We had only one night in the great Burnese Oberland of Switzerland. When I was planning, it was between Murren, Wengen or Lauterbrunen for the first night. All choices would’ve been pretty, but how many time can one get to spend a night in the deep valley. 

People believed J.R.R Tolkien was inspired to sketch Rivendell from his hike to Lauterbrunnen. So I was wondering what would Rivendell look like in Winter. We landed in Zurich and took a train toward Lauterbrunnen. It was almost a decade ago when I last visited the magical land-locked country, but one thing was clear from then til now: Swiss trains are best in the world. I looked out the window seeing scenery moved by like rolling film when the view of the vast lakes transitioned into massive grey walls. We were in the valley.
1. View from the Train Window
2. Huts on the Hills
3. Our Bus Stop
4. Life & Colours
Lauterbrunnen during the summer month would be filled with roaring waterfalls. It was December, and we were welcomed with light snow – refreshing experience after a long time without it. We took the bus deeper into the valley – and dropped our luggage at our Airbnb before heading back out for a hike in the winter wonderland. 
5. From Above
6. Her Short Valley Hike
We took the Jungfraubahn up towards Wengen, eastward of Lauterbrunnen. As we climbed up, chalets were shrinking to cute brown boxes scattered in the field of white. We took a short walk around Wengen, the place was quiet and peaceful. Benefit of travelling during a shoulder season in the middle of the pandemic, I thought. The street was covered in thick powdery snow, but it didn’t feel too slippery. The vantage point from Wengen offered a view to the deeper part of the valley. The sun was coming down and the sky cleared up towards the blue hour. We were not used to the sun setting at 4PM, and of course the cold that came after sunset. 
7. Arriving at Wengen
8. The Natural Wall of Lauterbrunnen
9. Jungfraubahn’s Track
10. Winter Landscape in Lauterbrunnen 
11. Monch in the Evening Sky
12. Moon & Mountains
13. Lauterbrunen Winter Glow
14. After the Sunset
The village at night was very quiet. We could not find a restaurant that was open mid-week as it was a Thursday. Well, it worked out well for our budgeting that night so we got Pizza, Ham and Cheese from the supermarket for dinner – along with the Wine and Chocolate the host left us. After it got dark – I walked back out to see the village at night lit with Christmas lights. It was a charming walk. 
15. The Single Road through the Valley
16. Nature’s Winter Wall
17. Lauterbrunnen Village Church under the Stars
Timezone difference got me waking up early in the morning -too early. The plan was to go up to Schilthorn via the village of Murren, this time, westward of Lauterbrunnen. Given Schiltorn is opposite of Jungfrau and almost three thousand meters high, I thought it would’ve been the best view we can get of sunrise over the three giants (Eiger, Monch & Jungfrau). We went out before sunrise and was there before the first cable car ride. Murren was charming and the glimpse of giant mountains opposite the valley was majestic. 
Unfortunately, things doesn’t always look better from high-up. We were the only two people on the cable car and on Schiltorn. It was a white-out snowstorm, and the visibility was less than 10m. Expensive lesson: before taking Swiss summit cable car ride – check the real-time weather and their webcam. In the cable car ride we heard the staffs speaking german to each other and the only word I could figure out was “Imagination”. They probably asked each other why this couple are going up on such a weather and the other staff’s answer was “Imagination”. My most expensive cable car ride ended up being a memorable creativity session. 
18. Peeking through the Fog
That was our first day in Switzerland. From the snowy morning, we took the train to a fairy tale town Zermatt where we would catch up with our friend who came over earlier and hoped to meet the famous Matterhorn. 

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