Sunday, 27 September 2015

Pre-Convention 2015 Part 3: Gimmelwald and Muren

View from the cablecar at Stechelberg.
    I originally wanted to put this post together with the last. But on second thought, these two mountainside villages deserve a post of their own, if only for the heaven-like location they occupy. It is no wonder the wifey suddenly decided that this is where she wants to retire, and be a farmer no less!

    Our next adventure was totally unplanned. The Swiss train system impressed with its precision. I knew weeks in advance which platform every train I was supposed to take would be on. The only downside was the number of trains one had to change in order to get anywhere. Thus I was a little concerned when the man behind the info counter told us that for our next destination, we had to take a train, change to a bus, board a cable car, then another cable car and train back. Fortunately when we got the hang of things, it wasn't that confusing.

    Next stop, Gimmelwald (Train from Interlarken Ost to Lauterbrunnen. Then bus to Stechelberg, and up the cable car to Gimmelwald). Gimmelwald is the epitome of "off the beaten track". This little mountainside village (yes, the houses are literally perched on the mountainside) doesn't even have a public washroom. Nevertheless, one cannot say that you've experienced a real non-touristy mountain village if you've not been to one like Gimmelwald. This little village would suit you more if you're here to contemplate life than to sightsee.
    I originally wanted to hike to the waterfall but changed my mind when I realised the hike would take us 2 hrs. We decided to hike to the town of Murren instead (we originally bought cable car tickets to Murren from Gimmelwald). With the sun beating on our backs, we climbed the slopes up to Murren. It wasn't planned for. Imagine the two of us, not knowing how long the climb would take, and the wifey in her Ferragamos no less...
    The view from Gimmelwald to Murren was more than breathtaking. We've been to several mountains before, but nothing compares to power and majesty of these slopes. A forest of pines covered the foundation, leading up to green slopes, dotted with "little" chalets, and ending in snow covered caps. It gives new meaning to the lyrics, "Oh Lord my God, when I in awesome wonder, consider all the works Thy hands hath made... How great Thou art!" You almost expect lyrics of worship songs to appear on the mountainside. The views were more spetacular than those used as backdrops in worship services.
Nothing better than a glass of cold chocolate after an unplanned uphill climb.
Cheese fondue with the spectacular mountain view.
The alcohol in the cheese was so strong that we couldn't finish it.
      The way back from Murren, took us by train to Grutschalp, then cable car to Lauterbrunnen and train back to Interlaken Ost. The wifey had achieved what she wanted to do, mountain hiking and eating Swiss cheese fondue. Next stop, a change of base to St. Gallen...

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