Posted by Annette on August 28, 2013
If you've been in Lauterbrunnen for a while and fancy a no-nylon day to recalibrate, the options might look a little--um--spendy. (The round-trip to the James Bond restaurant is 114 friggin' Francs, for godsakes.) The Oberland might be a cash vacuum, but if you have 30 francs left to your name, you can still have fun--lots of it, in fact.
Hop on the train to Interlaken to spend the day scrambling around the K44 Indoor Climbing Gym. The gym offers approximately 800 square meters's worth of 15-meter-high walls, covered with more than 70 routes in all ranges of difficulty. Routes are switched out reasonably often. There's a special beginners wall, a kiddie wall, a bouldering cave, changing rooms with showers and an on-site cafe.
21 CHF for admission, 10 CHF for gear
Buy a day pass to the Spa at the Victoria-Lauberhorn Hotel, and do your best to turn yourself into a human raisin. The indoor saline water pool, heated to 33 °C with Swiss precision, is ringed with massage jets and neck-massage showers, whirlpool recliners and seats, a strong-current channel, a steam room, a sauna and two plunge pools (one cold, one warm). There's also a fitness room, a solarium and an upstairs quiet room where you can take in the views of the Bernese Oberland from comfy sun loungers.
Bring your own robe to avoid the rental fee. Towels are free. Oh--and there are free apples on the counter. Be bold. Take four.
24 CHF each
Pick up wood, matches, a bottle of wine and bar-b-que food at the Wengen Coop. Then hike up above Wengen for about 20 minutes, along the trail that leads to Mannlichen, to one of the handful of picnic/campfire sites perched on the slope overlooking the whoooooole Valley.
The spot is reasonably remote and remarkably traffic-light, especially on weekday evenings, and the views are--predictably--dashingly romantic. Bring a picnic blanket to facilitate a make-out session.
Whatever you spend on food
On the small hill right next to the cable car station in Wengen, there's a little 18-hole course where you can put your minigolf skills to the test. Rent your clubs and ball at the Tourist Information Office and, for bonus points, bring cans of champagne bought from the Coop.
This year, a pair of little ponies lives next to the course and drolly checks out the action from behind their wire fence.
5 CHF each
There are summer-season swimming pools in both Lauterbrunnen and Wengen. The Lauterbrunnen pool is heated to 23 °C, and it's open daily from 10:30 to 6:00 every day from early June to the end of the season in September. There is often a slack line set up over the water. The 40-by-20-meter Wengen pool has one hell of a view, a slackline, a waterslide and a trampoline. It's open from late June until September from 9:00 to 7:00.
Lauterbrunnen: 6 CHF each
Wengen: 4 CHF each
How many times have you hiked right past it on the way to the exit? (I know, right?!) Maybe take a day out of your busy jumping schedule and finally give it a try. If you're an experienced climber, you don't even need a guide (for everything but the zipline)--just make sure you have the right gear, which you can rent at the Mürren Intersport.
~20 for the rental gear, depending on what you already have