I spent most of day hiking though one of the most scenic areas I've ever seen. I started my hike from Lauterbrunnen just down the street from my hotel and climbed about 3000 feet over a distance of 7.8km to Murren. Actually, the bulk of the climb was in the first few kilometers so it was quite steep. Along the way I did a short side trip to check out Winteregg, but there wasn't much to see there.
From Murren (elevation 5500 feet) I took a tram up to Schilthorn, actually it was two trams to cover the distance of just over 6.5 km and an elevation gain of about 4250 feet. The first took us as far a Birg (elevation 8700 feet) and a second took us to Shorthorn (elevation 9750 feet). I took in the scenery at the top of Schilthorn for a while from the outside observation decks, then went inside for a snack in the revolving restaurant. I wanted to hike around a little bit at the top but the area around building was blocked off. After my snack I made my way back down. I stopped at Birg for a while on the way down to take in the scenery from.
When I got back to Murren I hiked back down to Lauterbrunnen via Gimmelwald and Schelberg. This hike was about 12 km, but most of the 3000 foot drop happened during the first few kilometers, so again it was quite steep.
The above description makes a whole lot more sense if you read it while looking at the map below.
This is my hotel.
The main road going through Lauterbrunnen.
As I started my climb I got a much better view of Wegen, which is where I'm headed tomorrow.
I crossed many streams today and many of them are what feeds those massive waterfalls in the valley.
There were a few interesting buildings along the way and some much closer (right on) the cliff but harder to photograph.
It was extremely humid during the climb. The several hours of heavy rain last night probably had something to do with it, but it must be quite humid here all the time because there was plenty of moss growing in the area like that on the bottom of this tree.
A lot of the area I passed through was pasture land and the cows up here, like that one just barely visible in the bottom left of the picture, have an awesome view.
Once I got withing a couple kilometers from Murren I had to switch from the extremely rugged yet totally peaceful trail I climbed on from Lauterbrunnen to a high traffic and much easier trail. There was a Nordic walk of some sort going on today that's why there are so many people coming towards me. I headed into that shed on the right until they passed where I met a few people, including a retired couple from England. They were here on a 3 week vacation, which they do nearly every year around this time. She's been here 12 times and he 18. According to them it is definitely the very early part of the summer season right now as some of the trails are still closed and others only opened a few days ago.
This is the view as you approach Murren on the easy trail.
This is the tram from Murren to Schilthorn. I hiked the "long way" to it but that gave me a bird's eye view of what I'd be riding to the top.
Once you get to Schilthorn and walk straight out onto the main observation deck this is what you see, mountain peaks for miles around.
That's the revolving restaurant.
The big green area off in the distance is the slope just behind Wegen.
The main observation deck.
The building just barely visible resting on the peak in the middle of the picture is Birg where we switched trams.
The mountains in behind and above me are Eiger (just above and to the right of my head), then Monch, and Jungfrau. Eiger is 3970 meters high, Monch is 4107, and Jungfrau is 4158.
Inside the revolving restaurant. There are way more people here then in Vienna and a ton of noisy kids so I left before one full revolution, besides the view from outside was better because you didn't have to look through the glass.
The main observation deck. There is a panoramic theatre below. It was showing scenes of the area, which I had a chance to see plenty of for real today.
Schilthorn from Birg.
Gimmelwald is way down there over a cliff behind the row of dark green trees.
This is the lower tram again with Murren way down below it.
Murren and the 3 prominent peaks mentioned above.
Part of Gimmelwald (about a quarter of the village).
The way down from Gimmelwald, like the way up to Murren, provided some spectacular views.
One of the many interesting waterfalls I passed today. This one passed under the bridge I walked on as shown in the second picture.
Back down in the valley looking towards Lauterbrunnen, which is off to the left around the bend in the valley.
Another huge waterfall in the valley. I saw a sign for one of them today that indicated it was over a 1000 feet high.
Yup, the scenery around here is just amazing and unlike any I've seen anywhere else! However, I'm afraid to say that my pictures do not do it justice. Today I tried something different and used more of the manual settings on my camera. That improved many of the photos especially in the real tough lighting conditions, but it also left many looking grainy.