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lauterbrunnen/wengen/murren?

Old Jun 2nd, 2006, 11:13 AM
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lauterbrunnen/wengen/murren?

Looking for help -- Where would you suggest is the best jumping off point to visit the BO? I'm going there in July and from what I've read, these three areas seem to be the favorites. I'm travelling with 3 kids 8 -14 who like to bike, hike, sleep and eat....not necessarily in that order. Appreciate your help.

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Old Jun 2nd, 2006, 11:25 AM
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I just got back from the area. With 3 active kids, I would recommend Grindelwald. Much more to do, more restaurants to chose from.

We didn't get to Murren because there is no way in hell I could get my wife up on that cable car. We went to Wengen and wasn't impressed. Just one small street and only way in/out is by train or hike.

I would highly recommend Grindelwald. Of course, we had a car to get around the area and to/from the lake regions.
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Old Jun 2nd, 2006, 11:36 AM
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Hey Budman -- thanks buddy -- We won't have a car -- my wife doesn't trust me driving in a foreign country----would you still recommend Grindelwald as we'd be relying upon the trains?...Also where did you stay?

thanks
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Old Jun 2nd, 2006, 11:52 AM
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We rented an apartment in a Chalet on the outskirts of town, but wouldn't recommend it without a car. Lots of up/down walking.

I would still recommend Grindelwald without a car, especially with 3 active kids. Have you booked anything yet? You might want to check on a 2 bedroom apartment. There's a food store (Coop) in the center of town for all your necessary supplies. Here's a website to give you some help.

http://www.grindelwald.com/summer-uk.php
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Old Jun 2nd, 2006, 01:31 PM
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Thanks again
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Old Jun 2nd, 2006, 01:53 PM
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It's true that Wengen is quieter than Grindelwald - but that is part of the appeal of the Berner Oberland.

If you are staying over August 1st (Swiss National Day) they hold a torchlit parade for all the children (or at least they did a few years ago when we were staying).

I think it is better to see Switzerland using the trains and cable cars etc than driving. The public transport is so incredibly good that it would seem a shame to miss it by driving everywhere.

Enjoy you break anyway - hope to take my kids to the BO in a few years - once they can walk.
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Old Jun 2nd, 2006, 02:51 PM
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There's really not a bad choice among them; each is nice in its own way.

Mürren and Wengen have the advantage of being car-free, so you don't have to worry about the kids playing in the street! Also, both villages are much frequented by British guests, and as a consequence most of the shopkeepers speak very good English. That might make it more enjoyable for your children; they could really interact with the Swiss people.

However, Mürren may be difficult to access this summer because the traditional way to get there, the funicular, is out of service.

Grindelwald is larger and has cars and tourist busses, and lots of signs in Japanese. There are more choices for restaurants. It is the starting point for a wonderful hike, up the First chairlift. Another great thing for kids (maybe a bit much for the 8-year-old) is to rent "Trotti-Bikes"---sort of a cross between a mountain bike and a scooter. I can't remember if you rent them at the top or the bottom of the First lift, but signs will tell you. You ride them downhill on gravel and paved paths all the way back to Grindelwald. My kids had a kick doing that.

You can also rent mountain bikes in Mürren and ride down to Lauterbrunnen, up the valley to Stechelberg, and then take them on the cablecar back up to Mürren.

Both Grindelwald and Mürren have indoor public pools for rainy day options.

I can't tell you anything specific about Lauterbrunnen or Wengen, because we've only passed through there on our way to Mürren, but I do know the views in both places are lovely and both towns have many fans here.

For what it's worth, we've been there several times to go hiking, and we stay 3 or 4 days each in Grindelwald and Mürren. I have never figured out which one is "best".
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Old Jun 2nd, 2006, 03:03 PM
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Thanks guys....Could you tell me where you stayed in Grindlewald and Murren?
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Old Jun 2nd, 2006, 03:24 PM
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In Grindelwald, we get an apartment at Hotel Residence:
http://www.residence-grindelwald.ch/
(Unfortunately their website is only in German, but it's not too hard to figure out). We had a large top-floor apartment with a spacious kitchen/living/dining room, a large triple bedroom (3 single beds), and a double bedroom for 5 people. Just one bathroom. And a balcony with a lovely view out to the gorge and peaks above. It's off the main street, not far from the First gondola.

I believe Budman rented his apartment from the Hotel Gletschergarten:
http://www.hotel-gletschergarten.ch/
(This one has English!)

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Old Jun 2nd, 2006, 03:27 PM
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Stay in Grindelwald. It will be fine, even with no car. We've been there with children, both summer and winter, and only with a car in summer. In the summer, we rented an apartment in a house called "Bargbrunel" and it was great, but a bit of a walk to town to get the shopping. In January, we stayed in Chalet Abendrot with no car. This is a great place - right beside the cable car to First, and a few minutes walk to the supermarket and Sports Centre and train station. The trotti bikes are great fun, even for the 8 year old. Get off the cable car at Bort, and bike down and leave the bike at the cable car station at First.Driving is no bother there - we drive on the left here, and still had no bother. We rented a car in Geneva, and there is a motorway to Interlaken, and then about 20 mins drive on a perfectly good road. The first time we went, we drove from the north of Ireland with our five children to have our own car.Look at the site Budman says -www.grindelwald.com and look under lodgings. To find out where a place is, click on "situation". Use the Banhof (train station as a mark for one end of town and the cable car to First as a mark for the other end. The main street is all along between the two, so if it looks too far from that, then look again.When you open the home page of the web-site, click on the little "E" at the top right hand corner (that's for English"). And remember, if you don't have a car, get Junior Cards for the children. They cost chf20 each, and are valid for a year. Children are then free on all transport. And you are only charged for two - any more of your children under 16 get a free one. Hope you have a great time.
 
Old Jun 2nd, 2006, 04:14 PM
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This is where Budman stayed:

http://www.grindelwald.com/winter-uk...om=3&room_to=6

We were in the 1 bedroom apartment. We saw the 2 bedroom apartment, and it was very nice. Two bedrooms w/king beds (2 singles put together), plus a loft.
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Old Jun 2nd, 2006, 04:23 PM
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Hey Budman,

I heard you were just in Switzerland (from katzen) and I'm looking forward to your trip report as I'm experiencing technical difficulties with my upcoming trip.

My problem: In August we have reservations in Murren but I've since learned about the funicular construction.

My question: I've two sons 13 and 11 and a husband (who doesn't do well with stress!!)would you advise changing to Wengen or Lauterbrunnen or somewhere else in BO? Leaving my husband home is not an option as he's paying for the trip.

My objective: To stay in a nice area with easy access to the mountain treks and towns, lakes, falls, glaciers, beer and fun stuff kids would like. We are not renting a car so we're reliant upon the trains.

My hope: You'll give me sage advice so if anything goes wrong, I can blame you!!!!


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Old Jun 2nd, 2006, 04:44 PM
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Having spent parts of 7 summers in Lauterbrunnen, I think the typical American child would be bored there.

Grindelwald is where there is a little more action. Lauterbrunnen, Mürren, and Wengen are much smaller and have considerably less to offer those who are easily bored.

Don't expect to find the cartoon channel or MTV on the local TV even if cable is available.

As for not driving, that puzzles me. Of the various countries in Europe, driving in Switzerland is easy. The only difference is that you must know the name of the next town and find your route that way rather than by following a route marker.

We rented a car the first year we were in Lauterbrunnen and drove over several of the high passes. My wife did most of the driving and I did the navigating.

I might add that in subsequent years we have rented cars and driven around quite a bit. It is not like we were young and eager either; my excellent driving spouse is nearly 70.

Even Munich city traffic was not enough to bother her.
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Old Jun 2nd, 2006, 05:06 PM
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Ok, so I don't know where I got the idea Budman was staying at the Gletschergarten apartment. I think I've been readying too many threads about Grindelwald---seems like lots of people went in May or are going soon.

Ccgolf, sounds like a strong vote in favor of Grindelwald for your family.

Will you be there over a Wednesday night? The website says that every Wednesday in July and August they have a Strassenfest (street fair). We hit that last year without even knowing about it ahead of time. Great fun for everyone---they close the main street and set up booths of food, etc. There was a zipline running from the 4th floor balcony of one of the hotels down to a platform on a flatbed truck. My teen nephew did it---5 CHF for a fast ride over the heads of everyone in the street.

Try the pizza place for good food (real Italian=style thin-crust pizza) and nice salads (Onkle Tom's Hütte).
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Old Jun 2nd, 2006, 05:11 PM
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The title of this thread sounds like the beginning of a Def Leppard song !
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Old Jun 2nd, 2006, 05:16 PM
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There is really not much except scenery and quiet in Murren and Lautrebrunnen. Lautrebrunnen will be more difficult to get in and out of this summer because of the transit issue. Wengen has a few more shops and restaurants, and has the advantage of being car-free. Grindelwald is the most commercial.
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Old Jun 2nd, 2006, 05:52 PM
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enzian - so that was your nephew flying over my head last year on the zipline - LOL! The street festival is a lot of fun, but don't expect the alphorn or oom-pah music. Mostly the stuff they're playing on the radios now, but it's live bands. Lots of bratwurst and beer, and just a fun way to spend an evening.

For several summers we've rented an apartment through the grindelwald.com site that's been mentioned here. Seems like it's about half the price of the hotels we've stayed in in Grindelwald. There's lots of choices but many get taken up for the summer quite early. If you're interested in an apartment, you might check into it soon.

Love Onkle Tom's pizza! Can't wait for August!

My husband took the scooter down from First into Grindelwald last year. He had a blast. I'm sure it would be fine for your kids. And yes, you rent the scooters at the top of the First lift.

And don't forget that at the top of Pfingstegg there's an alpine slide for about 3 CHF a ride.

Oh, and how about the Gletscherschult (sp?) - Glacier Gorge - you're down in a gorge, walking on this pathway that clings to the rocks - even some bungee jumpers in there.

Up at Kleine Scheidegg during scheduled times during the day, there is a falconry show your kids may enjoy as well.

In Grindelwald, there's the sports center with the ice rink. Of course, I never have energy at night but maybe the kids are still going. Good place for mom & dad to rest while the kiddos take to the ice (there's an internet place there as well).

And then all the hikes and trains. Wow. You'll have a great time!

Auf weidersehen!
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Old Jun 2nd, 2006, 06:53 PM
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kopp----this is funny, when were you there last summer? I almost said he went whizzing over everyone's heads, but realized that didn't quite say it right.

That zipline would never happen in the U.S.---too many liability issues. To start, he had to climb over the balcony railing, and then off he went. . . At the bottom, somehow they caught you and kept you from crashing into the truck. But he had a great time. . .

There are so many things to do in Grindelwald. We've never hiked the Gletscherschlucht---put off a bit by the crowds, but it must be spectacular.

The hike from the top of the Pfingstegg lift, if they go to try the alpine slide, is incredible.

And now I'll share my favorite restaurant there, for a nice evening when you can sit outside and enjoy the terrace:
http://www.bodmi.ch/
It's a bit of a hike up from town, on the Terrassenweg through meadows. The path is lit for the return after dinner. And during dinner, if you're lucky, you'll watch the Gleitschirm Piloten (parasailers) land right nest to the hotel and come over to their reserved spot on the deck for a beer.
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Old Jun 2nd, 2006, 07:13 PM
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enzian - I'd have to look up the dates, but it's usually the last week of July. This year we'll be there the second week of August.

I don't mean to hijack this thread, but I can't seem to find info on the summer festival held up at Mannlichen, the one with the alphorns and singing, etc., everyone dressed in costume. Any ideas where I can find that?

Also, I've noted your restaurant recommendation. Haven't been there but we'll be sure to try it this summer! Always looking for something new. And I can only imagine the views from up there.
I remember walking down from the Balchalpsee and stopping at this darling little place for lunch, sitting outside having goulash soup, then we walked through this steep narrow trail through the trees to the bottom. Amazing!
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Old Jun 3rd, 2006, 08:30 AM
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Schuler has posted a link to a website with dates for Swiss music and yodeling fests this summer--maybe the Mannlichen one is on that.
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