Monday, May 4, 2015

europe trip 2014, day 5

While planning our trip, Murren was the spot we were most excited about. The main goal was to see the Alps, and this was the stop on our itinerary to do just that. There is something so cool about a mountain village that doesn’t even have access by car. From Interlaken, we had to take a train to Lauterbrunnen, then a cable car up to Grutschalp (which don’t be confused about it being a rail, there is only a cable car now), and finally jump on another rail strictly for getting to Winteregg and Murren.  Being situated on the side of the Schilthorn, it had amazing views of the Eiger, Monch, Jungfrau, and many other “horns” that I cannot remember. Other than checking into the Hotel Eiger, we had no other plans today except to frolic around like it’s the freaking Sound of Music. We found Hotel Eiger from a blog post, and knew we had to stay there. After being greeted by a very friendly staff, we were then blown away by the view from our balcony. It was one of the most amazing things I had ever seen.





We then took our time strolling through town and snapped a few more pictures...imagine that.








We ended up at the station for the cable car ride up the Schilthorn. We hadn't planned on going to the top (and I have no idea why not), but I bought some last minute tickets to the top even though they were around 100 Euro. It’s usually not like me to swing for a random purchase like that. As the cable car made its way up the mountain, we encountered a bit of clouds that completely blocked out everything. Just a few moments later…we got above the clouds and it opened up to the most beautiful view I had ever scene. Everyone in the cable car pretty much gasped at the same time. I don’t even know how to describe it, and I am not sure I could even do it justice. We don’t even think the pictures do it justice. This is just one moment that you have to experience yourself. 




At the top is the Piz Gloria observation deck along with the James Bond 007 Museum and restaurant. I am not a Bond fan, but the museum was very cool. The rotating restaurant was a nice touch too, and allowed us to see 360 degrees while chowing down on a 007 burger. 





















The rotating restaurant.





As the sun began to set and it began to get chilly, we made our way back down to Murren. It took us all about 2 minutes to decide where we were going to eat dinner, and that would be on our magical balcony. We had a view, cocktail supplies, and room service. What more could we possibly need? We just sat there and talked for hours, which is one of our favorite things to do. 













Playing around with the camera at night, I took some really long exposure shots






Saturday, May 2, 2015

europe trip 2014, day 4


and we're off!

We were not really sure what to expect for this day, all we knew is that we were going on a cruise around Lake Brienze. Can’t go wrong, right? As usual, we showed up early and were rewarded with a nice table for breakfast. Other than a legit cruise, I can say this was my first sit down meal on a boat (unless you count the tradition of powdered donuts and chocolate milk that my Dad and I have when fishing). The boat acts kind of like a bus. You can get off at any stop, and there will be another boat to catch to the next stop, or to get you back to the original point of departure. We decided to check out Giessbach, and thank God we did. Before we get to Giessbach though, I need to give a side story. Once you get off the boat, you have to take a cogwheel train up to the actual town, which is really just a hotel from what we saw. Well, I had planned on hitting an ATM that day, and was a few Franc short. Luckily, this awesome older man let us ride up anyways. Once you arrive at the top, there is the Grandhotel Giessbach with views of the lake and of Giessbach Falls. We were amazed. This was the closest I had ever been to a real waterfall. We hiked up quite a ways, and got to a spot what lets you cross underneath part of the falls. It is hard to describe the sound and the sense of power that comes from waterfalls of this size. I really won’t even try, so there are a couple of videos below. At one of the pools I was able to get close enough to fill up our water bottle. There is just something cool about drinking water straight from an Alpine waterfall. After a bit, we headed back down to check out the hotel and some more views of the lake. Since we were not guests of the hotel, I couldn’t get any cash to make it right with the cogwheel operator. I think he felt sorry for me, because I am sure I looked pretty embarrassed. 













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One day we would love to stay at the Grandhotel Giessbach. It was just beyond beautiful, and we would like to explore the area a bit further. 












Next stop was Brienz. Again, we didn’t have any plans, which made this stop a bit uneventful. There were still some highlights though! We ended up picking up some gyros from some no big deal restaurant and found a spot to eat them at the marina. This ended up being perfect. The weather was pretty, the lake was beautiful, and we had some friends (swans and coots) join us too. After eating, we took a stroll along the lake, where there is a public trail/park. 













After stopping by an ATM, and waiting way to long for the next boat, because we got the schedule confused…we were off again! This boat actually ended up stopping back by Giessbach, which was perfect. This time I had some extra Francs, which gave me the opportunity to hand them off to the cogwheel operator before the boat pushed off. He was confused at first, but was overly thrilled when he realized I was paying my balance. It was a little memory that we won’t forget.


Our friend giving us the thumbs up!
Back in Interlaken, we took a short break before heading to dinner. Since we were going to the same place from the night before, we at least took a different route. This time, we walked along the Aare River, and it was another fun unplanned experience. We found a cool dam, a bridge separating Interlaken and Unterseen, which had the most perfect sign at the midpoint. There is a little inside joke between us about the Interlaken Ram. Whenever we see it, we would put our arms up in the air and make a crazy noise. I am sure the locals just loved it. 


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 Back to the Husi Bierhaus