Brian’s parents visited the small alpine town of Murren in December, and their pictures and stories convinced us that we should make it a priority to stop there on our trip. Their recommendation didn’t let us down, and as soon as we arrived in Murren from Lucerne (via 3 trains and a gondola) we could see why they’d recommended it so highly. Every square foot of the town has an unbelievable view of the alps, and from our hotel patio we could watch hang gliders dance their way down into the valley. We arrived on a beautiful day, so we decided to walk the 35 minutes downhill to the Rick Steves recommended town of Gimmewald. As his travel guides say, Gimmelwald is indeed an authentic Swiss mountain town that the 21st century seems to have left behind. Other than distant moos and cowbells, the air was silent, and we peacefully walked the two roads that comprise the town, taking in more of that stunning view under the silent whoosh of the Schitlhorn-bound gondola passing above.
After crawling our way back up to Murren (on our blissful walk down the hill we’d forgotten that we’d have to go back up- a rude awakening after the previous days’ 40 km) we began the day’s important mission: find a restaurant serving cheese fondue for dinner. We’re sort of fans of cheese fondue (we once made twice the amount that Brian’s mom makes for Christmas dinner… for the two of us… and finished it…) so we were pretty excited when we found the restaurant we’d heard has the best fondue in Murren. We made a completely unnecessary reservation, and showed up a few hours later to an almost empty restaurant that smelled like melted cheese. The fondue was excellent- tangy, boozy, not at all stringy, and an excellent match to the white wine we’d bought at the grocery store and snuck in (did we mention that Switzerland is expensive?).
The Bernese/Entlebucher dogs are the golden retrievers of Switzerland, and we were highly amused by the ubiquitous post cards, magnets, t-shirts, coffee mugs, key chains, and stuffed animals that all resembled Gatsby. Though we didn’t buy any if them, Laurel may have hugged a stuffed animal or two. And we did get Gatsby a pretty sweet Swiss flag leash. We miss that dog.
From the Gondola heading up to Murren
View from hotel room – the Schilthorn is in those clouds somewhere…
A much more fun approach to descending
From Gimmelwald, looking up at Murren at the top of the hill
Looking down on Gimmelwald
The Gimmelwald-Murren scenery
Prepared for the winter…
The two of us from the Gimmelwald outlookGimmelwald and Mountains from Murren
Because when the slopes are more vertical than horizontal, you need a tractor with spiked wheels and a low center of gravity
And the Gatsby dogs…
Almost the entire town of Murren…