Travel day to Switzerland

Trip Start May 18, 2007
Trip End Jul 18, 2007

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Flag of Switzerland  ,
Saturday, June 2, 2007


This was our longest travel day thus far and we both agree, one that was well worth the 12 hour effort!

Our day began on schedule with a 7:30 am breakfast with Laurie confirming the train schedule and on-time check out by 9:15am, off to the train station for our 10:31am direct train to Zurich, Switzerland. We did not know train travel was SO easy! We planned ahead after the near disaster in Austria and reserved our 1st class cabin from Salzburg to Zurich and Zurich to Interlaken OST. The route took us along the southern border of Germany/Austria and the scenery was stunning. Ryan set a new record of staying awake on the train for 2.5 hrs before succumbing to the train sleepies which we fondly call "train mickies". 

The direct train was quite comfortable and the Zurich train station was the biggest one yet! It was very busy with all sorts of musicians and loads of people going every which way. We had a quick bite (Ryan had yet another Kebab, Laurie a Panini) and we waited 1.5 hrs for our Interlaken OST connection. The Swiss are on time and we pulled out of the station precisely at 6:00pm, on our way to the Bernese Oberland. The nice change was that the conductors announce all stops in English now so there is no chance of missing your stop!
Now the fun began with trains, cableways and gondolas, but no taxis!! Arrival to Interlaken OST was on time, 8:03pm with our first glimpse of the Swiss Alps which Ryan was amazed at, trying to snap a quick photo from the tracks. Impossible at best but those Alps drew us in!

Again, on time departure at 8:20pm, Interlaken OST to Lauterbrunnen where everyone will tell you to "get on the right car". We did not have any issues as we think the Swiss have figured it out and have marked the cars well. The train from Lauterbrunnen to Grutscalp was a fast 20 min and then Rick Steve's told us to catch a bus. There was no bus. 
The good news was we had a few folks who were also heading our direction and we just all went as a group and boarded the brand new Aerial Cableway from Lauterbrunnen to Grutschalp. After 115 years of service, the Lauterbrunnen - Grutschalp funicular closed because of geological problems (Sammy, Karl and Jilly - you must remember that cranky old funicular that we rode up? This new cableway was a great improvement!).

The next transfer was from Grutschalp to Murren, in a slow-moving scenic train ride as the sun was setting, traveling cliff-side, weaving its way along the Alps. It was spectacular and all we could do to stay seated! 20 minutes later and we were in Murren as darkness was settling into this car-less little village at an altitude of 5,374 ft. The small group of us rolled our bags down the only street in Murren and our friends stopped at the Hotel Alpenruh (Sammy, Karl and Jilly - oh my gosh, this place has not changed one bit!). While we waited for the last Gondola ride of the evening, we chatted about staying an extra night, especially since it took so long to get here. We secured 2 more nights at the Hotel Alpenruh and are excited about our extended stay here.

We continued to the Schilthorn Gondola station to wait for one of the last rides of the night, whisking only US down to Gimmelwald, ~4089 ft, where we walked to Esther's B&B a few yards up the road.

Our day was long, ~15 hrs long, but we agree this was the most worthwhile journey of the trip.

Tomorrow we are hoping to awake to blue bird skies with our favorite white puffy clouds high in the Swiss Alps.

Today's walk: 3.3 miles
Total for the journey (83.5 miles, 16 days)

Laurie and Ryan
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