We had breakfast at the hotel, checked out, loaded up and headed out. We did not explore the city of Lucerne at all. It was really just a resting place in our travels and we were anxious to get to the next destination.
On the road we headed south-west to Interlaken. If you look at a map of Switzerland, Interlaken is almost smack dab in the middle of the country. The drive from Lucerne to Interlaken was really beautiful. We never seem to tire of The Alps, the lakes, the towns and this time there were even waterfalls. So cool.
On the way to Interlaken
We arrived in Interlaken around noon, found our hotel and dropped off our bags. We are staying at the Hotel Royal-St. Georges, which is the former Monastery Building. It is listed as a Swiss heritage site of national significance. I’m sure there is a rich history here and the decor is so ornate and beautiful, but I have not had an opportunity to research the property. That will be homework for later.
With cameras in hand, we headed to the train station. Stan had a plan.
Church we passed on the way to the train.
We hopped a train to a village called Grindelwald which is located in the Bernese Alps. The train took us higher and higher until it felt like we were high above the trees. When we arrived, Stan told me the plan was to take an aerial gondola to the summit of First which is one of the mountains in the area. It is referred to as a “minor” summit but I don’t know why . . . it seemed pretty high to me, thank you very much! Grindelwald has always been known as a winter tourist destination because of the skiing, but recently it is also very popular for hikers. We saw a great trail up the summit all the way to the top. If you’re a hiker, this is the place for you.
On the train to Grindelwald
Another tidbit of information I thought was interesting: The James Bond film, “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” includes a chase through a skating rink and Christmas festival in Grindelwald, and Grindelwald’s mountains were used as the basis for the view of Alderaan in “Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith.”
Anyway, back to the scary part.
So we walk through town and arrive at the ticket office for the gondola ride. We decided to “go for it” and bought a ticket all the way to the top. I wasn’t scared. Not one bit.
Aerial Gondola. Yep.
Up we go.
Oh . . . it was so BEAUTIFUL. The town below, the trees, the streams, the mountains, the snow, the fresh air . . . how can I describe it?
As we rose higher and higher it got so quiet. You could almost hear a pin drop. Then all of a sudden we heard the sound of bells. We looked down and saw a small herd of cattle grazing on the mountain side and they were all wearing big cow bells. Listen:
We arrived at the top and here is some of what we saw.
See the town below?
I love that God created such beauty for us to discover!
Stan at First Summit.
H.A. at First Summit.
After our mountain top experience, we boarded the train and headed back to Interlaken. While we were waiting for the train, I saw this cute little boy with a BIG backpack. I just had to take a picture of him.