Before we left Lauterbrunnen Luke made a quick trip further up the valley to visit the Trümmelbach Falls. These are falls that flow through a mountain and are apparently so loud and violent that at times they can make the whole mountain vibrate! I’ll let Luke post about the details of it himself – I stayed at the hostel to pack up and I also wasn’t sure if I’d enjoy it after having a panic at Saint Beatus’ Caves.
We left Lauterbrunnen at 10:30 and then had to sit on the platform at Interlaken for about an hour and a half waiting for our train to Montreux. Fortunately the day wasn’t too hot and so we read our kindles and ignored the man who wanted cigarettes and a lighter from Luke.
The Golden Pass, if you take it from Lauterbrunnen, is two trains. The first trip lasts an hour and isn’t terribly fancy but the second one, which was about two and a half hours, was on a train that had large viewing windows.
We’d probably have been more impressed with the scenery if we hadn’t just spent a week in one of the most scenic valleys on the planet. Still, it was beautiful and worth doing. We’d sprung for first class tickets and bought ourselves a celebratory drink.
Our train stopped in Montreux, at the far end of Lake Geneva (or Lac Leman as the locals apparently call it) and so we then bought train tickets to Geneva. While we were in Montreux I sat at an Irish pub to mind the bags while Luke went to take a photo of the Freddie Mercury statue (he was from Montreux) and also to see a memorial where Deep Purple recorded Smoke On The Water. He didn’t find the memorial but found a statue dedicated to the man that the Deep Purple Album was dedicated to. Or something. I’m really not into rock and roll.
I admired the Belle Époque architecture that was evident, even if it had been somewhat ruined by unsympathetic development…
And bemoaned the fact that we had very clearly left German Switzerland. Everything and everyone suddenly sounded very French. Le sigh.
Onwards to Geneva.
We arrived at the main train station and, despite the heat, decided to walk to our apartment. The area turned out to be ok, despite having a slightly ghetto feel at first. The main problem was that Geneva was getting up to 34 degrees during the day and our apartment had no fan or aircon. When we messaged the owner he couldn’t help as he was in Zurich. It cooled down a tiny bit at night but as the windows only opened on one side there was no way to get the breeze in. There were also no curtains, just metal venetians that wound down on the outside.
We’d never seen these before and didn’t realise until the second night that they could be wound down further to form a metal wall like a garage door, rather than just a grill with gaps. It’s kind of hard to explain but basically it was like an oven and I ended up sleeping with my wet scarf draped over me.
On the plus side we had lots of motivation to stay out all day and for most of the evening. On our first night we explored the neighbourhood, found some good Lebanese food and planned our visit to CERN the following day.