Lauterbrunnen Valley, with its vertical sides and flat bottom, is U-shaped, a textbook example of a glacier-shaped valley. While the main town, also called Lauterbrunnen, sits on the valley floor, neighboring towns hang on cliffs high above. “Lauterbrunnen” means “loud waters” – an apt name. Waterfalls plummet from cliffs all along the valley.
Staubach Falls – one of the highest in Switzerland – drops nearly 1,000 feet. The valley – with its riverside trails, traditional farmhouses, and chorus of surrounding peaks cheering you on — is a magnet for nature lovers.
Towering high above are the icy Jungfrau, Monch, and Eiger peaks, named for the legend of the young maiden, Jungfrau, being protected by the monk, or Monch, from the mean ogre, or Eiger. And perched on a saddle between two of those mountains is the Jungfraujoch Station, and that’s where we’re going by train.
From the valley floor, a cogwheel train takes tourists and mountaineers alike on this ear-popping journey. As we gradually climb, the views continually unfold.
Eventually, we arrive at Kleine Scheidegg, a rail junction at the base of the peaks. For well over a century, this has been the jumping-off point for rock climbers attempting to scale the foreboding north face of the Eiger. Kleine Scheidegg has souvenir shops, hearty food for hikers, and rustic 19th-century hotels – a reminder that tourism is nothing new here.
- Lauterbrunnen, it sits on the valley floor
- towns hang on cliffs high above
- Staubach Falls – one of the highest in Switzerland
- with its riverside trails, traditional farmhouses
- As we gradually climb
- hearty food for hikers
Swiss valley listening vocabulary exercise