Text and Photo: Laura Taccari
Listen: Myth, Beach House
It’s a cool Friday of September at Lauterbrunnen station, a secluded village in Western Switzerland. While tourists get down from their carriages with a fresh glow, other travellers, who have just arrived, hurry on platform 3. The last train to Kleine Scheidegg is about to leave. The carriage starts moving uphill at unsteady pace, the same speed of a carousel at a fun fair. We run along rocks, plains, waterfalls, farms and we spot a bear cub contemplating the views. Most of the tourists get down at Wengen so we have the last stretch, the most beautiful, all to ourselves. The sight of mounts Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau all for ourselves. Together, under the light of sunset, they appear like a white and grey fan surrounded by the sky. The Hotel Bellevue des Alps looks tiny, like one of those miniature houses you keep on your shelves. In its rooms, at 2071 m above sea level, a new journey begins. We walk through a dimly lit dining room, a creaking staircase and a corridor with white furniture and mustard doors. We’re pleasantly surprised by the simplicity and elegance of this start of the century alpine Grand Hotel, the attention to the tiniest details and the abundance of wood covering all surfaces. All windows look either on the valley or on some glacier. At night, the sound of the cowbells echoing in the background is the perfect lullaby. The candlelit dinner is served under a panelled ceiling by “old school” waiters: soup of the day, salad buffet, main course and dessert. Then we move to another room to enjoy a glass of whisky in the comfort of a dark leather sofa, a jazz tune discreetly playing in the background. Among the pictures on the wall we recognize Clint Eastwood squinting his eyes to protect himself from the sun. His story is only one of the many that make up the magic of this hotel and we are delighted to know that, after today, ours will be part of it too.