It is easy to see why so many people consider Gimmelwald and surrounding Lauterbrunnen areas heaven on Earth.
I often complain about my home-state of Nebraska. While I love Omaha, there just really isn’t that much else in the Good Life state. Well, there is plenty of corn and open space. However, I have decided that even though I absolutely hate that you can drive for 8 hours and still be in corn fields, it really does make you appreciate other landscapes and geographical features so much more since we so badly lack it. I often wonder what people from places like Colorado or Florida think of their mountains and beaches. I am sure it is like anything else in life, once you get used to it, you think nothing of it.
For me, going to the Lauterbrunnen area of the Swiss Alps is simply breath taking…literally. Sometimes, I use the excuses of “Oh, I’m just going to stop here and take a few pictures” or “Can we just sit here and enjoy this scenery?” When actually that is code for “Holy crap, I am exhausted from just climbing up that mountain, can I please just sit on this rock for five minutes!?” But in all seriousness, I really could just sit and look out at the jagged, snow covered peaks all day and not get tired of that view.
We went to the Lauterbrunnen valley last fall and I fell in love. Essentially, there is a flat valley and on either side are your picture perfect Swiss Alps. We wanted to explore both sides of the valley this go around, so we rented a tent space and set up camp. (Side note: it was the 4th of July the night we arrived. Anyone who knows me knows that this is my favorite holiday! So, naturally, I had to be in my red, white and blue colors and insisted on having grilled hot dogs for dinner. I was also easily persuaded to drink a cold beer. While there were no fireworks or parades, I’d say if I had to spend the 4th not in the States, this wasn’t too shabby of a deal).
We spent the next two days hiking. What I absolutely love about this area is obviously the scenery. Also, as expected, there is a sense of peacefulness and tranquility up in the mountains as well. However, the part that just takes the cake is that there are cows all over the place just roaming around (Hello FRESH Swiss cheese (Alp Kase!!!). At one point, they were covering the entire path and surrounding area. I felt like I was at camp having to sing the song “Can’t go over ‘em, can’t go under ‘em, Must go through them!” Being a girl from Nebraska, you’d think that I was not so deathly afraid of a herd of cows. But I’m sorry; these animals are huge and can run a lot faster than me. Besides, you don’t want to mess with mama cows! At one point a cow came RIGHT up to me. I didn’t know what to do and started to whisper-shout to Andy to help me, who, of course, just laughed and told me to just keep walking. Luckily, I made it out unscathed.
By the end of the second day, both Andy and I were pretty worn out. I’m fortunate to say that the biggest casualties I had were a small blister, sun burned face and very, very tired ankles and feet. Other than that, the weather was absolutely perfect, views magnificent and once again, left the desire to go back for more.