May 28, 2017 - 1:09 AM
I have just returned from my nine day trip in Switzerland. I am floored at how beautiful this country is as well as the effort to keep it clean and beautiful. After delays and two missed flights, I finally arrived in Zurich. Immediately I jumped on a train for Luzern (my first base). The transit system is extremely efficient yet very simple to understand and follow. Upon reaching Luzern I had a 5 minute walk to my hotel in the old town section. The old town of Luzern is fascinating and shows off its historic value. The Chapel Bridge is the most recognizable landmark in the area. The weather in Luzern was cloudy and rainy for the two days I was there but I still made the best out of it.
I first walked around Luzern and took photos and explored some of the food options. Day two started early with the golden round trip to Mt.Pilatus. Despite the weather I still went up. The boat trip on Lake Luzern was still beautiful. The cogwheel train on the mountain was interesting, unfortunately upon reaching the top it was in complete cloud and fog. A combination of rain and cold made the visit short lived. After coming back down I almost immediately got back on a boat for Mt. Rigi this time. After another boat ride I got off at Weggis instead of Vitznau. This was definitely the alternative option as I was the only person heading for Rigi who took this route. After the cable care ride and train from Rigi Kaltbad we soon found ourselves riding into a snowstorm! Upon reaching the top it was complete whiteout conditions. It was later in the day at this point and knowing the trains were shutting down soon for the day I only stayed briefly. Before checking out the next morning I decided for another run at Mt. Pilatus. The skies were clear and sunny. I took the train ride there instead of the boat due to time constraints. The conditions were perfect, but once again by the time we reached the top, clouds began to roll in. Snow had just fallen the night before and it was chilly. I was able to get some decent shots from the top and the cable car back down. Upon reaching the bottom and looking back at Pilatus, the top was completely covered in cloud. This concluded my time in Luzern, time to move onto the alps.
Next stop, Lauterbrunnen. Lauterbrunnen would become my base for the next five days. I chose Lauterbrunnen for its location being relatively centered to all of the Jungfrau region yet still somewhat secluded and not as busy as Interlaken. Weather for all five days was perfect. The day I arrived I stuck around Lauterbrunnen and did the walking paths to Staubbach fall and along the river. First morning there I took the cable car to Grutschalp then decided to hike it to Murren. I went with the mountain view trail. The views were amazing but an hour and a half later I found myself more and more off the trail to Murren. I back tracked a bit and was able to get back to the walking path. I came across Winteregg and waited for the train to Murren. Murren was very quiet at this time almost felt like it is completely abandoned during this time of the year. I walked through to the Schilthorn cable car.
After going up the two cable cars to the Schilthorn I was not prepared for the views I was about to encounter. With clear skies and being above the morning clouds, The perfect view of the swiss alps was at hand. I happened to be a big Bond fan as well so the history of the place was neat. After spending a good hour and a half, I head back down stopping at Birg to do the thrill walk! uneasy for someone not fond of heights. By this time it was reaching early afternoon and I had reservation with Airtime paragliding! Paragliding in the valley was a highlight of the trip and a great way to view the surrounding areas. If your thinking about doing paragliding in the Jungfrau region.....do it you will not regret it. I spent the evening going up to Harder Kulm and catching sunset there. It was an nice vantage point but for a really good sunset Id suggest another mountaintop (Rigi?).
Day 2 in Jungfrau started with an early trip to the Jungfraujoch. This can easily turn into a half or even all day thing. I knew going to this attraction it would be very busy, busy was an understatement. The sky was clear and sunny and the views of the Aletsch glacier and Jungfrau down below were awesome. I stopped at all the attractions, the gift shop and Lindt chocolate shop, ice palace, and alpine sensation. After spending about three hours there it was time to head back down. I stopped in Kliene Scheidegg to eat and take photos of the big 3. The Eiger's noth face towers over the area. I jumped on the train for Grindelwald. I wandered around Grindelwald for awhile but was hit with a big headache from the eariler elevations. I jumped on a train back to Lauterbrunnen to end the day.
Day 3 consisted of an early morning boat ride on Lake Brienz. The lakes crystal blue green water is astonishing and adds to the peaceful boat ride. I got off at Iseltwald to take photos of the well known Chateau. I continued on to Brienz to look for some hand carved wood souvenirs. I headed over to the otherside at Thun. I explored Thun then returned via train to Lauterbrunnen.
Day 4 was a day trip to Zermatt. Zermatt itself is very historic and at the time had many renovations and building go on. Views of the Matterhorn were spectacular! I first trekked up to the cable care to Furi and eventually the Matterhorn glacial paradise (Klein Matterhorn). This was the coldest encounter i had on my trip.