View from bus and train was beautiful from the start
We had another lovely breakfast at the hotel and set off to catch our standard 0919 train. We looked around at all the shops and were at out meeting place for the tour in plenty of time. The main tour starts in Zurich and picked us up (and 4 others) in Interlaken. We were in a small minibus caravanning with a large tour bus through the countryside to Grindelwald, a small village. We changed to a train there. Our tour guide, Evylyn (“Just follow my blue sign!”) gave out train tickets willy-nilly to the big group. We were polite and waited our turn until last and she was one ticket short. Guess who didn’t get a ticket? Amy got the pleasure of telling every ticket collector to “Go talk to Evylyn!” Some were crankier about it than others but we all made it to the top. We changed trains several times, eventually ending up on a cogwheel train that goes through the Eiger mountain (remember the Eiger Sanction and all the climbing accidents there.) We stopped twice to look out at the view and acclimate to the altitude. At last, we were at the top! There is a lot to do
Our tour guide, Evylyn. "Follow my Blue Sign!"
but we had to do it quickly. By the time you get off the train and through the crowds, there was only about an hour to see the sights. We went to the Sphinx Observatory platform and were stunned to be above the clouds and looking down over the other mountains. You can’t actually see the famous Sphinx Observatory that you see in photos because you are standing on it. There are actually 2 researcher couples that live here year round. Imagine having it all to yourself. We went out on the Plateau where you can walk in the snow at the top. People were slipping and falling all over the place. The wind was cold and whipping and we needed all our layers, hats, and gloves. We took some quick pictures with frozen fingers and slid our way back inside to the Ice Place. We walked through tunnels in the glacier. If you really thought too long about being inside the glacier with all that ice above, it might make you a little freaked out. The elevator to get back up made a rumble that made us look at each other with wide eyes till we figured out what
Changing trains in the mountains
it was. There is also a Swiss Alpine Exhibition and lots of shops and restaurants. We bought a few things but had no time for a sit down meal – we’re getting good at living off snacks on trains. Amy’s food hoarding is coming in handy. It was a once-in-a-lifetime day and we may never see something like it again. Well worth putting up with the crazy crowds and “oh, the humanity!” Okay, when we were shoved in the elevator, there was a moment we felt like "The Cat That Hated People" (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qjdO07tifSI), but the views made up for it. We have to admit we do still like our little oddball adventures the very best. To get home, we reversed the trip, changing trains but going back though different beautiful valleys. We drove through Wengen where no cars are allowed. They also have to have “avalanche fences” to protect the town. We got back on the bus and made it back to Interlaken about 1800. We did some shopping and tried a Pistachio Macaroon and Pistachio Ice Cream. Pistachio is now Amy’s new thing – the gelato got her hooked and now we’re trying it everywhere. We got back to
View from inside Eiger. Yes, those are clouds we are looking down on!
the hotel before the kitchen closed for a quick appetizer and Prosecco. We tried the Bunderfleish, a local air dried beef specialty. Meh. It was late and we were tired and had to pack for our return to Germany.
Swiss travel tip: When a Swiss person says “No Problem”, there’s a problem!
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