Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Walking in the Alps

Walking in the Alps:
Marilyn & I went on the Swiss trains to the Lauterbrunnen valley, near the three peaks, the Jungfrau, the Eiger and the Monksberg.  Going past beautifully manicured emerald green fields, with hay neatly baled and plastic-wrapped, and peaceful clean and groomed cows in a few places, we passed Lake Thun and Bern.  Every view was so beautiful, and rising into the Alps we could begin to see the snow-capped peaks at the top of the valley.  The Swiss rail pass allows all these train rides as well as gondolas, so it feels like a Disneyland pass.   In the Lauterbrunnen valley we walked about an hour along the valley floor, then got the gondolas and train to Murren.  We stayed at the Jungfrau hotel, looking directly at the peak just across from our window.  We went down to Gimmelwald on the gondolas, and because it rained gently all night, the waterfalls and the river were much fuller the next day.  It was still raining, and the mountain was draped in mist and clouds, sometimes invisible then revealed again.  Riding the gondolas allows one to cross the beautiful waterfalls and breathtaking walls and cliffs across from the ridge of glacier and rock.  The weather was still relatively warm and summery.  Down in the valley we had heard the rushing river, and cowbells in a small herd near the river. There were still wildflowers, some pink blossoms which looked like crocuses, and blue flowers which might be related to columbines.  The meadow grass was very dense.
Coming down and back to Marilyn's, which is between Lausanne and Geneva along Lake Geneva, there are such beautiful valleys and farms, and one expanse along Lake Thun.
My first day here, we went on a boat on Lake Geneva, and saw the beautiful terraced vineyards by Veyvey. Lake Geneva is also gorgeous, with constantly changing light.  I am so delighted and grateful to get to see all this beautiful region, and especially to be so close to the actual Jungfrau!  Jobeth comes today, and we will go back up to Murren and Gimmelwald, then take the train to Austria.