A Hike in the Swiss Alps

One of my very favorite people had a way with doing crazy things that almost always panned out simply because she never entertained an alternative. It was in the spirit of Naomi that one Friday during the fall of my sophomore year abroad, I left class and went straight to Gare de Lyon. I walked into the billeterie with a backpack and an adrenaline rush and asked for a ticket for the next train to Switzerland. The man at the window raised an eyebrow.
Vous êtes optimiste” he said drily. Optimistic I may be, but the stars aligned and some hours later my train pulled into Interlaken-Ost.
The next morning I set out into the Lauterbrunnen Valley of the Jungfrau Alps. I admit defeat because I cannot possibly do the place justice with words. Suffice it to say that the Jungfrau Region is beautiful to the point of being overwhelming. I was in tears with awe.
The Wanderweg (God bless the German language) trails the valley floor and from it a number of hiking trails branch off and rejoin, winding up and down the mountainsides. My plan was to go as far as the morning took me and catch a train to go somewhere else in the afternoon.
It was four o’clock when I strode into the village of Mürren and realized the trail had ended. Having so wildly underestimated my day, I had set out with no more food than a package of Knäckebrot—Swiss crackers with like two ingredients and zero flavor. Fortunately I happened across a little dairy farm selling cheese straight out of the barn.
I sat there in the shadow of the Schilthorn eating fresh gruyère and listening to the soft ringing of cows bells echoing through the valley until the funicular came to take me back down the mountain to reality.

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