This is the week for the Lauberhorn Downhill in Wengen, Switzerland. Training runs have started.
That World Cup alpine ski race includes a passage through a tunnel under the Wengernalpbahn railroad line. The ski racers go much faster than this train ever does.
This photograph was taken on the train connecting Wengen and Lauterbrunnen. The couple are looking out at one of the most beautiful alpine glacial landscapes on earth. The Lauterbrunnen Valley is deeply carved, symmetrical, and dramatic.
Leaning out a window with a wide angle lens provided a view outside the train as it emerged from a tunnel as well as a view inside the train through the window. The quiet hillside pasture and its wildflowers contrast with the human stories inside the train as it passes by. (The upper photo is about 2 miles from the downhill race course.)
The lower photo shows the tunnel on the downhill course. The racers make this corner coming in from the left and pass over this hillside just beyond the patch of snow in the foreground of the photo (only a remnant of snow left in May). They try to line up on the opening as they are traveling at more than 70 miles an hour at this point. Needless to say the tunnel has lots of padding on both sides on race day.
Wengen is on a high bench on a canyon wall. Cars are not allowed and the train and cable cars are the only access to villages on both sides of the Lauterbrunnen Valley. The views of the Bernese Oberland section of the Swiss Alps are stunning.
Upper photo: 1/640 s at f/2.8 (2008)