It has been exactly 1 month since we returned from our TJR hiking adventure. We used the Kev Reynolds book of Tour of the Jungfrau Region as a guide, but modified the second half by staying in hotels in Wengen and Murren and doing day-hikes to the TJR destinations instead. (We also sent 1 bag ahead from Zurich airport to Wengen to wait for us with clean clothes five days later—worked perfectly.)
Thank you TA advisors for all your input on the forum and private emails---all the research was part of the fun for me. I’ve added many reviews and pictures to TA from this trip.
-Staying at the mountain B&B’s (Schynige Platte, First, Gleckstein, Marmorbruch and Obersteinberg) before trying the TA-recommended hotels (Edelweiss in Wengen and Chalet Fontana in Murren).
-Swiss foods and breakfasts. Rosti, cheese, spatzel, and swiss hot chocolate! Rogen Brau beer too!
-The team at Berghaus First treating us to a free champagne toast and a private booth for our 15th anniversary.
-Meeting Daniel (Hotel Edelweiss) and Denise (Chalet Fontana) of whom so many from TA rave about.
-Climbing Bryndli, Schilthorn, and dancing at Tanzbodeli – such great hikes and views. Good trails too!
-Mountain biking in Lauterbrunnen Valley. Running into the Base Jumping World Cup competition in the valley and watching those crazy guys/gals fly across the sky.
-The trains/lifts/buses—they have this transport connection thing down pat! We used the Half Fare card.
-Jungfraujoch and Schilthorn. Did Jungfrau on the whim on the day an early snow limited our hiking (not on the original plan). Great views from both. Totally different also. If we had to pick one, it would be Schilthorn—somewhat less commercial and you get to see more on the trip up/down. Jungfrau is in the tunnel. But we also wanted to experience both and didn’t know when we might be back.
-Watching the hang-gliders coming down from above Murren and from above Birg (maybe next time...)
-Trying the top TA-rated restaurants in Murren (Eiger Guesthouse, Thams Chinese, Stager Stubli). Great meals at each place, glad we tried them! TA members provide good advice.
-Being the only English-speaking couple at Obersteinberg the night we were there (Vicky was at the Stechelberg cheese competition we think). Enjoying the super fresh dairy products (milk, butter, cheese, whipped cream) and dining by candle light.
-Happy Hour at Pension Gimmelwald with all English-speaking folks on our last night in the BO.
-The VIEWs!! All around you at about any time of day—mountains, clouds, chalets, farms, cows with chiming bells. You can’t help but be in awe.
-Cloudy/rainy the first week, but perfect sunny September the second week.
-First low snow of season stopped us from going to Baregg Hut (snowed up to 5” down to 1300m (4000ft) and AlpiGlen. But found the wonderful Marmorbruch Berggasthaus instead (Did you know the hot-tub scene in The Bachelor Season 16, episode 9 was filmed there? Anita told us all about it.)
Hikes (our favorite thing to do):
-Schynige Platte to First – Wow, great first hike with so many terrain changes (at least 5). Sunny, warm at first, in the clouds at Faulhorn and drizzle by arrival at First.
-Gleckstein Hut – Hiked both ways in the rain! (don’t do it if you have a choice). Many areas were slick and we hung on tightly to the wire ropes/railings that assist you in the exposed spots. We were the only ones there for that night. Took 3 hours each way.
-Bryndli and Rotstock Hut – Our first Murren hike on a clear day and we loved it. Lots of steep up and down. We’ve figured that out by now that most trails are this way here (minimal switchbacks).
-Schilthorn via Schilthorn Hut from Murren. Another steep ascent. Great effort and views. Maybe less that a dozen hiking this trail today. Flatter in the valley behind Birg. Covered with snow on final ascent. Decided it was too slick to descend so after 007 spaghetti and beer in Piz Gloria we enjoyed the crowded cable car drop back down into Murren. Four hours total ascent from Murren including a 30 minute hot chocolate break at Schilthorn Hut.
-Obersteinberg via Tanzbodeli. Another steep 2.5 hour ascent from the river to Tanzbodeli—probably the longest, continuously steep trail we were on. But the 360-views on a clear day were outstanding!!! We didn’t want to leave! But the Hotel was just as much fun also--happy hour on the patio, looking out at the so-close-you-could-touch-them mountains from our room, candlelight dinner, and snuggling under the huge comforters to stay warm on the 3C (38F) degree night with no heat or electricity. Hiked back to Murren via Stechelberg the next day.
All-in-all, a wonderful time, and can’t wait to come back again. Would like to see the views on a clear day on some of our earlier hikes as well as complete some hikes we couldn’t do because of the snow that day, namely Baregg Hut and Eiger Trail.