Thursday, November 4, 2021

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

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 Grindelwalblick which 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 only another 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!

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. 


  1. What glorious views you had that day. Think I need to visit Switzerland!!! Janina

  2. Hard to imagine more stunning scenery than that day, Janina. What a difference the sun made, too! I really think you and Pat could certainly do the hike from Mannlichen to Kleine Scheidegg as it was downhill and really just a gentle stroll.

  3. Hi Annie. What a beautiful country. A big hug, take care.
    Love, Gloria

  4. Gloria, I KNOW you would love visiting and hiking in Switzerland, It's a fantastically beautiful country if a bit sterile in the cities.

    Love right back at you!