Tuesday, 3 September 2013

SHANGRI-LA REVISITED (Tuesday, September 3)

In 1937, the Frank Capra film, "Lost Horizon", starring Jane Wyatt and Ronald Coleman was released. The story told of an enchanted, perfect, hidden community where time stands still. That paradise, I am sure you remember, was called Shangri-la. Jim and I are certain we have discovered the Swiss version of Shangri-la today in the jaw-dropping beauty that is Lauterbrunnen. Mountains part like the Red Sea as two 1500-foot sheer cliff walls rise imposingly on either side of the valley. More than seventy cascading waterfalls line the two mile long cliff. Mightiest of all is the 941 foot Staubbach Falls. Shrouds of mist and water droplets create the impression of a giant watery veil. Much to our delight, the falls are illuminated at night and visible from our room.
When the early Christians came into these high meadows they bestowed benign labels on two of the three massive mountains towering above the valley: Jungfrau (The Virgin) and Monch (The Monk). The most malicious promontory, however, was named for an evil pagan spirit, the Eiger (The Ogre). I find him menacing. To me, Eiger malignantly hovers over the glorious panorama created by his neighbouring Alps. It is to the Jungfrau, Monk and Eiger, we will journey early (very early!) tomorrow morning by train to what is known as the Jungfrauloch. At 11,300 feet, it is Europe's highest train station.
More about that tomorrow...

No comments:

Post a Comment