Gimmelwald, Switzerland

Supremely luscious meadows tumble down to the village of Gimmelwald, shedding a natural glow on the surrounding hills and offering a peaceful haven to the humble locals who call it home. Many mountainous regions in Switzerland can replicate a similarly stunning appearance, although few can hold claim to such a dramatic and picturesque landscape without crowds of tourists hustling for the perfect photograph.

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In fact, it’s a mystery that Gimmelwald has managed to escape the eyes of even most intrepid visitors to Switzerland for so long, such is the extent of its incredible beauty. Nestled high on a cliff side in the heart of the Swiss mountains, the village itself is dwarfed by imposing mountains on every side and the absence of cars help to convey an almost fairytale-like appearance, where life remains unspoiled by neighboring civilization and aside from the herds of cattle who graze the wide open spaces, where time can often seem to stand still. An elderly man exhales from his pipe on the porch of a weathered cabin, while small children race through fields and over rickety wooden fences; a sense of every-day routine consumes the community of Gimmelwald, as a very simple life continues to prevail over the Lauterbrunnen Valley.

“Summer brings green, winter brings snow, the sun greets the day, the stars greet the night”

A traditional folk blessing adorning the front of the local Post Office is symbolic of this primitive life in Gimmelwald, where farmers work hard throughout the year collecting grass for the long wait through winter, at which point they will hang up their cowbells and take to operating the nearby ski lifts. As with the middle ages when the village was first established, farming is still the main source of income which is largely subsidized by the Government to enable their survival, but a recent surge in local tourism is also reaping small rewards in the town which now has a small hotel, a hostel and a simple guesthouse.

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Although the village offers a very distinct yet subtle appeal, the surroundings are anything of the sort, for a scenic gondola travels to the peak of the Schilthorn with impressive views and where a revolving restaurant offers refuge in what should be a most inhospitable location. Delightful, scenic and easily accessed, the Piz Gloria restaurant offers a unique dining experience high above the valley with breathtaking views and the gondola will depart for the summit every 30 minutes.

Surrounded by open fields, grazing cows, gentle streams and blue skies, the hiking trails are endless stretching outward across the valley and upward into the hills, while back in the village a peaceful atmosphere awaits with all the simple pleasures in life. As with the Swiss Alps themselves, Gimmelwald never ceases to evoke a deep sense of wonder in every visitor and despite its unassuming size, offers a phenomenal experience where an idyllic overnight stay in a quaint village is a prelude to visiting the towering peaks dominating this incredibly majestic valley.

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Submitted on: April 26 2016 DMCA.com Protection Status
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