During my 1972 summer trip to Europe, Switzerland was another destination. In this case it was the Lauterbrunnental (Lauterbrunnen valley) in the Bernese Oberland in central Switzerland. The photos I took show you what the area looked like at that time. Since then, I've heard that the glaciers are receding due to the changes in the global weather patterns. I stayed with a farm family above the village of Lauterbrunnen (elevation 795 meters). I arrived on a Friday. The Saturday was the first full day in the country. In the scene above you see the Staubbach falls which drop 297 meters from the edge of the cliff above. By the time the water hits the ground below it is like a mist, hence the name.
On the Sunday I went on a long hike further up the valley to a cable car station at Stechelberg (960 meters elevation). From there it was by cable car (Seilbahn) to the village of Muerren where the next station was located (1650 meters elevation). Then it was a trek up the Schilthorn mountain to a cable car station at Birg. I had originally wanted to hike all the way up to the summit at 2,973 meters but decided against it due to time limitations. The photo above shows the scene on the walk from Lauterbrunnen to Stechelberg.
From Muerren and on the way up it is possible to see various mountains such as the Jungfrau (4,158.2 meters), the Moench, the Eiger and the Breithorn. As the following images will attest, its a very scenic view from this height.
A view looking south where the elevation is even higher. There are glaciers behind these mountains. The image below was shot near the ski lodge. The area was used as a setting for the James Bond film called "In her Majesty's Service." The entire cable car system and stations was built for the movie by the studio and then given to the Swiss when the filming was done. The filming took place a couple of years before I arrived to view this scene.
Above is the view from the cable car station at Birg looking across the Lauterbrunnen valley toward the Maennlichen in the foreground at 2,343 meters in elevation. Below is another view looking toward the south.
On the way back down to Muerren, I took this shot of a group of farm buildings at Sonnenberg. Monday it was time to return to Interlaken by the narrow gauge railway and then on to Basel and into Germany. Two two photos below show the train (regular gauge) passing through the town of Thun on Thunersee and finally the main railway station in Basel, Switzerland before continuing on to Germany. I planning the itinerary I ended up crossing destinations off my list just because there wasn't enough time or money to see them all. Time was probably the biggest factor. I was only in Europe for seven weeks and had a two month student railpass to get about ($120 at the time through the Germanrail office in NYC). The visit here and to Salzburg set my interest in mountainous environments. Is it any wonder? I hope you have enjoyed the photos! Feel free to ask any questions. - V