Travel Dates: August 26-30, 2016
Accommodations: Hotel Eiger
Seeing pictures of the Swiss Alps has always given me an urge to roll down the sloping green hills amidst the snowcapped mountains. You see, rolling down hills was a favorite pastime of mine as a kid in South Dakota. Unfortunately, it turns out the the Swiss hills are covered with wild flowers and tall grass, so rolling was out of the question. On the bright side, the views were out of this world and there were plenty of alternative outdoor activities to fill the days.
One of the things I’ve learned on this trip is that trains are my favorite mode of transportation. They’re extremely comfortable, the logistics are interesting and forgiving (just catch the next one), and the views of the countryside are mesmerizing. So the five trains between Venice and Interlaken actually made for a really nice day (the only downside, as our family porter, is lugging our heavy bags across the platforms!). We arrived in Interlaken at night, eager to go deeper into the Alps.
The next day we made our way to Murren, Switzerland, our home base for the next few days. I used to say this about Santorini, but Murren now tops my list of the most beautiful locations in the world. It took a couple more trains and a cable car to get there, but with the stunning mountain views along the way, we wished it took longer. We stayed in Hotel Eiger, which became our favorite hotel of the trip so far. The staff are extremely nice, the food and wine were delicious, we were given the 007 suite for our Honeymoon (in honor of the Bond movie On Her Majesty’s Service, which was filmed there), and the views from the hotel were jaw dropping. You are literally surrounded by towering snowcapped mountains and beautiful green valleys all around. The tap water is directly from the mountain streams and was perhaps the most delicious water I’ve ever had…makes you understand why people ever thought to bottle the stuff.
There are so many activities in Murren. We started by going to the Schtilthorn, a lookout point at the top of a mountain (and a key filming location for the Bond movie). We enjoyed some of the most breathtaking views of our lives and a delicious cup of Swiss hot chocolate. Once we were back in Murren, we went on an amazing hike called the North Face Trail and took a detour to walk underneath a big waterfall called Sprutz. Here’s a pic of Linda there:
During our stay in Murren, it seemed that every time you look up, you’d see paragliders along the mountainside. Being afraid of heights, there was no way I was doing that. But when your beautiful wife puts on her charm and says she really wants to do it but is scared to go alone, what can you say? So, reluctantly, I agreed…and am glad I did. It was a once in a lifetime experience, soaring in the Swiss Alps 2400 feet above Lauterbrunnen. Including some pics and videos below to give you an idea. If you love the outdoors, I’d put Murren, Switzerland way towards the top of your list for vacation ideas.