Thursday 18 September 2014

Lauterbrunnen: Valley of the 72 Waterfalls (some inside a mountain), and people jumping off cliffs

Clouds and some light rain killed our plans for the Jungfrau, so we took Lauterbrunnen as an amazing consolation prize. We drove, parked at the Lauterbrunnen railway station (huge parking garage with heaps of parks), and walked up the valley.

Staubbach falls

Looking up the valley

Just before I took this photo we heard a "woomf" and looked up to see a BASE jumper floating down from the cliff on the right.  He landed in the field to the left.  As we were watching I saw a second jumper depart the top of the cliff and turn into a parachute a few seconds later.  Lauterbrunnen is fantastically popular for BASE jumping because it's legal, there's easy access to the top, and the scenery is amazing.

The Trümmelbach Falls are amazing.  It's a series of 10 waterfalls inside the mountain that is solely responsible for draining all of the water coming off the Eiger, Monch and Jungfrau!  A massive amount of water that has carved corkscrews into the rock.

You access the falls via a series of stairs.  It's incredibly noisy and quite dark inside, they told us the kids were too young to come in, and that was the right call.  I think they said 3 was the minimum age. We ended up visiting in shifts while the other parent entertained the kids in the cafe. 

We caught the bus back to Lauterbrunnen, then took the gondola to Grütschalp.  From there we took the train to Winteregg, which was the site of another awesome kids playground with a ridiculously pretty backdrop.

Playground at Winteregg. Another awesome playground with a spectacular view (of the Jungfrau)!
Train to Mürren, a car-free tourist town with amazing views

Left to right: Eiger, Mönch, Jungfrau (center, hidden by a lower peak and cloud) from Mürren

Take a photo of me, because I might die in the next 5 minutes.  BASE jumpers getting ready at Mürren

BASE jumpers on approach.  I really wanted to chase them to see them jump, but taking the kids to the very edge of a massive cliff seemed a little irresponsible somehow.

On the train on the way back down....A frickin rainbow! In front of the Eiger!

Still rainbow

Eiger, Mönch, Jungfrau 

The clouds finally cleared as we were on our way back down from Mürren.  This is the Jungfrau from Grütschalp

Back in Grindelwald, after a big day. You can see some of the stops on the railway to Jungfraujoch as points of light on the mountain, including one smack-bang in the middle of the Eiger's north face.

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