From my camp site in Stechelberg, I ambled along meandering asphalt roads and concrete pavements, lured by the waterfall, my bulky tripod lodged between my arms. Coming to a fork in the road I saw a direction sign that read “Trümmelbach Falls”, suddenly recalling a back-burnered agenda my Hungarian friend had urged: that the falls is a must-go. It was an hour away, by foot, and the road albeit long was flat. I continued my leisure walk, lost in the tapestry of trees and dramatic cliffs, relishing the bracing summer air. Such is the superlative beauty of Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland. Lauterbrunnen means “many fountains”, seventy-two to be exact.
Soon I was come to the Murrenbach Falls. In five cascades the water plunged, and as I traced its fluidity I espied an iridescent arch that had formed at the base of the final drop. Petals of wildflowers were borne by the wind, like snowflakes on a wintry day. I topped up my empty bottle, as I am wont to do whenever I visit a waterfall, and thanked the Murrenbach Falls as the water evicted thirst and renewed my resolve to journey on. To the Trümmelbach Falls I went.
Trees marched on endlessly, walling off what lay beyond. What a quaint village where time seemed to come to a standstill, I thought. Just then, a solo female parachutist came into view, at first a diminutive figure that very quickly grew in size, then swooping dangerously close. With an effort she jigged the toggles and swerved, careening towards then crashing into the belt of trees, her orange parachute snagged on outstretched branches and breaking the monotony of green. Like a prey caught in a spider’s web, she could not move or wiggle her way out. The few of us, the first witnesses, stood rooted to the ground, unsure of how to help her as she was beyond reach. Soon, numerous knights came to her rescue. The tallest guy amongst us grabbed her legs and steadied her on his shoulder as she doffed her gear and extricated herself.
Believing that she was in good hands, I continued my journey. I was quite enjoying the bucolic view when a putrid smell that hanged in the air assaulted my olfactory senses. I chanced upon a couple making yoo-hoo noises, their cameras poised in mid-air and aimed at two horses that wagged their tails. Whether it was shyness or haughtiness that led the beasts to ignore the two I did not know. On the road to the Trümmelbach Falls there were also grazing cows, and bells slung around their necks chimed in tandem with their gentle movements.