We left Innsbruck early because we knew we were going to have to catch four different trains to make it to Grindelwald before nightfall. Our trip entailed a seven-hour journey culminating with a meeting with the people renting us a chalet in the Swiss Alps. Travel by train is convenient in Europe and we didn’t run into any problems except the leg from Interlaken to Grindelwald as the train splits at a stop and only the back cars ended up at our destination! We were lucky to notice this ahead of time and hopped aboard the right car.
Grindelwald is a small town of about 3700 that is located in the Jungfrau region of the Swiss Alps. There are three imposing mountains in the immediate area, the Jungfrau, Monch, and Eiger, which dominate the skyline. This is a ski resort area and that helped make our accommodations a bit more affordable since this is the off-season. The immediate and absolute stunning beauty of the area was already beckoning for us to return to ski in the winter. The housekeeper greeted us at the train station and gave us directions to our chalet. We shopped for some groceries before heading up. When we say heading up we mean straight up as it was maybe a quarter mile and we stopped numerous times to catch our breath. The housekeeper took the bus and was dropped off above the chalet and walked down to it, but we decided, “How bad could it be?” We never did take that bus, but the hike to the chalet never got any easier!
We knew we wanted to hike and were trying to figure out what it would cost to take the trains, buses and lifts to different starting points. We ended up with a headache and decided to head over to the visitor center for some help. We have to tell you if you come here plan on it being one of the more expensive places in the world. It was much less expensive to buy an unlimited pass for the week even though that still set us back a significant fee. With the pass we were able to get on any train or lift and the boats in Interlaken. We did have to pay for discounted tickets to get up to the station at Jungfraujoch or more commonly called “The Top of Europe”. We enjoyed the snow, stunning scenery, the Lindt Swiss Chocolate Heaven, the Sphinx, the Ice Palace and hiked over to the Monchsjoch Cottage for a Beer. It may have been expensive, but it was worth it! If you get this close do not miss it!
Our hikes were magical and we soon realized that most of our past hiking experiences were to get to a certain place or to obtain a specific goal. Here you hike in the some of the most beautiful scenery in the world and the destination is not any more beautiful than the journey in fact this is one of the few places we’ve been where you get exceptional views without leaving the train.
Since we obtained the pass we rode every available train route, cable car and even went down to Interlaken to ride a boat that whisked us across the stunning waters of Lake Brienz. Our stay was only for a week but will always be remembered as one of the most fascinating places that we ever experienced.
Visited: May 2015