Lauterbrunnen....the place I never knew I would one day need to see

Lauterbrunnen Travel Blog

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those sheep have the most beautiful pasture in the world.....
*This is a continuance of my european trip in fall, 2006

So after a couple of days exploring the beautiful cliches of Paris, I somewhat impulsively booked a seat on Busabout (which I had read about before my trip). Busabout is this really cool bus company that offers hop on/hop off bus routes around Europe, with stops in set cities every other day. Little did I know that I would end up being the only american on my busabout adventure, since apparently it's a huge thing for austrailians. Americans tend to see europe by eurail; aussies see it by busabout!

So the routes offered kind of determined at least what countries I'd be able to visit, since I had a limit of 2 weeks. I knew I had to make it to Lausanne, Switzerland to see my friend Lucie (who I had met in Costa Rica the previous year).
I can hear the sound of this stream when I look at this picture.
Thus, the best route for my purposes took me on stops through Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland; Nice, France; Barcelona, Valencia, and San Sebastian, Spain. Really, I had arrived in Paris with ideas of countries on my wish list (Italy would have to wait!), but I was happy to go anywhere I had never been before.

Before my actual trip I had seen on their website that busabout stopped in Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland; well, I had never heard of the place and I had just been planning on Lausanne and maybe Geneva or Lucerne. All that changed after a little internet research on Lauterbrunnen - the pictures I found from travelers who had been there stopped me in my tracks. Drop dead gorgeous photos of insane waterfalls plunging off these alpine cliffs, the greenest pastures I had ever seen, and oh - the Jungfrau alps! After seeing these photos I knew I had to try to make it to Lauterbrunnen, whether it was on this trip or not.
a glacial stream, some snowy alps in the distance
And so I did.

I'm sure you all know that feeling of actually arriving in a place you've only seen in pictures; the anticipation, the worry if it will live up to your expectations (kind of like a first date, when you think about it!). Well let me tell you that Lauterbrunnen most assuredly lived up to my limited but lofty expectations. Arriving at dusk, imposing mountains enveloped the valley housing Lauterbrunnen; you could just make out the snow capped peaks. After checking into our hostel/cabins (Jungfrau camping), I walked the village and valley paths with an Austrailian girl I had befriended on the bus. Probably the first thing you'll notice on a walk around Lauterbrunnen is the sounds; it seems that a valley between Swiss alps is a fertile stage for sound. In the symphony hall of Lauterbrunnen, you hear the rush of water.
blinged out swiss cow
... everywhere. That could be due to the fact that the area is home to over 70 waterfalls, the kind of which originate from swiss glaciers and come to their crescendo over vertical rock walls. The other sounds you'll hear, almost like background music, are the bells worn around all of the livestock roaming the valley. Cows, sheep, and goats all wore the bells around their necks, and the clanging actually did seem to echo amidst all those mountain walls.

At any rate, after a night of some serious drinking with my new Austrailian friends in an old war time bunker turned bar, I woke to a chilly and clear morning. Lauterbrunnen, unlike crushes you might be enamored with the night before, was even more gorgeous by day. To be honest, I feel like I can't even accurately describe it. I am a sucker for cold, crisp air and the air on a Lauterbrunnen morning was the best kind of delicious. It felt so clean and the day felt so perfect - sun rising over snowy monoliths, the grass in the valley the greenest of the greens. And everywhere that fantastic soundtrack of rushing water and bells.

I ended up spending just 3 full days in Switzerland, one in Lausanne with my friend, and the other two in Lauterbrunnen. But after hiking through Lauterbrunnen's crazy beautiful scenery, meeting an enormous St. Bernard and his owner on one of my hiking paths, touring inside a mountain with an actual waterfall thundering through it, and having a picnic of cheese and bread by myself on the grass underneath an alpine summit, I know one day I'll go back. Without a doubt, Lauterbrunnen is one of the most naturally gorgeous places I have ever seen.

jebby504 says:
I also went to Laterbrunnen and stayed at Jungfrau Camping. Its an awesome little town!
Posted on: Jun 14, 2007
Eric says:
I completely agree, i went here for a few days and it was cloudy and rainy the whole time -- even so, it was one of the most naturally beautiful places I have ever seen!
Posted on: May 31, 2007
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those sheep have the most beautifu…
those sheep have the most beautif…
I can hear the sound of this strea…
I can hear the sound of this stre…
a glacial stream, some snowy alps …
a glacial stream, some snowy alps…
blinged out swiss cow
blinged out swiss cow
photo by: wilber85