Saturday, September 15, 2012

Day 8. Not so free day around Grindelwald.

Today was supposed to be a free day to see the sights around Grindelwald. We managed 20 different trips on the same number of vehicles.

We started the day taking a bus from the bahnhof to Grindelwald Grund where we got on the gondola to Mannlichen. This was a long and impressive 30 minute long gondola ride up to a scenic viewpoint. We were climbing higher in the Alps today and I saw a cloud moving below me. After that we got on an Ariel tramway to the car free city of Wengen.

This ride took maybe ten minutes to bring us down the other side of the ridge. After walking through the city, we got on a train to Lauterbrunnen. This trip on the Wenger Alpen Bahn was covered on our Swiss pass since Wengen is car free and the WAB is the only railroad into town (it normally doesn’t cover tourist type lines).

At Lauterbrunnen we got on the cable car to Grutschalp and on the train to the car free city of Murren. At Murren we walked through town, I got a T-shirt at the souvenir shop, and we had lunch at the restaurant in the terminal for the Ariel tramway to the Shilthorn.

The Shilthorn is 9748 feet above sea level, and you ascend in two stages. The ride from Murren to Birg is the first section, and that raised us up through the clouds. The whole car broke out into oohs and aahs as we popped through the cloud cover. From Birg to Shilthorn we rode another cable car to the mountain house on top. This is where an opening sequence of James Bond was filmed (I forget which movie but it was one of the newer ones). Up top we got some impressive photos of the Eiger, Monch, and Jungfrau from above the clouds. After making a circuit through the gift shop we ascended back down to Murren and then got on another Ariel tramway that took us to Stechelberg via Gimmelwald which was no more than a transfer spot.
From there we took a postal bus back to Lauterbrunnen and we got on the Wenger alp Bahn or WAB to Kleine Schidegg. We had ridden a portion of this track earlier today and the whole line 3 years ago.
At Kline Schidegg I got some pictures of the jungfraujoch and got on a train back to Grindelwald. this stretch of track was new for me and Jim as 3 years ago it was closed due to an avalanche. This line was kind of neat as it used two different rack systems, and had a switchback in the middle of it. This took us back to Grindelwald, where we got on the First gondola to go to the First viewpoint.

The first viewpoint got us some views overlooking Grindelwald had had a nice gondola ride each way where the gondola changed cables 3 times automatically. A neat ride, we saw some cows and sheep and got some views of the Alps. After that we came back down, and Jim and I went to get dinner at Bonigen, at the pizzeria La Boheme in the hotel Seiler. 3 years ago they had very good pizza when we stayed there on Carl’s spring time tour. Tonight was no exception had had some very fine, and very hot pizza.

After dinner we walked back to the train station in Interlaken OST since we had plenty of time before the train came (They run every hour). After that we took the train back to Grindelwald, and that was relatively uneventful except for no one checking the tickets.

The WAB (WengerAlpenBahn) as Viewed in Lauterbrunnen

Grindelwald bus in Grindelwald with the Eiger in the background

On board a BOB Train, with a Die Zentralbahn (SBB) Train and a DB train adjacent Tracks

The Eigher, Monch, and Jungfrau as viewed from the Shilthorn above the clouds

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