This post is a continuation of a series documenting our travels to a small part of the beautiful Alpine country of Switzerland in the summer of 2022. We were now based in Murren after starting in Lausanne and staying for a wonderful three nights in Zermatt. It was the last of our full days in Murren and we wanted to make the most of it. We had previously done the walk to Gimmelwald (The pleasant Alpine town of Murren & an afternoon walk to Gimmelwald – Swiss Sojourn, Part 6 ) , enjoyed the high altitude cable car to Schilthorn (A morning at Schilthorn and Birg , getting into the 007 mood! – Swiss Sojourn, Part 7 ) and done a part of the picturesque North face trail (The Allmendhubel funicular & the North face trail – Swiss Sojourn, Part 8 ) in our 2 days in Murren.
On our last day we had planned to do the trail that is most recommended when you read and watch countless YouTube videos about the region while preparing for the trip – The Panorama trail. This trail started from Mannlichen which was on the other slope of the valley and continued in a gradual descent to Kleine Scheidegg with a total distance of just under 5 km – the main attraction of this trail is that the mountains of Eiger, Monch & Jungfrau are always visible from the trail. We also wanted to do the “Royal Walk” from Mannlichen, which is a short walk (2km both ways) in the other direction which gives great views over the Lauterbrunnen valley in one direction and the triumvirate of Eiger, Monch and Jungfrau in the other. That meant we needed to start early as it is one of the most popular trails in the region.
We got up early and saw that the bad weather we had anticipated while starting this trip had held off for yet another day & it was a bright and clear summer morning in Murren. We got ready and had our usual heavy breakfast at our Hotel Alpenblick to prepare for the long day ahead.
A part of our heavy breakfast at the Hotel Alpenblick (Yes , I took one cat tissue as souvenir!)
We set off from Murren and took the train and then the cable car down to Lauterbrunnen. We crossed the road to the train station at Lauterbrunnen where the train to Wengen would leave in a few minutes. Again, the Swiss travel pass helped us do all this without queuing up for tickets as all travel up to Wengen is free with the Travel pass. We didn’t linger around in Wengen as we wanted to be up on the trail early and went straight across town to the Mannlichen cable car station where we bought our discounted tickets (again courtesy the travel pass!) and took the cable car up to Mannlichen. There is an option to pay extra and sit on the roof of the cable car in the so called ” Royal seats” – but we didn’t do that as those seats were facing the mountain and not the valley below. We stood in our regular spot watching the town of Wengen become smaller & smaller as the cable car went up the mountain.
Watching Wengen disappear as the cable car goes up to Mannlichen
We reached Mannlichen and took a couple of the paper crowns available there for free – to take photos when we reached the top of the Royal walk where the viewing platform is built in the shape of a crown.
About to start another day of hiking at Mannlichen
We huffed and puffed our way up the ascent to the viewing platform. The 1 km hike up was the only ascent we would be doing on the entire trail. We did it at leisure, stopping intermittently to take photos & using the benches that are present at perfect locations on all the trails we did in Switzerland. As it was early in the day there were few people on the trail, but a lot more than any trail we had done till now – the online popularity brings more people!
On the way up the Royal Walk
The view back to Mannlichen from the Royal walk
Taking photos of the mountains always in view
Using the thoughtfully provided seats along the trail up the Royal Walk
We reached up to the “Crown” viewing platform and took turns with the few people there in posing for photos. We even remembered to get the paper crowns out and wear them and get our photos taken by some kind co travellers.
Happy at reaching the top of the Royal Walk
The views over the Lauterbrunnen valley are unparalleled
Being King and Queen for a minute with paper crowns and all!
We lingered for sometime near the platform taking in the views all around and enjoyed the pleasant morning breeze that was on that morning. After a few minutes we started on our walk down back to Mannlichen. The walk down was much faster though we took as many photos going down as we did going up. With that magnificent view you can never take too many photos!
Photo of the last part of the Royal Walk taken on our way down
A photo of the triumvirate with the crown shaped marker posts on the Royal walk
Taking the shortcut on the way down
Back at Mannlichen after completing the Royal walk
With one part of our walk done we started for the Panorama trail. The trail is always wide and well marked. We walked towards the cable car station where the cable car from the high end resort town of Grindelwald ended.
The Cable car station at Mannlichen with one of the numerous signs that dot the trail
On the way to the cable car station up from Grindelwald
The end of the walking trail up from Grindelwald
The cable car on it’s way up from Grindelwald down in the valley below
There was a meadow behind the cable car station where a herd of cows were grazing that morning. So we went up to take some photos of the bovines with the snow covered peaks as background. There were people crossing the barriers and posing with the huge animals. Having seen my share of animal caused injuries over the years as a surgeon, I refused to get anywhere near the cows and just take my photos from a safe distance.
Swiss cows with the Swiss alps as background
The cows graze on the meadows with the blue skies behind
As close as I would get to a cow on the meadows!
We then continued down the trail towards Kleine Scheidegg at a gentle pace. We noticed the effect of the harsh summer combined with the weak winter gone by. There were more patches of dried grass and less flowers than what I had seen in the photos. It was still all very beautiful though and once we came to a stretch where there were more wild flowers in bloom I changed to the 300mm to take some photos of the flora.
The start of a stretch of the trail with more wild flowers in bloom
As usual once I put the 300mm on I have to search for birds. The only birds on the trail were Alpine Choughs and we came on a huge flock of these birds and I got some photos of a few closer ones in flight and photos of the huge flock dotting the sky.
A few photos of the Alpine Chough flying close by
A huge flock of Alpine Chough dots the summer sky
We luckily came across a Eurasian Spotted Nutcracker and got a good series of photos of the beautiful bird flying right above us.
A Spotted Eurasian Nutcracker flies right above us
The flowers on that stretch were really pretty and colourful and I tried to capture their beauty as much as I could with the 300mm. Where there are flowers there are always insects flitting about and it made for a wonderful workout for the 300mm.
The wild flowers & insects on the middle part of the panorama trail
We looked back at the trail that we had walked in the hour gone by and the Royal Walk that was still visible from halfway down the Panorama trail and I took a photo of it before we turned round the hillock that put it out of view.
Photo of the Royal Walk from halfway down the Panorama trail with the 300mm
When the patch with the plentiful flowers ended I changed back to my ultra wide and tried to take photos of the flowers with the mountains in the background.
The Wild flowers with the mountains in the background
We came to a open meadow where fellow hikers had set up their picnics and we decided to rest our legs some. We got out the apples we had carried and had ourselves a small snack the the Alps all around us.
The other side of the view from the Panorama trail
Resting our legs after 2/3 of the hike down the Panorama trail
Having an apple on the trail
After resting our legs for some time we started on the rest of the trail down to Kleine Scheidegg which came into view after a few more bends in the trail.
More photos of the Eiger , Monch & Jungfrau!
The Grindelwald valley in the background
More wildflowers on the trail down to Kleine Scheidegg
We came to the restaurant Grindelwaldblick which I had read about and we stopped for a well earned lunch. It was yet another memorable lunch up in the Alps, the already tasty food made even tastier by the location and the views all around. The better half got herself a tasty veggie burger & I had a great Schnitzel with fries and a beer.
The great views from our table at the Restaurant Gridelwaldblick
Happy us with our tasty lunch on the Panorama trail
The restaurant also had a panorama platform which had great views down to Kleine Scheidegg and the trail snaking it’s way down to it. We climbed up to it and took some photos before resuming our walk down to the train station.
The views from the Panorama platform at the restaurant Grindelwaldblick
With our tummies full and feet rested we had a fresh spring on our step as we walked the last part of the Panorama trail. Just before we reached the end of the trail we came to two small ponds/ alpine lakes which were right out of a picture postcard. I tried to capture the reflection of the mountains in the still waters. It was the perfect end to a great trail and it certainly lived up to its reputation.
More wildflowers with the Monch and the Eiger
The small Alpine ponds right out of a picture postcard at the end of the Panorama trail
It had taken us more than 4 hours in total to complete the panorama trail & the royal walk with numerous stops and at an extremely leisure pace. It had been a great end to our hiking exploits in the Swiss Alps. We had chosen to travel to Switzerland in the summer just to be able to hike it’s trails & we had enjoyed every minute of it.
The train station at Kleine Scheidegg with the train to Jungfrau on its way up
We took the next train down to Wengen and decided to stop to explore this town before returning back down to Lauterbrunnen. We saw a small ice cream cart outside the station with a man selling his home made ice cream and decided to buy one as dessert. It was a delicious cone and it was very hard to resist the temptation to buy one more!
Having a home made cone of ice cream in Wengen
Wengen seemed like a glitzier cousin of Murren with a lot more shops and boutiques than it’s sleepy cousin across the valley. We walked through the town and made a beeline for the lone church steeple visible.
Souvenir stores line the street at Wengen
The lone church steeple in Wengen
The Church was a relatively plain one as are the ones usually in these small hill towns but they always have a great view down into town. The one in Wengen was no different and we did our usual routine of sitting in the pews for a few minutes before heading out to the small garden next to it and taking some photos with the town below.
Outside the church in Wengen
The plain but serene interiors of the church in Wengen
The view from the garden next to the church in Wengen
We then headed back to the train station after admiring the views for sometime and took the train down to Lauterbrunnen.
More photos of the town of Wengen in Berner Oberlander
I asked the better half if she still had some juice left in the tank to do the Lauterbrunnen valley walk before returning to Murren by Cable car. She readily agreed and we would walk the valley that evening.
But that is a story for another post some other time, some other day as I have exceeded my self set limit on the length of these posts. So till then.
Happy us on the Panorama trail – A must do hike in Berner Oberlander, Switzerland
Spectacular post of a truly beautiful place. Very cute royal pictures.
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Thanks ma’am…glad you could hike it too a within a few days of us…