Someone up there was looking after the weather for us while we were in the Swiss Alps. We delved deep into our backpacks for hats and sunscreen and made our way up – with the assistance of three cable cars and a train – to Schilthorn at 2970m.
On the way up from our accommodation in Lauterbrunnen, the lush green valley and sheer cliffs (there are 72 waterfalls in the valley) gave way to tall pine forests and increasing snow coverage. It is in-between seasons at the moment – the skiers are making the most of the last snow and the villagers are getting ready to open for the summer season of biking and hiking. During the summer there is a triathlon that begins with a swim in the icy water of Lake Thun (Interlaken) and ends 2000m in elevation later after cycling, mountain biking and running! (Yes, I know triathlons only have three events, but the Swiss do not).
Schilthorn is by no means the highest peak in the Swiss Alps (Jungfrau, 4185m) but it is the second-highest point you can get to by cable car. The building (built 1968) on Schilthorn was ‘blown-up’ the 007 film, ‘On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.’ From the top you have a 360 degree view that includes the Jungfrau, Mönch and Eiger (the Young Lady, the Monk, and the Ogre) peaks. I had very itchy feet watching the skiers take off from Schilthorn – must come back in winter!
For lunch, we walked down to Gimmelwald (1363m) from Mürren, about 300m elevation in 30 minutes. Gimmelwald is quite small and is essentially a farming village with a little bit of tourism.
I’m not sure words such as magnificant and breathtaking do the scenery justice, so here’s a photo gallery of the Alps.