The next morning we once again had the breakfast at our hotel and started driving towards Lauterbrunnen, where there was supposed to be a nice waterfall. It was a beautiful sunny day and we stopped to admire autumn foliage on the route.
Lauterbrunnen is an idyllic small town with a giant parking lot for people, who want to see the waterfall. We arrived quite early in the morning and decided to climb up as close to the falls as we could.
We thought that we will get close to the top or at least this is what it felt like when climbing all those stairs, but we actually stayed quite close to the ground. There was a lovely mist coming from the waterfall, which shone in the sun like a million little diamonds.
After that we headed towards Gletscherschlucht, which looked great on pictures, but turned out to be quite an expensive disappointment. We paid 19 CHF for maybe a kilometer walk along the stream. In places (and on photos) it looks pretty captivating, but it was pretty boring to walk until you hit a wall and then walk the same way back. If it would have been for 5 CHF, it would have been worth it, but I cannot recommend it.
Our next stop was at Gelmer Funicular, which is the steepest funicular in Europe, and I was so much expecting to be able to ride it and see the views, but to our major disappointment, it was already closed for the season. So we had no other choice than to turn back and drive away. It was unbelievable that in such a beautiful October weather everything would be closed.
We started driving towards Andermatt through the Grimsel Pass, which turned out to be amazingly beautiful stretch of the road with lakes, gorgeous mountains, and green granite mountains.
There was also a dam, which gave us an opportunity to enjoy amazing views.
We drove all the way to the to highest point and we saw Totensee, which was the most serene thing I have seen in a long time. We could’ve sat end stared at it forever, but it was pretty windy outside, so we got cold quickly. It was gorgeous!
After that we headed to Andermatt via winding roads stopping probably every 5 min to take photos of great views.
We ended up in Andermatt around 5 p.m. and started looking for our hotel, which was supposed to be approx. 30 km from Andermatt. Well, imagine our surprise when we put the hotel into Google Maps and it tells us that we need to drive 100 km to reach it! We were so pissed! The sun was starting to go down and there was absolutely no way we would drive 100 km back where we came from in the dark! In addition to that we were starving as we haven’t had anything to eat after the breakfast, so we decided that to hell with money, we’ll find a hotel in Andermatt. We basically went into the first hotel we found and asked whether they had a room and they did for something like 140 CHF. At that point we just said we’ll take it.
Later I filed a complaint with Hotels.com about this, because the hotel obviously charged us money for not showing up. They gave me a discount code for 75 CHF, which was approx. half of what the hotel cost and said that they just put the information in their database based on what the hotel tells them. It’s now been one and a half months since my claim and I’ve followed up once, but still no answer from the hotel and of course no refunded money. So yeah, lesson learned to cross-check everything in Google Maps and I absolutely don’t recommend Hotel Wetterhorn. Lying bastards. 😉 Andermatt is a very popular destination, so in hindsight I’m relieved that they had rooms available at all.
In Andermatt we were so hungry that we were looking for a place to eat. We went to three places to find them all closed. I guess October isn’t a very popular time in Andermatt, which is focused on skiing, so a lot of restaurants have only limited opening hours. Finally we found a pizza place that was open, Restaurant Spycher, and decided that enough is enough and we will eat here even if the pizza is crap. Pizza actually turned out to be good, so it was a good end of day despite the crap with the hotel location. Their paymnet terminal was also broken, so it was another happy coincidence that I withdrew some cash in Zürich. My sister visited Switzerland in the summer and warned me that there is plenty of places which only accept cash.
It also reminded me that it’s good to have some extra money budgeted for trips for these kind of shitty occasions. Not that I loved to spend 140 CHF on nothing, but at least we didn’t have to drive for an hour and a half in the darkness on winding roads and could just eat pizza and relax. 🙂