Discovering the Swiss Alps Villages

Once again, we woke up at the crack of dawn trying to maximize the “better weather” hours according to the weather forecast! It might sound hectic but it really wasn’t; with our Swiss Train Travel Pass, we were able to be on our schedule and visit as much as we could take in following the train line into the famous Swiss Alps Villages: Thun, Spiez, Lauterbrunnen, and Grindelwald as time permitted. We arrived Thun very early in the morning that nothing was open yet! The fresh and crisp cold air beneath the snowcapped mountains; the village was very quiet as we were the only two tourists who arrived that early LOL!

Thun was so much different than I had in my mind; when I googled Thun the images of the Lake Thun and the castle came up but when we stepped out of the train, both were not in sight! Instead, we saw the snowcapped mountains!

The Google image of the lake and castle required a boat ride out to the lake and the first boat operates at 10 am so nowhere near – we got there before 8! We had no time to waste so we walked into the village….

We plugged in “Thun Castle” into Google map and surprisingly it showed us a way up the stairs! Can’t believe it that Google knows this is a walk way haha!

It was a good morning walk to walk up those stairs and we saw a church with the snowcapped mountains as backdrop; how lovely!

The castle itself was rather disappointing that the trees blocked the view of the castle 😦 Since the castle was not open yet, we couldn’t even get a photo with the castle due to those trees!

We walked back down trying to get to the lake as close as we could but…..the village is really tucked in so there was no easy and fast way to get to the view of the lake! But there are beautiful houses along the river….

The church that we saw earlier up on the hill:

We walked across that wooden covered bridge and saw the old mechanical gears to control the water flow into the river:

We even walked into the street full of mansions but nowhere to the lake so we turned back, headed back to the train station and left for our next stop: Spiez.

Spiez train station is located on top of a hill and once we walked out of the station, it offered great views that made us excited!

There were numerous signs to point you the way down to the castle and lake, it was a long walk down probably 15 minutes or so….I couldn’t imagine the way walking up yikes! We were hoping we could take a bus up…fingers crossed!

On the way down to the lake, we saw people’s “backyard” with horses!

And they are setting up a carnival? See those camels under that tent? I wondered what do camels have to do with carnivals?

We finally reached the bottom of the hill and there is a playground with a magnificent view of the snowcapped peak! How lucky are the kids growing up here with such a beautiful playground! There is also FREE and clean restroom at the playground, yay!

The grass in Switzerland is as green as it can be and look like a carpet, I wish the grass in my backyard looks like this!

We walked out to the pier with views of boats and the mountain of course! We couldn’t have asked for a better weather, finally, we saw the sun!

That’s how Switzerland looks like in my mind….snowcapped mountain, lakes, green grass, and those wooden houses!!!

On the other side of the lake are those houses scattered on the hill looked like from a story book.

It was early in the morning still so the light wasn’t ideal, otherwise, the lake would be glacier blue/emerald green!

Once again, the boat service has not started yet due to too early and also the bus…….not in the tourist season yet so no bus to go up yikes!!! We started our “hike” to get back up to the train station…

There’s the castle!

With great views of the lake:

The castle’s garden:

And also vineyards on the back…..

Back to the hike….we passed cute houses and this decor:

We reached the train station just in time for the next train to Interlaken where we will switch train to go up to the Swiss Alps!!! The train ride to Interlaken was scenic that the route hugged around the lakes which we saw villages along the lakes. This reminded me of Hallstatt!!!

Arriving Interlaken:

Actually, Interlaken looked pretty! We got to the platform and important note that the same platform and what it looked like the same train but both go different directions; one to Lauterbrunnen and another one to Grindelwald so pay attention!

We first went to Lauterbrunnen, the slow train ride up the mountain….

The train station:

Once we reached Lauterbrunnen, there were more tourists than just the two of us. However, it was still the low season….end of the ski season and not yet the summer season so it was rather quiet. Lauterbrunnen – the valley of 72 waterfalls! The famous one is Staubbach Falls right in the center of the village that can’t be missed!

It is a cute little town with many cute houses that we took many photos with 🙂

The cherry blossom tree was in full bloom added colors the green valley!

Easter decorations were still up!

We walked all the way down that main street and reached the small fall with sheep!

This is what I called a true “rooftop garden” haha!

We turned back and walked back to the cemetery….what a beautiful bury ground with the waterfall on the back!

Even each graveyard has planted flowers! Cemetery always gives me this scary and dark feeling but not at all with this one!

From Lauterbrunnen, you can continue to Murren (at a discounted price with the train pass) or even to Kleine Scheidegg, the base to the famous Jungfraujoch. With our day trip, it was not possible to reach up to Jungfraujoch and plus it is very costly to get up there. Somehow, Jungfraujoch or Matterhorn; those mountain peaks don’t interest me. I have seen and sick of seeing snow in Boston so I rather spent my time exploring cute villages!

Next, we took the train down to Zweilütschinen where we connect another mountain train (included in the pass) to Grindelwald. Jason used the toilet in the old train and the toilet is basically a hole onto the track just like the one we took in Peru haha!

Arriving Grindelwald…

The moment we stepped out of the train, Jason told me to turn back and look…wowwwww I wasn’t expecting Grindelwald to look like this at all!  The snowcapped mountain, I felt like I could touch it; we were that close to it!

It is probably one of the most beautiful train station views that we had been to!

We spent quite a lot of time taking pictures at the train station! Time to check out the village and plus it was lunch hour!

We found this restaurant right on the main street and attracted by the view of its outdoor seating….having lunch with this view? Yes please!

The restaurant is called Bebbis and the prices weren’t too bad!

I ordered the pork lion:

Jason ordered a steak:

We were busy taking photos that we realized they were getting cold really fast due to the cold air outside!

 

They were pretty good consider the price only 48.40 CHF for both of us and the priceless views!

The clouds rolled in much quicker than I liked and it was getting chilly 😦 I can imagine how busy Grindelwald gets during ski season, it’s really a beautiful ski resort village!

Around 4 pm or so, we walked back to the train station to catch the train down to Interlaken and then back to Lucerne.

The long 2+ hours train journey….

Midway through, there was an announcement and then a train attendant came by and told us that we need to get off at some place because of fallen rocks that closed the train track. All the passengers got off at the next stop and there were 4 coach buses waiting there to transport the passengers by road to another train station. They did such a great job coordinating that the interruption wasn’t too bad at all! It went smoothly so we were rather amazed by their great logistics and coordinations!

Continued on with the train journey, we passed by many cute villages nested between the mountains like this one:

Due to the interruption, we weren’t able to seat on the left side of the train where can see those beautiful villages so I took Jason’s camera phone and walked to the doors to take photos. We passed by Lungern and it looked so beautiful along a lake, I wish we have time to explore Lungern!

We got back to Lucerne and walked straight to the Lion Monument (Löwendenkmal), can’t miss this icon when in Lucerne!

There were tour groups there but we managed to snap a few photos before they crowded in!

Then to the church that we passed by one time but didn’t had a chance to go in…

Incredible woodworks!

Most of the churches in Switzerland do not allow photos so we didn’t take any inside. We walked back to the bridge again for our final look of Lucerne…we will be leaving early the next day! Too bad weather wasn’t corporating when we were in Lucerne…really want to go back to Switzerland in good weather days but it’s so expensive!

Dinner, we went back to Khoua Vientiane again to save money and their noodle soup (pho) was good. We both had the beef pho 😀

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5 thoughts on “Discovering the Swiss Alps Villages

  1. We stayed in Wengen for a week in September and ran into bad weather. Everyday we would check the weather app to see where it was sunny and ride the train to that town. Grindelwald was my favorite village, the hiking was fabulous. we found Switzerland very expensive as we had spent time in Germany and Austria the week before and it was much more affordable.

  2. Love your blog! Love the detailed reviews about how to go and where to go plus travel tips and nice pictures. I think these factors are what made your blog different and special from other blogs, so please keep it up! 🙂
    By the way, out of curiosity, do/did you ever join a tour when traveling to europe? if so can you please recommend a good tour agency/site. Thanks so much.

    • Thank you for your compliment! I always do my research to plan the whole trip so I never join a “full” tour traveling to Europe. The only tours I did were the one day trip ones to places that would be hard to reach ourselves/public transportation 🙂

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