Daron, Melanie, Stephen, Kassie, and Kenny

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Camping in Lauterbrunnen and Conquering Jungfrau!

We now see why the 'Camping Jungfrau' campsite tops the official list of the World's 50 best campsites! Just 2 hours away from our home, we camped for 2 nights in the 'valley of 72 waterfalls', beneath the famous Jungfrau Summit, which is considered one of the most emblematic sights of the Swiss Alps.

After we played around a bit, we set up our tent... the tent, which was the first item we shipped over here to Switzerland before we even moved here! We knew we'd make good use of it, and this weekend proved that to be true.

Then off to go explore the area... gorgeous little streams everywhere ~

We couldn't wait to hike up to one of the many waterfalls in the valley ~ you can see the stairs on the hill behind us, leading up BEHIND the waterfall where we hiked!

Day 2 was our big trainride up the mountain... we rode the 'Jungfraubahn cog railway' straight to the top - 11,332 ft up to the highest railway station in Europe. It took 16 years to build.

(Here's an internet pic of our train and the Jungfrau behind it)

Halfway up we stopped at a lovely lookout and enjoyed some Japanese udon noodles (Why do they serve those there? Because almost every other tourist on the mountain was from Japan! This is obviously a hotspot among the Japanese, so the restaurants wisely cater to their preferred cuisine... as for Daron, there was much rejoicing.)

At the top, our favorite thing was the Ice Palace -- a glacial cutout; it's all ice up there so they carved out rooms and got creative with their sculptures...

Oh my word - don't we look like classic TOURISTS here?? Check out Kassie's red velvet Swiss cowgirl hat, her pink Barbie jacket, and leopard pants. My headband's totally funky but it's what all the Europeans wear - hey, it keeps the hair back!

We even got to meet a real Swiss St. Bernard dog! (Of course that was the kids' highlight of the trip...)

For the 2nd night, we decided to go ahead and purchase warm sleeping bags... we FROZE the first night in the 45 degree cold -- so the next night's sleeping was much more pleasant. I don't know how the pioneers survived... I asked myself that several times in the night as I kept rearranging kids in their blankets!

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