After our time in the small rural town of Ringoldingen, we continued our Swiss family adventure up higher into the mountains. Our next stop: Wengen, the pedestrian only village accessed only by cogwheel train.
While planning our itinerary, we were excited about staying an a pedestrian only mountain village. We bounced back and forth between two in the Jungfrau region, Wengen and Murren. In the end we chose Wengen and we are glad we did. Murren, set on the cliffs above Lauterbrunnen also has the fantastic views, and many shops & restaurants. However, Murren is accessed by gondola rather than train, and at peak times, the gondolas are packed with people standing shoulder to shoulder. The kids were enough for us to keep track of in the crowd, adding the bags and backpacks to the mix would not have been a fun travel day.
Wengen, Swtizerland is a pedestrian only town high up in the mountains above Lauterbrunnen. The mountain views around every corner are spectacular. For our eight nights, we really didn’t want to leave town. We filled our days with walks in the mountains, and trips into the village.
While more touristy than our previous stop in Ringoldingen, we did enjoy the convenience of a couple of small grocery stores in town. There were also several restaurants and cafes to pick from when we didn’t feel like cooking. Aside from electric service vehicles and a handful of bicycles zipping down the mountain roads, the streets were mainly pedestrian and great for walking. Those who have cars need to leave them in Lauterbrunnen before riding the cogwheel train up the mountain.
Wengen is close to several of the highest peaks in Switzerland. From the Wengen station, trains can be ridden further up to Junfraujoch, the highest train station in Europe. After watching the Junfraujoch weather forecast for a few days, and not having any real cold weather snow gear with us, instead of making the journey up to the Junfraujoch, we opted to explore the Schilthorn peak instead. Schilthorn provided us with a mountain experience with warm sunny skies instead of snow.
The apartment we rented was a 10-15 minute walk up a hill from the train station. Arrival day wore us out dragging the bags up the hills. By the end of the week though we were all in better shape and conquering the hills much easier. At the end of the week, the girls were enjoying taking turns leading us on the hikes as we learned our way around the area.
To get to Wengen, we rode on more trains. A couple of normal ones and one cogwheel. By accident, we got off at the wrong stop and had to wait 15 minutes to get on another one.
In Wengen, I bought a new pair of sunglasses, a stuffed animal puppy, and found a couple different playgrounds (one with a slack line). It was a great town. One day, I went on a hike with Daddy. There was a broken down tree house on the trial, and at the end, we saw a lake. If you ask me, I’d say it was kinda pretty.
Another day, we took a big family hike and did a Facebook live video. We saw a house with a water wheel, pretty flowers and a pretty garden. We also saw a bunch of goats, and old and young ducks. One of the goats was even in the water trough. At the end of the trail we sat on benches, ate apricots and took in the view.
The next day we took a train to a gondola to a train to a gondola to another gondola, up to a spinning restaurant. I ate amazing spaghetti. We then took one gondola down to this thing called the thrill walk. It was so cool. You crossed a rope, a glass bottom, bars that didn’t roll, a tunnel and a big hill. We went through the walk two times. Then we went down one [more gondola], got a great brownie, bounced on a trampoline and played a game of chess. That day was so much fun.
Guess what? On the way to Wengen, we got off at the wrong train stop, so we had to wait for 20 minutes to catch the train that would take us to the right stop. The last train we rode was a cog wheel so it could go up the steep mountain. On the train, we went past a waterfall that literally came out of a rock! Wowsers!
On our first day in Wengen, I still wasn’t feeling great, so I stayed home with Mommy, while Daddy and Emily went on a hake and ate ice cream. We met up with them at a Coop and they had even gotten me a chocolate bar. The next day, we all went on the same hike that Daddy and Emily had started the day before. Daddy and I took one trail and Mommy and Emily took another back to the house. We hiked through the woods, and they found a park to play in.
On Friday, we first went to the park Mommy and Emily had found. There was a slackline there, and also a bar that Daddy helped me do a flip over. He actually helped me up, and then spotted me on the flip. Emily tried it too. We then walked to the park in town and played a little more on that slack-line. I took turns trying to cross with another little girl. Then, on one try, I fell off and the slackline caught my feet so I couldn’t catch myself. I landed in the “Zoe pose” with the back of my feet on the back of my head. Boy did that hurt! Mommy took me home and Daddy and Emily kept on keepin on.
On Sunday, we took a train, a gondola, a train and then two more gondolas up to the top of a mountain. We at lunch in a restaurant that slowly spun the entire time so you could see all of the view. We then rode down one gondola to the Thrill Walk. It was soooo fun! You got to cross a rope with nothing under it but a small, see through net. Then there was a glass floor that you could cross and at the end, the glass was cracked and breaking. Then to finish the Thrill walk, we crawled through a tunnel made completely of little wires!
After we rode back down, Emily got a brownie and I got a smoothie. What a great way to end a great day!
Many River cruises start or end in Basel, Switzerland. With Switzerland’s vast train network and multiple luxury properties, it is easy to spend a few days in the mountains before or after any cruise. Such an amazing compact country, and so easy to get from place to place, it’s a shame more people don’t spend at least a few extra days here when in the region.
Taking a tour with a small group provides the opportunity to experience the sites of Switzerlnad with other like-minded travelers on popular pre-designed itineraries. Let the tour companies organize the logistics, so you can “sit back, and enjoy the ride” Visit the top attractions during the best times and let someone else take care of planning all of the detials.