The heaven where green hills, rolling meadows, snow clad alps and busy streets turn the unromantic into a poet and a poet into a sufi saint.
We stayed at the Chalet Alpstein – all 19 of us, ranging from 2 years to 65 years of age. (+41 33 853 0844). The view from our chalet was something out of picture postcard. Gorgeous old fashioned homes set on lush green hills, by even greener carpet – like meadows and mountains covered in the last legs of snow.
One of the finest supermarkets I have been to – Co op. (pronounced as COOP), was just behind our chalet. Many a times, we took the shopping cart itself to our apartment and returned it after we stored our stuff in the kitchen.
If you are staying for a good number of days do get hold of the Swiss Pass. This gives you instant access to trains, bus, cable cars (barring a few) and is extremely convenient. Keep it with you AT ALL TIMES.
Buses transverse up and down Grindelwald.
The train station is the main hub, where you might find taxi cabs too.
There is this lady, who does taxi service all over Grindelwald. Call her and she will pick you up. She also has a huge van for larger groups.
Please note, there is only one clinic with an xray machine. It shuts once a week. Be careful with all the activities.
If you are living in a chalet or self catered apartment, and need a cleaner this lady comes in highly recommended. But please inform your land lord or ask her / him for their daily cleaner.
There is sooooo much to do in Grindelwald, that it can exhaust you to sleep early in the evening.
Tobogganing This is dry tobogganing, on a steel tray set on an incline, and not the snow one. You have to take a bus up to Pfingstegg, and then a cable car up. Please note that not only kids ,but even adults will want to do it at least twice.
The speed is under your control.
I highly recommend a walk down, back to the town. It’s absolutely gorgeous. The beauty and the greenery just stops your heart. Lots of places to sit on the way.
Jungfrau. Take a train from the main station, and go to Jungrau. (J is pronounced as Y).
Please Note: Look for a warm sunny day. Even then you need to dress warmly. You must step out into the lookout and do some snow activities. For that the ears need to be covered, the body needs a full jacket and dark glasses ARE A MUST!. The snow is so blinding, that you wont be able to see without it.
Be Warned — the altitude gets really high. Though the train takes you up really slowly and you keep getting used to the height, some people might feel a bit breathless. The heart rate increases slightly. But mostly all manage.
DO NOT go in peak season. The crowds are horrendous and takes close to 1 hour or more to catch the train back.
Food in Jungfrau.
I have a walking talking encyclopaedia of a sweet brother in law. He suggested something awesome.
There are three restaurants in Jungfrau. One is a self service. One is — are you ready for this?– Bollywood Cafe. And it served Bollywood food!! Thanks to Yash Raj and his films, Switzerland is a popular Indian attraction. (All Indians throng there, so space constraint). Cristal, is a seated restaurant. You can make a booking too. Slightly expensive, so you will always get a booking there. Excellent food. Another options is to pack some sandwiches etc and eat it there.
They have a huge Lindt shop up there!
Do some snow activities, while you are there. Unless the weather is really rotten, they have Zip lining, tobogganing etc organised.
The Eiger Trail. Those fond of walking, walk along the hills of Eiger. Do go to the local tourist centre for details.
The Grindelwald sports centre. If it’s raining and you are stuck, go to the sports centre. Indoor pool, rock climbing, rope room etc. Grindelwald also has an outdoor pool. Please ask your concierge. I have lost the address – (Swiss names!!)
Zip lining Take the cable car to the last station, and do Zip Lining.
Trotti Bike DO NOT DO IT. It looks awesome. But its a 4.5 km ride, on a very very steep decline. 6 of us were doing it, and two fell. One was hurt so badly that we had to rush him to hospital. Luckily it was on the very first decline. Once a little way down, there is no way up. They have no emergency evacuation. No way to contact base that someone has fallen. And no SOS medical treatment!! And to top it all – private cars ply on the same road. Imagine loosing control and banging head long into a car??
If you do end up doing it, please keep your brakes applied at all times. Heavy people, refrain. People with bad balance refrain. People with neck and back problems refrain!
Paragliding is super super fun. And the organisation is very sturdy and well managed. Call before hand and book in advance. Sometimes it could be a little away, and you might need to take a train.. (see why I suggest the Swiss Pass?)
Go to Small Towns Just hop on to the train, and make your way into small quaint towns. Spend the day, discovering neighbouring places. The trains are really convenient. Like a hop on – hop off bus. Contact the local tourist office for details. I reccommend, Wengen, Lauterbrunnen, Interlaken amongst the many others.
Lake Bachalpsee. I have’nt been, but I believe its a top rated thing to do. Its quite a walk, but the view is worth it.
Picnic by a Stream. We walked and walked and found a walking trail by a stream. At some point, we found a rocky opening leading to the stream, and claimed it for our picnic spot. The water is white, mixed with clay. The steam rushes and gushes and we were warned not to go in, at the risk of being swept away. I have never found a better way to unwind! We all pulled out our shoes, and dipped our legs in the chilled chilled water. Just sit and hear the sound of the stream and feel all the negative stuff wash away with it.
Drink from a stream. As you keep walking around the area, stop and drink from the spring. Not the white water I mentioned above, but look for clear spring, linking itself into the river. The water is crystal clear and medicinal!
Roll Down Hill. Find a huge hill. Walk up and then roll down!!Its super super amazing. Be careful not to trespass.
Every Wednesday, during summer Grindelwald roads shut down for a party. The entire road is blocked for stalls, rock shows etc. You can eat your dinner there on that day. Sangria, Beer, wines all sold in the stalls.
Do have the local cuisine. Fondue, Raclette and Roesti. PLEASE!!
Mercato at Hotel Spinne. Excellent Pizza. Asked to be seated outdoor on a nice day.
Hotel Eiger. Their Eiger fries are yum! Try their Roesti too! Fondue and Raclette also amazing. Sit outside!
Kirschbuhl. Way up on the hill! Book in advance. Fantastic Roesti. Ask for their special fondue!
Golden India One of the best Indian food I have had. Their roti’s, even cold was wonderful!
Fondue in Lauterbrunnen If you end up going to Lauterbrunnen, Please – I urge you to have the fondue here! (click on the link!)
Coop– I love this super market. Bang in the middle of the city, near the bus station! You get EVERYTHING there!
Walk around, and see what you like.
Great Sports shoes and super winter wear.
Chocolate Shop Click on the link and find the place (not difficult) and go buy some chocolates!! Fresh and amazing!
Hotel Eiger has a super bar
As does Spinne
Avacado Bar, on the main street looks very happening.
Hope you like Grindelwald as much as we all did!