This was easily my favorite place on our trip. It was the epitome of the Swiss stereotype that I had from movies and pictures of the Swiss alps. Getting there was a little difficult and included various trains and a gondola.
It is halfway up these beautiful mountains and its a small town that seems to rely on the tourist and skiing industries. We spent most of our time here hiking.
While we were on our hike we ran into many animals. First, we witnessed some sheep herding in action and then we stumbled upon some cows. We were walking through people’s farmland so it made sense (note: we were walking on a trail that went through farmland, not just trespassing). The cow pictured above came out of nowhere and stood in front of the gate just long enough to take a picture. He then came up to me and sniffed around. He was very interested in my raincoat and tried to take a bite of it.
Next, we took a series of gondolas up to the peak of the Schilthorn Mountain, where there was a James Bond Museum. It was the site where the 1969 Bond film On Her Majesty’s Service was filmed.
It was much colder up there. We went out beyond the enclosed tourist-safe area to the actual summit of the mountain, where I took this picture from. It was cool to see what it would actually be like to climb the mountain instead of taking the gondolas up.
Our group split up on the way back down to Mürren since some people wanted to hike down from the halfway point. I took the gondola back down and then we (mom, the other mom and the younger boy) walked from Mürren to the town next to it Gimmelwald. We did the Rick Steve’s walking tour of the town which felt oddly invasive as many of the ‘things to see’ were people’s backyards. It started to rain so we found refuge in a bar (the only bar). We played bananagrams and drank mint tea as we waited for the other half of our party. They arrived just as it stopped raining and a rainbow appeared as we headed to the gondola back up to Mürren.
We only spent one day here so we didn’t get to do much. The Rose garden was first on our agenda then we saw the bear pit before stopping to get some lunch. After lunch we headed to the swift moving Aare river. Sarah and Dad both swam in it, but it was too cold for me and Mom.
The next morning it was back on a train and onto a new city. We started off with the Rick Steve’s Walking tour (are you sensing a pattern?)
Verenna, Lake Como, Italy
The Italian trains are much worse than the Swiss ones. They are crowded and hot and don’t run on schedule. After Lucerne, we left the other family and headed south. We rented a car to get around once we got into Italy, but it was stick and Dad had forgotten how to drive stick just a little bit. It took him a few minutes but he figured it out (after asking the parking attendant). We dropped our bags off at the hotel and immediately went to the beach. We had an early dinner before walking around to get some gelato.
The next morning we dropped off our car and took a short train into Venice.
After dropping our bags off at the hotel, we headed over to St. Mark’s Square. We took a tour of the Doge’s palace, but we were there pretty late so we had to rush through a little bit. The audio guide was really informative, and if I remember correctly, free.
We stopped to take a picture with the Bridge of Sighs. It is the connector between the Doge’s palace/ courtrooms and the prison. It was the last glimpse of the canals the convicted prisoners would get before they were locked up.
The next day we headed out to Murano, the glass blowing island. It was interesting to just walk around and see the various glass blowing demonstrations. Then we went to the Peggy Guggenheim museum, which was pretty small.