Living Even, Murren to Grindelwald, via the Gorge

Day 4

We woke up to slick streets in Murren. The fog had not lifted but from our huge breakfast window we were able to see the perennial waterfalls come from the mountains across the gorge.

Breakfast was in a tall white room, still in the school-house hotel of Hotel Regina. We had buffet style cheese, oatmeal and yogurt. Coffee was served in a silver canteen by someone who spoke to us only in German. We wrote post cards and read maps and decided to walk to Gimmewald to take a lift down into the Gorge.  The southern end of the gorge ending in the foothills of the Alps, the northern ending in the low lands of Interlaken.

We walked to the higher levels of Murren before leaving. We were looking for a good overview of the town. We walked down flattened grass and muddy trails into the forest with slick roots and dense trees. There were many 5″ thick slugs in the native grass, and as we entered the dark Alpine forest we had to guess our way to Gimmewald. We found the city by chance as the clouds parted for just a minute to give us a glimpse. We followed our senses and met a Japanese couple just as we were coming into that town to find the lift down.  We ended up spending half our day with To-Ke-Ko and her husband.

We weren’t expecting the lift to be so breath-taking. When Phil and I boarded the 20 person gondola we stepped to the front of the car. We noticed once we were moving that the cable seemed to fall off directly over the hill, and when our ride approached the edge of the cliff we both had to step back in amazement.  Once we were surefooted again, we took a few pictures as we came down into the gorge.  It was an unexpected, amazing ride. Thankfully we didn’t try to go near the cliff on foot at all. We weren’t prepared to do any scaling!  A few swinging foot bridges of wooden planks hung over the gaping crevices. I can’t imagine ever ever wanting to attempt those!

I took these photos from the Travel Blythe Clan because they really captured the reality of falling over the cliff of Gimmewald into the gorge.

We began to tour the gorge after toppling into it with our friends. We walk and let the 1000 meter sides contain us. We are trying to find Trummelbach Falls. The waterfalls should be strong today because of the rains. Tokeko talks to me of the flowers she has visited in Russia over July 4th. She has gone to see them in the mountains, and as we walk along a grey mountain stream she picks flowers that are growing to tell me about them. We talked of her daughter’s children, and her son’s. We talked about family and ‘being close.’ She picked a Japanese Lantern and told me of what they tasted like when she was a child.

Later that night I would be served one with my dinner, as if by coincidence. Phil, in the mean time, held a conversation with her husband who we each had to piece together. He talked and Phil described the conversation as questioning the celebration of success. China had adopted the United States mentality of work, consumption, and money. Japan was following China. What about living even? Taking care of your own measure.  Summiting your own peaks -tending your own garden?

We lost our friends as we began to climb the rocky stairs of Trummelbach Falls. We put on our rain gear and enjoyed talking over the pounding water. The falls have carved themselves into the gorge side, and a trail now leads us into the rock to find the waterfall.  It is a rock house waterfall -pounding nature.Slick steps lead us up, down and through the waters way of crashing. We shared the orange Tokeko had given us as a gift when she learned we were on our honeymoon. We ate nuts and berries that we had packed from the prior day’s hike.

I wrote: We walk and the 1000 meter sides contain us, let the waterfalls crash. We just walk -all of our belongings here -with one another. So free, and full and ready to take in and take time.

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We walked into Lauderbruden from the falls and wanted to find somewhere to have warm soup. The grass was so green, I felt alive and free and open, even in the gorge, as if it made me feel that way with it’s shape. Waterfalls looked like they were falling on houses, and no one here even gave them a second glance. We sat on the front porch of a restaurant and had soup and coffee. Phil’s shoulders hurt, but I was doing ok with most of my backsack weight around my waist.  We admired the green roofs and pristine graveyards of the town. There were places to camp before we came into town. It was here that I realized the direct effects of coffee. It made me happy. No wonder I loved Italy so much. At the top of every peak, around every corner, just outside every church, there was coffee… but that finding was yet to come.

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After lunch we walked to Wengen to get a train lift to Grindelwald. Phil, I learned, was more direct and perceived the reality of situations better than I did. Traveling with him was such ease compared to trying to figure it out myself. We boarded the train he suggested and in only a few moments found ourselves walking off into the wild wonderful world of tourist driven Grindelwald!

I took this photo as we were leaving the Gorge, just before boarding the train.

The wonderful thing about Switzerland is that the directional signage is spot on. Many signs described our hikes along the way, telling us exactly how long to expect it to take and luckily, the signs were just at our pace. The same held true for arriving in a town and finding your accommodation. We found The Downtown Lodge without problem.  If there was one hotel I wished not to find, it was this one. We didn’t have a problem the two nights we stayed there, I just couldn’t sleep. I wanted to open it up and paint everything white. I don’t trust old looking carpet and I am afraid of bugs. The coffee was good though and Phil wasn’t too upset considering our view out of the window.

That would be mighty Eiger. We quickly unpacked and organized our belongings so that we could go discover this Swiss town. We were progressively, since Griesalp, staying in larger and larger towns, until we would find ourselves in Interlaken before moving south to Italy.

We found Cafe Bar C & M nearby. Wanting to take in the beautiful surroundings on the deck outside, catching a mountain sun setting, was made warmer by the fleece blankets provided by the staff as we decided to order beers, write and read. Phil began studying the map, which became a favorite dinner pass time for us on our entire trip.

The servers say cheers when they bring the beer and wine. We moved inside and sat upstairs in a loft on upholstered chairs in a very chic restaurant with only a few tables. I didn’t imagine this was up the stairs from the small bar downstairs. I like .3 liters of beer, a medium size. My face feels warmer after sun down. We are tired after dinner but decide to take in desert in another nearby restaurant between us and home. Either that or I am avoiding our accommodation. I had a great sleep, a full stomach, and woke up early to write before Phil joined me for breakfast.

 

 

 

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