Help: Interlaken questions!

Old Jul 1st, 2002, 03:59 PM
  #1  
Sujata
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Help: Interlaken questions!

Hi, folks. My husband and I will be in Murren for 3-days in mid-July, and we had a bunch of newbie questions. Would greatly appreciate any advice/suggestions regarding the following:

Getting there: We are landing in Zurich (from Prague) at 7.15 pm; and planning to get to Interlaken that night before moving on to Murren next morning. Is it possible to catch the 7.43 pm train to Interlaken from the airport, or is it cutting things too fine (we plan to check our bags straight through to Murren from Prague)? If this is not possible, then the next train leaves Zurich at 8.40 and gets into Interlaken only at 11.30 pm. Is it better to take this, or would it be better to stay in a hotel at Zurich Airport that night and take the train the next morning? Is it a scenic train ride?

Hotel In Murren: Trying to decide between the Alpina vs. the Eiger. The Alpina is significantly cheaper – but do we give up a lot on quality? Would love comments from people who have stayed at either place.

Mountain train rides:
a) Going to the Jungfraujoch from Murren, the routing suggestion on the Jungfraujoch website seems to be: Murren-Lauterbrunnen - Kleine Scheidegg – Jungfraujoch. Does this route sound good? Are there other more scenic options?

b) Does it make a lot of difference (not just money-wise, but scenic quality), if we take the first train up in the morning?

c) The other planned trip from Murren is to Schilthorn. Will half a day suffice for this?

d) Are there are mountain train excursions that are recommended? I’ve read about the Allmendhubel cableway from Murren, but have not been able to get much information on it. Is this something worth doing?

Mountain walks: Neither of us is athletic, unfortunately, but we’d love to go for shortish (30-40 minutes) walks from Murren or nearby. Again, would appreciate suggestions. I’ve heard good things about the walk to Grutschalp – approximately how long might this take?

Thanks!
Sujata
 
Old Jul 1st, 2002, 05:31 PM
  #2  
Bob Brown
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Taking the train from the Zürich Airport to Interlaken is something that is available all day long. If your flight arrives on time to take the first train, you descend to the train station and get on it; if not,take the next one. No big deal.

Why would you even consider staying in Zurich? The logic of that option eludes me unless you want to see Zürich for some reason, or your flight gets in 14 hours late.

I also see no reason to stop over in Interlaken if your destination is Mürren. It is only about 10 miles up the line from Interlaken Ost, but the trip takes about 55 minutes because of what you need to do to get there.

Is it a scenic ride from Zürich to Interlaken? In my opinion, yes, after you leave Bern, but not overwhelming. There are some nice views of the lake and a few glimpses of the mountains. But to see the mountains in their full splendor, you have to go to where you can see them, and that place is not Interlaken!!

Does the routing to the Jungfraujoch sound good? You have little choice in the matter. There is only one way to go from Kleine Scheidegg to the Jungfraujoch, and only one efficient way to get from Mürren to Kleine Scheidegg: You return to Lauterbrunnen and take the train via Wengen to Kleine Scheidegg, and from KS you head up to the observation building itself, known as the Sphinx.

I suppose you could come in by way of Grindelwald by taking the train from Lauterbrunnen to Grindelwald and changing to the Grindelwald - Kleine Scheidegg train.

In fact, there are some scnenic variations that you can throw in from Grindelwald. For example, return from Kleine Scheidegg to Grindelwald Grund.
Get off the train there, take the gondola to the crest of the Männlichen ridge, ride the Luftseilbahn down to Wengen, and take the train back to Lauterbrunnen, and return to Mürren.


The Good Morning ticket from Lauterbrunnen to the Jungfraujoch is 37 chf cheaper.

Half a day from Mürren to the Schilthorn is plenty. It depends on how long you want to wander around the platforms on top. I suppose 2 hours would be sufficient.

The Allmenhubel cable way is close by, but there are many more scenic lifts in the area. Worth it? I doubt it.

The walk to Grutschalp from Mürren is ok, but better done the other way round because you will be walking toward the mountain views rather than having them at your back. I estimate the time at about an hour to an hour and a half, or so, depending on many factors, like how many pictures you take and how fast you walk.
I think I took more than 2.5 hours because we stopped so much.
 
Old Jul 1st, 2002, 05:51 PM
  #3  
Dick
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I've been on the train from Zurich to Interlaken a few times, on the way to ski trips based out of Grindelwald. If you're checking bags through, and if the plane is on time, and if you can get off quickly, and if you're good at following signs on the run you might make the 7:43 train, but I wouldn't really count on it. If it were me, I'd relax and just take the 8:40 - there's a nice little market just where you go down to the train platform and you can stock of on some interesting foods and/or wines for the trip. The route to Interlaken is really only scenic for the last bit, from about Spies where it runs along the Thunnersee, so you won't miss anything - it'll likely be dark by that time even if you catch the earlier train.

I've never stayed in Murren, though I've been through it a few times, so can't comment on your choices of hotels.

The route to the Jungfraujoch through Lauterbrunnen and Wengen is really the only practical choice. You can get to Lauterbrunnen via the train, then the funicular from Grutschalp or on the tram via Gimmelwald and Steckelberg, but the latter route is likely going to be longer.

The trip to the Schilthorn on the tram from Murren is only 15 minutes or so, with a brief stop to change trams at Berg, so a half day will be plenty there. The restaurant at Piz Gloria is surprisingly good and not too overpriced, considering where it is.

he Almendhubel funicular is similar to the one from Lauterbrunnen to Grutschalp, which you will probably use as part of your primary route between Murren and Lauterbrunnen. I've used it to reach some ski runs, but can't comment otherwise.

The walk to Grutschalp from Murren basically parallels the train track, so there's not much change in elevation. It runs along the edge of the cliffs overlooking the Lauterbrunnen valley across to Wengen and Mannlichen and is very scenic, and probably not too strenuous. There are also some trails out of Kleine Scheidegg that you may find enjoyable. You can walk downhill and then get back onto the train (Berner Oberland Bahn - BOB) at a convenient stop, thereby avoiding the more strenuous bits.
 
Old Jul 1st, 2002, 05:55 PM
  #4  
Rita
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Dear Sujata

Bob is right about the Jungfraujoch connection. We just got back from Lauterbrunnen last week. We did the Jungfraujoch trip from there (Lauterbrunnen), but if you are in Murren, you have to go from Murren to Lauterbrunnen, then change trains to get the one to Wengen/Kleine Scheidegg/Jungfraujoch. My other observation/opinion is that the view from Jungfraujoch and Shilthorn is very similar - you may be better off choosing one or the other. My husband & I did Shilthorn 13 years ago and this time chose the Jungfraujoch. Both were fun, but doing both in the same trip would have seemed repetitious.

Also, when we were in Murren (June 20th), the Allmendhubel cable car was not operating. Our family (2 adults & 2 kids ages 10 & 7) walked from Murren to Grutschalp and it took us about 2 hours - mostly because the kids stopped every few feet to show us how well they could climb with their newly-purchased walking sticks! We enjoyed the walk and didn't crink our necks too badly by having the mountain peaks behind us. The mountains actually felt like they were all around us, and the walk from Murren to Grutschalp is slightly downhill (meaning it's slightly uphill going from Grutschalp to Murren!). Either way it is a wonderful walk. Our kids also enjoyed seeing a farmer close off the path briefly so his herd of bell-ringing cows could come in from the pasture to the barn!

We stayed in Lauterbrunnen, so have nothing to report on either of the hotels you are looking at except that we stopped at the Alpina for lunch. The hotel appears perched on the edge of the cliff and the views are magnificient. I found myself grateful that we WEREN'T booked in a view room with a balcony - I'd be afraid my goofy kids would be climbing a railing and "goodbye!" The food and outdoor eating area at the Alpina were spectacular!

Have a wonderful trip! Wish I could go back with you!
 
Old Jul 1st, 2002, 09:31 PM
  #5  
Sujata
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Bob, Dick, Rita -- thanks a million for your responses! (and Bob, I finally was able to locate this thread so I can post a reply here).

Just a couple of other things that I wanted to ask:

Bob points out that it doesn't make sense to stay at Interlaken for the night. Unfortunately, if we reach there only at 10.30 pm (which is the earliest we can hope to make it from Zurich), there doesn't seem to be a train up to Murren that late. Am I wrong about this? (I checked the Swissrail timetable)

Dick, you mentioned some nice walks from Kleine Scheidegg. Would love to go on one of these -- how long will it take from Murren? And any suggestions for relatively "easy" walks from KS? (i.e., about 45 minutes, and not much uphill)? Also, are there restuarants in that area, so we can plan for lunch as part of the walk (or as a reward for it!)?

Final question: someone recommended that we see the Trummelbach falls -- we were told that it's only a 20 minute walk from the cable car station at Stechelberg. Question: what do you experienced folks think of the Falls?

Also, is it possible to get the cable car down from Winteregg (in which case, it'd be nice to walk to Winteregg first), or do we have to take it from Gimmelwald? And how does the walk to Gimmelwald from Murren compare with the walk down to Winteregg?

thanks again,
Sujata


 
Old Jul 2nd, 2002, 04:57 AM
  #6  
Dick
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Sujata, as I mentioned I have been to the area several times, but always for skiing, so I have no personal experience with the walking trails from Kleine Scheidegg. However, every time I have been there I have seen many hikers (yes, even in the winter) walking on trails - sometimes the same trail I'm skiing, sometimes narrower trails only for hikers - that generally parallel the BOB track down toward Grindelwald on one side or toward Wengen on the other. All of these trails have gradual slopes, many great views, and are largely if not entirely downhill (if you start from Kleine Scheidegg, that is). You can simply walk along until you get to the next train stop and either continue down or wait for the train, which comes along often, depending on your schedule and energy level. There are many places in the area to get information and maps - some have the winter ski trails on one side and the summer hiking trails on the other.

You can do much the same thing by taking BOB over to Grund and Grindelwald, then the First gondola to the top, hiking down from there to the very nice restaurant at Schreckfeld, which gets my vote as about the most beautiful place on earth (the view, that is, not the restaurant). You can then ride the gondola back down, or continue on foot, again depending on schedule and stamina. The upper part is all above tree line, so has continual great views.
 
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