Lauterbrunnen Cable Car│The map below was the awe-inspiring placemat during our breakfast at our Swiss Chalet, the beautiful Gasthof Finel Leissigen. It was this map, and the advice of some fellow travels and b&b staff, that led us to Lauterbrunnen. We didn’t really care where we went that day – we just wanted to experience something amazing, involving breathtaking views of the Swiss Alps. *If you look carefully at the map below, you should be able to find Leissigen (where our chalet was located) just above the Thundersee Lake, and Lauterbrunnen is somewhere below the (red) highlighted “Winteregg”.*
Lauterbrunnen is a village in the Canton of Bern in Switzerland. It lies at the bottom of a U-shaped valley (Lauterbrunnental) and is one of the deepest valleys in the Alpine chain when compared with the height of the mountains that rise directly on either side. It resembles a large crack, rarely more than one kilometer wide, between limestones cliffs. A number of streams of water descend from the adjoining mountains, forming cascades so high that they are almost lost in spray before they reach the ground level of the valley. The most famous waterfall is the Staubbach Fall. The height of the cascade is between 240 and 270 m. It is one of the highest in Europe formed of a single unbroken fall.
We drove our car to Lauterbrunnen and parked in the carpark near the Staubbach Falls. Only later did we realize that there was underground parking below the cable car building. Had we have known this, it would have saved us a long walk. We did however have some time to soak up this incredibly charming area of Lauterbrunnen. And looking at the picture above, you can see why we didn’t mind walking at all! A cable car runs from Lauterbrunnen every 15 minutes and takes 4 minutes to ascend. During the early morning and late afternoon the cable cars come less frequently.
We took the cable car to Grütschalp, and then a train up to Mürren.
This area of Switzerland is so incredibly beautiful that it has been the inspiration, and even the location for various stories:
“J. R. R. Tolkien hiked from Interlaken to the Lauterbrunnen Valley while on a trip to the Continent in 1911. The landscape of the valley later provided the concept and pictorial model for his sketches and watercolours of the fictitious valley of Rivendell, the dwelling place of Elrond Half-elven and his people.
Lauterbrunnen featured in several scenes from the 1969 James Bond film On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, including a car chase in which Bond (played for the only time by George Lazenby) was driven away from henchmen of Ernst Stavro Blofeld by his girlfriend Tracy di Vicenzo in a dramatic pursuit which culminated in them shaking off the pursuers in a stock car race. The 360 degree revolving restaurant Piz Gloria which crowns the Schilthorn peak was used to film Blofeld’s hideout. In the movie Bond escapes from it by skiing down the mountain to reach the village of Mürren at its base.”
– Source: Wikipedia