The Lauterbrunnen Valley from Wengen to Mürren
Updated: Sep 2
"Vertical rock faces and delightful terraces, framed by snow mountains: the Lauterbrunnen Valley fascinates mountain and extreme sportsmen- as well as gourmets. Glaciers have shaped this scenery in thousands of years.
It's cold. It's freezing cold, even if the sun is shining. Ice covers some of the mountainous landscape and the V-shaped notches that streams have previously dug into the rock, even where today the Lauterbrunnen Valley with the sun terraces of Wengen and Mürren is situated. Only the highest peaks rise out of the ice. We are in the Bernese Oberland, 25,000 years ago."
We started our Lauterbrunnen Valley adventure today in Wengen and finished it in Mürren.
The Lauterbrunnen Valley is a trough valley. It's often referred to as "The Valley of 72 Waterfalls".
The very name ‘Lauter Brunnen’ (‘many fountains’) suggests the magnificence of this landscape. There are 72 waterfalls in the Lauterbrunnen Valley, the most famous being the Staubbach Falls. Plunging almost 300 meters from an overhanging rock face, they are one of the highest free-falling waterfalls in Europe. In 1779, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe visited the valley, and was inspired by the roaring waters to write his well-known poem ‘Spirit song over the waters’
We took the train from Interlaken West to the Interlaken Ost station where we then boarded the BOB (Berner Oberland Bahn) to Lauterbrunnen. Once in Lauterbrunnen we crossed from track 2 to track 3 and headed up and up to Wengen.
Wengen is a Swiss Alpine village in the Bernese Oberland region. With its nostalgic timber houses, the many dispersed holiday chalets and hotels dating from the belle époque period, this Bernese Oberland holiday resort has retained all the character of a picture-postcard mountain village. Opening widely to the south west, the terrace guarantees above-average hours of sunshine. Since 1893, car-free Wengen has been able to be reached from Lauterbrunnen via the Wengernalp railway; cars remain parked in Lauterbrunnen.
The key excursion destinations within the Jungfrau region can all be reached easily from Wengen. The Jungfraubahn railway climbs to Jungfrau summit, with views of the Aletsch Glacier from the Sphinx observation deck. A cable car reaches Männlichen’s slopes and trails, with views of the Eiger and Mönch peaks. Climbers on the Eiger north face – one of the world’s most spectacular and difficult climbing faces – can be observed by telescope from the Kleine Scheidegg. Provided you change trains at Kleine Scheidegg, the Jungfraujoch can even be reached by railway. Also, you can reach the Schilthorn summit from the valley floor resort of Lauterbrunnen via Mürren or Stechelberg.
Wengen is at an elevation of 4,180 ft (1,274m) above sea level and it is part of the Jungfrau region. It has approximately 1,300 year-round residents, which swells to 5,000 during summer and to 10,000 in the winter. Wengen hosts the classic Lauberhorn ski races of the FIS Alpine Ski World Cup in January.
The first stop when we come to Wengen is usually to the Swiss Made Shop. It was so nice to be greeted by Marcel. Käthi has retired so Marcel's wife, Mariann now works with him. This is one of my favorite stores! We made a few purchases. And.....they ship!
We saw these ball tracks around the village. Interesting.... The construction of these tracks is quite amazing. I'm not sure I would know what to do, but it looks like fun to go all around the village and find them. If nothing else, it is quite a creative fundraiser.
This one is quite long and involved.
Behind the Swiss Made Shop is the cable car up to Männlichen.
You can even ride on top. This is not for me!
We checked to see when the Cheese Festival was going to be held. It is scheduled for the 26th but they are waiting to see if the government will allow it to take place. They are voting on this today so we will know tomorrow.
Enjoy the views from Wengen.....
The waterfall drops 974 ft (297 m) from a hanging valley that ends in overhanging cliffs above the Weisse Lütschine.
We decided not to have lunch in Wengen and go to Mürren to have something to eat, so we took the train back down to Lautebrunnen.
This train continues up to Kleine Scheidegg and on to the Jungfraujoch, the Top Of Europe.
Notice this is a cog train.
The train benches are not very comfortable but the view is spectacular.
In Lauterbrunnen, in order to get to Mürren, you have to take the cable car up.
At the top you are in Grütschalp.
Then, you catch the small train to Mürren.
That is Wengen across the valley.
Views from the train going from Grütschalp to Mürren
Notice their bells
The Eiger, the Mönch, the Jungfraujoch and the Jungfrau
Mürren is at an elevation of 5,374 ft (1,638 meters). It can't be reached by public road. It is also one of the popular tourist spots in Switzerland, and summer and winter are the seasons when Mürren becomes busy with tourists. The village features a view of the three towering mountains Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau. Mürren has a year-round population of 450, but has 2,000 hotel beds.
Eiger (Ogre) and Mönch (Munk)
Walking through the village of Mürren, you don't know what you will see!
One thing is certain: the ladies of the village have gorgeous flowers!!!!!!!!!!!
Flowers smelled so wonderful! Wish I could have gotten closer to photograph this lily.
So many bees and butterflies flying amongst the flowers
Our favorite restaurant in Mürren was closed yesterday and today so we tried the Alpenruh. Excellent choice!!!!!
We chose the cheese fondue made from Herdsman's cheese blend from Molki Meiringen and bread from Bäckerei von Allmen in Lauterbrunnen. Now that's knowing where your food comes from!
The food was delicious and the view from our table was spectacular!!!!
So creamy! We could taste the hint of garlic.
Took the train from Mürren back to Grütschalp
The Jungfraujoch , "maiden saddle", is a saddle connecting the Jungfrau and the Mönch mountains. It lies at an elevation of 11,362 ft (3,463 meters) above sea level and is directly overlooked by the rocky prominence of the Sphinx.
The Sphinx Observatory is an astronomical observatory located above the Jungfraujoch. It is named after the Sphinx, a rocky summit on which it is located. At 11,716 ft, (3,571 m ) above mean sea level, it is one of the the highest observatories in the world. Accessible to the public, it is also the second highest observation deck in Switzerland. The mountain top has been tunneled to fit an elevator which ascends to the observatory from the Jungfraujoch railway station, the highest such train station in Europe.
The scientific part of the Sphinx observatory includes two large laboratories, a weather observation station, a workshop, two terraces for scientific experiments, and an astronomical as well as a meteorological cupola. The astronomical cupola is equipped with a 76cm telescope with Cassegrain and Coudé focus.
Enjoy your ride down the cable car from Grütschalp to Lauterbrunnen