Switzerland was the last place we visited on our amazing European vacation. 
We figured that Switzerland would be a good finale to our crazy jam-packed trip. It was the perfect place to just chill and do nothing, which is exactly what we needed before heading home.
We stayed in Murren, a tiny ski village up in the middle of the Alps. Murren is traffic free and the only way to get up there is by taking two different sky trams. It was a pretty crazy introduction to Switzerland but it was even more amazing knowing that we'd be stuck on the side of a mountain with no where to go!

Lauterbrunnen was the little town in the valley below Murren.
As we were driving to the tram station in the valley we passed a field of cows with fancy head dresses on. It turns out that once a year the people in Murren bring the cows up for a little celebration in their honor with lots of cheese and wine. We had just missed it by hours!
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Lauterbrunnen gives you the first glance of the Alps:
A hanglider going off the cliffs below Murren:
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A diagram of the tram system:
(Murren is the middle one. The top two are mainly for skiing during the winter but people will pay big bucks to be taken up to the peak of the Schilthorn Alp and eat at the fancy revolving restaurant Piz Gloria. There's also a 007 exhibit as a part of Piz Gloria because it was actually built for the filming of a James Bond movie and later turned into the restaurant.)
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Looking down at the station where we parked:
(you can't have a fear of heights on these things because they are all glass!)
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The trams are used to get people up to the towns of Gimmewald and Murren but also higher up to the ski areas during the snowy months and for hiking in the off-season. 
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Getting excited:
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Switching trams at Gimmewald:
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The station where we parked the car is almost out of sight now, and the white line on the bottom left of this picture is actually a suspension bridge…not for the faint of heart!
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Higher:
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The sleepy little town of Murren, right out front of our hotel:
The views are pretty unreal up in Murren.
I couldn't take any pictures that actually did the Alps any justice.
Unfortunately there was always a partial cloud cover while we were there so we never got a clear view of the top of the Alps, but it was still amazing and beautiful:
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Our hotel:
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The hotel was beautiful from the outside and the lobby and stairs were all granite and marble, but the rooms were really basic which is the norm for Switzerland unless you pay a ton. We had a sink in our room and shared a full-sized bed with pancakes for pillows. There were bathrooms down the hall and showers on the 2nd floor. We figured it didn't make much sense to spend a ton on our rooms since we'd only be in them to sleep.
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The view from our room:
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There's not a bad view in Switzerland:
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Looking out the back of our hotel:
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From the back balcony:
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Next door was the CoOp grocery store. Pretty much everyone went there to get food for every meal because restaurants are ridiculously expensive in Switzerland. Even the grocery food was spendy…for dinners we would spend around $30 for yogurt, a loaf of bread, cheese and prosciutto (and we weren't even getting the fancy stuff)! Also, everyone talks about the cheese in Switzerland; but the bread is AMAZING.
The carts had magnifying glasses:
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I could have probably spent all day just looking at all of the different food and cute packaging.
The mayo section:
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I really wanted these paper plates but settled for a picture instead:
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Dinner:
(we actually saved half of the bread and cheese for the next night by sticking it outside our window…we're classy like that) 
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Our hotel had free breakfast in the morning which included a selection of cheeses, muselii with dried fruit and yogurt, grapes and bread with homemade jam and coffee.
Breakfast with a view:
(I highly recommend finding a hotel with breakfast included, it saved us a ton of money)
Out exploring:
This humble watering trough has the best water you will ever taste. 
There is a constant stream of fresh water straight from the mountains, it was so cold and clean. 
People drink from the stream and the cows drink from the trough:
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We stayed 2 nights in Murren, and the highlight of our trip was definitely the six hour hike through the Alps to the Schilthorn peak. I have a million pictures from the hike and it deserves a post all it's own but here's a sneak peek:
On our way home…one last walk through Murren on the way to the tram station:
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A video from the tram heading back down…straight off the cliff:
(with a quick view of the crazy suspension bridge)

We stopped off at Trummelbach Falls on our way out of the valley.
You take a creepy elevator up the inside of the moutain to the top of a glacier-fed waterfall and you work your way down, seeing how the water has carved through the rock over time:
It's loud, dark, and wet with lots of stairs.
The falls were cool but views outside the waterfall were the best part I think:
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We had a 5 hour drive back to our friends' house in Germany and the next morning we'd be flying out to head back to Portland BUT I must post about our hike…soon!

When people ask me what the favorite part of our whole trip was, it's hard to choose between Amsterdam and Switzerland. They both are awesome for completely opposite reasons and I'd say the perfect trip would include a visit to both! 

1 Comment

  1. Kira on January 8, 2014 at 4:25 PM

    The trams look so cool, but I would probably be freaked out.

     


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