Saturday, May 16, 2009

The sun came out today in Lauterbrunnen!

So today we woke up and saw a break in the clouds - how exciting! We got ready to go (which involved Grant deciding if he should put tape around his feet or just wear the thin socks he bought last night to try to prevent the blisters - he decided on just the socks to start out), made some oatmeal and hopped on the bus to a town called Steckelberg at the end of the valley. (I'm probably spelling all these names wrong right now so I'll fix that when I get home and look it up and check the maps) :)

Waiting for the bus. Grant was in the coffee shop getting some mocha.

The bus costed 4CHF to ride.

We got off the bus and started walking farther up into the valley. We could see the peaks of the mountains and it was awesome!

The trails are kinda funny - they go through people's land and pastures. Sometimes you even have to open gates and walk in with the cows.





Here we are in someone's pasture with the cows. Grant says "Ash, get closer to the cow and I'll take your picture." Ash says "This is as close as I'm getting. I think the cow doesn't like me!"





Hiking up higher so we can see back towards Lauterbrunnen.

As we hiked farther we got to some spots where we could see the Jungfrau - the tallest peak around here. There are two slightly smaller peaks right by the Jungfrau but we couldn't see them from that side.

The Jungfrau mountain (pronounced young-frow).

Part way into the hike we stopped so Grant could fix up his blisters - the socks weren't really helping. After he put some tape on we hiked a little farther up and then decided to turn off and head to Gimmelwald.







Since we were missing Mama Marla's (Grant's mom's 5k/10k run/walk/bike) we figured we had to do a lot of hiking today :) We had been to Gimmelwald yesterday (it's up on the cliffs that line the valley) but it was cloudy so we couldn't see much. We decided to head back up today and the hike to Gimmelwald was very cool. The trail was really rustic through the woods and there were a bunch of little waterfalls we had to go across over logs - very fun!

So after hiking a ways through the woods and over waterfalls we came back onto a more traveled trail that started to wind its way up the mountain to Gimmelwald.

There's Gimmelwald up on the cliff.











Again it was a really steep trail and I was getting tired and thought we might never get there.



Turns out it really wasn't that much farther and we were up to the cable car stop in Gimmelwald.

We were in this same spot yesterday and couldn't see any mountains!



From there we decided to buy a ticket up to the top of a mountain called the Schilthorn. Since it was clear we thought we might be able to see all three of the tallest peaks across the valley - the Jungfrau, the Monch and the Eiger. With our Eurail pass discount it only costed 62 CHF each to get to the top from Gimmelwald. The cable car ride was really cool - like a rollercoaster in some spots.



We had to get on about three different cable cars to make our way to the top which was about 10,000 feet.

At the top it was awesome - they have a building you can walk all around and see the mountains in all directions.

Three tallest peaks - the Eiger, the Monch and the Jungfrau.











We could even see way down the valley to Interlaken where we had stayed our first night in Switzerland. After checking out all the sights we sat down and ate our lunch we had brought with - some apples, bread and cheese.



Then we caught the next cable car back down and took the bus back to Lauterbrunnen.

Last night a couple guys that were staying at our hostel were eating some cheese they said they bought from a farmer not far from town. We decided we needed to try some homemade cheese from Switzerland so walked out to where we thought the farm was. There was a little chalkboard next to the barn that we thought said something about cheese.



A guy drove up in a tractor and we asked him if we could buy cheese and he said yes so we followed him to his basement. He didn't speak English but he gave us a sample of one of the round wheels of cheese he had in his little basement/cellar and it was really good. We said we'd like some and it took a little bit to communicate and tell him we wanted half of the chunk he had cut off and ask how much it costed. Grant asked if he could take a picture but the guy right away said no, no. He was probably thinking - dumb tourists! So we headed home with our cheese and tried to stop at the grocery store to get some crackers and stuff for supper but it closed at 4pm. We headed back up the road to the bakery and found what we needed there. We bought some Rosti which is apparently a Swiss dish - it looks like fried potatoes with cheese. It's in one of those 'just add water' types of bags but since it's all in a different language we're not sure how you make it. We tried to ask the lady at the grocery store but all she did was point to the back of the bag which isn't really going to help us since it's in German :) When we got back to the hostel we sat out on the patio and had our cheese and wine - it was great!

We were entertained by the little kids whose parents own the hostel. We didn't know what they were saying since they were speaking German but it was pretty funny to watch. Especially when they started singing songs we recognized the beat of but they were singing the words in German.

While we were hiking yesterday and today I saw signs that said Wanderweg and I kept wondering where that town really was because we were seeing signs but never saw the town. Today I thought something was a little fishy because we came to a sign that pointed in both directions and said Wanderweg. So I began to think maybe it meant something about 'wandering.' When we got back to the hostel we got a German phrase book and, sure enough, wanderweg means hiking trail :) good thing we didn't try to get to the town of Wanderweg - we'd have been hiking forever!

Now we're just hanging out chatting with a guy from Australia and one from New Zealand. Some time soon we'll attempt to make the Rosti for supper - we'll see how it turns out :) Tomorrow is our last full day in Lauterbrunnen and on Monday we'll head to Zermatt. Hope Mama Marla's went well! Some people are waiting to use this laptop so if we get it back later I'll make Grant post in response to some of the comments on the last post :)

7 comments:

  1. Sounds like a good day and looks like you will have good weather tomorrow too. I would love to know about the cheese now that I am a cheese maker!!!!!It would have been raw milk cheese he was making was it a hard cheese or soft.
    Have fun on the Wanderweg.
    Hey Grant how is the Swiss Beer must be German!!!
    Dad

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  2. Oh my gosh, thanks for taking the time to post your adventure stories - they are very entertaining & some of the comments are LOL funny! I want to go! I hope Ashley's feet make it through this trip better than the glacier trip, maybe the new shoes are the right ones... I hope Grant's feet are feeling better!
    Good Luck finding the free bathroom BONUS again!Have another great day! Can't wait to see the pictures!
    Love,
    MOM

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  3. Grant Walter, you should have been here for your mom's race. Flan won the 10k. He ran the 10k in 52 minutes. Your mom was bad mouthing him the whole time. I kept saying, I can smell him coming, I can smell it... but your mom said NO. But sure enough Flan came running around the corner. I ran the 5k, and I tried to stick with some punk high school kids, that lasted the first mile. I had to stop and walk a couple times, but I only lost to 4 high schoolers, and I finished tied with some girl. I definetly would have beat you though. When are you going to come back down to Austin? Also I want to go on vacation with you, you can show us how to pitch our tent, and take us rock climbing. We could become real wilder people. I love you, you never call me anymore. I was going to try to call Europe and ask for you, but I figured they wouldn't be able to find you. I heart you, you crazy red head.

    Josh

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  4. It is fun to hear about your journey. I live in Vermont and I happened upon your blog.
    Lauterbrunnen is one of my all time favorite spots in the world. I am so glad that the clouds lifted so that you could see the amazing mountains around you.

    If you get the chance take the train up to Wengen this a great little town and from there you can take the train all the way up to the Jungfraujoch, which, while very expensive, is a truly amazing experience.

    Nothing like traveling vicariously through folks like you how really appreciate and enjoy the beauty of their travels.

    Good Luck.

    Barry & Nicole Percy
    Williston, VT

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  5. sounds like you had a great day! i'm glad the sun came out for you! it's sunny here today too, but it's windy and kinda cold. my fingers nearly froze off when we were garage saling this morning!

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  6. Yup, it's true - Nathaniel really did come in first for his age group!! I doubted Josh all the way but was wrong. It was another successful year - had about 85 paid participants and about 60 who actually did it! Big A & Amity made the bike ride, Josh & Cori did the 5k, Molly & Missy too. Clark stayed at the church since it was so chilly today. It was 32 degrees when we got up - sunny & windy!! Yikes!! Anyway, I hope those blisters are better today!! Glad to hear the sun came out. Keep those journeys going! Love you two! Mom Marla

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  7. Kory & SandyMay 17, 2009 at 3:20 AM

    Hey guys, I really should check your blog everyday.....LOL you post alot wich is awsome! Sounds like you are haveing and interesting time! The lady with the beer would have been the best part!! Have fun and be safe 20 days tell goatstock ;) Love you guys!

    SandyW

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