Grindelwhat? Grindelwald!

When we were in the Bernese Oberland, we stayed in a night in Grindelwald (one option if you do Kleine Scheidegg or Jungfraujoch).  We suspected that it might be a bit big and a bit touristy for our tastes.  When you have views like these of the Eiger, who cares?
In the late 18th century, foreigners discovered the scenic town.  The scenery is so photogenic that pictures of the vistas were widely reprinted.  This made the village internationally famous (the Eiger is Switzerland’s second most famous mountain after the Matterhorn), which, in turn, brought more visitors.
 In the 19th century, Englishmen came to the village to climb the alpine peaks around the valley, including:
It’s in the heart of the Jungfrau region of the Bernese Oberland (the Bernese Alps).  In the summer, it is a popular base for hikers and a ski town in the winter.
I think this is technically Wetterhorn. Until the Eiger became more famous, it was Grindelwald’s iconic symbol.
Improvements in transportation infrastructure, the Grindelwald road (built in 1860-72) and the Bernese Oberland railway (connected to the village in 1890), transformed the difficult trip into a simple one. As a result, tourists to flooded into the village and many hotels/resorts were built.
rack railway was built to Kleine Scheidegg in 1893; it was expanded to the Jungfraujoch in 1912. It is still in use.  We watched it wind up the mountain from the balcony of our hotel room.  One of the great things about Switzerland is that the mountains are so accessible.  In the late, 19th and early 20th centuries, numerous ski lifts, cable cars, hiking trails and alpine huts were built.  Today, Grindelwald’s economy of is virtually entirely based on tourism.  Like I said, it’s a bit touristy, but with beauty like this, who cares?

 

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Uh-Oh Altitude

Altitide Sickness – a condition affecting some persons at high altitudes, caused by insufficient oxygen in the blood and characterized by dizziness, nausea and shortness of breath.
We took the train from Kleine Scheidegg to Jungfraujoch  (3,454 meters/11,332 feet).  It is dubbed as ‘Top of Europe.”
The view is spectacular.  On clear days, you can see the Black Forest in Germany and the Vosges mountains in France’s Alsace Region. A range of winter activities are available at the Ski and Snowboard Park.
The train offers views of the Great Aletsch Glacier and there’s an Ice Palace and Sphinx Observatory up top. They have a large complex at the tip that includes: restaurants, an observatory, a research station, a small movie theater, the train station, a ski school, shops and observation decks.
It had stunning views, but we didn’t stick around and savor them.  He wasn’t feeling well (altitude sickness combined with congestion).  From the looks of it, he wasn’t the only one who wasn’t feeling tip-top.   Yep, that is someone’s puke in the photo below