Subject: Wenger Mountain, Switzerland
We camp at Camping Jungfrau in Lauterbrunnen. The Lauterbrunnen area is a valley, located below beautiful snow covered mountains. The Eiger, Monch & Jungfrau on one side and the Schilthorn on the other. The valley floor is surrounded by a meadow and waterfalls. The sheer wall cliffs above the valley have many beautiful waterfalls, including the Staubbach falls and the Trummelbach Falls. They have some chalets, cabins and tents to rent there, but we just use our tent or use a hostel cabin.

At the end of the valley is Stechelberg. There's a hotel in Stechelberg. I once met a US military 'lifer' stationed in Europe. He indicated that they, including several kids, spent their vacation in the valley and stayed at Hotel Stechelberg. Rick Steves once indicated that the hotel is clean, quiet and inexpensive.

Rick Steves recommends Gimmelwald (or Murren), which are on the Schilthorn side. It is on the first level on the way up to visit the Schilthorn. You can take the Gondola from Stechelberg up one level to Gimmelwald or you take the funicular from Lauterbrunnen up to Grutschalp and its a 10 minute level walk to Murren. Then, it is a 30, slight decent walk from Murren to Gimmelwald, which is roughly 2000 feet above the valley floor. Rick Steves recommends the Hotel Mittaghorn in Gimmelwald. Hotel Mittaghorn (Walter's place) is one of Rick's favorite. This area is great for hiking, has a marvelous view of the Eiger/Monch/Jungfrau mountains, and has a super sports center.

On the other side of the valley, you have Wengen. Wengen is halfway up to Kleine-Sheidegg and Mannlichen. Wengen is apparently more expensive than the Gimmelwald/Murren area. In Wengen, Rick recommends the Hotel Bernerhof, Chalet Bergheim and the Chalet Schweizerheim Garni (cheapest). You can take a train from Lauterbrunnen up to Wengen.

There's several opportunities to walk and hike in the area, on both sides of the valley. We usually take the train/lift up to the higher locations and walk down. The final trip down from Gimmelwald is really rough. A favorite hike is the Mannlichen to Kleine-Sheidegg.

We use the Lauterbrunnen area as a base and have successfully visited Luzern, Bern &Murten in one day, although we could have spent more time in Luzern. Interlaken is a great place to visit. You can take scenic boat rides on either Lake Thun or Lake Brienz. Plus, if you like open air museums, we take the train from Interlaken to Brienzwiller and visit the Ballenberg Open Air Museum.

Wil Orlando