Warning – this is very long. Photos coming very soon, once I get to Paris!

Lauterbrunnen. One of the few places ive been to that I can 100% say that I would have loved to have stayed for longer. The scenery is just absolutely beautiful, would have to be one of the best easily accessible places in the world. Bit of a slight disapointment on the weather though, 3 out of the 4 days werent ideal. They were still sunny and warm, but just very overcast and occasional showers, so hiking was no problemo, just the photos were bleh. But thats mountain weather, can change in minutes.

Outside of the scenery, everything else is fantastic as well. The Swiss engineers have their heads on straight and everything works with precision, from the train system to the automated lighting systems in every room you go anywhere. The place is also extremely clean and the people very very friendly and on a whole speak great English.

This particular part of Switzerland though is quite expensive. The town obviously thrives on tourism and with little to no other places to buy things the shops charge a lot. The main expense is getting around on the trains and gondolas/cablecars. Unless you are freakishly fit and like walking up giant mountains then you have to use one of these or both. I bought a 6 day Jungfraubahn pass which entitled me to unlimited use of everything on the Jungfraubahn network which gets you 95% of places, but also only gives a 50% reduction on the ticket to the top of the Jungfrau. The pass was 200 francs, and I estimate I racked up about 400 or so francs of travel in my 4 days of using it, plus the Jungfrau which cost me another 50 francs on top of the 200. So just to get around I had to spend about $300 or so. The views more than make up for it though.

Ill just give a quick breakdown of what I did on the days, which probably wont mean much to anyone as you wont know the places, then ill let the photos do the rest. A few of these places are probably spelt wrong as well.

Day 1

Woke up kinda early and took the cable car from Lauterbrunnen up to Grutschalp. Did the walk over to Murren and if the weather cleared up I was going to go up to the Schilthorn. But it didnt clear up so instead I hiked down to Gimmelwald and then down to the valley floor to Schtechelberg, the entire hike taking just under 4 hours I think. Caught the bus to the Trummelbach Falls and checked them out. They were AMAZING. Its a big ass waterfall INSIDE the mountain, its carved out corkscrews and tunnels over the years. It drains the snow and glaciers of the Eiger, Monch and Jungfrau mountains and the noise it makes is just nuts, its damn loud. Walked back to my hotel and picked up a bike which they have for use and pretty much did the exact same route as the morning but on the bike. Gotta be the best riding ive ever done in my life. Some extremely sketchy sections at times as my cross country riding skills probably arent the best anymore. Took about 2 hours to do it. Got back to hotel, had dinner and crashed for the night.

Day 2

Woke up to another overcast cloudy day, damn! Got the train from Lauterbrunnen up to Kleine Scheidegg to see what it was like up higher. COMPLETELY covered over in fog, could see about 10m infront of me. So I caught the train from there down to Grindelwald which is kind of like Lauterbrunnen, just in the other valley and a smidge higher. Went from there and hopped on to the First cablecar and rode that all the way up, and surprise surprise it was even foggier. Did the hike over to Lake Bachalpsee which is one of the most perfect photo spots on the planet, but it just wasnt to be today unfortunately. The weather did however start to clear up a bit, blue skies comin through. Walked back to First and got the cablecar down to Grindelwald getting off at the two intermediate stops to take photos. Took the train from Grindelwald to Grund and hopped on the Mannlichen cablecar. Its the longest cablecar in Europe apparently, and id believe it, it went on for aaaaaaaaaaages. Got to the top of Mannlichen and the views were 360 degrees looking over all the valleys, too bad about the cloudy sky! From there caught the gondola down to Wengen which is a town that sits on the edge above Lauterbrunnen valley. When I got there it POURED rain so I quickly hopped on to a train and went back down to Lauterbrunnen. Back to hotel, dinner then crashed.

Day 3

Sun!!! THERES CLEAR BLUE SKIES! Very quickly got ready and rushed to the train and went straight up to Kleine Scheidegg and bought my ticket to the Jungfrau. This ticket was still 50 francs even though I had the 200 franc Jungfraubahn pass. I think the ticket to Jungfrau is normally about 150 francs, its rediculous. Hopped on the special Jungfrau train and away we went. Through what would have to be the most insane piece of engineering ever. This train goes very very steeply up through the mountain for kilometers. You stop twice on the way up and are able to get out and look out some observation windows. I only got out and looked at one of them because holy balls was it cold without any sun in the tunnels (I may or may have been wearing only a tshirt and shorts). These same windows were and still are used for rescue missions for climbers going up the famous Eiger North Face climb as well. Eventually you get to the Jungfrau station, the highest railway in the world, which ill add has several restaurants and shops in it. Walked to the Sphinx station which is even higher and the views are spectacular. Perfect blue skies with no clouds it was fantastic. Went out and walked on the snow and saw a pack of sled dogs which are so cool, were runnin around just lovin it. Stayed up there for a couple of hours snapping away and then made my way back down to Kleine Scheidegg. With the weather being good I decided to try and get the Lake Bachalpsee photo ive been looking at for 6 months. So made my way to Grindelwald, then up to First via the cablecar and then hike to the Lake. Got there and clouds were all over the sun damn it. Waited and waited and waited, finally a break came in the clouds and BAM got some sweet photos. Was quite late by this stage so made my way aaaaall the way back down to Lauterbrunnen. Back to hotel, dinner then crashed.

Day 4

Woke up to quite possibly the loudest strike of lightning ive ever heard in my life. Joining that lightning was mr thunder and mrs rain. There aint much you can do in this place when its pouring rain considering everyone is there to be outside and see the views. Decided to spend the rediculous 11 francs and do some much needed washing as I was down to my last tshirt. Now what I dont understand is that the Swiss can engineer a tunnel through a freaking mountain for kilometers and yet they cant make a dryer thats faster than AN HOUR AND A HALF. Had been going for about an hour and the rain had stopped and the sun was coming out so I wanted it to hurry the hell up. Was finally done so I quickly walked back to hotel and got all my shit together (camera) and jumped on the train to Kleine Scheidegg and decided what hike to do. Got off just before Kleine Scheidegg at a station called Wengenalp. From there I did the best hike ever. It went from Wengenalp down towards the valley cliff edge through meadows and forests all the way to Wengen. On a few occasions it went right to the cliff edge and if you went just a step further than the wooden fence you would have fell a few hundred meters straight down. Amazing photos were to be had. Made it to Wengen then it started to rain a bit so basically jogged all the way from there back down to Lauterbrunnen. Took about 5 hours all up and was totally worth it. I only saw 1 other person on the same hike the entire time, was just peace and quiet and cow bells.

Ive also gotta give a shout out to my hotel – Hotel Oberland. It was a great hotel and the owner, Ursula, is wonderful and extremely helpful with any questions you have and gives great ideas on what to do. They were booked out the first 2 nights so she organised another hotel for me to stay at before I arrived, above and beyond. They also make the traditional Swiss dish ‘Rösti’, which is like a bed of grated potato and various other things over the top. I had the one that had the potato, bolognese mince and then melted cheese and then bacon over the top. At first I was a little dubious about this Rösti because im not really a fan of potato or copious amounts of melted cheese but this was so good I had it twice.

So yea it was 4 very packed and very tiring but extremely rewarding days. I will definately be back to this place, sooner rather than later hopefully. Id love to take over a cross country bike and just ride all of the trails for a month.