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Backroads of Switzerland

Author: Stephen Goch (More Trip Reviews by Stephen Goch)
Date of Trip: June 2012

The view was absolutely spectacular! Looking down, we could see a snow play area where people could take a tube ride down then catch a little tram back up. Imagine this much snow in June!!! By the way, I love the telephoto feature of my new camera!

After our visit, we went down the mountain to the Kleine Scheidegg station, which is the junction to go either to Wengen or the village of Grindelwald via the cog railway. The views of the surrounding mountains from the town were spectacular! The vistas changed as the clouds would roll through.
We stopped at a little snack bar for lunch, and the lady who owned it had been a nanny in the states at one time. We chatted for some time, and it turned out she collected the US State quarters. Kathy and I checked our pockets and came up with a few for her she did not have.

We then headed back to Wengen by train and cog train to our hotel.

The lady in Grindelwald mentioned that there was a steam train up to Schynige Platte, so we headed down the mountain to Wilderswild to catch the train. When we arrived, we were told the steam train only ran twice a month, and we had missed it.

We boarded the train which was pulled by an electric engine, and slowly made our way to the top.

There was a hotel at the top with a huge observation deck and a restaurant. We ordered the soup, which was a potato soup with porcini mushrooms that was fantastic, and finished lunch off with strudel.

We took the familiar route from Wengen to Lauterbrunnen to Interlaken. After a 5 minute walk, we were at the dock for the Lake Brienz steamer. While waiting for the ship, we looked up and there were three paragliders who had launched from the mountain behind us!

Today was our last day of touring, so I wanted to see Trummelbach Falls. Trummelbach consists of ten glacier fed waterfalls inside a mountain. Up to 4,000 gallons a second flows through the falls, and it is the only glacier waterfalls in Europe inside a mountain. The upper falls are accessed by an elevator that goes part way up, and then the lower falls are accessed by a series of stairs leading down.
It was dark wet, and slippery, and Kathy was glad she had not gone with me.

We have thoroughly enjoyed our time in Switzerland, especially since we had not been here before.

This trip was a lot of fun because of the flexibility we had to do things on our own. It is understandable that some travelers would be uncomfortable doing this, but you give up flexibility for security. As an example, we saw hordes of tours going up to the Jungfrauhoch when there was nothing to see because of the clouds. We, on the other hand, could wait for a clear day, which we did.

A trip like this was made possible because of the highly developed rail system in Western Europe. This would be impossible to do in the USA or other places in the world.

To get to Monte Carlo to meet up with the river cruise group for the second part of our adventure entailed quite a bit of travel. The routing was Wengen to Lauterbrunnen to Interlaken to Bern to Geneva. We then took the TGV (fast train) to Nice and then a local to Monte Carlo. We booked first class on the TGV so we would have a place for our entire luggage, as we were sure the luggage racks in 2nd class would be full. We left at 8 AM and got to our hotel in Monte Carlo at 8 PM.

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