Day of Trains – Chamonix to Murren

September 5, 2014 – Today was the day of train rides – we had about six connections to make between Chamonix, France and Murren, Switzerland.  It was also Tony’s birthday, and we started with a nice take-away breakfast from the little shop near us.  We enjoyed our quiche and coffee while waiting for our first train to arrive.  We also got a few extra quiche to bring as lunches for the train ride.  When we know that we’ll have a layover at a station we like to go into whatever town we’re in to get food; when we’re not sure of the schedule we prefer to buy something in the morning and carry it with us.

You really don't mind waiting for a train with views like this.
You really don’t mind waiting for a train with views like this.

We took the train to the end of the line, up into the mountains with small villages and increasingly-wild scenery.  We all piled off of the train and watched it reverse course back to Chamonix.  We waited under the awning, watching the drizzle until our train appeared.  It was a short train, which turned out to be a good thing once we realized how incredibly steep the grades were going to be heading down the mountain and into Switzerland.

We like to pack light on our multi-week trips.
We like to pack light on our multi-week trips.

The train picked up speed once we were on the flat valley between the mountain ranges, and the rain picked up for a few moments as well.  Once we reached Interlaken we were fortunate to just catch the next train up into the mountains to Lauterbrunnen, then another little train to Murren.

This last hill into the valley felt like a 45 degree incline.
This last descent into the valley felt like a 45 degree angle.

We wanted to stay in Murren rather than Lauterbrunnen because we liked the idea of being above the valley floor, closer to the high peaks and with a fantastic view of the Eiger, Monch, and Jungfrau.  Our hotel for the next few days was the Eiger Guesthouse.  We had a regular room, but it was on the third (top) floor with a very nice view of the opposite mountains.

Our route to Interlaken took us past Spiez and Thunersee.
Our route to Interlaken took us past Spiez and Thunersee.

As we walked into the guest house we noticed that there was a fantastic looking cake under a dome on the bar.  After we settled into the room we asked what it was – cheesecake – and immediately decided that after a quick walk through town we would enjoy some birthday cheesecake and beer.

We enjoyed views like this all weekend.
We enjoyed views like this all weekend.

Murren is very pretty, with lots of flowers, cows (including some walking through town), and fresh water fountains. The cheesecake was perfect, topped with fresh berries, and the beer reminded us of the beer we had in Germany.

It's the little things that make for a fun birthday.
It’s the little things that make for a fun birthday.

For dinner we enjoyed rosti (fried hashbrowns) with sausage and onion gravy in the guest house dining room.  The tables are a tad bit close (by American standards), or quite spacious (by French standards), and all the diners kept their voices to stage whispers so conversation was quite easy despite the crowded dining room.

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