Switzerland, day 5

During breakfast yesterday (Wednesday) we still hadn’t decided what our day was going to look like. We were undecided if we were going to make the 1.5 hour train to Jungfrau or rent mountain bikes and explore the valley below. 

Just as we were leaning towards the bike ride idea, the owner of the hotel came over and introduced himself. During our conversation, he asked us about our plans. We told him we were still figuring it out. He was a big fan of a day trip to Jungfrau.

So with that, we took the train up to Jungfrau. It is about 11.6k feet above sea level and the train takes you all the way to the peak. The climb is so steep and fast the train makes three stops along the route just to make sure your body can transition properly. 

By the time we reached the last stop before the final destination (around 10k feet), I could see the altitude was having a significant impact on Lauren. But she wanted to continue. 

Twenty minutes or so later, we arrived at Jungfrau. Lauren was feeling very light headed and dizzy but still wanted to press on. So we walked very very slowly and deliberately finding our way outside to enjoy the vista. 

The view from the top was gorgeous. The snow covered Swiss Alps at that altitude and the valley below is incredible. However it is also a massive tourist destination — even during this off season. The trains were packed in both directions and moving around from the observation deck was challenging at times. After about an hour, Lauren really needed to get to a lower altitude so we left. Thankfully by the time we reached 9k feet, her health, color and comfort had returned.

We continued on the train past our stop at Wengen and made a visit to the town of Lauterbrunnen which is at the base of the valley. We had a quick but delicious late lunch outside at Flavours. After lunch we rented mountain bikes and had a wonderful ride around the valley floor. We saw at least 6 amazing waterfalls. Without a doubt that bike ride was a highlight of our trip so far. 

After returning the bikes, we took the train back to our hotel. The weather had cooled and we went for a nice walk around our little village. All along the way you could hear cowbells gently ringing in the surrounding fields. 

We couldn’t see the actual sunset but we saw the most amazing red/pink/purple reflection on the mountain’s face as the evening turned to night. 

This morning we are going to take the train to Zermatt. We are told most places will be closed during the off season and the weather forecast doesn’t look great. But we are both excited to make the trip and hopefully we can get a glimpse of the Matterhorn.