Tulips, especially - my favorite!
Or are my favorite flowers lilacs?
Or maybe poppies?
Or perhaps ranunculi?
Perhaps a bouquet of all of the above!!!

Even dandilions are beautiful when they keep the right company.

Almost every view was astoundingly beautiful.
Can you see the waterfall on the other side of the valley?

We could see paragliders:

And the cable car going by regularly:

We walked downhill on a lovely paved path, constantly taking photos and looking at all the beauty.

Murren had a "MiniMuseum," which was available at all times because it was in the windows of the shops in town.  This one was about the wood construction of the chalets as they were originally done and how they needed to change the construction for modern life.

There's the Old Schoolhouse!

All the yellow signs are Wanderwegs (foot paths, hiking trails).
They say the amount of time it would take to walk to each of the destinations.

Most chalets had huge piles of wood:

And this one had labels!

We were constantly looking around in all directions.


I decided to investigate how things looked over that little hill.
The edge wasn't as close as it seemed.

It LOOKS as if I'm standing right on the edge, but I'm really not.

It sure was fun!!!!

I'm already excited to go back to this perfectly beautiful place!

The cable car support towers were very tiled on the steep parts.

Can you see the Aare river own there running along the valley floor?

Here are the avalanche preventers:

More information about avalanches (Lawinen):

These structures are called three-leg mountings.

They are barriers to the snow sliding down the mountain.
They also plant pine trees in and around the mountings, which help prevent avalanches, as well.

Thick forests prevent avalanches, too.

This fence just WANTED me to sneak through!

A shortcut down:

But we took the less steep way;
we were able to enjoy the scenery better.

Strawberries growing in the rocks!

We sat here and LOOKED while I had a snack:

This was our view:

There were more cows.

And an adorable birdfeeder.
"Jesus answered and spoke to him: Truly, truly, I tell you: If . . . "

Here's the end of the verse:
"Es sei denn, daß jemand von neuem geboren werde, kann er das Reich Gottes nicht sehen."
. . . "if a person is not born again, he will not see the Kingdom of God".

There was an odd little shop called the Honesty Shop:
Europe's First Unattended Self-Service Village Shop.
And they're right: it was unattended!
People could take things and leave money.

Some little tiny building were up on stilts.

And then we had walked from Murren down to Gimmelwald,
and we found our cable car place. 

There's the car going up.

And here we go down!
It's a loooong way down to the bottom of that valley!

And then back on the train back to Grindelwald.

This is how a person could travel on the train if he had a bike.

Greg had an ice cream at the train station.
It had little crunchy parts like Oreo cookies in the ice cream bar. 

We took some photos of the ibex statue near the train station.

He's quite majestic.

Here's the bus schedule for our line.  Our stop was "Rothenegg".
We started at the Bahnhof (the yellow dot).

We went to sleep, eager to see if it would SNOW!

P.S.  It was snowing in the morning!!!
We got to enjoy LOTS of snow, in fact!

1 comment:

  1. I'd say Piz Gloria was glorious. The mountain pictures are more than awesome...LOVE the flower ones too...Thanks again for taking this trip and sharing...I'm enjoying it...