Dispatch by Delano Lavigne
Photos by Jimmy Martinello

The memories of my first visit to Yosemite National Park in California are still vivid in my mind, especially how quickly I fell in love with its fierce grandeur and timeless beauty. Today, while visiting the small town of Lauterbrunnen, I had an experience very similar to that of my first visit to Yosemite.

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Arriving in Lauterbrunnen

Even before arriving at the town’s train station, I could feel that I was about to arrive at somewhere special.

A tight U-shaped valley revealed itself almost immediately as the train entered the glacier carved canyon that leads to the Latuerbrunnen valley floor. Increasingly tall limestone walls and cascading waterfalls unfolded themselves more immensely and more intensely with each passing minute during the climb through the canyon.

The town itself climbs to either side of the valley where many traditional pine-built houses watch over long-reaching pastures. Meadows filled with silver thistle, blue thistle, yellow gentian, and silvery-leaved milfoil gradual roll towards the end of the valley and the Breithorn and Tschingelhorn glaciers. Farm houses glow pink with geranium filled flower boxes that pop against 1500 foot yellow and grey limestone cliffs. Waterfalls drop directly to the valley floor as if falling directly from the sky. The wind passes through the valley almost unnoticed and the smell of fresh cut hay inches me closer and closer to the edge of nostalgia, and possibly, Shangri-La.

As far as what I have experienced in Switzerland thus far, this valley is undoubtedly the most beautiful place I have seen and is one of the most beautiful places I have visited on this earth. 

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The View From Lauterbrunnen 

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