Lauterbrunnen (clear fountains) is situated in one of the most impressive trough valleys in the Swiss Alps, between gigantic rock faces and mountain peaks. With its 72 thundering waterfalls, secluded valleys, colourful alpine meadows and lonely mountain inns, the Lauterbrunnen Valley is one of the biggest nature conservation areas in Switzerland. A view of the “Valley of 72 waterfalls” exceeds all expectations – the steep cliff walls with their wonderful colours stretch up into the sky and the waterfalls have an energy all of their own. The population of Lauterbrunnen numbers less than 3,000.
It was autumn (September) when my granddaughter and I were in Lauterbrunnen. The weather on the evening of our arrival was far from suitable for a clear viewing from the high peaks the next morning so we held off purchasing our train tickets to take us to the Top of Europe. When we awoke to a clear day with sunshine and blue sky we moved quickly and, taking advice from those on duty at the campsite, we were on our way early, even eating breakfast as we walked to the train station. The cemetery near the little church was awash with blooms and the hotels, shops and houses were bedecked with flowers. There was even a basket of red geraniums on each cabin.
Jungfraujoch (3454m) – The Jungfrau is one of the main summits of the Bernese Alps, located between the northern canton of Bern and the southern canton of Valais, halfway between Interlaken and Fiesch. It is located in the heart of the UNESCO Natural World Heritage property “Jungfrau – Aletsch – Bietschhorn”.
The Jungfrau railway has been plying its way through a 7-km-long tunnel to the ‘Top of Europe’, the ultimate excursion destination in the Bernese Oberland, since 1912. From Kleine Scheidegg, the cog-wheel railway travels year-round through the tunnel and over the steep climb up to the Jungfraujoch. Two stops in the tunnel permit spectacular views of the Eiger north wall and surrounding glacier world. It is the highest train station in Europe.
To my delight we saw stunning vistas of autumn colours on slopes that would be totally snow covered during the winter months. This made my day!
This was a once in a lifetime experience made extra special by the fact that I was sharing it with my granddaughter.