Monday, October 21, 2013

Gimmelwald and Murren: Biking down the mountain

In my last post on our European trip, I showed photos of our walk from Gimmelwald up to Murren, which is a small village higher up on the mountain.  These photos are from our trip back down the mountain.  In Murren we rented bikes and rode them down to the town, Lauterburren in the valley.  If coasting down a steep incline for two hours with the brakes applied the whole time counts as biking.

I thought these giant slugs were impressive.

The following is from an e mail I sent from Interlacken.

Hello again!  We didn't get to go to the top of the mountain after all because it snowed and became inaccessible. More than once I thought, "I wonder what Switzerland is like in the summer...oh wait..."

 Instead we walked a couple of hours up to the next village on the mountain, Murren.  I took about a zillion photos of picturesque houses with shutters and flowers, cows with huge bells around their neck.  As the cows walked around their bells resounded all over the mountain like a chorus of giant wind chimes.  

I believe this says in German that littering is forbidden.

In Switzerland we met many fellow English speakers from the UK, Canada, Australia and the US.  Most of them were young people who had come to experience the sporty side of Europe.  Above are a couple of hang gliders.

The most photos were of course taken of the awesome mountains.  Every step was a photo moment and I couldn't resist any of them. 

In Murren we rented bicycles and rode down the side of the mountain, which was basically one long coast with the brakes on, biked across the valley below at Lauterburren, then took the gondola back up the mountain to our hostel in Grimmelwald. 

Our diet has changed dramatically.  We have left the world of pasta behind us and are now on a full protein menu.  After we got to the bottom of the mountain we had lunch at a Bratwurst shop.  I remember eating at those in Germany as a little girl.  After biking (coasting? braking?) down a mountain for two hours, I can't tell you how wonderful a bratwurst tastes.

The following photos are views from the ride back up the mountain in the cable car.

Is it a gondola or cable car?  You know what I mean?  It's a room that is pulled up the side of the mountain by a cable attached to the roof.  Our hostel was on the side of the mountain.

Is it a gondola or a cable car?

After returning the bikes and gathering our luggage, we took the gondola back down the mountain, to the bus that took us to the train that took us to Interlaken and checked into our hostel there. Our hostel's name is Balmer's Herbage-which is the oldest private hostel in Switzerland.  It was easy to find because there were signs all the way from the train station through the town to the hostel.  

 I have to say the Swiss know how to do hostels.  The rooms are nice and atmospheric.  And did I mention they speak better English than us?

Our room at Balmers Herberge

View of the hostel from our room

These two photos show the maze we had to walk through to get to the hostel.

Tomorrow we take a train to Basel where we will fly to Paris.  On ward ho!!


  1. Those pictures are breathtaking.

    A bike ride in that area seems like a great choice.

  2. How scenic.
    The one thing that I loved about Switzerland (I didn't do an encompassing trip as you did), besides the chocolate, was that the country looked exactly as I have imagined it.

    1. Zohar: I forgot to mention the cheese and chocolate. I brought a lot of it home as presents for family and friends.

  3. I am looking forward to this come summer. Was this bike trail rough in any parts? I have on Murren forums of rocky steep paths filled with loose gravel and large roots, but your biking photos look fairly easy with awesome views.

    1. Hi Noa. We rented our bikes and they were cheap basic bikes. Going downhill is a cinch. Going uphill? You better be in great shape. Either way the scenery is breathtaking! Good luck on your trip!


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