Day 7: Nachster Halt – Lauterbrunnen, Murren, Schilthorn
From the Pennine Alps to the Bernese Alps.
From Zermatt, the trains to get you to Lauterbrunnen are the following:
– Visp/Fiesch bound train to Visp (~1 hr)
– Basel bound train to Spiez (~30 min)
– Interlaken bound train to Interlaken Ost (~30 min)
– Lauterbrunnen bound train to Lauterbrunnen (~20 min)
Yea I know, crazy commute with luggage in 80F+ weather but this was the quickest path. Why did I choose Lauterbrunnen instead of Interlaken or Grindelwald? I thought it was a central spot for home base. Maybe it would help if I show a map of the area.
As you can see, Interlaken (refer to the Day 1 post), is farthest from the action (on the left of the map) but at the same time, has the most restaurants and hotels. To the right of Interlaken is a valley that forks into 2: Grindelwald and Lauterbrunnen. Grindelwald would be ideal if you weren’t planning to check out the Schilthorn (which I planned to do today). Actually, there are many small towns upon the valley walls such as Murren and Wengen that are also great for staying in a hotel for a night or 2. Wherever you decide to go, just remember that you’ll have great views. We stayed at the Hotel Silbelhorn which wasn’t bad. Again, no air condition in these hotels and it was very hot. The perfect solution after a long travel day from Zermatt was to just drop our bags and go to the nearest mountain for some cooler weather. Onward to the Schilthorn.
Right from the Lauterbrunnen station, you catch the cable car to Grutschalp and then transfer to a Murren bound train for 2 stops to Murren. Between the cable car and train ride, just enjoy your view of the Lauterbrunnen valley.
You’ll even catch your first glimpse of the big 3: Eiger (left), Monch (middle), and Jungfrau (right). As the story goes, the Jungfrau (young maiden) is being protected by the Monch (monk) from the Eiger (ogre).
Murren is a small town with some restaurants and hotels. As you walk the main avenue toward the Schilthorn bound cable car, you’ll come across a tree trunk with perhaps one of the best views you’ll find that day.
At the end of town, you’ll find the Schilthorn cable car. But you don’t just go straight there because there is one stop between at the Birg station where you can walk the Skyline Thrill walk. Its pretty much a platform walkway that circles the cliff.
And then there is this cylindrical fence thing that you could crawl through, but don’t look down…
After the Cliff walk, you then return to the cable car to finally arrive at the Schilthorn. Here is a miniature model of the Schilthorn area.
Since one of the James Bond movies was filmed here, there is a small James Bond museum. There is a cool simulator which you sit inside and the screen shows yourself inside of a high-speed 007 chase scene. You can also walk around outside and take some photos of the Bernese Alps, even if it’s a cloudy day.
Honestly, there isn’t much else to do up here unless you want to hike around some trails. But we were kinda tired from traveling earlier and hungry also. So we just headed back to Murren, ate at the Eiger Guesthouse restaurant, and then returned to Lauterbrunnen. If you have free time at Murren, you should take the funicular to Allmendhubel. There are some short trails around there that look nice.
One cool thing about Lauterbrunnen is that the Staubbach waterfall is within walking distance. Also, I was not aware that you could walk up a long staircase and through tunnels to get behind it, let’s go.
We headed back to the hotel and called it a day. We had to get up early for the big one tomorrow… Jungfrau: the “Top of Europe”.