During our trip in Switzerland there were a few songs running through my head. In eneva, since it was French speaking, it was the opening song to Beauty & the Beast (which I guess is a real favorite of mine because I’ve written about that one before), specifically all the “Bonjours” and the little town full of little people. Then in Murren it became “Climb Every Mountain” from The Sound of Music. This one surprised me because Maggie and I always fast forwarded through that song when we were kids. It’s boring for kids.
(Maggie, this one is for you. Someone wanted to make sure their cat could make it back inside safely.)
Over there on the left, I think they’re making fun of us.
On our first day in Murren we arrived at mid-day. Sean planned a few warm up hikes for us and the first was to Gimmelwald. Before I talk about Gimmelwald, I think it makes sense to share a map so you have a better sense of it all.
A main reason Sean decided on Switzerland was because he’d taken a version of this trip the summer after his first year of law school. All of our hikes were a retracing of his steps 10-ish years ago. When he was in Switzerland previously, he stayed at the Mountain Hostel in Gimmelwald, so our first hike was a bit nostalgic.
We aren’t beer drinkers, but we started a habit of having beer with lunch. It never disappointed.
The hostel had made some improvements, but much of it was the same. They have an unmanned store at the left corner there. Things have prices on them and they ask that you put the proper amount into a box before you take it. We went in but didn’t purchase anything. Do you see the rainbow?
We were expected to be in Murren for three and a half days. Sean carefully planned out a schedule of warm-up, somewhat intense, cool down, really intense hiking. The weather report got in the way. Sunny our second day, afternoon of rain our third, and all rain our fourth. So really intense hiking was moved to our second day. We went to the Shark Fin (real name: Spitzhorn).
When Sean pointed in this direction initially I thought the Shark Fin was the snow covered mountain all the way in the background. I told him that I would be a good sport about this, but getting to the Shark Fin seemed completely impossible to me. It would be impossible to get to the snow covered mountain, so lucky for me I was pleasantly surprised by our journey.
And the top. Sean warned me that taking pictures was almost silly. There’s no way to put this into perspective for you. We climbed about 9,000 ft. That’s about six Empire State Buildings. Going up was hard, but not nearly as bad as coming down. To get from the top to our lunch spot, Hotel Obersteinberg, there were some very narrow paths on some very steep hills. I really thought one of us might die. (But I am a touch dramatic.)
When we told the waitress at dinner that night what we’d done, she asked me if I had wanted to give up. I did. A lot. This was hard. I’m so impressed and delighted that we did it, and a little surprised that we made it. We were not prepared. We should have had real hiking boots or at least sneakers that weren’t five years old. We would have benefited from hiking sticks. Regardless, we did it, and it was awesome.
The next day we knew we had at least a morning of good weather so we set out on our last hike in Murren. A local secret, we learned, and Sean’s favorite from his trip 10 years ago. (And, very thankfully, much less intense.)
Surrounded by mountains on almost all sides. It was incredibly beautiful.
Then the clouds literally rolled into town, and a last minute decision was made to move on to Lucerne (our next scheduled stop was Zurich). We’ve never seen clouds move so fast.
(There are a pictures of these same views from our hotel room earlier in this post, in case you’re interested in a comparison.)