We made it back to Switzerland! In mid summer, we were lucky enough to trek the the Haute Route, from the historic mountaineering town of Chamonix, France to the Zermatt valley in Switzerland (home of the Matterhorn). After completing the trek, we left the mountains to meet friends in Spain, and we hoped that somehow we could make it back to the Swiss Alps before heading home to the States. Lucky for us, that day arrived only a few short months later! (Click here to read about our adventures on the Haute Route)
We re-entered Switzerland through Italy, and while it took a few busses and trains to get to Interlaken from Milan, as soon as the train began winding up and around the many glacier-fed lakes of the region, we knew the journey had been worth it.
We found a fun and affordable (for Switzerland) hostel in Interlaken called Balmers, which served as a great launching point into the mountains. The small town is nestled between two big lakes, with towering peaks on all sides.
Interlaken itself is a fine town situated between two beautiful lakes, but you’d be amiss if you left without venturing higher up into the peaks. The high mountain villages and trails are easily accessed from Interlaken via trains and busses. The first full day after our arrival, we took a train into Lauterbrunnen, and from there, we hiked a fantastic loop up through the valley to Murren and back. The weather was clear and cool so we took our time, enjoying the fall colors, the many waterfalls (including Switzerland’s tallest), and the surrounding peaks, including the infamous Eiger. The only disruption to our serene walk through the valley was a base jumper who landed 100 meters from us in a pasture.
The Eiger was the REAL reason we came to this region of Switzerland. The Eiger is the 3,967 meter (13,015 ft) peak that rises above Grindelwald whose icy north face never sees the sun. In Heinrich Harrer’s famous book “The White Spider”, he documents the harrowing attempts made by the worlds best climbers to find a route to the top. Year after year young men came and perished until finally, in 1938, Harrer and three others topped out. We wanted to see the face up close, so on our second day, we took a train to Grindelwald, and hiked up underneath the north face and looped back over to Lauterbrunnen. The views were utterly impressive, and the cold chill that one experiences in the shadow of the Eiger will not soon be forgotten.
Our return to Switzerland was short but very sweet, and it surely won’t be our last. If you ever have the ability to visit Interlaken and the quintessentially Swiss villages, lakes, and mountain peaks that surround it, it’s sure to be a journey you won’t forget.
If you have any questions or thoughts about our travels, please comment on the blog or check us out on Instagram @theadventuregoeson! Happy trails!