I’ve always thought of train travel as something very grand and elegant. Rosy images of sophisticated train cars and co-passengers tend to disappear as soon as you set foot in an actual train these days, but in Switzerland it’s a whole other thing. Every minute of train travel in Switzerland is an experience. Especially along the Swiss Alps, the views are so perfectly pretty that it’s impossible to look away.
Lauterbrunnen is by far the most beautiful and impressive valley in the Swiss Alps. The train from Interlaken to Lauterbrunnen is old and makes a lot of noises, climbing a very steep climb up into the mountains. Once you finally reach your destination it’s easy to think you’ve accidentally wandered into another world entirely.
The valley is known for 72 glorious waterfalls, cascading down from the surrounding mountains. The mountains are another memorable trait of the valley – mile-high walls of stone surround it in all directions, making this shangri-la experience even more surreal. Further in the distance the snow-capped Alps guard this incredibly lush and thoroughly Swiss scenery.
This is where I was first astonished by the beauty of nature.
Hiking in Lauterbrunnen
There are several incredibly beautiful hiking routes in and around the valley and the surrounding mountains. I chose to walk across the valley itself, from the village of Lauterbrunnen and along the roaring rapids of freezing cold glacial water.
I finally arrived at Trummelbachfälle, a set of caves that were featured in Dario Argento’s 1985 film Phenomena. The vast system of caves provides a wonderfully weird adventure, literally within the Alps.
It can be a hot summer day outside, but as soon as you enter the mouth of the cave you feel like you’re standing in front of a huge open fridge. Your breath begins to steam in the cool air and the waterfalls running through the caves make a powerful noise, emptying your mind from anything else. The air is filled with a cold and damp fog, making the caves look like something out of a 1940s film noir.
As you leave the caves the hot air seems to circle you all over and grab onto your skin.
The valley looks even greener than before.