Footloose in SWITZERLAND Bernese Oberland, Lucerne
Trip Start Sep 01, 2004
18Trip End Ongoing
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Lauterbrunnen (Bernese Oberland)- A perfect centre for touring the dramatic valleys and snowcapped peaks by the charming cog railways... to places like Wengen and Mürren, where you can take endless hiking trails or cable cars even higher. The Jungfraujoch, "Top of Europe", where there is everlasting snow, is breathtaking and very popular, served by a train which runs inside the mountain
Lucerne- is a beautiful and perfectly restored medieval city adorned with clocks and towers along the city wall. The wooden bridges over the fast flowing river are a huge attraction to visitors. Take a fabulous steamer strip on Lake Lucerne and hop-on hop-off all day at various lakeside resorts. The Swiss Transport Museum is highly recommended.
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FILMING DIARY: July 2005. We drove to Switzerland, just to be different, and we had a really good run down there. Switzerland was always going to be nostalgic, not only because it had been my first and only school trip of which I had fond memories; but also because it was where Dave proposed to me, in the car park in Grindelwald, in the rain. You know where you are with Switzerland - no nasty surprises, everything as it should be, with a ponderous sense of humour. My only memory of the Lauterbrunnental was a coach trip on the said school holiday to the Trümmelbach Falls, so I really did look at it with fresh eyes, and what's not to like? You overdose on spectacular scenery in Switzerland everywhere you look, and with the Staubbach waterfall crashing down the valley walls right in the village, I breathed a sigh of contentment; wherever we went, the pictures would be wonderful
Wengen and Mürren were very pleasant to wander through with so little traffic and always with those wonderful views. For July, to me, it was remarkably uncrowded which meant I could linger in little shops and alleyways whilst Dave plonked his camera wherever he could. This is always a nice part of the job - when we are not on the trail it becomes a relaxed walk through certain parts that is always refreshing. I love trains, to trundling on and off all these little networks was fine with me, although train fares in Switzerland are not cheap. I was suitably (and not often!) speechless at the price of reaching the Jungfraujoch, and could have shed a tear for a family of four! But it is worth it, oh it most certainly is. You really feel the altitude up there, and there are signs everywhere warning you not to hurry but take your time. The Observatory platform affords a fascinating view of the glacier, but I'm not a fan of the see-through gratings, I really have to keep my eyes fixed firmly on the horizon on these things. I pestered Dave for a dog-sled ride, and it was over far too quickly. The dogs are bred on the glacier, and the urge to pull is so strong that the one dog that was 'resting' strained on his leash to be part of the sled team whenever it set off. It was very busy up there, with a constant stream of walkers following the roped guides to various viewpoints
The walk from Mannlichen to Kleinescheidegg was an absolute delight - I've never seen so many alpine flowers, and an English couple who were regular visitors told us that it seemed exceptional to them too. Typically in Switzerland, the way signs were immaculate, uniform and upright, and gave the exact distance, the time to walk it and the gradient of the path as well, which was a bit too much information in a way. It did rather take the guesswork out of it all, and sometimes, that's part of the fun. But a Swiss map is exact, so I suppose there was never any real chance of getting pleasantly lost. Kleine Scheidegg itself was a zoo and almost completely without character - it was just a terminus for the bahn up to the Jungfraujoch, so we didn't spend a lot of time there. We walked down the mountain to Grindeldwald (of course!) and had a fond moment reminiscing before catching the Bernese Oberland Bahn (BOB) back to Lauterbrunnen.
The Heimat Museum there was really interesting, although we seemed to be the only visitors there
As usual, the food in Lauterbrunnen was very good, but it is expensive, so we quite often bought rolls and cheese and cooked meats and made our own meals for the trails which we tend to do anyway. Everyone is so courteous and efficient that your stay in Switzerland is guaranteed to go without a hitch, except for the unpredictability of the weather.
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http://www.footloose.tv/FLE/Switzerlandholiday.htm more information on the Swiss trails