After seeing the wonderful beauty of Staubbach Falls up close and personal, the next item on our itinerary had a lot to live up to. But we did not need to worry in the slightest. Trümmelbach Falls proved to be one of the most awe-inspiring sights we’d seen (and heard) in Switzerland.
Continuing on the path from Staubbach Falls deeper into the valley the sun was high in the sky and it was getting hotter. The cool water we felt on our faces moments earlier from the falls had dried up quickly and we were keen to find some shade. To reach Trümmelbach Falls we had to cross the valley which was easy on foot. And in the distance we could see some welcome relief in the form of shade from the sun. The cliffs were formed perfectly to provide shade at this time of day. We passed many lonely chalets along the way, magnificently set on the brilliantly green grass against the backdrop of mountains and waterfalls.
Trummelbach, Lauterbrunnen Valley, Switzerland, a photo by Flights. Camera. Satisfaction. on Flickr.
Once we had reached the shade, we took a moment to pause and rest on a bench just next to the river fed by the Trümmelbach Falls. A gulp of refreshing but by now warm water and we were on our way again. When we reached the bottom of the falls we realised it was quite a different proposition to those we had seen before. This was a tourist attraction with signs, buses, tour groups, and entry charge. Fortunately there was also a lift taking people to the top, which we were grateful for after a couple of hours on our feet. Waiting for the ascent, we looked up through the glass roof of the lift to try and see what might be waiting for us above. It was pitch black, darkness in every direction. This lift was going to be taking us deep into the cliffs that loom over the Lauterbrunnen valley.
Sitting in complete darkness as the lift rose steeply into the cliffs, we began to hear a sound which grew louder and louder as we neared the top. There was no mistaking it. The roaring, thundering sound of water powering through the caves we were about to enter. I had never heard anything like it. The Trümmelbach Falls are the largest subterranean falls in Europe carrying up to 20,000 litres of water per second, through a series of caves they alone have carved out of the cliffs they occupy. They are the sole outlet of glacier melt from the Jungfrau, Eiger and Mönch glaciers.
After exiting the lift we began to make our way around the series of dark, wet passages that tunnel their way around the falls. It was an assault on the senses, the sight and sound of the falls was breathtaking. Every now and then we’d catch a glimpse of sunlight creeping through the cracks high up in the caves, revealing beautiful colours in the cave walls. There was so much moisture in the air I was worried about my camera, which I was protecting like a baby on its first real trip out into the wild.
Watching our step on the slippery surface we followed the falls back down to ground level, where the final waterfall entered the river we had been resting by an hour earlier. Back at the entrance we took a pause and decided to head back to Lauterbrunnen on the local bus service that stops just outside the falls. It had been a fantastic day, and we looked forward to the next time we’d have the opportunity to return to this beautiful part of the world.
The Trümmelbach Falls are about half way between Lauterbrunnen and Stechelberg in the Lauterbrunnen Valley, Switzerland. They can be reached in about an hour of easy walking from Lauterbrunnen train station, or you can take a bus that stops right outside the entrance to the falls. It costs 12CHF to enter, and there is no extra charge to use the lift that takes you right to the top.
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