I finally made it back to the Berner Oberland 19 years later ... home of the Eiger, Monch, Jungfrau and Schilthorn .... and Gimmelwald!
The weather so far on my trip has been fantastic! After arriving in Lauterbrunnen late afternoon and settled into my comfortable room, I saw the weather the next day was expected to be cloudy and rainy so I walked a few blocks from the hotel and caught a tram up to Mürren to see the Swiss Alps while I could ... and of course get some good photos. It was more beautiful than I remembered from my visit in 2000! After coming back down the mountain from Mürren a few of us in our group got together for a delicious dinner in town.
The next day I walked up the valley to Trümmelbach Falls. I remember they mesmerized me on my first visit .... and they were just as impressive this visit! Over 5,200 gallons of water PER SECOND passes through this mountain ... all runoffs from the Eiger, Monch and Jungfrau!
Speaking of those magnificent Alps ... during my RS tour in 2000 I was blessed to have stayed in Gimmelwald at Walters, which was a great base to see all those mountains up close and personal. I visited the magnificaent Schilthorn, Jangfrau and Eiger mountains back in 2000 and didn't need to repeat those priceless adventures ... but if it's your first visit to the Berner Oberland it should be a MUST on your itinerary!
The next day I headed to Gimmelwald ... a place I had to revisit ...
When I was last in Lauterbrunnen Valley back in 2000 on the Rick Steves Best of Europe in 21 Days Trip ... we were fortunate enough to stay at Walter's up in Gimmelwald! Absolutely priceless memories!
This visit to Lauterbrunnen Valley with the Rick Steves My Way Alpine Europe Tour we stayed at the lovely and comfortable Hotel Staubbach in Lauterbrunnen. Typical of Rick Steves Tours .... we were ideally located to everything we needed ... trains, trams and buses.
The next day I headed to Gimmelwald ... a place I had to revisit because I had never forgotten the magic of staying up the mountain at Walter's.
I decided to take the tram up to Mürren and walk down hill to Gimmelwald. The feeling I had as I came around the corner and saw Walter's place was like deja vu! It was such a happy, priceless time back in 2000 just getting up the mountain to Walter's with an entire tour group! We took the tram up a steep mountain to 4,500 feet, then climbed what seemed like 500 stairs up to Walter's cozy accommodations! My son slept up in the loft with the other guys! I shared a room with a few other ladies. Fun, priceless times!! I had hoped to see Walter but he had just gone in for a nap.
During the summer all over the Alpine regions in Europe cattle feed on Alpine pastures high up in the mountains. Around September there is usually one concerted cattle drive down the mountains to bring the cattle to their barns in the valleys below.
Many of the cattle are elaborately decorated and celebrated with music and feasts and dance events in the surrounding towns and villages. Upon arrival in the valley, joint herds from multiple farmers are sorted in the Viehscheid, and each animal is returned to its owner.
We were very fortunate to not only be around when this annual event happens ... but it also happened across the street from our hotel, Priceless experience!
And when I came down the mountain from Gimmelward on the tram, I came down with a load of cheese! Wow! They make all the cheese up in the small Alps villages like Gimmelwald because it's to difficult to get the cow's milk for the cheese down the mountain. That makes sense.