This was a special Saturday. It was a cloudy morning, rainy weather in Switzerland, and I was hoping for something more, more sunshine and warm summer weather so that I could go to the place I had planned so much.
I got out of bed and went for breakfast. The Swiss breakfast is unparalleled, very good, delicious. Cheese, jam, pastries, salty snacks, different types of bread, pâté, I love breakfast in Switzerland.
Taking the train to Lauterbrunnen
My grandmother was going with her husband to Fribourg, so I accompanied them to Estavayer station. When we got there, the weather worsened and it started to rain more and more, so I got discouraged and went home. For a moment I thought I’d stay at home all day, but then I remembered where I was and that I was on vacation. So I decided to go anyway, in the rainy weather. I bought my ticket at the SBB CFF FFS in the direction of Lauterbrunnen, paying 55 francs to get there.
I already knew the route, I went to Fribourg, then Bern, then Interlaken. Riding a train through Switzerland is always a unique experience, I’ve been to Glacier 2000, I’ve been by train to various places in Switzerland, but the train journey from Thun to Interlaken OST is INCREDIBLE, passing through Lac Thun, you can’t help but be moved.
Arriving in Interlaken Ost, I got off and took another train towards Lauterbrunnen. The train goes up a path where you can also go to Grindewald, so you can choose which one to take along the way, because up ahead the train stops at a station in the mountains and you decide where to go, Grindelwald or Lauterbrunnen.
Lauterbrunnen: The Mountain Village
As I already knew my destination, I headed for Lauterbrunnen. It takes about 35 minutes to get there. Arriving in Lauterbrunnen and leaving the station, I was overwhelmed by the beauty of this place, how deep and striking it is. It’s a different kind of nature, very simple, the vision becomes blurred, it’s difficult to look at the landscape for a long time at first. It takes a few minutes to get used to the Dantesque beauty.
The little houses are very cute, with a unique architecture that you can only see in Lauterbrunnen or Grindelwald, where I’ve been before on another trip to Switzerland. Those wooden houses, very typical of the Swiss mountains, with a very cozy and welcoming look. Clean streets, everything is very tidy, there are fresh water fountains coming from the mountains where you can fill up your water bottle and drink. That’s right, fresh water straight from the mountains, the taste of the water is different, it quenches your thirst, it’s refreshing to the extreme, it’s tasty and it makes you want to drink more and more.
Climbing the Lauterbrunnen Waterfalls
I continued walking with my camera in hand, discovering the mountain village of Lauterbrunnen. Every step was a new discovery. A little further on, there’s a small square with a tree in the middle and a kind of stone bench. I ordered a cappuccino and paid 5.50 francs.
Heading off to the right you’ll see one of Switzerland’s main landmarks, yes, that waterfall you see in photos and videos all over the internet. It’s impossible not to be amazed and fall in love with it, it’s a different kind of nature. A deep nature, you can feel that it’s an ancient place, full of history, mystical, if you sit there on those benches and enjoy the view for a moment, take a deep breath, you’ll feel it too. I felt it.
Switzerland’s biggest postcard: Lauterbrunnen
I decided to go right, towards the waterfalls, up the stairs and into the middle of the rocks of the mountain. From there you bump into some tourists, climb the stairs, go through a tunnel until you reach the metal stairs that lead straight down the middle of the mountain, below the waterfall, where the water comes crashing down on you. With the wind, the falling water sometimes changes direction, so I ended up getting a bit wet, but that’s what makes the tour interesting, as I often say: if you’re on your knees, you have to pray. I stayed there for about 40 minutes, just enjoying the moment and the view, while people came and went quickly for fear of getting wet. This is the kind of place you can’t rush to. You have to spend a little extra time, observing every detail, trying to connect with the energy of the place, at least that’s how I travel, trying to connect with each place I visit.
After that time in the middle of the waterfalls, I decided to go down. At the bottom, in the square where people were sitting, I decided to turn right towards Mürren, one of the last villages at the end of the trail. The walk took almost two hours, passing through incredible, eye-popping scenery. The weather on this day was special, sometimes rainy, sometimes sunny, and this contrast ended up causing unique visual effects, such as rainbows. When you looked up at the sky, you could see the heavy clouds about to rain on one side and the rays of sunshine on the other. Suddenly it started to rain, but at the same time there was sunlight, the beams of sunlight penetrated the clouds and passed through the rain, leaving that incredible and unique scene. I imagine that on a sunny day, without rain, it wouldn’t be possible to explore the beauty and nuances of Lauterbrunnen as deeply as I did that day.
A bit about Lauterbrunnen
Nestled within the embrace of the Swiss Alps, the Lauterbrunnen region is a symphony of nature’s grandeur, a place where dreams are woven into the fabric of reality. Imagine a land where emerald meadows and wildflowers paint the canvas, where majestic waterfalls cascade like silken ribbons from towering cliffs, and charming villages stand as testament to the harmonious coexistence of human life with the untamed wilderness.
Lauterbrunnen is a realm of enchantment, where every step unveils a new facet of the Alps’ breathtaking beauty. The air is crisp, carrying the melodies of cowbells echoing from Alpine pastures. Here, adventure beckons in the form of hiking trails that meander through alpine forests, leading to hidden valleys and panoramic viewpoints that leave you breathless, not just from the altitude.
Perhaps what truly sets Lauterbrunnen apart are its waterfalls. Imagine the ethereal Staubbach Falls, a silvery veil descending from dizzying heights, or the Trümmelbach Falls, carving their path through the very heart of the mountains. These natural wonders are not just sights to behold; they are whispers of the Earth’s ancient tales.
In this captivating region, adventure is an art form. Whether you’re a thrill-seeker paragliding over verdant valleys or a contemplative soul sipping hot cocoa in a cozy chalet, Lauterbrunnen embraces you like an old friend, inviting you to experience a world where the ordinary becomes extraordinary.
As the sun’s golden embrace kisses the snow-capped peaks at dawn and the alpenglow paints the sky in hues of rose and gold at dusk, Lauterbrunnen stands as a reminder of nature’s unmatched craftsmanship. It’s a place where time slows down, where the heartbeat of the mountains resonates with your own, and where the alchemy of earth, water, and sky creates a masterpiece that even the most eloquent words struggle to capture.
History of Lauterbrunnen
The history of Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland, is woven into the very fabric of the Swiss Alps, a tale that spans centuries and echoes through the picturesque landscapes of this enchanting region.
The origins of Lauterbrunnen’s name can be traced to its geographical features. “Lauterbrunnen” roughly translates to “clear springs” in German, a fitting homage to the 72 waterfalls that cascade down the sheer cliffs surrounding the valley. These waterfalls, including the iconic Staubbach Falls, have not only contributed to the region’s beauty but have also powered mills and provided water for agriculture and daily life.
The history of human habitation in Lauterbrunnen reaches back to prehistoric times, with evidence of early settlements and farming activities. However, it was during the Middle Ages that the region truly began to flourish. The fertile valley floor and the Alpine pastures provided essential resources for the communities that settled here. Over the centuries, the residents developed a unique way of life, shaped by the demands of living in a mountainous environment.
Lauterbrunnen’s strategic location between the Bernese Oberland and the French-speaking regions facilitated trade and cultural exchanges. The construction of mountain passes and pathways, such as the old mule track connecting Lauterbrunnen to Grindelwald, further connected the region to the outside world.
In the 19th century, Lauterbrunnen gained prominence as a destination for artists, writers, and tourists seeking inspiration from the majestic Alpine landscapes. The romantic allure of the waterfalls and the surrounding mountains attracted the likes of Lord Byron and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, who were captivated by the region’s beauty.
The advent of modern transportation, including the railway connections, brought accessibility and further boosted tourism in the area. The opening of the Wengernalp Railway in the late 19th century marked a turning point, making it easier for visitors to explore the higher altitudes.
Today, Lauterbrunnen stands as a testament to the preservation of natural beauty and cultural heritage. Traditional wooden chalets dot the valley, coexisting harmoniously with modern amenities catering to tourists from around the world. The history of Lauterbrunnen is a living narrative, echoed in the traditions, architecture, and the warm hospitality of its inhabitants.
As you wander through the lush meadows and gaze upon the cascading waterfalls, you’re walking in the footsteps of generations who have found solace, inspiration, and sustenance in this Alpine paradise. Lauterbrunnen’s history is an intricate tapestry, where the past and present blend seamlessly in a tale of human endeavor and nature’s magnificence.
From Lauterbrunnen to Mürren
Leaving Lauterbrunnen I passed through Weid, saw several campsites and hostels, and was very interested in renting for the winter and staying there for a week and skiing or snowboarding. Checking booking, I saw that Camping Jungfrau offers a camping room for €110 per night, or a bunk bed in a hostel for 2 people for just €305 for 4 nights. I’ll leave a list below of the best value hotels and hostels I found in Lauterbrunnen.
Best hotels and hostels in Lauterbrunnen
Along the way, we also came across some vending-machines, where there is cheese and jam produced there, as well as drinks, water, juice and soft drinks. There is also what I think only exists in Switzerland, a kind of Swiss vending-machine, where cheeses and jams produced by the locals are kept in a cupboard, with their prices written on papers, with a safe just below, and the person who is interested can leave the money and take the product, all on the basis of trust, this is one of the things I find most interesting about Switzerland, the trust that people have in each other, in believing what the other says and trusting it.
You continue on, passing Spiss, Hofstatt, Buechenboden, Gildisdorf, Stegmatte and at the end there is a bridge where you cross over to the other side and you can continue on foot to Mürren. Mürren is one of the last villages in the region, there are others around, but they can be reached by cable car from Mürren. There are a range of hotels and hostels in the vicinity at interesting prices, given that this is Switzerland and, what’s more, in one of the most famous Swiss Alps. Hostels at 45€ per night like https://www.mountainhostel.com/, or this one https://lengwald.ch/lengwald-wohnung/preise in high season, a room for up to 3 people is 140 francs, and dividing that by 3 is a very interesting price, 43 CHF.
Returning from Mürren to Lauterbrunnen station
After arriving in Mürren, I took some photos of the beautiful site. I saw several cable cars going up higher into the mountains. I confess I was tempted to go up too. Exploring these areas a bit, enjoying the summer and hiking in the Lauterbrunnen mountains, not bad. But unfortunately my schedule was a bit tight, I had to get back to the train station and return to Estavayer, I didn’t want to get home after 22:00. So I hurried back to the station. On the way back I bumped into Bejo BJJ, a Brazilian who had just parachuted. We chatted for a while and he told me that he was a jumping instructor in Dubai and was on vacation in Switzerland.
I made my way back to Lauterbrunnen station, my train was the 19:32 and cost 55 CHF from Lauterbrunnen to Estavayer-le-lac. I arrived in Estavayer at around 10:30 p.m. and went to bed. After all, the next day was my birthday and I wanted to have enough energy to enjoy it.