Lauterbrunnen – Cycling along the Eiger Northface

The next planned stop in Switzerland was Lauterbrunnen, calling itself the real home of the hobbit, we stayed here from 8th to 10th September.

In 1911, the 19-year-old J.R.R. Tolkien hikes through the Swiss Alps – and of course through the Lauterbrunnen Valley with its steep rockfaces and waterfalls. Hardly anyone knows that he found his inspiration for the landscape in «Lord of the Rings» here. I can confirm: those who read the books and saw the movies will have the feeling they’ve been thrown into Middle-Earth.

At first, we wanted to stay at a campsite at Grindelwald and do the trip by train to the Jungfraujoch but somehow we both were not yet willing to pay 190 CHF per person for the ticket.

So I came up with the idea to visit Lauterbrunnen while searching for epic MTB routes and spotted the great rated campsite Camping Jungfrau.

We were driving over the Grimsel pass road with its dams to reach Lauterbrunnen – covered in mist we did not get to see a lot of the dams.

Cycling along the Eiger Northface

The E-MTB route planned was going to Grindelwald up to Kleine Scheidegg over the Lauberhorn, round about 40 km and 1500 hm. The maximum meters of height we did with our E-MTBs so far was 900, so we decided to cycle electric free until Grindelwald to make sure we have enough battery power left to manage the very steep Swiss uphills. Battery management was successful as we ended up with a 20% reserve left when arriving back at the campsite.

The route is a classic MTB route, not much of trail action going on, but the landscape and view on Eiger, Jungfrau and Mönch as one of the most famous peaks in Switzerland has been in deed epic and fascinating.

Being one of those cyclists who said I’d never buy an e-bike I was really happy yesterday that I changed my mind. It would have cost me a full day to manage that uphill without it and I assume I would not have been able to walk today :-).

Staubbach Waterfall

Today morning after check out we walked up to the Staubbach waterfall.
Lauterbrunnen’s landmark and Switzerland’s highest freefalling waterfall (300m) can be explored during summer season from behind by way of a purposely-built rock gallery. During the high season, the waterfall is illuinated in the evening. The Staubbachfall inspired Goethe to write his poem «The song of ghosts over waters». He visited Lauterbrunnen in 1779.

Next planned stop: Interlaken

Gesang der Geister über den Wassern

Der Menschen Seele Gleicht dem Wasser: Vom Himmel kommt es, Zum Himmel steigt es, Und wieder nieder

Zur Erde muss es, Ewig wechselnd.

Strömt von der hohen, Steilen Felswand

Der reine Strahl,

Dann stäubt er lieblich In Wolkenwellen

Zum glatten Fels,

Und leicht empfangen Wallt er verschleiernd, Leisrauschend,

Zur Tiefe nieder.

Ragen Klippen

Dem Sturz entgegen Schäumt er unmutig Stufenweise

Zum Abgrund.

Im flachen Bette

Schleicht er das Wiesental hin, Und in dem glatten See Weiden ihr Antliz

Alle Gestirne.

Wind ist der Welle

Lieblicher Buhler;

Wind mischt vom Grund aus Schäumende Wogen.

Seele des Menschen,

Wie gleichst du dem Wasser! Schicksal des Menschen, Wie gleichst du dem Wind!

The campsite

Very impressive campsite, modern and clean, large camping spaces, mostly quiet (you will hear the train and helicopters), not much visited outside main summer season. Small shop and restaurant is available, fast WiFi connection included.

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