10/6/21: Interlaken-Lauterbrunnen-Wengen-Mannlichen-Kleine Scheidegg & Back! 

Family and friends,
I was so happy that Steven’s longtime wish to view the Swiss Alps came true on certainly one of the best days of our long trip when we hiked from the top of the cable car station at Mannlichen to Kleine Scheidegg and then all the way down the mountain to Wengen. It’s hard to imagine more jaw-dropping vistas of the majestic Swiss Alps than those we encountered around every bend on what turned out to be an almost 13-mile-long hike. Click here https://bergersadventures8.blogspot.com/2021/11/10621-interlaken-lauterbrunnen-wengen.html to read a nicer version on our main blog or just continue below.
All the best to you and your loved ones, Annie in Rome

Other angles of the fun roundabout near our hostel in Interlaken:

I hadn’t realized how big Halloween was celebrated in Switzerland and even more so here in Italy where we are now. 

After such a fun first day hiking on what were particularly easy trails in the Lauterbrunnen Valley and then to and in Gimmewald, Steven and I figured we were game for something more strenuous on our second day. From our base in Interlaken, we caught a train to the Lauterbrunnen train station and from there took a little mountain train up to Wengen making sure to sit on the right-hand side of the train for the best possible waterfall and valley views.

How adorable was this decoration at the train station in Wilderswil en route to Wengen?

The views looked pretty magical as we neared Wengen.

On arrival in Wengen, we strolled through town to ride the gondola, also called the aerial cableway, up to Mannlichen even higher in the Alps.

As the gondola glided above Wengen, the rain began to fall but we could still see cows grazing in the pasture below us so all was good!

The ride up to Mannlichen is known as the Royal Ride.

We were fine contending with rain but we hadn’t bargained hiking in the snow but the altitude was at over 7,000 feet and it was October after all! We hoped it was just a dusting and that it wouldn’t snow much while we hiked toward Kleine Scheidegg. 
The view from the Mannlichen cableway station:

I’ve never known anyone who dislikes cold weather quite as much as Steven so he’d prepared as best he could by wearing long johns and every layer he’d brought on the trip!

We’d just arrived on a gondola just like this a few minutes earlier from Wengen about 4,000-feet below!

Wengen in the Lauterbrunnen Valley:

If our two granddaughters were several years older, I’m sure they both would have loved this fun cow slide.

Steven was pointing to the sign indicating the hike to Kleine Scheidegg was still open this late in the season. We were lucky because it generally opens from mid-June through October depending on weather conditions and snow.

Not much of a view but the wide gravel trail was a breeze to walk on. We probably didn’t need our hiking poles but they did provide an extra measure of security.

You can always guarantee I’m lagging well behind Steven because I take so many photos while he plods ahead.

I knew we weren’t going to make it to Kleine Scheidegg very quickly because all I wanted to do was just absorb the stunning vistas.

Lina: I wonder if you and Dan have skied here? 

A view looking back or was it looking forward – I can’t remember!

A bad case of hat hair but shh, don’t tell anyone!

The sign encouraged hikers to pass through this area quickly because of the danger of rock slides. Believe me, we paid attention except for my stopping to take a photo of the sign!

I knew the trail afforded us phenomenal views of the Eiger, Monch, and Jungfrau mountains but I didn’t know which was which. It didn’t get exactly hot out, but with the sun shining it was quite, quite warm and a huge change from when we had arrived at the cable car station in Mannlichen.

Just before we arrived in Kleine Scheidegg, we walked past Restaurant Grindelwalblickwhich had a fabulous viewing platform open to everyone. It was another of those “Does it get any more beautiful than this?” moments.

I don’t know if these were crows or what type of birds but I had great fun watching them for several minutes just below me while I stood on the platform.

I think Steven took one look at the ‘distance’ marker down to Wengen as being onlyanother 1 hr, 45 min. for the easy route and figured we could hike that, too. The really easy way would have been returning by train from Kleine Scheidegg as planned! 

Janina: Another cute bathroom shot, huh!

The Jungfraubahn or Jungfrau Railway line at the Kleine Scheidegg train station continued up to Jungfrau mountain at over 11,000-ft. elevation.

We found the hiking directions in Switzerland to be plentiful even if they only provided ongoing locations in time and not the distance as we’re used to.

Before reaching Kleine Scheidegg we had heard the constant din of a helicopter making trips back and forth through the mountains but had no idea why. It had to be challenging not only to pilot the aircraft in the mountains but also in and out of the intense fog.

Just as we had noticed the day before when hiking in the town of Appenzell, huge boulders had been placed on top of roof tiles to prevent their blowing off in excessive wind conditions. 

Once we reached the lower elevation there were a few wildflowers. Imagine how stunning they must be in springtime.

Another self-serving cheese stand with payment on the honor system just like those we’d come across the day before:

If you know me well, you know I have a wee bit of a sweet tooth and especially for caramels so yes, I bought one of these cute bags of candies! I told myself after all I needed something to fortify myself for the rest of the journey. In my ‘defense’ however, I have still well more than half of the bag left.

We’d still been hearing and seeing the same helicopter this entire time carrying what looked like huge pylons that he picked up on this flat land and then transported further up the mountain by Wengen. We watched repeatedly as it hovered for just a few moments over this pile of pylons while two men attached one to a dangling rope and off the pilot flew. That process had to have been repeated about a hundred times, we figured.

We could have waited a short time and taken the train down to Wengen from the tiny Wengernalp station but Mr. Gung Ho was determined to hike all the way down the mountain!

Cutest picture ever!

This was the train we would have caught if we’d waited in Wegneralp!

As we neared Wengen, the marker indicated Wegneralp was 90 minutes up the ‘hill’ and Kleine Scheidegg another 45 minutes beyond that but those were for faster hikers than us.

I was pretty happy once we made it to Wengen as we had come full circle after starting at its cable car station several hours earlier. Unfortunately, we got way lost in Wengen’s tiny lanes trying to reach the train station – perhaps our GPS was trying to tell us something, too!

Another cute station on our way back to Lauterbrunnen:

Our four tired feet had hiked and walked almost 30,000 steps or 13 miles that day so we were both pooped by the time we got back to Walter’s Hostel in Interlaken. But it had been a tremendously rewarding hike with gobsmacking views, especially from Mannlichen to Kleine Scheidegg, and we had a sense of accomplishment knowing how easily we achieved such a long hike. Almost a month later, Steven still maintains that the two hikes we did from Interlaken were the highlights of the trip for him. I still think that there are a few places here in Italy that have, for me, ‘topped’ those hikes but it may be a matter of comparing apples and oranges.
Another of the roundabouts in Interlaken:

Next post: Exploring Interlaken before heading to Luzern.
Posted on November 4th, 2021, from Rome, the Eternal City that Steven has visited before but is a new city for me. We’re looking forward to exploring it together for a week even if the weather gods are forecasted to unleash torrents of rain daily. 


8 thoughts on “10/6/21: Interlaken-Lauterbrunnen-Wengen-Mannlichen-Kleine Scheidegg & Back! 

  1. I am overawed Annie, seriously – at the beautiful vistas that you captured no doubt, but more so at the endurance both of you showed. I don’t think I could have managed 13 miles even in such a beautiful place, and world have chickened out by the train from Kleine Scheidegg.
    I am so enjoying the tour of the Alps, and am much motivated to visit there once more, and Trek about a bit more than we did last time, more like you guys do 😊
    And that cow slide looks super fun, my daughter would have loved it!


    1. And I am starting to see some justice in the directions shown in time instead of distance. 1hr 45 mins is easier to understand if the body is ready to work that long instead of some distance numbers which might not make as much sense but to very experienced trekkers who regularly measure distance and time. Agree that the time is very subjective to the speed the trekker is able to manage though.


    2. Deb,

      Even though it was a very long day in time and distance, at least the hikes were all downhill so you and your family could easily have managed the trek. I can see how your daughter would love that cow slide; a great excuse for you to experience it with her, too! Left to my own devices, I would have taken the train down to Wengen from Kleine Scheidegg but, in hindsight, I am glad Steven, aka Mr. Gung Ho, ‘suggested’ we hike all the way down. Just don’t tell him that, ok!!


    1. Phil,

      Indeed – great mountain scenery AND hiking AND a variety of train rides all over the Berner Oberland. Steven still says our time in Switzerland was his favorite part of this trip even as we’ve been here in Italy for three-plus weeks already so far. He added that the Leaning Tower in Pisa was right up there with his favorite spots so far, by the way.

      Liked by 1 person

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