It was time for us to bade farewell to Mürren and Gimmelwald. Time to make our way back to lower ground. The Schiltornbahn arrived right on time and this time around, it was packed with fellow tourists, everyone is trying to make their way to Stechelberg.
Tip: If you have the time, you can walk the 2.5km way back to Lauterbrunnen from Stechelberg. Taking in the surrounding areas and the numerous waterfalls.
The Swiss made things really easy for us. All we had to do was to hop onto the bus which was waiting for us when we stepped off the Schiltornbahn. Our next destination — Trümmelbachfälle. It was a downcast day and there was a light drizzle. Our excursion in the mountainous areas of Switzerland has been nothing but rain and mist and fog.
“No wonder most travel guides suggest that we have a flexible schedule for the mountains,” I quipped.
This waterfall is located halfway in between Stechelberg and Lauterbrunnen.
“Why is it so interesting?” asked Mum.
“It’s because we can walk inside it.”
As indicated by this huge signboard posted at the entrance, we take a lift halfway into the summit before climbing some stairs to reach the summit. Then you have a choice of either coming down via steps or back through the lift again. The only queue would be waiting for the lifts. But don’t worry, the lifts can take up to 50 people per trip. The only gripe we had was the entrance fee (CHF11 per person; 2013) was not covered by the Swiss Pass.
Tip: Entry is CHF11 per person in 2013. Not covered by the Swiss Pass. Make sure you are wearing the proper attire as it can get quite wet and cold inside the waterfall.
Make sure you have a firm grip of your camera equipment and that they are water-proof plus have some really good soles. It’s all wet and dark inside the waterfall. Trying to get a good shot is a challenge here. Too much flash and you see yourself, not enough flash and you see nothing. The Swiss engineers built steps and viewing platforms inside the waterfall to give us a close-up look of how the water from the melted glaciers make their way into the river that runs through Lauterbrunnen.
Those who are claustrophobic should give this place a skip. Don’t worry, there is a restaurant just outside the entrance where you could wait it out. Or you could just take the bus back into Lauterbrunnen. We decided to take the stairs and was rewarded with some nice views of the waterfall and also of the surrounding areas.
We reached Lauterbrunnen around 4pm in the afternoon. The rain had stopped. There was nothing much for us here so we decided to hop on to the train that will take us to Wengen. Wengen is another town, much similar to Mürren, in which there are no cars on the road. It is mainly a town made out of hotels, so there isn’t much to see. But for the typical tourist, you will get your souvenir shops. But I was there for another reason altogether.
“What is it again?” asked the wife. The rest of the family rolled their eyes. They were getting used to me digging up some unusual stuffs to see and do while in Switzerland. Not the typical tourist stuff you read in books.
Most of the tourists heading towards Jungfrau would likely stay at the hotels here as the train passes through Kleine Scheidegg on its way to the top. Hence its popularity.
“Oh look at that!” quipped QS.
“Oh no, they have found the souvenir shops.”
Take a photo of the map right outside the train station. If you’re planning to stay here and haven’t even booked a room yet, don’t worry. Right outside the station is a interactive map with a phone. Look for the hotel that you like, corresponding to its place on the map, pick up the phone and dial their number. Voila! Instant hotel booking. Who needs the Internet here?
“OK, back to the task at hand. We are looking for Hotel Bellevue.”
“What’s so special about Hotel Bellevue?”
Tip: When in Wengen, find Hotel Bellevue and enjoy the model railway exhibit right outside the hotel.
Unfortunately, we were there on a day that the place was closed. But just a sneak peek at what one would find if you were there on the right day. A view of the miniature model train layout right outside the hotel. It’s managed by someone in the hotel but on the day that we were there, there was a death in his family and the show had to be cancelled. Boo hoo!
And that brings us to the end of our day in Wengen. We tried to find a good food place but no one was hungry. Stay tuned for the next post when we finally enjoy raclette!