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Cheap Thrills

Posted by on 09/07/2014

You know how it is: no matter how high you can get, there will always be the time you have to come down.  First, some traveling essentials:

pretty much all they have up here are lagers.  they'll do in a pinch, i suppose

pretty much all they have up here are lagers. they’ll do in a pinch, i suppose

Time to say goodbye to Murren and the very nice people at the Hotel Alpenblick. It’s time to make the trek — by foot, no less! — to Gimmelwald, beloved of Rick Steves and PBS viewers everywhere.  It’s a hard life, I know, but we’re committed to bringing you the tough stories.  The stories you need to know.

no matter how dearly it costs us

no matter how dearly it costs us

Well, at least it’s all downhill.

take a left at Albuquerque, can't miss it

take a left at Albuquerque, can’t miss it

After an hour or so, here we are:

gimmelwald-1

…where we discovered quite possibly the single most insane business in the world:

yes this is real

yes this is real

Yep, The Honesty Shop, ladies and gentlemen.  Europe’s First Unattended Self-Service Village Shop.  There’s just a bunch of stuff in there — souvenirs,  food, tools, whatever — and a cash box to put money should you fancy anything.  No attendant.  No staff.  There is nothing stopping you from robbing the place up one side and down the other. Nothing but your conscience, you heartless bastard.

The Honesty Shop was the only place open in town, so we left it in peace and headed down to the Lauterbrunnen Valley:

current picture, or recycled footage from my Yosemite days? YOU'LL NEVER KNOW

current picture, or recycled footage from my Yosemite days? YOU’LL NEVER KNOW

We were headed for Trümmelbachfälle, a series of ten waterfalls spiraling down a ravine inside a mountain. It is impressive as all hell, but notoriously difficult to photograph.  We took a lot of photos and most of them are just crap.

this is the best one we got

this is the best one we got

It’s also our old friend Swiss Engineering at work–the system of stairs and catwalks built into the mountain making the falls accessible to humans dates from 1913. These people are unstoppable, I tell you.

Several beers and trains later, we arrived in Interlaken, for a leisurely cruise around Thunersee, arguably the prettier of the two lakes Interlaken is, well, inter.

pictured: your average Swiss elementary school. I don't know whether to laugh or cry

pictured: your average Swiss elementary school. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry

More later. Tchuss!

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