Postcard from Switzerland: The Lauterbrunnen Valley

4 Oct
4 October 2018.
Weather (near) perfect, locals friendly, cheese coming out of our ears.
This was our fifth visit to the Lauterbrunnen Valley, aka the Jungfrau Region, and it was difficult to leave after a week of great weather.  We have rented the same apartment three times now and it feels like coming home. There’s nothing to figure out: we know the transportation, where to shop, where to eat, and that James’ and Michelle’s apartment has a slow cooker for our convenience. Day one, we put a pot of chicken soup on low and headed to the mountains.

We can see this waterfall from our apartment in the valley.

People ask why we go back to the same place over-and-over. That could be a bore in some places but here we always find new things to do. So many new things this trip that we did not get back to a couple of old favorites.
New to us was Sulwald and Isenfluh, a peaceful little community with views not seen by the masses heading elsewhere.

The cable car to Sulwald from Isenfluh can hold 8 people or one cow. Ric and I had a private ride.

In 4 trips to this area, we had not been to Isenfluh or Sulwald. It was a world apart. If you ever get to Isenfluh, stop at the restaurant there for a Sulwald Burger and a Radler and enjoy this view.

Eight people or one cow. The attendant showed us how the right side of the car opens to create a ramp the cow can use for boarding.

Another new-to-us adventure was the Aare Gorge. Our arrival was unexpected: the stop-on-demand train halted inside a tunnel and opened the doors. We thought it was a mistake until, magically, a door in the tunnel wall slid open revealing a path. We traipsed across a suspension bridge, then followed a somewhat rugged path up the hillside to the official entry. From there, the wooden walkways took us through the gorge to the train station at the other end.

A new-to-us walk was through the Aare Gorge on a slightly overcast day. We exited our train at the same level as the river, climbed up to the gated entry where the walkway began leading us down again.

People have been walking here for over 100 years. The ingenious Swiss build paths, tunnels, and walkways everywhere!

I have read about the Ballenberg Open Air Museum for years. Finally, we managed to visit. What a unique museum! 50 years ago the Swiss decided to create a place where their heritage could be preserved. Imagine a wooden building from 1336 preserved for posterity! While that is the oldest, it is far from the only ancient structure maintained at Ballenberg. Visiting was like taking a walk across all of the cantons in a couple of hours.

Many of the buildings at Ballenberg are hundreds of years old. They were disassembled, moved, and reassembled on site.

The day we visited there was a horse event. The Swiss Army turned out to help.

Handsome rooster at Ballenberg.

At Ballenberg one can walk across many of the Swiss cantons in a couple of hours.

A threshing demonstration at Ballenberg. Many Swiss crafts and skills are on display.

An old favorite is the hike from Männlichen to Kleine Scheidegg. Although we’ve done the hike four times, there is always something new. 

Since we last visited in 2016, this Trojan Cow has been added at the Männlichen playground. It moos and has a slide inside.

On the way to Kleine Scheidegg. There are a lot of improvement projects and building everywhere in Switzerland it seems.

I love this picture of a woman taking a photo of her dog at Männlichen. This is the start of our favorite hike to Kleine Scheidegg.

In four weeks of travel, we have had one day where rain kept us from doing what we had planned. ONE DAY! Big contrast to last year when we froze for the first two weeks of September.

Our last morning the snow level had descended considerably. It was about 40F/4C when we left.

This little guy was out-and-about, drinking from the stream through the pasture behind us and keeping an eye on the ‘hood.

We do not eat dinner out very often in Switzerland, but we found tasty pizza at the Camping Jungfrau restaurant.

If anyone needs a clean, comfortable place to stay in Lauterbrunnen, let me know and I will hook you up. See this pictures here but contact the owner directly to book. LMK and I will give you an email address. 

13 Responses to “Postcard from Switzerland: The Lauterbrunnen Valley”

  1. Chloe October 5, 2018 at 06:59 #

    Back indeed.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jay October 5, 2018 at 06:12 #

    Laurel–this is Jay from Chicago in the RS forum. What beautiful pics! We only spent two nights in Switzerland (Lucerne), loved it and can’t wait to go back & explore. Talk soon!


    • Laurel October 5, 2018 at 07:16 #

      Hi Jay! Happy to have you along on our travels. The Berner Oberland is truly the best place we’ve ever been in Switzerland.


  3. Diane Laurie October 4, 2018 at 19:42 #

    Hi Laurel! Thank you for keeping me on your Giravaga group, I always enjoy your picture and adventures!! What a great life. Diane


    • Laurel October 5, 2018 at 07:16 #

      Thanks, Deedy! Miss seeing you and the gang!


  4. Audrey Crocker October 4, 2018 at 13:59 #

    Love your Blog, everything is beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Marcia Kakiuchi October 4, 2018 at 08:39 #

    The pictures looks exactly from The Sound of Music and they look like paintings. Oh and that pizza…..yummmmmmmm


    • Laurel October 4, 2018 at 08:47 #

      We do manage to find good pizza almost everywhere!


  6. Karen Burrell October 4, 2018 at 08:21 #

    Hi Laurel; So appreciate your blog entries. We are planning to spend 5 nights in the Berner Oberland next Sept. I have already booked an apartment in Wengen, but after reading your recommendation on the apartment in Lauterbrunen, I’m reconsidering. Could you provide the direct contact for James and Michelle’s apartment please? I’m assuming you feel that staying in Lauterbrunnen is preferable to Wengen. The apartment I have reserved in Wengen is recently renovated, and has a beautiful view. The whole building is non smoking (which is very attractive to us) but it is a building described as about a 10 minute steep walk from the train station. We are in good shape so not too concerned about that. But since we will need to leave a car for 5 nights at a public parking lot in Lauterbrunnen, I am wondering if staying in Lauterbrunnen in a place with a parking spot might be wiser. Not ever having been there, I’d really appreciate your advice. Thank you. Karen.

    Sent from my iPhone


    Liked by 1 person

  7. Chloe October 4, 2018 at 05:43 #

    So lucky you are still there and enjoying those beautiful sights. Your photos are outstanding. We returned a few days ago and are shocked at the constant anger that we hear on TV. This means that I get to read many books while here. The most unfortunate thing is that I can’t find good cheese.


    • Laurel October 4, 2018 at 08:49 #

      You are back in the U.S., then? I am on cheese overload but I am sure I will get over that soon.

      We are indeed lucky to still be here. Two more weeks!


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