Thursday, June 14, 2007

Switzerland Journal: Day 12, part 2

Sunday May 26 2007, part two.

Back in the village area of Murren, we stopped to get some provisions for a picnic. We planned to just rest for little bit, then head in the other direction, down the hill along side the rail road tracks.
It was difficult to choose between all the cheeses. At the cheese shop, they wrapped the cheese slices in such cute paper.
The fat mouse drawing is a warning:
Caution: Eating lots of cheese will make you fat!
I need a french speaker to translate what the mouse's sign actually says.
I'll bet it actually does read "Caution: Eating lots of cheese will make you fat!"

Next door to the shop was a gift shop. I was tempted to get the tea towel to the left, with all the Swiss flowers and their names.
At 32 CHF, I thought that was a bit pricey for a tea towel.
And since I had gotten MY lace at a dollar per motif, I knew how much mark-up the shop was taking.

You might remember that I had purchased this particular piece of lace in St. Gallen. And for a whole lot less!
We walked past one of the more charming and historic hotels in Murren. It was closed until June 1st, but we peeked inside. Inside the decore reminded me of interiors from around 1910. The back of the hotel is directly over the edge of the mountain, looking out to Eiger, Monch, and Jungfrau. I have no idea how much it would cost to stay there, but if I ever decide to play the lottery, and if I win millions upon millions of dollars, I will plan to go and stay there. AND....if you comment and say you want to go too, I will promise to pay for you to stay there with me, so we can enjoy seeing all this Swiss beauty together. It would be a reward for slogging through days and days of this journal!

The clouds were doing peek-a-boo with the mountains around us. Sometimes all we could see across the valley was a wall of white, then suddenly we'd see mountains.

We headed back to our room to rest just a bit before heading out again. It was so quiet there!

Out in front of our lodging was this charming planter of violas. Our first evening we ate outside in front.

A bit down the roadway a new building was being constructed. Was it going to be a hotel or private home?

Either way, it was beautiful

I got busy taking pictures of flowers...

...and baby pine cones.

The rain had stopped enough that Bernie decided to wear his new hat on the afternoon hike. I made do with a baseball cap.

A man passing by was happy to take our picture.

The view.
Whew, WHAT a view.

I should had videoed this, as the sound of the water falls was a constant soft roar in the back ground as we hiked.

These tiny flowers made me think of the drawings in the Dr. Seuss book "Horton Hears a Who."

Bernie decided it was time to try to use his camera's delayed timer feature to try to get a shot of the two of us. Did it click yet?

The path had the rail road tracks on one side, and shale/slate on the other.

This reminded me of the book "Hind's Feet on High Places", which is about a little flower blooming in a tiny crevice, just like these flowers. I was amazed that the tiny plant had flowers in yellow, orange, red and deep red all at once.

Across the valley there was another tiny community named Wegen. Obviously it would be a skier paradise. We almost stayed there as it has good reviews as an off the beat track location, but it is quite small and Murren had a little bit more to offer while still being a bit rustic.

The Spring Gentian remind me of the color of my daughter's eyes as an infant. Baby blue eyes. Her eyes are still an amazing shade of blue.
Ah, a bench! Care to join me my dear?
We sat on the bench for quite awhile, not so much because we were tired as that we enjoyed the view and the conversation. We talked about what kinds of vacations we would want to take in the future; city, country, long weekends, long weeks, with family, by ourselves, and even alone. I love seeing a city for a day or two, but would always want to have many days out in the country. I could easily sit and sketch, soaking in the beauty with my eyes. We both enjoy walking and hiking; while living in Southern California I had disliked the long hot hikes over desert environments, but have loved walking through woods and along side streams.
It was a good conversation, and I like to think we charted a course for future vacation planning and our retirement years.

I still love that hat on Bernie. Memories of Milan and St. Gallen are all wrapped up in that hat.

This view reminds me of views I have seen in Washington state, of Mt. Ranier.

I knew there was going to be violet colored violets somewhere. They were much tinier than the ones we had in San Diego, and had no scent. Switzerland, why do your violets not have a violet scent?

This was so cute: A tree house! Clearly constructed by boys, who truly are the same the world over, and proudly bearing the Swiss flag atop.

This building looked very newly constructed. German speakers, please enlarge the picture and let me know what the script is saying in English. I know that the first word and the third word are the names of towns, this picture is taken in the little "whistle stop" town of Winteregg.

In Winteregg there was a saw mill. You can see the building in the previous shot in the background. The mill seemed to be a temporary set up, I wondered if it was there simply to handle the lumber needs during the building's construction.

I need someone to explain milling to me. I thought this was pretty interesting having a log semi-sliced.

(I'm getting better at taking pictures of signs.)

BLM are the initials of the train service: Bernese-Oberland/Lauterbrunnen/Murren. Google Language translates Klaranlage as "clear plant." Another little mystery, although I think I vaguely remember something about water processing.
I read later that there had been a very serious storm a few years ago that destroyed some of the forests on the hill tops. The trees had helped prevent avalanche, so now they had to build fencing along the ridge to help stop the snow pack from sliding.

Some places along the way the hillside tipped up at almost a 30 degree angle. The ferns beneath the trees would have made for an interesting study if I ever tired of the wild flowers. We were surprised there were no squirrels acting up in the woods.

The tiny yellow violets had no scent either, but their sweet little black lines on their "faces", and the repeated heart motif of the leaves made up for it. I always love making nosegays of violets, as the bunch of violets nestle perfectly into the notch in the heart shaped leaf, and the leaves make a perfect circle around the violets, like a collar.

Bernie assured me the water was both cold and delicious.

The path leads all the way down the mountain. I had stated that the only expectation I had for our trip to Switzerland was riding a bike down a mountain road. This would have been the perfect road for a ride; but I had discovered something while we were hiking along: A bike ride would have been way too fast to enjoy the scenery both near and far. I'd much rather walk with my camera at the ready.

(Ahem...the name of the falls is "Staubbach", which means "Dust Brook". I don't get it, but if Google says that's what Staubbach means, I guess I'll just have to believe them. Maybe it means something different in Swiss German. That stream sure doesn't look dusty to me.)

The BLM train silently zipping by.

Another snail picture. This guy was a whooper!

Escargot anyone?

The signage on the trail gave you an idea how long it should take to hike the trail, although not a clue as to how fast of a pace one would need to be going. We hiked all the way down to Lauterbrunnen from Murren through Winteregg.

Back in town we saw this little sign up on a board. We appreciated that they specified what views were available from the rooms. Pregnant women, older men with prostate issues, and aging women in general will appreciate the thoughtful disclosure.

Belated signage photography: The bulletin board in front of the church we attended earlier in the day.

We had decided that tonight would be Fondue night. The Eiger Guesthouse restaurant offered several different fondue mixtures; we choose the one with tomato and herbs. Even with hiking all day, I think we went well over any reasonable calorie count at that meal. It was delicious with a simple salad, and we passed on dessert this time.
All the fresh air and hiking made Bernie ready to call it an early night, and I took only a moment to glace at the headlines of the Sunday World Times newspaper before I joined him, and we both quickly fell fast asleep.


Lovella said...

So now the blogger is eating the comments too I suppose.
How frustrating to work at creating such a beautiful post only to have the pictures snatched and sent out to the galaxy.

I sure enjoyed this leg of the race. It seemed so peaceful and I can also see Terry and I sitting there planning our life. What a wonderful setting to do that. It must have been hard to leave the tranquil setting.

Your album is just wonderful. Soooo many gorgeous shots. I don't think I've ever seen such scenery.

Kate said...

Yay!! I can finally see that chubby mouse and expensive Stickerei! That hotel looks inviting too. I believe Eiger is the mountain that lost some of it's face last year due to glacier withdrawal (melting). We'd better go back soon! Miss you. Kate Q:-)
P.S. Got those cowbells up on mine today.

Laura said...

I want to stay there too!!!!

Julie said...

Hi Jill, please add my name to the list of those you have so generously offered to take with you to stay at the Murren hotel on the edge of the mountain! Now, I HOPE you win that lottery!!!

Translation of your sign...
Pletschen und Winteregg haben sich gefunden im Plan mit Tat
Den Andren stets vertraut
gemeinsam diese Kaferie Gebaut.
It says that..Pletshcen and Winteregg have found each other in plan and deed, in trusting each other have together built this coffee shop.

I love the wild mountain flowers, especially the cute little yellow violets and the flowers that reminded you of Hannah Hurnard's "Hinds feet on High Places". I love that book!!

I had to laugh at the sign that promised views of the "mountains and bathroom". In the Swiss Alps I could forgo a view of the 'bathroom'! LOL

So thank you again for a lovely afternoon in Switzerland!!