Thursday, September 27, 2012

Day 8 - Lauterbrunnen to Bern/Sumiswald

One thing I forgot to mention about our hostel last night is that when we checked in, they handed us our bed sheets! We had to make our own bed, and then return the sheets this morning when we checked out. The sheets were so small last night that we almost couldn't fit them on the bed. When we got one corner on and pulled for all we were worth, and got the other corners on, the thin little mattress bowed and wouldn't lay flat. It was hilarious!

Trying to put sheets on the bed last night

Another funny story from last night: Its not so easy to get the bathroom on our floor here. It's a big place and pretty packed (a lot of families with kids, too) so when we got it last night, we both went in. While Matt was trying to pee behind me, I bent over at the sink to wash my face, and our butts hit. I dont think that little bathroom was made for two people. It was funny then, but as I'm typing it now, I guess it's not, haha.

So anyways, we slept pretty good last night. Went to bed early, and Matt was literally snoring in less than two minutes. Alarm went off at 7:15, and just like every other day, the first thing I did was pull the curtain back and check the weather. And man was I excited this morning. Of course the day we leave is nothing but blue skies. Not a cloud in sight. That woke us up fast!

We jumped out of bed, and to our surprise, the bathroom was open! I came back to grab some soap and my hand towel for the shower and hopped through - Matt was right behind me. I was too excited to get up to Schilthorn to be bothered with washing my hair, so it didn't take us long to be ready for the day. Oh, and drying off with a hand towel is interesting...

Matt took our sheets/towels down and grabbed our breakfast, which was three pieces of bread and jam. Matt had coffee, I had oj. After that, we packed up, dropped our bags in the luggage storage area, and went straight to the cable car station. The receptionist at our hostel said the cable cars to Schilthorn were running, and it was a gorgeous day! I was SO happy we finally lucked out and got to go up! That was, after all, the whole reason we came to this area!


Leaving our room at the hostel

The view of the waterfall just outside the hostel early in the morning

The next cable car was leaving in just a couple minutes, so we got straight up to Murren in no time. We lucked out again and the next cable car up to Schilthorn and Piz Gloria restaurant left in 5 minutes! Good timing! And we even got half off the ticket up with our Swiss pass (like we were supposed to)!

Getting on the cable car to head up to Murren
 A British lady sitting next to old told us they were bringing cows down from this side of the mountain and down through the main street of Lauterbrunnen from 12 to 1 today. We decided to try to stick around long enough to check that out. I guess they decorate them and parade them through. It's too cold to keep them in the mountains much longer since its already snowed a couple of times.

The views just on the way up to Schilthorn were breathtaking. We seriously got the perfect day for it. Blue skies, no clouds. And when we got to the top...ooooohh man. Not even words for it. You could see as far as the eye would allow for 360 degrees. It was just ridiculous. We bought a little Swiss flag up there for a couple of the pics, and had some people take some of us. Definitely got some framers.

We went up to the restaurant for a couple of minutes, but it was making me sick! It spins so you get the views all around, but it didn't last long for us, haha. There was a little video showing about the James Bond movie that was filmed there, and I got Matt to pose with his fake gun by the 007 sign. :) For some reason , he decided to pack his sunglasses this morning instead of bring them with him, so some of the pics are a little squinty eyed...

We stayed up there - just taking it all in - for probably 45 minutes. I could of stayed up there all day...except for my poor choice in shoes today. For some reason, I decided my Toms ballet flats were a good idea for the snow. Turns out they're not, and my toes were numb!

Back down in Murren, we said goodbye to our new favorite spot. But vowed to come back someday. My vote is once in the summer to hike and once in the winter to ski!

On the train from Murren to the cable sad to leave!
Got back down to Lauterbrunnen just before noon, and went straight to Hotel Oberland (quick pit stop at the COOP for more cookies) which is right on the road where the cows were supposed to come through, for lunch. We snagged the perfect little table outside and ... no cows.

More cookies from the COOP

Our view

Perfect spot for lunch (and cow watching)

 We ordered food anyways, because we were hungry and needed to eat lunch before starting the journey to Bern. Ham and cheese ciabatta with tomato soup for both of us (and it was amazing!).

The waitress assured us the cows were still coming. We had our doubts, because we didn't hear the cow bells. But sure enough, just as our food came, we heard them. A couple minutes later, down came a farmer and his wife dragging some goats, a sheep dog behind them, and then a ton of cows dressed up with flowers on their heads and giant bells around their necks. It really was something to see. Matt recorded the whole thing and I took pics on my big camera.

There go the last of the cows...

After lunch, we stopped back by the hostel to grab our bags and look at train schedules, and realized we just missed the train to Interlaken, and the next one wasn't for 45 minutes. There was a train every 30 minutes the rest of the day, we just happened to hit the one gap in the day! Not pumped about that, but we sat down on a bench outside and just enjoyed the beautiful day (and views).

Looked around at a little souvenir shop down by the train station. The logo for this area is a bear with a long red toungue, and I really want a tshirt with that on it, but haven't been able to find one I like yet. There was a cool one in Murren...a thin, white short sleeve tshirt for 40 CHF was a little too steep for me. I tried to talk Matt in to buying some adorable Swiss cow salt and pepper shakers for his mom that I thought were so cute (and she loves cows!) at the little shop, but he didn't think she would use them.

We eventually left on the 1:33pm train to Interlaken and got in just before 2. And along the way realized our little Swiss flag we had just got did not make the journey with us, haha. I think it's on the train out of Murren, but not sure. Hopefully we can find another one before we head back to Germany on Friday!

Oh, and someone finally actually looked at our Swiss pass and wrote today's date down on it! Apparently it is their job (the train workers) to do that anyways! Regardless, we got away with two free days, and definitely got our money's worth out of it! We haven't paid for any transportation besides to the Top of Europe.

Interlaken is just as gorgeous as everyone said. We kind of wished we had stayed a day or two there, too. It will be on the list next time for sure. The 30 minutes we had there, spent running from souvenir shop to t-shirt shop was not enough. We did find a little cow tea pot for Matt's mom, and a plastic flag with the Jungfrau region bear on it though!


I kept trying to get wifi here and there, because Christa didn't email me back before we left the hostel (and our wifi) in Lauterbrunnen. I told her what train we would be on, so I guess I'm just hoping she's there to pick us up!

We made it back to the train station just in time for our 2:33 departing train for Bern. It was really then, on the ride out, that we discovered just how gorgeous Interlaken is. The clear turquoise water surrounded by green mountains was pretty awesome. Now THAT place really is Tahoe on steroids...

Trying to stay awake for the rest of the train was no easy feat. It's just something about the trains here...We can't seem to stay awake on them! Matt's head starts bobbing almost as soon as we sit down!

We got in to Bern right on time. The trains run like clockwork here. Since I hadn't found wifi, we didn't know where to meet Christa. Luckily she sent a text to Matt as soon as we got off the train. The language barrier was slightly confusing, but we figured out where to meet her. It was SO great to see her again. Didn't seem like it had been 5 years at all. She looks just the same and it just as sweet as ever.

---- Okay, I haven't had a chance to write at all today since Christa picked us up. It's been amazing! Sightseeing in Bern, driving through Swiss countryside, local dairy farm visit, home cooked Swiss meal, and catching up over wine. That's the super short version. In bed now at 11:15pm. Will have plenty of time to fill in the gaps on our 4 hour train from Zurich to Munich tomorrow!

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