Sunday, 4 May 2008

Interlaken - Part 1

Since my parents were flying home out of Zurich I thought it would be a good idea to see them off by visiting Interlaken, which is kind of in between Vevey and Zurich - enough of an excuse to justify the trip.

In fact despite having been in Switzerland for more than 8 months now, and despite Interlaken being one of the top tourist destinations in Switzerland, I still hadn't been there myself - another good reason to go. (Unfortunately Linda again couldn't make it, being snowed under with work).

After dropping our bags off at the excellent Gasthaus Steinbock, we jumped back in the car and headed up the valley towards Grindelwald. It was amazing driving up the valley with the mountains of the Jungfrau rising up ahead of us (mum and dad even got to see some Brown Swiss cows, rounding out their Swiss experience).

Once in quiet Grindelwald (especially quiet due to the May 1st public holiday) we took the train up to Kleine Scheidegg, which is on the line towards Jungfraujoch, the highest rail station in the world at 3454m.

The view from Kleine Scheidegg was amazing, and the weather was clear and calm. We had a traditionally stodgy (and delicious) lunch of Rôsti mit Bratwurst outside looking up at the mountains.

At first I felt justified in not going all the way to Jungfraujoch because it was covered in clouds, but eventually it cleared and we could see the train station perched at the top of the mountain. We even contemplated going to the top but we would have been on the last train up and would not have had enough time to justify the journey.

We caught the little train back down the mountain and drove back in towards Interlaken.

After a brief stop in the town itself, and deciding it wasn't that exciting anyway, we headed back out in the car to drive around the Brienzersee (Lake Brienz).

We had a very nice time touring the circumference of the lake, stopping in the little town of Iseltwald to wander around and look at the amazingly coloured lake.

After all this we were all a bit exhausted and, after stopping to look at the 18th century church next door, we returned to our hotel for an excellent dinner and some well deserved sleep.

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