Help with Bernese Oberland planning

Nov 16th, 2008, 02:45 PM
  #41  
ira
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 74,414
Hi all,

I'm panning to visit the BO in Sept, 2009.

We will be taking the train from Lauterbrunnen to Murren and walking back down to Grutschalp.

We'll then return to Lauterbrunnen.

There will be time for another excursion.

A: Lauterbrunnen to Wengen and return?

B: L to Kleine Scheidigge and return?

C: L to KS to Grindelwald and return?

All suggestions appreciated.

Thanx.



C: L to
ira is offline  
Nov 16th, 2008, 03:58 PM
  #42  
 
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Hi ira---

There is no train from Lauterbrunnen to Mürren; the old funicular was replaced with a cable car that takes you up to Grutschalp where you transfer to a train for the short ride to Mürren. You can walk that part of the trip in either direction.

How much time do you have for that second excursion? Are you up for an hour's walk? If so, you could do the classic loop: train up to Wengen, walk through town to the cablecar and ride that up to Mannlichen; walk the level path to Kleine Scheideff, and return to Lauterbrunnen by train.

If you want to cover more ground and see more scenery, you could, insted of walking to KS from the top of the Mannlichnen lift, connect to the gondola that takes you down to Grindelwald. Then return to L. by train, either via Kleine Scheidegg (expensive if you are buying tickets, but OK on a pass) or the faster way through the valleys.
enzian is offline  
Nov 16th, 2008, 04:11 PM
  #43  
 
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We only did a one-day walk, when our kids were 13 and 11, and it was one of the highlights of a monthlong Europe trip. We took the train from Interlaken through Lauterbrunenn to Wengen, the lift to Mannlichen, walked to Kleine Scheidigg, train (or was it a cog railway?) to Grindelwald, train back to Interlaken. We left the decision whether to do Jungfrau up to the weather, and unfortunately, by the time we arrived in KS, it was socked in. Oh well, the rest of the day was still spectacular. Kids are now 21 and 23 and remember that day really well and really fondly.
sf7307 is offline  
Nov 16th, 2008, 04:22 PM
  #44  
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Gruezi, did your daughter buy a ticket to go to the Jazz Festival or did she go to Montreux to enjoy the ambience? I have planned for two nights in Vevey, should I try to buy tickets to the Festival? Thanks for the tips on Zurich, I have printed out them out and will take them with us. Is the year-round fondue restaurant in the Hotel Adler as Enzian indicated? Last year for Fatherís Day, Rick took Nikki to the Melting Pot, a fondue restaurant chain in Southern California, it was one of her favorite meals. I am sure she will enjoy the real thing.

I will probably drop one day in Salzburg if I have to. If I keep the four days in Vienna, and 2 days in Salzburg instead of 3 days each it will save 30,000 Marriott points. How about dropping the 2-days in Budapest altogether? Then I donít have to drop any days in Vienna or Salzburg and I can add another day to Wengen. My head is swimming with all the possible changes. Here would be the itinerary if we dropped Budapest.
1 night Munich
3 nights Prague
4 nights Vienna
3 nights Salzburg
5 nights Wengen
2 nights Vevey
3 nights Zurich

Please tell me if you think it is ok to drop Budapest...

XYZ, we want to do all you did in BO but with one less day, hope we are not too ambitious. We need good weather....

Went to visit a friend of ours today, the usual 45 minute drive turned to 2 hours because of the fires in Yorba Linda (a bit north from us) and the freeway closures. Our car was covered in white ash and the air smelt brunt. It is 95F today, just awful.
Pat_Rick is offline  
Nov 16th, 2008, 04:40 PM
  #45  
 
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Hello Ira

"We will be taking the train from Lauterbrunnen to Murren and walking back down to Grutschalp."

Oh, how I wish there were a train! It is not that easy to get to Murren, tho, as enzian says.

However, all is not lost. You can still walk FROM Murren to Grutschalp. It's a spectacular walk, mostly downhill, with several benches along the way to rest or just take in the views.

From Lauterbrunnen, you could catch the Post Bus (directly outside the station) for the short 10-minute ride thru the Lauterbrunnen Valley to the Stechelberg cable car. This is actually the way you get up to the Schilthorn. But if you want to get off at Murren, you would take 2 cable cars: one to Gimmelwald, then transfer to the next one which goes to Murren. (The transfer is very easy; just follow the line inside the building.)

Once you reach Murren, you then start walking thru the town, past the charming little houses, shops, hotels and restaurants. I would suggest you stop at one of the outdoor restaurants for lunch or ice cream. Try to get a table "on the edge" for those dramatic cliff views!

Then you can continue your walk to Grutschalp where you then catch the tram down to Lauterbrunnen.

BTW, are you not going all the way up to the Schilthorn? On a clear day, the views are amazing!! A perfect 360 degree view of Switzerland!

And I highly recommend enzian's second option: train to Wengen, walk the short 5 minutes to the tram for the ride up to Mannlichen, walk Mannlichen to Kleine Scheidegg (drop-dead gorgeous views of the Eiger, Monch, Jungfrau), then take the train from KS back to Lauterbrunnen.

At Kleine Scheidegg, there's several places to eat. We enjoy the Eigernordwand, with its outside decks overlooking the entire Grindelwald valley and mountains. Outstanding day!

Happy travels!
swisshiker is offline  
Nov 16th, 2008, 04:41 PM
  #46  
 
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Hi Pat,

Sorry to hear about your day. Sounds terrible.

I think you're plan sounds very good. I wouldn't drop a night from Salzburg. I think two full days is perfect. Adding the 5th night in Wengen is an excellent idea also. We spent 4 nights there and didn't want to leave (ever!).

Only thing I would suggest is maybe add a night in Munich by taking one from Zurich.


Paul
pja1 is offline  
Nov 16th, 2008, 06:38 PM
  #47  
 
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Pat, your revised itinerary is almost exactly what we undertook this summer. Given below is a link to our trip report, if it helps any.

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...t=0&dirtyBit=1
indiancouple is offline  
Nov 17th, 2008, 04:19 AM
  #48  
ira
 
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Hi enz, SF7 and SH,

Thanx for your helpful responses.

My Lady Wife is not a cable car person, that is why I am trying to stick to trains.

Is there parking at Grutschalp?

ira is offline  
Nov 17th, 2008, 04:34 AM
  #49  
 
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Ira,

No parking, no cars in Grutschalp. It is at the top of the cable car from Lauterbrunnen. There are 3 ways to get there:

- walk from Murren (via the cable car from Stechelberg

- via the cable car from Lauterbrunnen

- walk UP from Lauterbrunnen

The entire region from Murren to Grutschalp is on a cliff overlooking the Lauterbrunnen Valley. No cars allowed. To see this area, you have to park your car at Lauterbrunnen.

Here is a map with the hiking trails. If you scroll around, you can see the cable car's black line from Lauterbrunnen up to Grutschalp, the trail from Murren to Grutschalp, and of course on the left side is the Stechelberg cable car up to Murren.

http://www.muerren.ch/wanderplan/index_e.html

Hope this helps.
swisshiker is offline  
Nov 17th, 2008, 04:39 AM
  #50  
 
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Oh, forgot one thing.

The cable car from Lauterbrunnen up to Grutschalp is not one of those death-defying cable cars. It is basically thru the forest, just a ride up to Grutschalp. Short, and no steep cliffs to get one's heart racing.

Have your LW stand in the middle, sandwiched between other people, and close her eyes. She'll be at the top in no time.
swisshiker is offline  
Nov 17th, 2008, 06:41 AM
  #51  
 
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swisshiker - are you talking about the new aerial cable way that started last year to replace the deteriorating olf funciular on rails that went thru a forest

I do not know whether the new aerial cable way goes thru a forest but i would have thought it would have gone over the top of the forest.

Anyway the Gimmelwald to Stechelberg cable way is potentially a terrifying trip for anyone queezy about heights - like an airplane going down. I would have assumed the new Lauterbrunnen-Grutschalp cable way would have been similar, but since i have never seen or taken it i'm not sure. It could be a lot tamer i guess.
PalenQ is offline  
Nov 17th, 2008, 06:50 AM
  #52  
 
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Hello PalenQ

Okay, maybe I fudged a bit with the "thru the forest" comment. It is indeed over the trees, but definitely much tamer than the one on the other side of the valley.
swisshiker is offline  
Nov 17th, 2008, 07:13 AM
  #53  
 
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Here is a youtube video (not mine) of the ride up to Grutschalp from Lauterbrunnen.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BTUke...eature=related

Last summer, most of the construction that appears in this video was gone.

You can see the trees in the video quite well. It basically just goes up the side of the mountain, and from what I recall, it was about at treetop level. More or less.

It's kind of a neat cable car, if you have luggage. No schlepping the bags onto the tram. There is a separate container underneath the tram for luggage and containers.
swisshiker is offline  
Nov 17th, 2008, 08:16 AM
  #54  
 
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Ira,

Just to clarify---there is no way to get to Mürren without riding in a cablecar (unless you walk up).

As Swisshiker says, the cablecar from Lauterbrunnen up to Grutschalp is not scary at all. It follows the slope that the funicular used to ascend, and feels a whole lot safer! It is not far off the ground---maybe treetop level---and the car itself is large (room-size), solid, and . . . Swiss.

Perhaps you could convince your LW to take just this one cablecar. I'll revise my reccomadation on the Männlichen cable car in favor of the train: Lauterbrunnen to Wengen to Kleine Scheidegg; take a short walk there toward Männlichen to enjoy the views (and have lunch on one of the restaurant terraces if it is lunchtime), and then continue on the train down to Grindelwald. Return on th etrain by the valley route.

Pat---hope you don't mind this diversion from your question. Hopefully the answers to ira's questions are helpful to you as well.

For your Vevey questions, you may want to start a new thread with "Vevey" in the. That way, Suze, Swandav2000, and others who know that area will respond.

I think the main issue with visiting Lac Leman area during the jazz festival is that accomodations may be booked up. But maybe Vevey is far enough from Montreux that it is not an issue. We stayed in nearby Morges during the jazz festival in 2007; I had no trouble booking a room there, and the area did not feel crowded. (The train was, but you will have your car).
enzian is offline  
Nov 17th, 2008, 10:05 AM
  #55  
 
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Dear Ira,

Your lady wife and I share an issue with vertigo. I recommend you read my trip report about Wengen because it will give you some idea of the heights issue...search on "Wengen for the faint of heart..."

Do not even think of taking your LW to Schilthorn. I beg you. Settle her in a nice cafe with a good book and some tea and go yourself.

I will agree that I could have done the cable up to Grutschalp from a look at it - not nearly as high and more in the treetops. I was pretty petrified on the Mannlichen one although that walk to Kleine Scheidegg is perhaps my favorite walk in the world. Stunning. You can't help but sing loudly and yodel a bit as you go. It takes 2.5 hours to walk up though so that is what made me get on the cable. I was not too keen on the actual town of Grindelwald, although the approach is incredibly lovely. The train ride is not high or steep.

BTW, you will love Wengen - a lovely, lovely spot. If you can, stay at the Alpenrose. I will top my report for you.

gruezi
gruezi is offline  
Nov 17th, 2008, 10:32 AM
  #56  
 
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Hi Pat,

My daughter went to the Jazz festival with another family. Her friend wasn't too keen on the music and just wanted to walk around which was too bad since my daughter is a musician and loves jazz and would have enjoyed more music. She can't remember if she actually had to even buy a ticket but said she would ask her friend. She did like walking around the town. I have been to Montreaux en route to the Chillon Castle. It is charming. But, so many towns in Switzerland are charming.

Yes, the fondue restaurant is the one at the Hotel Adler. There is another one nearby - Delezey - I believe, but my girls prefer the Swiss pine atmosphere of Swiss Chuchi as posted by enzian above. There is a really wonderful fondue spot in Kuesnacht just outside Zurich city, but I don't think they are open in summer. I will check, as I have to make a reservation there. If they are open, I will get you the details as I LOVE this little spot and the fondue is wonderful.

Regarding Budapest. I hope no one jumps on me...

I liked Budapest - esp the magnificent bridge at night and the scrumptious foie gras I ate at every meal. But overall, it wasn't my favorite spot in Europe. I might go back again as I missed some things in retrospect but it would be low on my list. Also, with Vienna, there was incredible culture everywhere, but I never warmed to this city otherwise. Not especially great for a family trip. JMHO. Have you been before and are there specific things you are planning to see/do there?

We will go to Prague over Christmas week. I never hear anything but raves about Prague - especially from young people - my travel weary teens are very excited about going and sometimes they are begging to just stay home and "veg out." I do hear it is quite crowded in the summer though.

Munich is a wonderful city - compact and walkable - and there are beautiful day trips from there. I would imagine Munich in July would be really fun.

I don't know if I'm helping at all! But, it sure is fun talking about all of this.

gruezi
gruezi is offline  
Nov 17th, 2008, 10:33 AM
  #57  
 
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So, I vote for not cutting Salzburg for more Vienna if I wasn't clear...
gruezi is offline  
Nov 17th, 2008, 11:36 AM
  #58  
ira
 
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Hi SH,

Thanks for the response. I was hust hoping that I could park in Grutschalp.

>The cable car from Lauterbrunnen up to Grutschalp is not one of those death-defying cable cars.....It is indeed over the trees, but definitely much tamer than the one on the other side of the valley.<

That's good to know.

>Here is a youtube video...<

That's even better. I think my LW can handle tree-top level if she stays in the middle of the car.
...................................
Hi enz,

>Lauterbrunnen to Wengen to Kleine Scheidegg; take a short walk there toward Männlichen to enjoy the views ... and then continue on the train down to Grindelwald. Return on the train by the valley route. <

Thanks for the suggestion.

Is it OK to buy a Laut -> Grin ticket and spend a couple of hours in KS, or will I need separate tickets?
..................................
Hi Gru,

>Do not even think of taking your LW to Schilthorn. I beg you. Settle her in a nice cafe with a good book and some tea and go yourself.<

No need to worry. I have been given permission to do just that.

>I will top my report for you.<

Thanks.

Thanks to all. You've been a great help.







ira is offline  
Nov 17th, 2008, 06:39 PM
  #59  
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All the hotels are booked, we now have:
1 night Munich
3 nights Prague
4 nights Vienna
3 nights Salzburg
5 nights Wengen
1 night Vevey
4 nights Zurich

Indiancouple, by canceling Budapest we now have a Sunday in BO. So we will be walking from Grutschalp to Murren (or from Murren to Grutschalp as altamiro suggested) on that Sunday in order to stop in Winteregg and try the Alpine Farmers breakfast buffet.

We booked one night in Hôtel les Négociants in Vevey (275sfr for 3 people), figured that we can do the Chateau de Chillon on the way to Vevey and go to the Nestle Chocolate Factory on the way out.

Gruezi, please send information for the other fondue restaurant...when you have it, I am very interested. What else did your daughters like to do in Salzburg besides the Sound of Music Tour? This is a must for Nikki,she loves that movie and must have watched it 30 times.

Pat


Pat_Rick is offline  
Nov 18th, 2008, 05:25 AM
  #60  
ira
 
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Hi again,

For various reasons, the Lauterbrunnen/Grindelwald circuit has taken precedence over the Murren/Grutschalp hike.


we can go:

A: Lauterbrunnen -> Grindelwald ->
Kleine Scheidegg -> Wengen -> L

This will give us a couple of hours in G, arrive KS about 14:15, and the evening in Wengen.

B: Reverse route. A couple of hours in Wengen, KS about 13:15, and the evening in Grindelwald.

I'm partial to A.

What say you all?

ira is offline  

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