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Trip Report Trip to Switzerland and Austria, June 2011 - Lauterbrunnen

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We left Luzern early because, given the weather forecast it might be our only day for Jungfraujoch. We hightailed it to our hotel in Lauterbrunnen, the Hotel Staubbach, ran down the street to the station, and managed to get on the 11:39 to Jungfraujoch.

It's as wonderful as advertised. The weather cooperated, and the two hour ride up had spectacular scenery, very steep, beautiful vistas, cows, houses in the middle of nowhere and snow capped mountains looming. We changed trains at Kleine Scheidig and I got out to look at the unbelievable scenery at Eismeer. Jungfrau is at 11,000 feet and we could definitely feel the elevation. There's a large Plateau you can walk out on with astonishing mountain views in every direction - you couldn't tell the snow from the clouds from some viewpoints. We took the 3:30 back and were at our hotel by 5:45, more than tired. I know it's expensive, but it's worth the money.

Speaking of money, in Luzern we bought 2 1/2 passes for the trains. These worked for everything in Switzerland and more than paid for themselves, even though we had a car and weren't using trains for everything.

Lauterbrunnen is very small, really one main street, hotels and a train station. Much more of a backpacker kind of place. The Hotel Staubbach was very nice, and as the name indicates, we had a wonderful view of the falls from our room. Not fancy, mind you, not at all. But comfortable and quiet.

At dinner I tried my first rosti - with bits of ham and a fried egg on top - fattening and delicious.

Saturday, weather warmer but drizzly. I must say we did NOT have luck with the weather on the Switzerland part of the trip - EVERYONE in the hotels, shops and restaurants kept telling us how much cooler and wetter it was than usual for this time of year (thanks!). We drove to Interlaken with the hope of better weather in the p.m. It turned out not to be my kind of town (it had a HOOTERS for goodness sake), so we drove back to Lauterbrunnen and walked up Staubbach Falls (with my new dashing rain hat) - beautiful views.

Sunday we were greeted by SUN! We wasted no time and set off for Grindelwald. We took a gondola to First and then hiked to Bachalpsee, about a hour. So beautiful! Green hills and valleys surrounded by gorgeous mountains. Tons of beautiful little alpine wildflowers. Lots of families including strollers (on a very rocky and gravelly path). We spent loads of time there, I think we wanted to get our money's worth on a sunny day.

Monday the weather was back to it's chilly drizzly self. We hiked anyway to Trummelbach Falls about an hour away. The falls are INSIDE the mountain, they've carved out a space to them with about 10 different overlooks at varous heights.

I'm glad we picked Lauterbrunnen as a place to stay, but wish we'd had better weather. I did learn that you can hike in the rain and still enjoy it however. But there's nothing like the SUN. Off to Salzburg the next day.

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