When we woke up in the morning, dark grey clouds hung over the Lauterbrunnen valley and obscured the sunlight. It began raining soon after we went to the CO-OP supermarket for a quick breakfast of bread and cheese. We decided it would be the perfect opportunity to hike along the valley and to see the Trummelbach falls, which are a series of ten glacier waterfalls. The rain picked up very quickly and my water resistant
jacket became insufficient. We stopped by a local store and I had to buy an very large blue
poncho to shield against the persistently pelting rain.
Lauterbrunnen village that lies in the trough of Lauterbrunnental, which is a huge glacial valley ringed by 72 spectacular glacial waterfalls. We had heard rave excitement about Trummelbach Falls as one of the “must see” natural wonders.We followed the riverside trail walked along the Weisse Lutschineriver. We walked by and marvelled at the little farmhouses with cows grazing in the meadows and the phenonmenally tall cascading waterfalls on all sides of the valley walls.
Crossing a bridge and looking over theWeisse Lutschine River surrounded by the high Lauterbrunnen valley ‘walls’.
The riverside trail led us past farm houses and meadows with cows.
An example of the quaint houses we saw on our hike to Trummelbach Falls. I really liked the garden in front of this one.
The architecture of the houses was
interesting. For example, some of the walls had tiny flakes of wood all over,
like fish scales. Many had meadows where cows could graze and there were gardens with flowers and vegetables growing. In addition to the many many waterfalls cascading down the cliffs around us, the lush green meadows made this a very enjoyable and beautiful rainy hike!
After about two hours, we reached the Trummelbach Falls area:
We climbed up to see the 10 waterfalls that comprise the Trummelbach Falls. To my amazement, we went underground into a tunnel funicular falls inside the cliffthat let us off to the entrance of a series of lighted tunnels, viewing balconies and galleries. WOW! The Falls were so powerful, fast and furious. The Falls were also very loud and even though we were still a distance away, the vigor and strength of the Falls led to us being sprayed even from the viewpoints. Moreover, I marvelled at the amazing engineering and construction that made this experience so accessible to the public.Pictures describe this experience much better than words:
VERY up close view of one of the Falls from a viewing balcony in the tunnels.
These magnificent Falls originate from glacier melt (Eiger, Monch and Jungfrau),
and have literally carved out a path inside the rock!!! I loved how you could see just how
deeply the water had carved the rock and the river was powerful enough that you
could believe it was capable of such carving.
View of inside the series of tunnels and viewing balconies.
The Falls are so powerful they have carved their way through the rock.
Top view of the Falls. Truly a natural wonder!
A bridge connecting different viewing tunnels of Trummelbach Falls.
Also, there were balconies outside of the cliffs that allows us to look over and down the Lauterbrunnen Valley. The view was magnificent especially since we got some brief moment of sunshine.
Looking down at the Lauterbrunnen valley with the beautiful cascading waterfalls and houses and meadows in the trough of the valley.
Even though the weather was gloomy, the view of the Valley was still grand and breathtaking.
We stopped by a cafe for coffee and tea. Then we headed back by a bus to the village Lauterbrunnen. We at lunch at a restaurant in town. We again got our favorite dish, rosti. Also, the apple strudel that I ordered was delicious. The apple strudel and buttermilk was mouthwatering and warm, which was perfectly complemented by the cold ice cream and the tart red berries on the side:
Delicious apple strudel dessert that I ordered. The best I’ve ever had yet!!
spent the rest of the day hanging out in the hostel, which was a nice (and dry!) break. We met a girl named Alice in the hostel who was planning to go to Zermatt to hike the next day. It was supposed to be sunny on the other side of the Alps while we expected it to still be
raining in Lauterbrunnen since the clouds would still be overhanging the Lauterbrunnen Valley. We decided this would be the perfect opportunity to see the Matterhorn in real life and the weather was predicted to be sunny!!! We were very very excited for the adventures the next day would bring.
One of the most exciting aspects of college life is the freedom that students enjoy when living on their own. When most students think about college life, one of the first things that comes to mind is Greek life, with the many sororities and fraternities on campuses across the country. While Caltech does not have Greek life, per se, we do have a unique housing system, similar to that of Hogwarts. There are eight houses and one residence on campus: Avery, Blacker, Dabney, Fleming, Lloyd, Page, Ricketts, Ruddock, and the Bechtel Residence. Each of the houses has its own unique culture, character, and traditions. I am a member of Ruddock House!
This past year was so different than most of us could have ever imagined. Living in “the virtual school year” posed a plethora of challenges, but at the same time, it opened the door to new possibilities. As a society, we learned how to better operate in a virtual world, and as individuals, we had time for new endeavors. For myself, this meant taking the leap of faith to move away from home and live with some fellow Techers. While I had already had the experience of moving away from home and coming to live in the Caltech houses, this was quite different. Instead of living in organized student residences with hundreds of other students, a meal plan, and tons of support resources, I was about to go live with just 5 other people (some of which I did not know super well) and we had to find and manage our own housing, food, and necessities.
My favorite part about Caltech is the Houses! The easiest way to describe them is as Hogwarts houses: each has their own personality and group of people and the first thing you do at Caltech is go through a “sorting” process. The people are what makes the Houses at Caltech so great. As a frosh, it’s amazing to be able to come in and immediately have a group of 100+ people to support you. Because the Houses have students from every grade, you make friends with upperclassmen and can ask for help on tons of things like: