Saturday, July 9, 2011

Over the river and through the fields...

To Trummelbach falls on Thursday.  The falls are down in the valley so we hopped on the train and caught the tram and set out on foot following the little yellow signs.  
Here is a photo of the garden at the very bottom of the tram.  I was too late to get a picture of the huge lettuces that they must have already harvested.  They were at least 20" across.  They are able to grow a lot of cool season crops, lettuce, peas, chard and kale and there are gardens everywhere.
We didn't realize it until later that there is the way that the signs direct you to go and then there is the short, more direct route.  Granted the longer version was more scenic and we walked along a swiftly moving and very cold river, but since there are no bad views here in Switzerland, the shortcut certainly works.

 Bob is indicating that the water is COLD.  Marcel is smart enough to not put his hands in the water.
 The color of the river is very milky here which indicates it is glacier melt.  Sometimes the streams are pale green and after a storm, they run milky gray as they carry away suspended grit from higher elevations.
I have discovered that Justin likes to stand on things.  Stumps, poles stuck in the ground, little stakes.  You name it, he'll balance on it.  He walked along this fence for awhile.
 This is a boring picture of gorgeous scenery, but look, what's that in the upper left of the picture?  It's a helicopter airlifting supplies to one of the mountain top restaurants.
Trummelbach falls are a series of 10 glacier waterfalls inside the mountain.  They have been made accessible by some enterprising Swiss gentleman who drilled out enough of the mountain to install a lift that takes you up about 2/3 of the way to the top.  The rest is reached by clambering up and down a series of stairways.  The falls drain the glacier defiles of the Eiger, Monch and Jungfrau mountains and carries about 20,200 tons of boulder debris per year.  It's total drainage area is about 14.5 sq. miles.  Half of that area is covered by snow and glaciers.  The rate of flow is over 5,000 gallons/sec.  They are claimed to be the only glacier waterfalls in Europe that are inside a mountain and yet still accessible.
In the picture below, the displaced air from the rushing water causes Hayley's carefully coiffed hair to be blown to smithereens.  Those with short hair were not affected.
 Of course all of that pounding water sent up quite a mist.  We all kept dry by wearing our rain jackets.  The cameras were not so easily kept dry.
Inside the mountain.
And nothing quite conveys the experience than a video.  Turn up the volume!

After we finished at the falls, we took the "shortcut" back into town, stopping for a picnic lunch on the way.  Along the way we saw a sign at one of the little houses announcing that they were selling cheese.  We stopped and bought some from this nice little old lady.  

We stopped at the co-op market in Lauterbrunnen for supper makings (Marcel and Grace treated us to a great spaghetti dinner with our fresh alp cheese) and Bob and I hit the bakery where we picked up a variety of goodies to share; plum kuchen, something like a Napoleon and a slice of apple kuchen.  All of it yummy.

Evening was kind of laid back watching TV in German and having Grace and Marcel translate some of it for us and me working on the previous blog post.  We also planned out our next days travels which would involve a lot of tram travel.  The weather won't last forever, but we sure are enjoying the sunshine.

Total Step count for Today:  17,896.  

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