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Alps 4 Wengen 96

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Published on Aug 6, 2009

We journey up the longest cog railway in Switzerland from Lauterbrunnen to Wengen enjoying the worlds most beautiful really!-- spectacular view along the way. The ride begins with a dramatic 14-minute ascent that offers astonishing panoramic views of the valley below as you travel up to the village of Wengen, perched on the side of a steep mountain. As the train climbs up the side of the mountain you can see a majestic vista of the deep green Lauterbrunnen Valley, framed by steep hillsides dotted with farms and massive snow-covered peaks in the distance.
The seating selection is a little tricky here because the first ten minutes has the best view from the left side of the train, looking into the valley, but then the tracks curve around in a switchback and the most incredible view of the entire valley shows up on the right side of the train. If the train is not crowded, you might be able to sit on the left side for that initial view, sticking your head out the window and looking backwards to take it all in, and then move over to the right side after the tracks curve.
However, if it looks like train will be crowded, quickly grab a seat on the right side for the best view of all, which appears ten minutes into the ride just after the curve as the train approaches Wengen. This most amazing vista, when the valley is laid out before you in all its splendor, is only visible for one minute -- so you have to be ready for it, looking in the correct direction, with your camera turned on and ready to shoot to catch the decisive moment. It is a lesson worth contemplating because the same situation sometimes happens in our daily lives -- you can get the most out of an elusive experience if you are forewarned, pay attention, get in the right place at the right time, and know exactly what to do.
From Wengen we ride a cable car up the mountain to Mannlichen, then down the other side to Grindelwald where we catch the train back to Lauterbrunnen and Interlaken. This gives us tome for an evening stroll in Interlaken, including a visit to the Grand Hotel and Spa Victoria-Jungfrau, a 5-star ultra deluxe hotel often listed among the worlds best. Dinner on their terrace is an affordable luxury with a view.
Interlaken makes a perfect base from which to explore the region. There are nearly 100 hotels and guesthouses in all price ranges in the town. While Interlaken is attractive, with an excellent supply of shops and restaurants and a pretty park in the middle, it is not one of Switzerlands quaint, traditional villages. Instead, it is a practical tourist center with fine support services, excellent rail and boat connections, and a compactness that makes for easy to walking anywhere in town. There is also a large casino filled with slot machines for some evening amusement. The nearby surrounding peaks and valleys are your main reasons for being here, so your time in Interlaken is mostly for eating and sleeping in order to gear up for excursions into the mountains.

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