Wednesday, January 11, 2012


Wengen held a whole new world for exploration. 

Transportation modes are varied.  Instead of planes, trains and automobiles we are in the land of sleds, trains and cable cars!  NO CARS!  So - we left our beautiful new Land Rover at the Parkhaus in Lauterbrunnen and loaded everything we owned (at least that we brought with us on the trip) on the train to Wengen.   As we will learn – the Swiss trains are quite prompt and make no allowances!

Don't be a few seconds late.  They depart promptly on time!

After a brief wait, one of the few Taxis in town picked us, and our many bags, up at the train station and delivered us a few blocks away at our new home away from home for the next week – the Bernerhof Residences.  Although configured a bit differently, the space is about the size of Magic – and Swiss clean and neat. 

Nice, comfortable room right in town.
Only one problem – Gary has NO coffeepot;-(

What the hell is a wasserkucher?
I want my espresso machine (whine, whine)
Sniff, sniff..I miss Magic. 
Perhaps the best part of the room is the incredible view.  The sunrises bring the morning red/pink colors across the tops of the mountains for us to wake up to and the Jungfrau looms above.
Nice view from our window.
A view of a portion of the Jungfrau from main street.
Morning 1 was orientation, as usual.  First stop was the Information Center to get the lay of the land, figure out the train/cable car system and buy our weeks pass to all, determine where the race run ‘finish area’ was and how to get to it (after all we are here for a World Cup!) and to learn where all the festivities for the World Cup take place.  Turns out all celebration festivities are in the town’s square, which is a block away from our ‘home’, and the race finish area is about a 30 minute beautiful walk through the ‘woods’ surrounding Wengen.   While out and about town we determined that we were not ‘in vogue’ as we did not have our sled to get us through the town streets/paths.

Precursor to Segway.
Time to get going on our adventure for the day – destination Schilthorn and the Piz Gloria revolving restaurant for lunch (always a meal destination!).
We started with the train from Wengen to Lauterbrunnen where we jumped on the cable car to Grutschalp where we hopped back on a train to Murren.  A quick walk through Murren took us to the next cable car terminal where we caught the cable car to Birg and then another cable car to Schilthorn.  Needless to say, the views along the way were incredible!  AND, in true Swiss style, each departing train and cable car was timed with the arrival – and signage led you by the hand from one to the next;-)  No room for any worries here.
The most dramatic of the ‘rides’ was the cable car from Birg up to the Schilthorn –
Yikes, the guy on the right is flying off the cliff.

This ride truly gets you in the mood for being 007 and the theme song starts going thru your head –

Shaken, not stirred.

Trivia – the cable car to Schilthorn opened in the year 1967, but construction had to be halted due to lack of funds.  In the winter of 1967/68 film producers Broccoli & Saltzmann were looking for a suitable location for filming the James Bond film “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service”.  The Schilthorn, surrounded by the impressive Alpine scenery was ‘it’!  So – the film company financed the completion of the building on the summit and the rotating restaurant;-)  Glad they did all this so we had a perfect place to view the Eiger, the Monch and the Jungfrau.  (In English that is the Ogre, the Monk and the Maiden – fable is that the Monk stands between the Ogre and the Maiden to protect her from the Ogre.)
Nice background.. L to R are Eiger, Monch and Jungfrau.

Hmmm.... maybe I'll ski over there on Thursday.
One could sit and drink in this scenery for a VERY long time.   BUT, we did have to catch all those cable cars and trains in return – so time to retrace our steps.  That first cable car off the top is a real stunner!

Gary's knees aren't knocking toooo much here.

The walk back through Murren was a little slower than in the morning – even a little time for a quick espresso and wine in front of the Eiger –

People actually climb the face of that peak, huh.

The views across the Lauterbrunnen valley from the Murren train were still stunning, and provided a really good shot of the upper portion of the famed Lauberhornrennen (this is the Downhill World Cup that we will see on Saturday!)
This is only the top portion of the downhill race run.
There were so many other exquisite sights – far too many to show them all here.  But, to give you a flavor – since Wengen is isolated on the mountain side, all the ‘set-up stuff’ for the World Cup event appears to be ‘air lifted’ in or brought in by the train.

We think these are beams for the house we saw being built in the plaza later on.

AND – anyone for a parachute ‘ski-in’??  The first two, with the rainbow chute, are Gary and me (HA HA!!).
Not sure what to say about these guys other than "ARE YOU KIDDING ME!"

Our next destination is the Jungfraujoch – the Top of Europe. 

Next stop.. the building teetering on the edge of the mountain here, the Jungfraujoch.

More adventures to come – E & G

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