Wengen

Wengen (elevation 4,180′) is the first stop from Lauterbrunnen if you are going towards the Jungfraujoch (elevation 11,332′). Wengen is a ski resort in the winter, site of the World Cup, and in the summer, a beautiful place to relax, hike, enjoy the scenery.

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It is somewhat larger than Lauterbrunnen with numerous hotels, B&Bs and chalets you can rent. There’s only local traffic and some of that are electric carts shuttling visitors to their hotel or supplies. We stayed in Wengen a number of years ago and have been up to Jungfraujoch twice.
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Being a larger village, there are more shops and a larger COOP (grocery store). It’s from here that you can continue up to Jungfraujoch, pause at one of the intermediate stops like Kleine Scheidegg , or go into town to take the lift up to the Mannlichen.
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From the Mannlichen you can take gondolas down to Grindelwald. Those are snow fences high up on the mountain you see in the picture, to lessen the chance of avalanche. See some photos in the 2006 Flickr set of our trip up to the Mannlichen.

It’s still a bit early for the onset of full tourist season, which probably begins in mid June and extends through September. Wengen then has a shoulder season until the winter ski season, takes a break again in March-May, when some things close down prior to starting the summer season again. Judging from the trains, there are plenty of people going up or coming down from Jungfraujoch, including some groups. Seems to be a predominance of Japanese and Indian tourists at this point.

Across the valley from here is another ski resort called Murren and from Lauterbrunnen, there is a lift up the mountain slope. From there, you can walk to the (very) small village of Gimmelwald. No hotels there, just a few B&Bs where farmers rent out extra rooms.

Coming back down the mountain there are at least four waterfalls cascading down the rock faced wall of the mountain beside us. At some points, there is heavy wire mesh screen alongside and overhead the tracks to protect from rock slides (we hope) and my ears pop twice with the change in elevation.

If you pay attention, even from standing in Lauterbrunnen, you can hear a kind of “hum” as the train grinds it’s way up and down the tracks on the cog rail.
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After returning from Wengen, we walked across from the Lauterbrunnen rail station to the Bergbahn Lauterbrunnen-Murren lift station and where the Postbus stops. The Postbus runs through the valley and we’ve taken it from the extreme end of the valley back to Lauterbrunnen. But never in the company of these guys! She has four Bernese Mountain dogs that board the Postbus with her. These were working dogs who work up around the Jungfrau as rescue dogs.
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At 7pm, we can hear the church bells from the church near us, pealing the hour.


More photos on Flickr.

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