Sunday, September 27, 2009

September 7, 2009: Basal and Lauterbrunnen Switzerland

The drive from Mannheim, Germany to Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland (where we were staying) was only a 4 hour drive. We left Mannheim around 6:00 AM... really early. You would never know that we were only going for 3 days by the way my younger brother, Chad, packed... As compared to the one small backpack I took...
We did stop in Basal Switzerland for breakfast and to walk around for a bit. First stop was a bank so that we could all get the Swiss Francs. Everyone pays cash for everything in Europe, which I thought was great. There are ATM's everywhere. While in Basal we stopped at the Raushaus, which is similar to the city hall. Also know as the Red House or the Rat's House. I personally think Rat's House fits very well for politicians. hee hee hee. We also visited an amazing Cathedral where we were able to climb up the bell tower and over look the entire city. We climbed up over the bell as well. The church has a gorgeous and very unique patter on the roof. I believe it was the Rhein River that ran thru Basal. We finally arrived in Lauterbrunnen about 2:00, and couldn't check in to our room until 3:00, so after parking the car we walked to a cafe to have lunch. I was amazed at our room, absolutely cute and darling...It was probably a 9 x 9 room with 2 sets of bunk beds, that were not a full size twin. My feet hung off the end and I am only 5'9. There was also a small shelving/closet unit and a tiny desk. This little room was quite pricey as well, almost $200 a night, but worth every penney. It had a communal bathroom, including showers. I felt like I was staying in the dorms again. I also had to pay for hot water in the showers. It was half a franc for 4 minutes of hot water (about $0.50) and again after hiking around, worth every franc. After checking in, we off to walk to Trummelbach Falls. The waterfalls drain the water of Eiger, Monk, and Jungfrau glaciers ... over 20,000 liters of water flow from the waterfalls per second ... and the waterfalls are the only glacier-waterfalls in Europe that run inside a mountain and are still accessible. We had to take a lift inside the mountain ... very similar to a mine shaft to reach the middle of the waterfalls ... then we were able to hike around tunnels to see different sections of the waterfalls. It was really really cool. After the supposed 20 minute walk, according to the desk agent at the hotel, which actually took 2 hours round trip, we headed to Interlaken for dinner. On the walk back, we discovered a playground, which the boys enjoyed immensely. Dinner in Interlaken was fantastic. What an exhausting day! But worth every minute. Switzerland is absolutely gorgeous!