Sunday, 29 September 2019

Thunstrasse 45 (Bern, Switzerland)

I was up at 8:00 to get an early start for my journey to Lauterbrunnen. The weather was perfect both here in Bern and the forecast was the same for Lauterbrunnen. I’ve been waiting over a year to visit this place once I found out about the waterfalls that line the valley. It has similarities to Zermatt in that both are in a mountain valley, but this place has waterfalls and Zermatt has the Matterhorn.

While on the train I became acquainted with a couple who were originally from Pakistan but have relocated to Australia for work and now on vacation in Switzerland. We talked a lot about travel as we looked out at the lakes that are on the way to Interlaken where I’ll transfer to a train that will take me the rest of the way to Lauterbrunnen. Almost tempting to take the train from Interlaken to Visp where I could catch another train to Zermatt, but today I’m committed to visiting Lauterbrunnen.

I probably should have done more reading about what to expect when I arrive in Lauterbrunnen but I seem to do fine with learning as I go. After I left the station I could see a large waterfall nearby and decided to walk in that direction which led me though the town. I passed a long line to ride a tram up to a point above the town but I thought that could wait until later.

I found out this waterfall was named Staubbach. It had a good volume of water and seemed very tall, because it is. It’s 974 feet and our Multnomah Falls is 620. (But I’m a bit partial to Multnomah Falls.) I took a few pictures and a video and continued walking down the road where I could see mountains in the distance.

I passed a few farms and several homes along the way until I found a spot where I could get a good picture of the mountains. I even took a video of cows in a pasture grazing and ringing their Swiss cow bells as they ate. I saw a herd of goats nearby and their bells were smaller and had a much different sound. I suppose to tell a cow from a goat in the dark or a heavy fog.

By the time I walked back into the town the line to the tram was gone and I was able to purchase a ticket and wait for the next car going up. There was just one car going up and back, as opposed to the OHSU tram that has two cars that move up and down the hill in opposite directions.

Once I got onto the tram it became packed with people and I couldn’t see much as we went up the hill. Once I was able to step outside at Grütschalp, WOW, what a view! So glad that I came up on the tram. The view almost didn’t look real. Four of the mountains were over 13,000 feet and they were all together. Much different than the mountains in the Cascade range that are 100 or so miles away from eachother.

Now would be a good time to be traveling with someone with whom I could enjoy the view. Either with someone who grew up near the mountains like I had or had never been near great mountains. What a great day to be up at this point looking out at the valley and the mountains.

When I returned to the village I could book a ride on a cog train that traveled up to a small village high up on the opposite hill or take a bus that went further into the valley but I was satisfied with the time I was in Lauterbrunnen and it was time to return to Bern.

Soon after I walked into the flat (6:00 p.m.) I saw that my brother, Rick tried to call me so I returned his call. I probably would have liked a nap at the point but when my brother is ready to talk I try to be available. We talked for about an hour and since we had a lot to catch up on.

I fixed a small meal and watched two more episodes of Star Trek – Next Generation and was in bed by about 10:00. Tomorrow I travel to Geneva and need to be out of the flat by 11:00.

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