Our planned options for 3+ days in Murren

Our planned options for 3+ days in Murren

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Kferriter
Kferriter
9 posts
new member
May 31, 2016 - 1:42 AM

I've been reading the forums regularly for the past months while planning for the trip. I've learned quite a bit from everyone else's questions and the helpful responses. In particular Arno, Annika, Slowpoke, and Kim. But many others as well. Kim's document on the Wengen area has proven incredibly helpful. We're staying in Murren but all of the information proved useful in planning. Especially planning hiking. I'm putting out our itinerary for two reasons. 1) I would love feedback to make certain we don't have something planned that isn't doable and 2) to allow others to know what we're planning so you can anticipate a trip report for this in case your planning or asking about a similar trip.

We have been planning and now are getting close to traveling. We will be traveling in Switzerland from June 18th - June 22nd. We arrive in Zurich on the 18th and will be traveling by train to Murren. Arriving in Murren around 2pm. Depends on the time it takes to get through customs. After a lengthy journey and time change, we'll be getting into our apartment rental and staying close to town. Maybe heading up to the Flower Trail to stretch the legs and an early dinner in town.

The rest of the days are not in particular order and will be chosen based on weather. We have more days planned that days available. We're overplanning our days to have alternatives depending on weather. The only real problem is that these are all days we want to do. We'll just have to return to get in the one or two that we don't do. You'll also see that everything is in the general area of Lautenbrunnen/Wengen/Murren. Except for a lake cruise day, we don't plan to see Interlaken until we are heading onto Italy.

Option 1: Wengen - Kleine Scheidegg - Männlichen Having read several options for hikes involving these three points, we opted for the Wengen to Kleine Scheidegg option as the primary hike. We like this as our first hike as it is of medium difficulty based on our experience and offers several points where we can opt out and take the train. We don't plan to but it's nice to have the option. Once in Kleine Scheidegg, we'll decide if we hop the train back to Wengen or hike over to Mannlichen and head back to Wengen from there. This is the hike we'll use to figure out how we match up to the timings listed. We expect to be slower but need to figure out how much slower.

Option 2: Schynige Platte to First. We're planning this as the entire day hiking trek that it's described as. We'll get started early. We're looking forward to the cog railway up to Schynige Platte and the long hike over to First. The only two prerequisite we have is to do option 1 before this and have clear weather. This is the hike we're most looking forward to but also are cautious as we've done our hiking in the northeast of the US (White and Green Mountains) but nothing like being in the Alps. If we complete the hike in good time, we'll take advantage and take a Trotti Bike ride down from Bort to Grindelwald. Are only question on this hike is if there is any reason to expect the route to be closed in mid to late June. I'm guessing that one good way to check is to ask the Berghotel Faulhorn.

Option 3: Schilthorn morning and Murren based hikes in the afternoon. Looking for another clear day. We'll do Schilthorn first thing. From Murren, this means a 7:40 ascent. So, not too early. Once down, we'll head up to Allmendhubel and do the North Face Trail. Once back in Murren, we'll hike down to Gimmelwald. This may also be an adventure afternoon. Via Ferrata for me or Paragliding for me and my daughter. We'll meet my wife in Gimmelwald or down in the valley depending on which activity. The day is planned to be in the Murren area.

Option 4: This is a lake day. If we don't get the weather for the higher elevations, we will head down to Interlaken. From there, we'll rent bikes and bike to Brienz on the National Bike Route - Lakes Route 9 towards Meiningen. We'll veer off to Brienz when we hit the east end of the lake. Once there, we'll decide if we want to continue biking or hop on a boat. Either way will work for us. Our goal will be to be back in Interlaken by 5 for the Chocolate Show mentioned by Kim in her document at the Grand Restaurant Schuh. If the weather is really bad, we'll just plan for a relaxing boat ride and sightseeing with good rain gear.

Option 5: Essentially the day would be focused on hiking between Murren and the Lauterbruen Valley. We look at the loop from Murren to Grütschalp to Lauterbruen to Stechelberg to Gimmelwald and back to Murren. We'd combine hiking with trains to make the loop. Stopping at several waterfalls and generally just looking at the beauty of the valley. We like the easy hikes and assumes we've never gotten a good day at higher elevations if we're doing this plan.

I didn't say it but on each of the days we'd stop for meals and a refreshing beverage at appropriate intervals. For example, Kim's document gave plenty of options between Schynige Platte and First. We'd look for options to grab picnic supplies, local cheese and food, local crafts, and of course will need to stop and hit shops looking for trinkets to bring back for family and friends.

I feel like we have a very active but not overly aggressive 3 days (not counting the day we arrive and leave). We are very much looking forward to an active outdoor adventure. That's our preferred vacation. But, we're willing to adjust to weather, altitude, jet lag, over confidence, ...

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2652 posts
expert
Jun 1, 2016 - 1:06 AM in reply to Kferriter

Hi Kferriter -

I am impressed by the quality of your planning. Too bad that you do not have more time to spend. Mid- to late-June, while just past the end of "winter" is really only the very first beginning of the summer season in the Jungfrau region, and the weather can be quite changeable...often, wet. The wild flowers will be wonderful, however.

<<"We will be traveling in Switzerland from June 18th - June 22nd. We arrive in Zurich on the 18th and will be traveling by train to Murren. Arriving in Murren around 2pm. Depends on the time it takes to get through customs. After a lengthy journey and time change, we'll be getting into our apartment rental and staying close to town.">>

Where are you coming from?...The USA, I guess. Thinking about jet lag vs. your travel plans. I note that you have considered it. I'd perhaps not take the most strenuous hikes while jet-lagged, but everyone has their own reactions to and tolerance for jet lag.

I assume that you have not traveled to Switzerland before?

Where you are coming from also influences your time going through passport control...but it is usually quite fast for US citizens.. Customs takes no extra time unless you catch the eye of the border control agent as you walk through customs clearance on the exit from the baggage claim area.

Waiting for luggage usually takes me about 5 minutes on Delta at Zürich. Could vary with your airline....and your frequent flyer status.

You'll need a few minutes to get some cash. Don't use Travelex in your home airport.. Rates are exorbitant.

There are lots of ATM and bank windows for ForEx at Zürich Flughafen and every decent sized rail station...especially the main ones.

<<"Wengen - Kleine Scheidegg - Männlichen Having read several options for hikes involving these three points, we opted for the Wengen to Kleine Scheidegg option as the primary hike. We like this as our first hike as it is of medium difficulty based on our experience and offers several points where we can opt out and take the train. We don't plan to but it's nice to have the option. Once in Kleine Scheidegg, we'll decide if we hop the train back to Wengen or hike over to Mannlichen and head back to Wengen from there. This is the hike we'll use to figure out how we match up to the timings listed. We expect to be slower but need to figure out how much slower.">>

I am enough of a fanatic on this point to be annoying to frequent readers in this forum. Walk from Männlichen to Kleine Scheidegg. The other direction is a fine hike. The "correct" version is stunning. If you have not read my comments in other posts to justify my firmly and stridently held opinion, I can amplify in detail ( and quote Rick Steves, if that has any influence with you.)

www.myswissalps.com/hi king/maennlichen-kleinescheidegg

The hike that you plan from Wengen to Kleine Scheidegg starts at around 1275 meters and ends up at around 2061 meters. Not that much of a problem if you are used to climbing at altitudes above one mile high. Thin air.....tiring. If you go the other direction and your legs are not trained, you will have sore knees.

This map is very good. I have added the Wanderweg overlay.

map.geo.admin.ch/?topic=swisstopo&lang=d e&bgLayer=ch.swisstopo .pixelkarte-farbe&X=157513.95&Y=63 2540.47&zoom=6&layers= ch.swisstopo.swisstlm3 d-wanderwege

The trails are color coded according to the Wanderweg convention. Do you know it, or would you like more details?

The Wanderwege signs give times, not distances. On level ground, I match the times, except for photography breaks.. In hilly terrain, I take up to twice the posted times. With high altitude climbs, slower still. Your experience may be different, especially depending on your conditioning for high altitude exercise.

Mt. Washington is approximately 1920 meters high. Mt. Lafayette is somewhere around 1600 meters.

<<"We're looking forward to the cog railway up to Schynige Platte and the long hike over to First.">>

map.geo.admin.ch/?topic=swisstopo&lang=d e&bgLayer=ch.swisstopo .pixelkarte-farbe&X=168660.00&Y=63 7740.00&zoom=5&layers= ch.swisstopo.swisstlm3 d-wanderwege

Note the altitude changes, starting higher than Mt. Washington, and going up.

<<<"Once back in Murren, we'll hike down to Gimmelwald.">> More like a quick stroll.

You have nicely planned options. They will serve you well. Once you are there and actually see the lay of the land, you can refine them. Good luck on the weather. Bern is a nice bad weather option.

Slowpoke

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2652 posts
expert
Jun 1, 2016 - 8:14 AM in reply to Kferriter

Hi Kferriter -

One other comment.

The correct spelling for Mürren has an umlaut over the "u" - thus - "ü." Murren is different from Mürren.

The difference is meaningful in German. The pronunciation is different, and if you are speaking to a German speaker who is used to English, they'll sometimes recognize your error and help you out. The timetable gives all options for spellings. It is a common mistake for English speakers not to recognize or pronounce the differences. So common, that German speakers are used to it if they have any contact with English speakers.

In English, the name of the city is Zurich. In German, it is Zürich. In German, those two words are pronounced differently. Listen for it when you are there.

On keyboards and in text where an umlaut is not available, the work around in English is to spell the word thus -. "Muerren." Or, since it ( ü ) is available as a "High ASCII" letter or "Extended ASCII" letter you can type it by typing 0252 on the numeric keypad (not the numbers at the top of the keyboard) while holding down the "alt" key on an IBM/PC keyboard. There is some other way on a Mac, maybe?

German keyboards have it as a distinct key.

The umlaut is shorthand for a diphthong, so the spelling as "ue" is technically correct, and the umlaut is a shortcut for wriing both letters. You will also see "ä" and "ö."

Slowpoke

Kferriter
Kferriter
9 posts
new member
Jun 16, 2016 - 1:23 AM in reply to Slowpoke

Slowpoke,

Sorry for the delayed response. Thank you very much for the tips. We'll definitely look at plans to see if we can do the Männlichen to Kleine Scheidegg in the "proper direction". I have read enough of your posts on this site to know that your distinction between fine and stunning is based on experience. Quoting Rick Steves won't have much of an impact. Quoting Slowpoke does. :-) The direction was chosen as an extension to another hike. Depending on weather, timing, and readjusting options, we'll find a way to do the stunning hike. Short of doing the fine hike while walking backwards.

Also, thank you for the correction on the umlaut. To be honest, the exclusion was laziness as I understood the fact that it would be a different word with and without the umlaut and I could go insert the character with a little effort. But, better to know that the easier solution is to spell it Muerren. I did not know that the ue was the proper way to replace the ü in English.

Wait, I decided to look it up and it's pretty easy on the Mac. Hold down the option button and type a u, let go of the option key and type a u again. ü Silly easy. Should have looked that up months ago.

We leave in two days. Very much looking forward to the trip and also wish it was longer. But we keep telling ourselves that we will be back. That has proven to be true for other places that we have loved and expect to both love Switzerland and to make it true again by returning.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2652 posts
expert
Jun 16, 2016 - 1:29 AM in reply to Kferriter

Grüetzi Herr (oder Frau) Ferriter -

Umlauts are easier on the Mac than on a PC.

Wir wünschen Ihnen eine gute Reise.

Slowpoke

PS- thanks for the compliment, but comparison to Rick Steves is damning with faint praise. ;-)

Although , read with the proper filters, he can be useful.

Last modified on Jun 16, 2016 - 1:35 AM by Slowpoke
Kferriter
Kferriter
9 posts
new member
Jun 16, 2016 - 3:43 AM in reply to Slowpoke

Funny, I thought I signed posts and realized I haven't. The name is Kevin. Mr. not Ms. :-)

I meant no implied comparison to Rick Steves. Quite the opposite. Simply incomparable. I know you were making a joke. I happen to agree that with the right filters his information can be useful. I would have never made it to the Cinque Terre in Italy 20 years ago without his advice. Of course, I have a different favorite town of the five from Rick. Ironically for all of the reasons he chose the Cinque Terre and Vernaza in the first place. His choice town is a little too touristy and my favorite is becoming that but still has a bit of the original charm today. It's simply a matter of a few more years before that's no longer true. To put it another way, I listen to his advice but I don't worship it. I happen to know others that do and I simply advise them to take it as one input and seek out others.

Myswissalps was one of the others that I sought out. myswissalps has been my best source of advice and information on visiting Switzerland. It starts with Arno and Annika who I swear must never sleep but includes regular posters like yourself. I hope to return the favor by posting once I've returned from my first trip. To me, this is a community and not a website as I just said. I have a lot of information in my head from mswwissalps and hope to combine that with true experience to allow me to share my experience in a thoughtful manner with other posters.

One side note. I keep referring to this as my first trip. I actually had one other trip. I took the morning train from Paris to Zurich. Spent most of the afternoon and evening walking and eating in Zurich. I enjoyed it immensouly but it wasn't in my mind a true Switzerland experience. I walked for hours touring the old town, newer commercial district, and lake district. Absolutely loved it. But left wanting to see the mountains. I took the train to Chur the next morning and then took the official Bernina Express. Window seat with panoramic windows. Absolutely one of the best train rides I've ever taken. May have been the first time I realized that a train ride could be the trip. The border crossing in Tirano at that time felt very cold war era. Must have been about 10 years ago. Well past the cold war but still walking from one train to the other through the gates. I was one of the few held up for extra scrutiny. After holding my passport for more than 15 minutes the Italians never stamped it so when leaving through Frankfort a week later I was raked over the coals on where I've been as they couldn't figure out how I got into the EU. When I told them my path and simply said "the italians", my passport was stamped for an exit visa with a wink and a nod.

I was only in Switzerland for less than 24 hours. And left with a desire to get more. The couple hours in Zurich didn't count for me. Awesome but not absolute cup of tea. The trip did show me that the train ride can be part of the vacation and not just a way to get from point a to point b. Anxiously awaiting the next trip and consider it my first trip to Switzerland. Can't wait to share my experience with the community.

=Kevin

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2652 posts
expert
Jun 16, 2016 - 8:12 AM in reply to Kferriter

Grüetzi Kevin -

<<"His choice town is a little too touristy and my favorite is becoming that but still has a bit of the original charm today. It's simply a matter of a few more years before that's no longer true. To put it another way, I listen to his advice but I don't worship it. I happen to know others that do and I simply advise them to take it as one input and seek out others.">>

If you see a tourist in Gimmelwald without a Rick Steve's book in hand or in pocket, you have sighted a rare bird ;-)

Hope you have good weather. I recall from these posts that the forecasts are not promising, but, if you have not read this thread, it will give a valuable perspective:

www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/an-entire-week-of-rain-help-needed

Slowpoke

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