This is the 2nd in a 3 part blog about our Switzerland trip. Click on the hyperlinked text to navigate to the other blogs. Click on the hyperlinked text to navigate to the selected blog.
Hiking to Lake Buchalpsee in Grindelwald
We jumped on a train in Wengen and made our way to the Village of Grindelwald. When we arrived the weather was looking questionable, so we didn't spend much time walking around and immediately jumped on the Grindelwald - First cable car for the 25 minute ride to the trail head. Weather fronts move quickly through the mountain passes so were hoping the fog and cloud would give way to sun and not rain.
We had a great view of the Wetterhorn peak (elevation 12,113 feet) standing guard at the valley entrance to Grindelwald.
Fortunately, there were just some low-lying clouds when we got off the cable car. Even with the clouds, the path was obvious and the usual detailed Swiss trail signs made it impossible to miss this highly popular trail.
Wildflowers were abundant along the path.
After less than an hour, we reached the the turquoise water of Lake Bachalpsee surrounded by crazy-colored green fields.
Unfortunately, clouds kept us from seeing the spectacular view of the Eiger, but honestly, we were just glad the clouds and fog had not brought us rain.
The upper section of the lake was just a short walk. It was so quiet and tranquil. We just sat on the shore and chilled for a while.
Since there was no rain forecast for the afternoon, we decided to hike back to Grindelwald. The clouds never fully cleared so there were no mountain views but walking through the fields and forest were a nice change. It was a long hike and without our hiking boots our feet were pretty uncomfortable by the time we finally reached the sign for Grindelwald. Yes, once again we had the blue jerseys on - Swiss Air had not delivered our luggage yet.
Fortunately, when we returned to the hotel that evening our luggage had been delivered.
Exploring Lauterbrunnen Valley
On our last day in the Jungfrau Region, we took a train to the valley floor and explored Lauterbrunnen. This village lies at the bottom of a U-shaped valley which is one of the deepest in the Alps when compared with the height of the mountains that rise directly on either side. It is a true cleft, rarely more than one kilometer wide, between limestones walls that run almost perpendicular to the valley floor.
This picture was taken at the extreme end of the village really highlighted the valley walls. It was tough shooting conditions with extreme bright snow and blue sky compared to the darker valley walls. Notice the hang gliders in the upper left corner of the picture.
Everywhere you look there is extreme steepness.
In the picture below you can see in the upper right corner, the avalanche fences in Wengen that we hiked through during our Jungfrau activities.
Staubbach Falls is perhaps the signature waterfall of Lauterbrunnen Valley, because I’m pretty sure this waterfall is noticed by everyone that comes to this valley. The falls have been measured and confirmed to be 970 feet. Staubbach is not alone as Lauterbrunnen is known as the 'Valley of 72 Waterfalls'.
While in Lauterbrunnen we also visited Trümmelbach Falls. Trummelbach Falls are the largest subterranean waterfalls in Europe, a series of 10 cascade hidden inside a mountain. The 10-tier falls start at a height of 459 feet and almost 5,300 gallons of water tumble down the falls every second. The falls drain the mighty glacier of Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau.
To get close to these falls, we took an elevator that has been cut into the cliff. This will bring you to the tallest chute, and from there you can walk along passageway that brought us to the tallest chute and then we descended staircases to reach the others.
What a great time in this region of Switzerland, but it was time to head to Zermatt and the Matterhorn.