Switzerland: Mountain Magic
Dates Visited: April 21, 22 and 23, 2023
Cities Visited: Lauterbrunnen, Geneva
Accommodations: In Lauterbrunnen, we rented this Airbnb, which was located in the heart of the valley with spectacular views of the mountains. For two nights, this was a cost of $1,015.82. Our night in Geneva was really only to get closer to the airport to make an early morning flight, so we crammed all of us into one room for a cost of $165.12. Total Switzerland accommodations for three nights: $1180.94
Sites Visited: MOUNTAINS!
Mountains are my friends. I love them. I always have. Whereas some people prefer the ocean with its endlessness and mysteriousness, I prefer the solidness and massiveness of being surrounded by mountains. I feel protected and seen when I am surrounded. I’ve seen the mountains of Georgia and of Tennessee, but nothing like what I saw in Switzerland. The Alps are amazing. The Lauterbrunnen valley has views of the Eiger Mountain, the Jungfraoch and others. The bottom line here, though, is that, wherever you look, is picture perfect.
While the people of Switzerland were very direct and, at times, brusque, even, the countryside was heaven sent. We indulged in Swiss chocolate, Swiss cheese fondue and a delicious lunch in town. On our second day, me, Mandi and Alight decided to take a walk. It was so beautiful that we walked for 4 miles down the same path. Over bridges, patches of daisies, cows and, everywhere, soaring mountains that kept us in a continual state of awe. Creeks bubbled around us and we counted the waterfalls. Lauterbrunnen is said to have 72 waterfalls; we counted 20. While typically you can go up behind the largest, Trummach, and we were looking forward to doing that, on this particular day, they had the path closed due to falling rock. We didn’t care because it was such a peaceful walk we were on. Below are just a few of the mind boggling pictures from that walk.
Our Airbnb had a balcony where we could sit outside and soak in some of this, but to really appreciate the scenic views and the power of the landscape, the walk was invaluable. We wanted more time in Lauterbrunnen. We’d ultimately decided against the more thrilling activities such as the Top of Europe because it was very expensive and we weren’t sure we’d have a clear day or would even enjoy the top for longer than five minutes. There were other things we would have done if we’d had more time. Instead, we took a day of rest because that’s what this landscape inspires you to do — slow yourself and take in a gentler pace.
Lauterbrunnen could easily be the base for exploring places like Murren, which is a car-less village, or Grindelwald, which allows you to get to the top of Europe and some of the more exciting adventures. In Lauterbrunnen, though, there is a lovely market, good restaurants and plenty of time to savor how beautiful the world can be.
The Swiss vacation doesn’t come cheap. Everything there, including food, will make you feel like you’re very poor. Everything is expensive–like double elsewhere in Europe. If you have a plan going in, and you know what to expect, you can avoid sticker shock and its corresponding heart attack. For example, one meal cost us $240 US dollars and it wasn’t at a “nice” restaurant — it was at a basic restaurant for burgers. Expect to pay around $25-30 for one burger, and extra for side items. To avoid this every time we were hungry, we went grocery shopping and ate at the airbnb, planning to splurge on one meal out during our time there. We stuck to this plan, and it helped.
Transportation was by bus and train. The bus ran right outside our Airbnb every thirty minutes, which made getting to the market, restaurants and train station easy. The train ride to and from the valley was in and of itself beautiful. Alight and I were switching sides constantly, taking pictures and videos of all the beauty.
I loved Switzerland, especially Lauterbrunnen. It would be a perfect place to go for a few days to hole up in a cabin and write… or just recharge. It rejuvenates you and makes you thankful for what you have. Mountain magic is real!