Nestled in the Bernese Alps, the picturesque village of Grindelwald , 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. 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. Our chalet provided amazing views across the village, and surrounding mountains. The peaks were still capped with snow in mid summer. The north face of the Eiger was so close you feel you can almost reach out and touch the peak.
We arrived on a bleak, cloudy day. The Eiger hid itself in a shroud of cloud on our first day. By morning we were rewarded with the breathtaking magnificence of the iconic mountain.
Our accommodation was immaculately presented. It was a comfortable and 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. It also allowed 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.
Exploring 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.
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. An astounding number of restaurants in the middle of nowhere provided 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. They can also hurl themselves down the mountain on a zipline, or mountain bike their way from the top.
On our final day, “hiked out” we took a day trip through Interlaken to visit the two historic Schloss’s on Lake Thun, Schloss Spiez and Schloss Oberhofen.
Eiger Mountain Views
Home from an energetic day’s sightseeing each evening, 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. The setting sun played with the ice caps. By night you could just make out the tiny speck of light from the mountain hut atop the Eiger. Here experienced mountaineers were no doubt celebrating conquering the monumental wall of the north face of the mountain, which has been inspiring adventurers since 1938.
Our week in Grindelwald was a memorable experience, giving us the opportunity to enjoy many of the natural attractions in the area.