On the way to Gimmelwald, we stopped in Interlaken to pick up some Swiss Francs. Interlaken is a charming town that caters to tourists. In Gimmelwald we'll need cash because there are no banks or cash machines up there. We had to move some money from savings to checking as it was before payday and we needed the money beforehand.
The first thing that I noticed about Switzerland was how orderly and clean everything was. If you even looked at the crosswalk traffic stopped. That was quite a shock after Paris, where it seemed drivers aimed for pedestrians.
We took the gondola from Stechelberg up to Gimmelwald. Took refreshments on the terrace and had a big dinner at the Inn. The views were lovely. The inn was creaky and charming. This was the only inn where we had to share bathrooms. The sound of cowbells could be heard all over the town.
Took the tram up to the Shiltorn at 10,000 ft. The surrounding mountains were beautiful. When I heard that we would be near the Eiger, I thought about Clint Eastwood's The Eiger Sanction I was able to spot the train tunnel up on it and was showing it to all of the others in our tour. That was not the only movie that was filmed in the area. The James Bond movie On Her Majesty's Secret Service was filmed up at the Schilthorn. The views from the Schilthorn were incredible. Tammy bought some souvenirs in the gift shop. Our guide, Reid brought some Swiss Chocolates for everyone on the tour. We ate them out on the snow covered patio. Then back down to Stechelberg.
The hike down through the valley was nice. There were lots of waterfalls coming down off of the cliffs, and we went in and saw Trümmelbach Falls that is actually 10 different waterfalls carved deep inside the cliff.
We stopped in Lauterbrunnen for lunch. Tammy ordered the salmon Rosti Royale which is a type of lox over a potato cake. Mike had the Schnitzel Rosti and a local beer. We sat on the porch and enjoyed the scenery. Tammy couldn't help pondering if the people who live there could ever take it for granted.
We departed up the mountain by incline to Muerren. Mike hiked back to Gimmelwald and Tammy stayed with Karen and Chris and took the train back to Gimmelwald. We had some wonderful strawberry ice cream in Muerren and I bought some nice souvenirs at a little shop run by a little old lady who couldn't see well enough to read the prices. Everyone who came in was honest and added up their costs for her. Everyone was patient and kind.
The hike back to Gimmelwald was very beautiful. It was not overly strenuous, but a pleasant rolling path through the woods and meadows. I saw some interesting wildflowers along the way.
After we returned to Pension Gimmelwald, we sat out on the patio and drank hot cocoa or one of the local beers, and watched avalanches in the snow on the surrounding mountains.
We had dinner again at the inn. Great fondue. Dinner included salad, pasta and chicken, and flan for dessert.
Departed at 8:15 am via vernicular to Stechelberg where Juan waited for us at the bus. Juan stayed down in Lautenberg because there was no room in the inn.
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