Schilthornbahn (Take 1)

September 6, 2014 – The breakfast room opened at 7:30am, and we made sure to get there right on time to start the day.  The breakfast was quite good – cold cuts, cheese, juice, yogurt, fruit, granola and muesli, coffee (they made great, strong, hot coffee), croissants (not as good as France – too dry), fresh bread that you sliced yourself, and little pretzel buns (these were Louisa’s favorite).

There weren't any clouds... in Murren
There weren’t many clouds in Murren…

It was a beautiful day in Murren, and we were eager to head up the Schilthornbahn.  Before heading up we stopped at a bakery on the way to get some almond pastries.  The two-stage journey took about six minutes, and we soon realized that a clear day in Murren does not equate to a clear day on top of the mountain.  There were a lot of clouds, wind, and fog at the top.  We took a stroll along the rocks and were fortunate to catch some clear views of the valley and plains behind us.  Once the clouds rolled back through we headed indoors to check out the Bond exhibit, since the movie On Her Majesty’s Service was filmed there.

...but that wasn't the case at Piz Gloria.
…but that wasn’t the case at Piz Gloria.

After a pastry snack we decided to head back to Murren for a nice, sun-filled lunch at Alpina, one of the small hotels in town that also serves food.  We ate outside since we prefer the cool breeze; everyone else ate inside since they don’t like the cool breeze.  We started the meal with two (very good) bottled beers while we waited for our food.  Tony had rosti with caramelized onions and fresh venison sausage; the food was good, and the sausage was fairly mild and not too “game-y.”  Louisa felt like a nice bowl of soup and enjoyed the hearty goulash with a basket of brown bread.

The view towards Interlaken was pretty clear despite the clouds at the summit.
The view towards Interlaken was pretty clear despite the clouds at the summit.

The afternoon was spent walking down the little trail to Gimmelwald, another carless town about 300′ lower (with respect to elevation) than Murren.  Gimmelwald seemed a little more touristy to us, perhaps because this was the only time we ran into a full-blown tour group.  It’s still a pretty little town, and (without the tour group) is actually probably a bit quieter than Murren.

Fountains like this one make it easy to fill up water bottles for the day.
Fountains like this one make it easy to fill up water bottles for the day.

From Gimmelwald we could either walk back up the trail, or take a cable car back to Murren or down to the valley.  We chose to head towards the valley, where we found a short little trail to the very pretty Murrenbachfall.  The valley also has a wonderful little paved walking trail along a stream, lots of purple and violet flowers, and great mountain views.  While we enjoyed the quiet and closeness to the mountains found in Murren, we did like the different perspective on the peaks you gain in the valley.

Our favorite part of the valley walk was the waterfalls.
Our favorite part of the valley walk was the waterfalls.

After a cable car ride back from the valley we took another stroll through town and decided where to eat dinner.  Despite a lot of restaurant options, we wanted to give our inn another go.  This time Tony went with the pizza, which was very good with a crisp, thin crust, served with red pepper infused olive oil.  Louisa went with the home made caramelle, filled with cheese and finished with a pesto sauce.  We also split a very good flourless molten chocolate cake and scoop of rich vanilla ice cream for dessert.  The Italian food was a pleasant surprise, the draft beers are fantastic, and the flourless chocolate cake was a perfect ending to the meal.

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