It’s 10:30 am as we exit the train in Lauterbrunnen together with a trainload of tourists. Absolutely beautiful weather, a balmy 80 degrees and almost cloudless sky but we also know that a front is moving in if we are to believe the weather reports.
First stop is a Swiss bank for some cherished Swiss Francs at .96 to the dollar. Then we start to head out to our Camping Jaungfrau cabin but on the way we pass Imboben Bikes and stop in for some info. The lady, Catherine, is eager to suggest that we ride today as the weather will turn tomorrow. I am in a quandary, I am still dragging my suitcase behind me and have not even checked into our cabin and besides who wants to rent a bike for the day and start at noon?
It’s a 15 minute walk out to our cabin and it’s ready for us to check in. By this time I’ve festered enough and we decide to go back get some bikes and go to Plan B for a shorter ride up and around Murren 2500 feet above us. Head out a bit half cocked on our two hard tails and make the first turn to the left “just past the petrol station” as the bike guy indicated. Muck around a bit finding the second turn and then settle into the consistent grade up the side of the valley.
Feels good to be out and building up a sweat. We stop whenever to admire the views and catch our breaths. The valley floor is at 800 meters and we will top out at Murren at just over 1600 meters – quite a respectable gain. (As of now I can’t get my tracks off of my GPS but hopefully later and I will be able to analyze the ride)
The “trails” we were on were actually either very narrow paved or dirt roads with almost no motorized vehicles on them just the odd farm implement. Later on the trail became more like a double track when going back down to the valley.
I was pretty pooped near the top and glad to relax a bit in Murren where we bought a drink and a slab of Lindt dark chocolate for subsistence. From the valley floor it is difficult to see any of the peaks, almost like Yosemite Valley. From up here we see some but the main three, The Eiger, Monch & Jungfrau are hidden off to the left.
Next village on the way down was Gimmelwald and not really a village more just a cluster of houses. In the photo below you can see the top station of a cable car, one of three legs that takes you up to The Schilthorn. The Swiss certainly know how to build cable cars and then fleece the tourists into using them. A ride up & down to the Schilthorn costs around Sfr 100 and a ride up the train to the Jungfrau Sfr 180 but if you go before 8 am you get a discount price of Sfr 135!
We’re on our bikes and able to stop & go as we please. Another bench invites a pause to bask in the sun.
Now we have to drop back into the valley and the trail steepens as it traverses in & out of a narrow gorge. Parts are ride-able but others too steep & exposed for our liking.
Back down on the valley floor we coast our way back to Lauterbrunnen, no hurry, just look around and soak it all in.
Glad to have done the ride, about 19 miles and 2500 feet of gain, definitely a good sweat and just as well we did for the next day Tuesday will be overcast & rainy.