When I say "hike" I should confess it was a one-lane paved road that meandered down to the valley. The 45-minute walk took us past farms and pastures and had amazing views (as everywhere here does). We caught the gondola, which saved us some steps, and from there set off on foot for the falls. It was another 45-minute walk, but who really cares when it is so beautiful.
When we arrived at Trummelbach Falls, we got onto a lift with other tourists that took us into the mountain. The Falls are a series of 10 glacier waterfalls inside the mountain. One can only see them by walking through a series of tunnels, up stairs (lots of them), and across platforms. It's incredible. The temperature plummets inside the mountain and the roar of the Falls thunders. The water for the Falls comes from meltwater from either snow or glaciers around the Jungfrau, Eiger, and Monch peaks, and there's is a lot of it!
After leaving the Falls, we walked an hour through the Lauterbrunnen Valley, known as the "valley of 72 waterfalls" and also the region that Tolkien hiked in 1911 and which inspired him as he wrote The Hobbit and LOTR. If you know this, you can spot Rivendale, the Misty Mountains, and even imagine the Shire. Of course you know we love that Tolkien himself walked similar paths to the ones we walked today.
We stopped for an early dinner in Lauterbrunnen, and we chose two traditional Swiss dishes: cheese fondue and rosti. From Lauterbrunnen we caught the gondola back to Murren (enough "wanderweg"! Translation: hiking trail....), and as we walked home from the station, the rain started to fall. Perfect timing!
Tonight will be spent packing, eating Swiss chocolate, and turning in early. Tomorrow we leave for Zurich and our Friday flight home, with a stopover for some sightseeing in Lucerne. Reed is giving an indication that it might not be so easy to get him out of here tomorrow. Come to think of it, Tim and Seth might be a problem too!