Day 6: When I say Lauterbrunnen, I really mean Lauterbrrrrrrrrrunnen. Emerging from the ovens of Italy to the snow capped tips of the Swiss alps, the change in temperature was a drastic and somewhat fantastic experience. Travelling to various cities in Europe meant being exposed to the extremities, that is the weather and it didn’t help that its predictions fluctuated a fair bit. Some of our Google results on Lauterbrunnen’s weather forecast showed an icy -3 degrees Celsius, while others, a snug 17.
For a girl who has lived so comfortably in the tropics just a smidgen away from the equator, I underestimated the cold of the mountains and was beyond miles underdressed. Apparently, braving Singapore’s heat in my favourite blazers didn’t mean I would be a warrior in the valleys of the alps. Another reason — my one and only chunky winter jacket I had would’ve taken up a quarter of my luggage space that I was so desperate for. The result: Frozen meat.
That morning, I left Venice in a chiffon top, lace skirt and crochet cardigan. By the time we had a stop over in Milan, I busted my luggage open for a bottom swop. Just peering at the mountains through the windows of the train gave us frosty thoughts. And during our stopover at Interlaken, the chill saw all of us digging out thicker wear for as many layers as a chiffon cake would have.
But above and beyond that, Lauterbrunnen was truly beautiful. Amazing to be surrounded by mountains, feeling extremely tiny compared to its grand exterior. Oh nature. Every square inch was picture perfect. In a frame, you would capture at least one element of the following, all of which I’m hopelessly in love with: Homely wooden cabins, lush cascading greenery and bright clusters of flower beds.
We spent our first of two days here hiking & exploring whilst headed for Staubbach Falls (of which we had a pretty fine view from our room in Valley hostel), stumbling upon some of the quaintest things along the way: A watch shop (of course), across the road from our hostel, Lauterbrunnen village church and without a doubt the most beautiful cemetery I’ve ever seen.
Popular amongst the Koreans, Valley Hostel would be my first ever hostel experience and a pleasant one at that. Everything was comfortably clean. Even the toilets! You should know, public toilets are my pet peeve. I wouldn’t even place anything on the spot that had a single puddle of water. With cloths provided at every sink, they were almost always dry. Beams to that! 😀 Our room was a 5 bed one: 2 bunks and a cosy attic corner led down by a gigantic ladder. The wooden interior gave the ‘snug as a bug’ oomph and the only thing missing was probably an old fireplace.
We all know how steep prices in Switzerland can get so we were thankful the hostel had a rather well equipped kitchen and a supermarket nearby. Even then, things weren’t exactly cheap there. All we wanted in the cold was noodles in a hot frothy broth. The asian solution: Cup noodles! Stashed in our luggages from our sunny island.
Trekking poles at the foot of Staubbach Falls were a lifesaver for those snail-infested slippery steps that were leaning more to natural than man-made. Climbing up was a feat (it always is) but going back down proved to be my spine chiller. Even though the top wasn’t exactly the top, it got us high enough for an amazing view of the area.
At this point, it was ‘all hoods up’ as it started to drizzle, making it even colder than it already was. More exploration nonetheless! Rather fulfilling too, I have to say. Behind each following shot was a squeal of excitement as we uncovered even more stunning sights. An isolated florist, a camping ground with the cutest cabins and the place that got me charging at — a playground.
Switzerland’s natural beauty was the ideal break from the cities of Italy with hardly any traffic. It had just about the freshest air and purest water flowing from taps directly from the mountains. Like Evian but obviously better.
Expect a full dash of white images in the next travel post, because Day 7 sees us on a tram going higher than we’d ever imagined. The top of Europe, to be precise.
Follow the rest of my journey:
Day 1/ 19 June – When In Rome (I)
Day 2/ 20 June – When In Rome (II)
Day 3/ 21 June – A slice of Pisa
Day 4/ 22 June – Florence and the Tangerines
Day 5/ 23 June – A penchant for Venice
Day 6/ 24 June – Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland (Now reading)
Day 7/ 25 June – Top of Europe: Jungfraujoch
Day 8/ 26 June – Travel: Greetings, Munich
Day 9/ 27 June – Munich: BWW Museum + The X Games
Day 10/ 28 June – Munich: Nymphenburg Palace, Viktualienmarkt & Deutsches Museum
Day 11/ 29 June – Paris: My First Impressions
Day 12/ 30 June – Postcards From Paris
Day 13/ 1 July – Thanks for Disneyland, Mr Walt Disney