Waterfall in the Lauterbrunnen Valley, Switzerland




By J. R. R. Tolkien to Michael Tolkien, c. 1967


I am delighted that you have made the acquaintance of Switzerland, and of the very part that I once knew best and which had the deepest effect on me. Bilbo's journey from Rivendell to the other side of the Misty Mountains, including the glissade down the slithering stones into the pine woods, is based on my adventures in 1911...

Our wanderings mainly on foot in a party of 12 are not now clear in sequence, but leave many vivid pictures as clear as yesterday (that is as clear as an old man's remoter memories become). We went on foot carrying great packs practically all the way from Interlaken, mainly by mountain paths, to Lauterbrunnen and so to Mürren....

I left the view of the Jungfrau with deep regret: eternal snow, etched as it seemed against eternal sunshine, and the Silberhorn sharp against dark blue: the Silvertine (Celebdil) of my dreams.


The Lauterbrunnen Valley, Switzerland - a green valley bordered by high mountains



by J. R. R. Tolkien, 1937.

"Here it is at last!" he called, and the others gathered round him and looked over the edge. They saw a valley far below. They could hear the voice of hurrying water in a rocky bed at the bottom; the scent of trees was in the air; and there was a light on the valley-side across the water.

Bilbo never forgot the way they slithered and slipped in the dusk down the steep zig-zag path into the secret valley of Rivendell. The air grew warmer as they got lower, and the smell of the pine-trees made him drowsy, so that every now and again he nodded and nearly fell off, or bumped his nose on the pony's neck. Their spirits rose as they went down and down. The trees changed to beech and oak, and there was a comfortable feeling in the twilight. The last green had almost faded out of the grass, when they came at length to an open glade not far above the banks of the stream. 

... And so at last they all came to the Last Homely House, and found its doors flung wide.


Swiss chocolates in the bath
Lauterbrunnen wooden houses and hotels and hanging geraniums
A little swiss chalet and a pink flower in the mountains of switzerland
Swiss cider
Pink flowers and a wooden chalet in Switzerland's Lauterbrunnen Valley
Geschnetzletes mushroom sauce with noodles in Switzerland
The Swiss Alpes on either side of the Lauterbrunnen Valley
A lake and a small village in Switzerland
In the mountains of switzerland, with white flowers and small chalets.