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Bernese Oberland, Switzerland

Geneva - Lauterbrunnen - Murren - Wengen Saturday, September 30, 2006
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Bernese Oberland

Departing Geneva for the Bernese Oberland

Interlaken Ost

Saturday was a sad but exciting day. Sad because we were leaving Sophie - who is a very good friend going back to 1988, but exciting because we were going back to one of our favorite places in Switzerland, the Bernese Oberland - specifically the Lauterbrunnen valley. We departed at 10:10 a.m. went through Bern at noon, Thun around 1:03 p.m. and Interlaken Ost at 1:20 p.m. We caught the train and arrived in Lauterbrunnen around 2:00 p.m.

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Wengen Silberhorn hotel brochure.

Hotel brochure.

Map of the Jungfraujoch region.

Brochure of waterfalls and hiking trails in the Lauterbrunnen valley.

Brochure of waterfalls and hiking trails in the Lauterbrunnen valley.

Geneva to Lauterbrunnen train schedule.

Tham Chinese Restaurant - worth the travel to Murren alone. This is my favorite Chinese restaurant in Europe. Tham is a profession world class chef with his own hideaway in the alps.

Dinner bill at Tham's.

Train enroute.

Note Interlaken boats at train stations.

Train at Interlaken Ost.

Train to Lauterbrunnen.

The train view up the Lauterbrunnen valley. It's scenic and beautiful.

The station at Lauterbrunnen.

Chalet.

Since the funicular up to Murren was closed - we hiked down to the cable car lift at the other end of the valley. They're replacing the 100 year old funicular with a large cable car system.

Hiking Through the Lauterbrunnen Valley

Graveyard

I was actually glad we got to hike down the valley - there are so many beautiful sights - such as the old graveyard.

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Gasoline prices here were as expensive as in Nyon and Geneva. About $6 US dollars per gallon.

Looking down the valley to the southeast.

Hotel Staubbach.

Staubbach falls.

Staubbach

Staubbach Falls

The Staubbach Falls, located just above Lauterbrunnen in the Bernese Oberland. The waterfall drops about 300 meters (1000 ft) from a hanging valley that ends in overhanging cliffs above the Lutschine River. The falls are lighted at night and provide a beautiful backdrop to the valley. High above base jumpers and paragliders can be seen (and heard) as their chutes open in the fast descent.

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Perfect Fall Hike

Small Road Through Valley

It was a perfect fall day, with valley temperatures in the 70's.

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Valley hike.

Chalet with falls in background.

Swiss cow.

Friendly Swiss cows.

A classic modern beautiful chalet.

Stechelberg station.

Lift to Gimmelwald.

Gimmelwald lift to Murren.

Murren with Eiger in the Background

Murren

We took the lift (free with SwissPass) to Gimmelwald, then another lift to Murren station. You can then continue on up to Birg and the Schilthorn (which we did last year) from the Murren station. We walked through Murren with the Eiger in the distance. We were told by Dennis (Sophie's husband) that the Eiger was falling down - and climbing was now prohibited from the danger of falling rock.

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View from Murren.

Murren is lined with beautiful chalets.

Murren is on a cliff, thousands of feet above the Lauterbrunnen valley below.

View of town with alps in the background.

Tham's Chinese Restaurant

Tham's

Tham's has to be one of the best Chinese restaurants in the world. Tham was a chef for some major hotels, but started his own restaurant in Murren. He shops weekly in Bern for fresh produce and meats, then brings them back to Murren. The food is outstanding. We returned to Murren just to eat at Tham's. Funny, it's not even listed in Rick Steve's books. It has to be one of the best Chinese restaurants in Europe.

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Tham's sign.

The kitchen were all the magic is performed.

Tham and his wife.

Appetizers.

Fried rice and spicy meat.

Spicy meat.

Fried rice.

Curry chicken.

Schilthorn station.

Murren station.

Cable car on the way up.

Lower station.

Cable car at lower station.

After we got back down to the valley after our late afternoon dinner, we took the bus back to Lauterbrunnen - about a 15 minutes ride.

We then got our baggage out of the locker at the station and got on the Wengenalpbahn to Wengen.

Station at Wengen. We looked at the hotel directory at the station, then just decided to walk until we saw a hotel we liked.

Our choice was the Best Western Silberhorn - just a few blocks from the station.

The hotel was about 200 CHF per night which included breakfast.

The room was very spacious with a separate dining and lounge area.

The balcony looked out over the Lauterbrunnen valley.

Sunset Walk Through Wengen

Overlook

After we unpacked around 7:30 p.m., we took a short walk through Wengen to the church, which has a beautiful overlook over the Lauterbrunnen valley. It was completely silent, as the full Moon cast its halo over the alps. The snow peaks glowed in all the Moons glory. It was one of the top ten beautiful moments for sunsets. Ranking near the top, the most beautiful sunsets are in Bora Bora, French Polynesia. Wengen has one of the most beautiful vistas.

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