Atop the World in the Swiss Alps

Almost on top of the world, at an elevation of 1,640 meters (5,413) feet, Mürren clings to the edge of precipice in the upper reaches of Lauterbrunnen Valley. On a clear day, this typical village in Bernese Oberland offers an indescribable view of the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau.

Eiger, Mönch and tip of Jungfrau

Eiger, Mönch and tip of Jungfrau

It is inaccessible by car, yet tourists still find it. A popular destination, Mürren, though only having 450 inhabitants, offers 2,000 hotel beds.  Originally a farming community, tourism in the summer and skiing in winter provides the steadiest livelihood for the locals. Reaching the village is part of the fun. Visitors must take the panoramic funicular and then a short train ride up from Lauterbrunnen, which offer stunning views of the valley.

Main Street is dotted with an eclectic mix of restored wooden chalets and hotels from the early part of the last century. Giant cowbells hang from the awnings; flowers line window boxes of balconies and dainty lace curtains cover the pane glass windows with red shutters.

Mürren with Eiger in the background

Walking paths zigzag up and down the mountainside winding through the meadows where hardy wild flowers in yellow, lilac, and white, orange, blue burst into color on a verdant palate.  Cowbells clang like old silver milk cans in horse drawn wagons. Insects buzz and birds’ twitter in harmony with the soft swoosh of the wind that whips through valley.

mowing the yard, Mürren's way

mowing the yard, Mürren’s way

One man mows his yard at precipitous angle, while another splits wood then lines each log in a perfect, uniform stacks so typically Swiss. The locals speak the thick, guttural Swiss German language. They are easily identified, by their ruddy, wind burned completion and strong calves and thighs for every step outside one’s door requires movement on incline.

Hikers of every age dot the meadows bearing backpacks and walking sticks.

The three Kings, Mönch, Eiger, Jungfrau appear deceptively close, as if you could reach out and touch them giving one a surreal other worldly feeling.

On a summer day in Mürren, the light, color and mountains topography, are so perfectly intertwined that it is hard to deny God’s existence.

Villages across the valley below look like match boxcars and miniature towns. In the distance one can imagine seeing Heidi skipping off from Grandpa’s hut to herd the sheep grazing in a the verdant valley over yonder.

It is as if time stood still. Invigorated, renewed, exalted, I want to burst into song. Indeed, the hills are alive with the sound of music.

mountain chalets in the meadows

mountain chalets in the meadows

Truly in Mürren, God perfected nature’s symphony.

Posted in inspiration, social view, travel.

10 Comments

  1. What a great description of Murren, Pat. I lived there for the ski season of 1989-90 working at the Hotel Alpina, and it sounds like time stands still there. Thanks for the trip down memory lane. I shared your blog with my sister because she also lived and worked there in the early 80’s.

    Hope all is well and you are enjoying your summer.

    Amy’s

    • So glad to hear from you!Every time we visit Murren, we think of you and wondered which hotel you worked during your stint abroad. We have been to Murren three times and each visit is magical. Hope your sister enjoys the blog. Thanks for passing it on. Summer at Summit Lake is sublime. Come on Up!

    • Ah yes, Tina I am sure you have many happy memories of visiting the glorious sites of Switzerland during your stint in Europe. Your room at the inn is ready and waiting for your return!

  2. Absolutely breathtaking scenery and story, Pat. It’s so neat that you appreciate this beauty surrounding you and share it with us. I feel like I am experiencing Switzerland first-hand through your accounts. Thanks so much for sharing your part of the world! The pictures are exquisite and enhance the vivid imagery you share through your words.

    • Thanks Kathy for stopping by to enjoy the sites vicariously! Unfortunately I can’t claim credit for the photos, Gerald is my photographer and site technician. I seem to be making no progress in understanding the mysteries of computerland.

  3. You and Gerald captured the beauty and magic of Murren with your words and his photography. What a great team! Thanks again for helping Cliff and I experience the view firsthand during our recent trip. We will never forget how special it is…..truly magnificent!

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