Nestled in the Bernese Alps, the picturesque village of Grindelwald , a picture was one of the highlights of our 2017 family road trip.
Traditional wooden chalets celebrate spring with vibrant displays of geraniums bursting from flower boxes on every verandah, as the sound of cow bells echo through the lush green pastures at the foot of the iconic north face of the Eiger Mountain.
Staying in a Swiss Chalet
Our home for the week was in Chalet Vebrunnenhaus, providing amazing views across the village, and surrounding mountains still capped with snow in mid summer, with the north face of the Eiger so close you feel you can almost reach out and touch the peak.
We arrived on a bleak, cloudy day and the Eiger hid itself in a shroud of cloud on our first day, but by morning we were rewarded with the breathtaking magnificence of the iconic mountain.
Our accommodation was immaculately presented, comfortable and a well equipped home for our family of six for the week. Switzerland can be notoriously expensive, but our chalet provided very cost effective accommodation for an extended family, also allowing us to self-cater with produce from the local market.
We enjoyed a traditional Swiss/German meal at the nearby Hotel Blumlisalp on a couple of evenings, with many thanks to Google translate in helping us to interpret the German menu.
Travelling to the Eiger Jungfrau Region
As visitors to the area, we were provided with free passes on the local bus which regularly ran past our Chalet into town, as well as discounts on a number of local attractions.
Grindlewald provided an excellent base for exploring the nearby hiking trails at Jungfrau, Pfingstegg,Grindelwald First, Mannlichen and the epic cable car ride to Schilthorn where the James Bond film “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” was filmed. (More on each of these in separate posts.)
By day were were able to take advantage of more than 300km of walking trails in the surrounding mountains, experiencing some of the most breathtaking alpine views Switzerland has to offer. I am anything but an experienced hiker, but the paved walking trails provided an easy walk, with an astounding number of restaurants seemingly in the middle of nowhere providing Schnitzel, Apfelstreussel and Bier to sustain us on our treks.
More adventurous holidaymakers can enjoy paragliding – jumping off the top of the world and sailing down to the valley below, hurl themselves down the mountain on a zipline, or mountain bike their way from the top.
Home from an energetic day’s sightseeing, we took advantage of spectacular views of the Eiger from our verandah as we prepared fresh local produce for dinner. The mountains and adjacent glacier provided an ever changing display, as the setting sun played with the ice caps, and by night you could just make out the tiny speck of light from the mountain hut atop the Eiger, where experienced mountaineers were no doubt celebrating conquering the monumental wall of the north face of the mountain which has been inspiring adventurers since 1938.
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