A Travellerspoint blog

LAUTERBRUNNEN to THUN - JUNE 7th

Awesome Falls and friends in Thun

Last night after settling in for a pre-dinner drink on the balcony we were stunned with how quickly the weather changed. Huge storm came in within minutes and the mountains disappeared. Sound and light show continued for a couple of hours and then disappeared. Back to sunshine again this morning.

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First stop today was the amazing Trummelbach Falls. An awe inspiring spectacle of nature.
They are 10 glacier waterfalls inside the mountain.
The Trummelbach alone drains the mighty glacier defiles of Eiger, Monch and Jungfrau. 10,000 Litres of water per second.

The sound is incredible - huge roar as the falls force their way down inside the mountain.

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spot the Indian !!!!

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leaning down looking at the water is unbelievable - photos cannot show it well - this is The Corkscrew

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and away the river goes -

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Bond - James Bond - was filmed here

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We had to stop at the lovely little village of Grindelwald - " a perfect example of a Swiss Village" according to the brochures, below the Jungfrau (on the otherside to where we were yesterday)

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Flowers are everywhere on the side of the road, in flower boxes outside peoples houses - and in the main street of Grindelwald.

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We arrived at Thun early afternoon - checking into our Hotel at the same time as our friends from Port Macquarie who will be travelling with us for the next 5 weeks. Could not have planned the timing any better. (They arrived from Zurich on the train.)

Walking around Thun we discovered a lovely interesting town.

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never know who you are going to see sight-seeing in Thun

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Thunesee Lake is amazing - Yachts sail under the enormous background of the Swiss Alps - Postcard perfect backdrop.

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Tomorrow our friends collect their Hire bikes and we all leave for our big adventure in the Alps.

Posted by MKaye 11:48 Archived in Switzerland Comments (1)

LAUTERBRUNNEN - JUNE 6th

Jungfraujoch - Top of Europe

Our destination today - the Jungfraujoch 3454m above seal level.
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Our wake up call this morning - cows clanging their bells as they walked through the main street. The best Alarm Clock !! We found out later they are going up the mountain where they will graze and produce milk for cheese. Sounds like a good idea to me.

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We boarded the train to Europe's highest altitude railway station. The idea of a Railway line to the Jungfrau
came to leading Swiss industrialist Adolf Guyer-Zeller in 1893 while hiking in the Alps. Overwhelmed by the view of the mighty trio, the Eiger, Monch and Jungfrau, he jotted down notes and sketches on paper. Construction did not begin until 1896 and took 16 years to complete. An amazing feat of Engineering.

Leaving this morning in glorious sunshine the views were spectacular as soon as we started up the mountain.

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We discovered some cows busy producing milk for the delicious cheese of the area. Believe me it is awesome !!IMG_1874__1024x683_.jpg

Nougat enjoying the train -

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and of course he had to explain to the nice German tourist where he has been recently - I think he was also sharing some local Aussie knowledge on Kangaroos - they struck up quite a friendship.

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and when there's a pretty lady on board - well of course he had to make friends and have a cuddle....
whoops got photo-bombed !!

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the trains work their way up and down the mountain all day - quite an amazing rail system

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and the views keep getting better
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we stopped several times for a quick look - almost at cloud level here

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and then we made it to the top - the Aletsch Glacier, Europe's longest glacier being 22kms long, it was spectacular

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we are above he clouds now - a truly amazing feeling

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The Jungfrau - 3454 metres above Sea Level

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not to be missed is the Ice Palace, two mountain guides began to hew out an enormous cavern in the ice in 1934. It has to be constantly recut.
Within are Crystal-like sculptures - much to Nougats delight he found a bear family

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Outside again we ventured onto the snow - bit tricky walking as the snow is melting due to the unseasonal warm weather and sunshine.

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Back down the mountain we came still in sunshine.
Storms were predicted for this evening and they were not kidding.
Right on time the clouds closed in Thunder and Lightning and very heavy rain entertained us during dinner.
Dramatic end to the day.

Posted by MKaye 12:02 Archived in Switzerland Comments (0)

KONSTANZ (GERMANY) to LAUTERBRUNNEN (SWITZERLAND) - JUNE 5th

Our first day in the Alps !!

Nothing compares to the excitement of your first view of the Alps, especially when that is exactly where we are going.

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The closer we got the better they looked.

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and a nice bend or two with a Snow covered Alp in the background - this is going to be a good day

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throw in a few hair pin bends with an Alp in the background and we have found the Klausen Pass

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Steve was very impressed with the Klausen at 1952metres (something to do with age !!!)

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and then down the road a bit my trusty little bike had a birthday - happy 40,000kms my Red F700GS

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and it just goes on and on - absolute heaven.

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Steve watched traffic from both ways as I balanced on the corner to get my photos - "team work"

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The day would not be complete without a bike portrait in the alps

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Not happy with one pass we had to find another - the Susten Pass at 2224metres - pretty impressive views from up here.

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We could not believe how hot it was at the top of the Passes today - it was 28 degrees, and so the ice is melting causing spectacular water-falls.

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The temperature actually reached 32.5 later in the day - not what we expected.

We arrived at Lauterbrunnen late afternoon, checked into our Hotel and went for a walk to inspect the awe inspiring Jungfraujoch

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We also visited the Tourist Info centre to enquire about the train to the top of Jungfraujoch, something we were looking forward to doing.
At the moment we are in shock trying to work out how we can Mortgage the House, Car, Cat & Dog to pay for it. Big problem as we don't have a Cat or Dog !!!!!!!
Horrendously expensive but it is what we came here to do - tomorrow is another day.

Posted by MKaye 10:59 Archived in Switzerland Comments (0)

KONSTANZ (Lake Constance) GERMANY - JUNE 3rd & 4th

Germany - Switzerland - Austria - Germany : all in a day !!

Yesterday we walked around Konstanz and basically had a lazy day. Konstanz is the largest city on Lake Constance.
Our home for 3 nights is Hotel 47 on the banks of the Rhein as it flows from Lake Constance West into Germany and France.

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The city itself is rather touristy and uninspiring however we managed to find a rather strange fountain -

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and some apparently old buildings - we suspect they have been painted recently to give the "look" required

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Overlooking the lake is Imperia - the Empress of the harbour

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and a statue of Zeppelin - the inventor of the Zeppelin air ship
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and of course there is street art under a bridge - rather clever actually - what a waste to put it here

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Back at our hotel in the evening we went for a walk along the bank of the Rhein entertained by the many teenage Uni Students cooking on their disponsable bbq's and sharing a drink or two. Beautiful summers evening to enjoy.

Today (Thursday) we went for a ride - Germany - Switzerland - Austria - Germany, all in one day !!

It was not as easy as we thought, the traffic was horrendous, we had to go out of our way to avoid the Swiss Toll Road as we don't have a Vignett (permit) which costs about 40 Euros each.
Basically it was a lap around Lake Constance. After some frustration we finally arrived in Lindau and went for a walk around the town which is actually an Island. Again it has been jazzed up for tourists and is full of cafes and shops.
We are now on the opposite side of the lake to Konstanz.
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We found the St. Peter Church which was very simple and unique in that it has not been jazzed up. Very lovely and serene.
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We also visited St Stephan Church which was very uninspiring and freshly painted - obviously for the tourists benefit.

Rather than do battle with the traffic again we opted to go to and got on the Ferry for a quick trip home.

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We cannot believe how well dogs are accepted in Cafes, Restaurants & hotels here. As I sit in the lobby typing this I have seen 3 or 4 dogs going past on leashes. They are accepted everywhere - and surprisingly are all very well behaved. They are even allowed to stay in Hotels. And there goes another one. Amazing !!

Posted by MKaye 13:03 Archived in Germany Comments (0)

LAKE WINDGFALLWEIHER to KONSTANZ - JUNE 2nd

The wrong way round !

Nougat had a last look at the lake before we left.
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At breakfast we discovered the Dining Room had a very impressive chandelier, hand made locally.

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Well we started out riding through the usual nice twisty roads with great views but soon it became apparent something was wrong. We were going in the wrong direction - what to do. Consult the map, set up the GPS and off we go again.
But heading in the wrong direction had an advantage - I love riding over bridges and we found a beauty,

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Now we were going in the right direction and finally were on the right road and of course there had to be a closed road - we presume due to more storm damage. Turn around and back we go, this has happened so many times in the Black Forest area. We were told a Tornado went through here a few weeks ago!!

Finally back on an interesting road beside a stream we were having a nice ride but decided to pull over and check our directions.
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And the bikes just kept coming, always a good sign we are on a popular bike road.
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Finally after a lot of messing around and getting lost again we finally made it to the Rhein Falls and had some lunch - very late again and also horrendously expensive.

And of course our bikes were getting checked out regularly, we went over and had a chat with this man who was very impressed (as usual!!) that we are from Australia with our bikes. He welcomed us to Europe - thanks mate !!
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The falls are very impressive, there is a massive amount of water roaring down here.

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After spending most of the day going around in circles and the wrong way many times we decided that was definitely enough for today,
we rode into Konstanz on the edge of Lake Constance where we are having a break for a couple of days.

Posted by MKaye 12:15 Archived in Germany Comments (2)

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