Thursday, June 5, 2008

Gimmelwald and the Bernese Oberland, Switzerland (May 24-26, 2008)

The Bernese Oberland is the epitome of classic Swiss Alpine scenery, with cows grazing in fields of wildflowers, below towering snow-capped mountains. Timbered houses - almost always with flower boxes in the windows - perch in the clouds on the edge of impossibly steep cliffs, while waterfalls tumble down on all sides.

Gimmelwald is a tiny mountain village in the Bernese Oberland, reachable by gondola from the Lauterbrunnen valley below. Its neighboring village, Murren, is a 30-minute uphill hike or short gondola ride away. The majestic surrounding mountains are accessible by ski lift or gondola and are well networked with trails, making the area a popular destination for skiers, snowboarders and hikers.

From Murren, a gondola carries passengers to the summit of the Schilthorn (2971m), with its famous revolving restaurant that was featured in the 1969 James Bond film "On Her Majesty's Secret Service." From the top of the Schilthorn, there are spectacular views of the 3970m Eiger, 4107m Monch and 4158m Jungfrau mountains.
The Lauterbrunnen valley
The sleepy hamlet of Gimmelwald, with stunning views of the Alps
Hillside homes in Gimmelwald
The quaint village of Murren
Tulips planted outside a home in Murren

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