Mountain bikes, slightly overcast conditions, best friend as companion and the Alps ahead!
We arrived the previous night at Interlaken Ost and checked in at ‘Hotel Beausite’ (10 minutes walk. It is closer to Interlaken West). The staff was very friendly and patient. They spent close to 20 minutes answering our various questions on our proposed biking trip for the next day. Rooms were very comfy and clean. The best part was the view we got the next day from the windows. The picture speaks for itself.
We walked till Interlaken West which had a bicycle renting place within the railway station. They charged us 30-40 CHF to rent a mountain bike for a day and took a photocopy of our passports. Its better to take the bikes for a day, as you can return whenever you want in the night (they close by 1800 hrs), park the bike in the garage and drop the key in a slot. They had a good collection of them, and I highly recommend this place.
After loading ourselves with water, medicines, cameras and bike repair kit; we set out on our day trip by 0930. The onward journey we took was: Interlaken West – Wilderswil – Zweilutschinen – Lauterbrunnen – Trummelbackfall – Stechelberg. One way trip was around 20-25 km, and the scenery on the way is picture perfect. The path till Wilderswil is easy, but it gets uphill afterwards. We did get down couple of times when it was too much incline. After a few km, the path is a gradual climb and easy to navigate. It is tough to get lost as there are many others, hiking or biking along the way. Even after that we did get lost, but the locals were very helpful in directing us to easier paths.
After reaching Lauterbrunnen, we stopped for snapping few pics and cycled towards Trummelbach falls. It took us about 3-4 hours to complete the first stage (reached Trummelbackfall by 1300). It is worth to visit the falls. You get to climb through a small and dark cave, walking alongside the waterfalls. It is a fabulous experience. You can park your cycles outside the ticketing office.
We stopped to refresh before carrying on our journey towards Stechelberg and reached the cable car point. There, you can buy tickets to Murren, Birg or Piz Gloria (James Bond :D). We took the cable car till Murren which cost us about 30 CHF, 5 extra for taking bikes (One stop at Gimmelwald – direct change). Our original plan was to take it till Piz Gloria, but the video at the ticketing office showed that it was completely covered with clouds. No point paying 80 CHF for no view.
After reaching Murren, we traveled randomly around the city. Being adventurous, we came upon a beaten path along the side of the road going uphill. Since we had time, we decided to venture along and it was the second most memorable moment. Though the climb was tough, it had some of the breathtaking moments. We stayed well over an hour, trying our best on natural photography (We had a Samsung Galaxy S2 and a 4 year old Samsung ES65 digital camera – Dumb, isn’t it?). There are many such paths for adventurers to explore in Murren.
Our train was leaving at 2000 and we decided to leave Murren at about 1600. But, here was the best part , my most memorable part of the trip. You have to bike about 1 km downhill at full tilt (you really need good brakes for this). Unpaved road for most part, with the hill on one side and a steep drop into the valley on the other. 90 degree turns, S curves, blind spots etc. along the way. Hands firmly on brakes and helmet tightly secured, we let gravity do its job. Words will not capture the thrill of biking at such breakneck speeds.
It took us about 15-20 min to reach Lauterbrunnen. From there, another 30-45 minutes to reach Interlaken which is a saunter in comparison. We dined at an Indian restaurant (there were many) before returning the cycles at the station and catching the train back to Germany.