Reader comments on Wengen and Mürren in Switzerland's Jungfrau region.

Yes on Mürren

The article on Mürren in the July issue brought back some good memories of a visit there about 12 years ago. Some of the memories are:

• Walking halfway up the Schilthorn to a trailside restaurant lunch stop, sitting at an outdoor table with a bowl of Gulaschsuppe and a glass of beer, watching a man lay out a parasail on the slope behind him, then run down to the edge, jump off, and go floating down into the Lauterbrunnen valley.

• Standing outside the hotel in the evening and watching the alpenglow on the peaks across the valley - I still have a photo of it hanging on my living room wall.

• A rail trip to the Jungfraujoch (the highest railway station in Europe, we were told).

• Meeting a young man on the street wearing jeans and a T-shirt with "Don't worry, be happy" (in English), and with a Swiss army assault rifle slung on his shoulder—they were having a Volksschiessen (public shooting match) that day. They do that sort of thing in Switzerland.

• Lying in bed at night and listening to the cowbells ringing on the meadow above the town - I didn't complain at all about being kept awake.

For all its touristy features, Mürren gives about as true a picture of life in the Swiss mountains as you are likely to get.

James D. Mentzer
via email

Heaven in Wengen

Can't help but comment on your new issue. Mürren is one of our favorites, too, although we never actually stayed there. Each time we went there we were staying in Wengen.

Coincidentally, the last time we stayed in Wengen we rented an apartment. Anne found it via the Internet. It was the fourth floor (gasp!) of the home/business of a family. A dairy and cheese shop was on the first floor. They lived on the second and the third and fourth were apartments.

We had a good size bedroom, a kitchen and dinette, a large (relatively) living room with balcony overlooking the town and looking out over the Lauterbrunnen Valley to, at night, the winking lights of Mürren, and a very small bedroom under the eaves. The cost figured out to $65 a night for the two of us, and all the cheese we could eat (almost). The couple could not speak any English but we got along, including the time I had to go down and borrow a coffee grinder.

Each morning, I would walk down to the Bahnhof kiosk for newspapers (and cigarettes then, not now) and stop by the bakery on the way back. One afternoon, a herd of cows was driven up our street and under our balcony. We had a wonderful view of the Mönch and Jungfrau.

Another day I took the tram from the upper end of the Lauterbrunnen to Mürren. Spectacular. We did the Schilthorn, of course, and one day we hired a helicopter down in Lauterbrunnen for an incredible tour beginning with the Eiger north face so close you could almost touch it, the Jungfraujoch and back via Schilthorn and Mürren. Ah, I want to go back.

Bill Stall
via email

August 2000