Day 26 - Switzerland

After our big day of driving through scary mountain passes and conquering towering mountains, we had a nice slow morning, leaving the chalet at about 11am. We took a half an hour drive to Meiringen to take the cable car up to Reichenbach Falls, the scene of the climactic final showdown between Sherlock Homes and Professor James Moriarty in 'The Final Problem'. Well, it appears that there was a 'final problem' with my planning, because the same cable car maintenance system that we had rushed to beat in Wengen the day before, had taken effect here at Meiringen.  We could hike to the falls, if we wanted to. "It's only a 90 minute climb" said the helpful assistant in the tourist information centre.

As Holmes used to say,"Eliminate all other factors, and the one which remain must be the truth" The truth was, there was no way we were hiking 90 minutes up the side of a mountain, even if I had to physical capacity to do so! So I was left with no other option but to go and sulk with some lunch by the astonishing Lake Brienz.

After the disappointment of my failure at Reichenbach, we set back to the valley to visit the mountain village of Mürren. To get to Mürren you need to drive to the end of the Lauterbrunnen Valley. It is particularly beautiful up there and the mountains really do wrap around the end of the valley in an impressive and dramatic fashion. On our journey, we stopped to enjoy the scenery and play near the mountain stream which flows all the way down the valley. We also had an opportunity to experience a particularly Swiss phenomenon. The cow-jam. It's like a traffic jam, but with cows....and Swiss cows have those fantastic big cow bells around their necks, so it sounds like some kind of brilliant out of tune wind chime, rolling towards you as 20 or so cows are being moved from one paddock to another.

Eventually, after suffering the disapproving glares from our bovine companions, we arrived at the cable car ride up to Mürren

Mürren sits at an elevation of 1650 metres above sea level, which places it about 650 above the valley floor. It gives stunning views of the surrounding mountains and faces some amazing sheer cliff faces across the other side of the valley. It is a thriving ski town in winter, but was almost deserted when we arrived. It was the last place we expected to find a basketball ring, but Che was able to get in some valuable altitude training, courtesy of the Mürren Youth Centre. Again, a magical spot in this magical valley. Every time you turn around, you see another postcard view.... and sadly, someone using a selfie stick!