The Eiger, the Original Binkley and Mr. Sipp


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Europe » Switzerland » South-West » Interlaken
March 24th 2016
Published: March 26th 2016
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After witnessing the breath-taking Matterhorn near Zermatt, we wondered if the next leg of our trip would be as exciting as the past few days had been. In this smallish nation, which ranks as only the 132ndlargest in the world, how much more can there be to see? We had already witnessed so many beautiful sights…..could there be more? Absolutely!

The next stop on our journey would take us to Interlaken. Once again, we were able to take a train, which is rapidly becoming our favorite way to travel. This time, we would need to take three trains to get to our next destination and we almost didn’t get off at the right station, save for Merry Jo literally saying, “I think this is our stop.” Smart girl, as it turned out to be the right stop in Interlaken.

Our approach from the south and west provided some stunning vistas on a clear and sunny day. The weather has been most cooperative here in late winter, early spring and we are reaping the benefits. The town is situated between lakes Thun and Brienz. It also serves as a jumping off point for the nearby mountains, including the Eiger.



Lauterbrunnen & Grindelwald

Three years ago when Dave and I began to plan his birthday trip to Switzerland (which we thought was happening three years ago ) we contacted Nina and Markus to gather information on Switzerland. Nina sent an amazing list of ideas and suggestions which we used to plan our recent trip. She sent her list of ideas, then I sent email saying the trip has been postponed. A year later I asked let her know we were planning the trip again and did she have any additional ideas. She sent a couple and then again I had to write and explain the trip was postponed. After the third time I imagine she began to wonder if we should ever make it to Switzerland.

Ah ha! We finally made it.....

Nina and Markus live in Thun and once again it was a thrill to meet fellow travelers. Markus took us hiking near Lauterbrunnen where we were surrounded yet again by the unbelievable beauty of the Swiss mountains. We never tire of the views, especially because we both grew up in relatively flat parts of the States. The hike was a bit strenuous for us, as were are not getting any younger and our bodies are more used to sea level as opposed to 5000 feet plus altitudes. So our walk was more of a stroll....There is something incredibly relaxing about sipping hot chocolate, watching skiers and hang gliders enjoy their sport among this wonderful landscape.

We journeyed through Grindelwald and then drove along the beautiful lake at sunset, stopping in Thun for a short walk. It is a wonderful town with a great feel to it. We wished we could have spent more time there, but we were headed to Nina and Markus’ house for an authentic Swiss dinner. What a treat! We sampled some fantastic foods as we “cooked” our own dinner. The time we spent with them both was wonderful and we could have stayed up all night talking with them about our lives and travel. Being with kindred spirits will so that to you…..

Nina and Markus have been wonderful hosts and we feel like we have new friends. We hope our paths will cross again. holamundo What a great day with great people.

We love our travel blog community. The friendliest travel community in the world!
Dave in front of the Guggisberg churchDave in front of the Guggisberg churchDave in front of the Guggisberg church

Where Peter Binkley was baptized early in the 1700's




Uncovering the Binkley Roots

The next day was a very special one, as we headed to Guggisberg, in the canton of Bern. The reason for our sojourn to this little town in a remote part of the country is that over 300 hundred years ago, Dave’s great, great, great, great, grandfather was born and baptized here in this village in the hills. He immigrated to the States in 1736. Dave’s parents had been here in the 1970s for the same reason, so it was a thrill to be in the same town. We spent some time wandering the tiny environs, visiting the church and the local graveyard, where distant relatives of Dave lie resting. Dave would tell you that it is pretty surreal to be a in a place where centuries ago, the man that would immigrate to the then British Colonies was born and baptized.

Now…how to best celebrate after an event like this??? Why cheese, of course! When you are in Switzerland (or France for that matter) it is great to indulge in this fine food. We headed southwest to Gruyères, well known for this wonderful dairy product. The town is up on
Dave and Freddie MercuryDave and Freddie MercuryDave and Freddie Mercury

We are the champions!
a hill and is high on the cute factor, with its quaint shops inside the walls of this ancient town. La Maison du Frommage (the House of Cheese) is just down the hill from the original town and Merry Jo was in cheese heaven in this place. We indulged in some of the goods and took some cheese with us for later….

Then it was on to our final stop, just across the border in France, in Divonne Les Bains. This is a very sleepy spa town this time of year and we considered this a good thing, as we were somewhat fatigued with all the fun we have been having these past seven weeks. We basically rested during our short stay and recharged for the next part of our journey, as more excitement loomed ahead.



A day celebrating music!

It was our last day in Switzerland and we had a grand day planned….first around Lake Geneva to take just a quick peak at Montreaux, which is well known as a tourist destination and home of a quite famous jazz festival each year. As it was late March, our plan was simply to find the
Dinner with Nina and MarkusDinner with Nina and MarkusDinner with Nina and Markus

Great people....great food!
iconic statue of Freddie Mercury (of Queen fame), take a short walk along the waterfront and move on. It is worth the effort. For whatever reason, this statue is placed right by the shore of the lake near the casino. Seems Freddie fell in love with the area long ago and had a home here.

Then it was on to Bern…..our last night in this wonderful country. In January, we had been on the Legendary Blues Cruise and got to see Mr. Sipp and his group again. If you’re a fan of the blues, this gent brings the whole package. Turns out through some internet sleuthing that he was playing in Bern on the night we were there! Kismet….it was meant to be. We scored the tickets back in January and were incredibly stoked to see some great live music in a small venue. It’s part of the annual Bern Blues Festival, which is an annual event. We were in blues heaven for a short time and it was great to see them again. We befriended Stanley Dixon, Jr., their drummer on the cruise and we feel they were genuinely surprised to see us. Nothing like a good live
GruyereGruyereGruyere

View of the mountains from a town know for its cheese
blues performance to wrap up an incredibly wonderful part of our journey….





Farewell for now to Switzerland



And so it was time to leave…..we only have a few days left before returning stateside. On to Paris for a few days, then London….then home. Switzerland is an amazingly beautiful country with lots to offer. We will not hide the fact that it is an expensive destination, but for us….well worth the Swiss francs…..


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Bond......James BondBond......James Bond
Bond......James Bond

Where part of "Her Majesty's Secret Service" was filmed in the late 1960s.
Mr. SippMr. Sipp
Mr. Sipp

Great blues man, great show!
MJ with the bandMJ with the band
MJ with the band

Blues heaven!
Dave with the bandDave with the band
Dave with the band

The "Dangerous One" lurks....
MJ enjoying her mealMJ enjoying her meal
MJ enjoying her meal

Mussel heaven for her!!
MusselsMussels
Mussels

Served on of 15 different ways
Waterfall in LauterbrunnenWaterfall in Lauterbrunnen
Waterfall in Lauterbrunnen

More melting snow to come...
Mountains and the lakeMountains and the lake
Mountains and the lake

Still more stunning beauty
MJ at MontreauxMJ at Montreaux
MJ at Montreaux

On Lake Geneva
Spring is coming to SwitzerlandSpring is coming to Switzerland
Spring is coming to Switzerland

Won't be long now....
Village of GruyereVillage of Gruyere
Village of Gruyere

Quaint and cute


26th March 2016

Switzerland
Beautiful views of the mountains and the cheese must have been delicious! Y'all have been going at such a pace I'm sure it felt good to unwind a bit and recharge for the rest of your fantastic birthday journey. Enjoy!
26th March 2016

Switzerland
I cannot say enough about all the wonderful cheeses! It has been a good birthday journey for Dave....and the views.
26th March 2016

Grindelwald
Good you made it to Grindelwald, its one of my favourite places in Switzerland, great views of 3000m+ wall of mountains.
26th March 2016

Grindelwald
Truly one of the more picturesque places in this country. Truly a wall of stunning mountains.
26th March 2016

Mountains
Amazing to see a plethora of "Mt. Rainers". Wonderful photos and descriptions.
26th March 2016

Mountains
While in Switzerland you spend your life surrounding by amazing mountains. Thanks for the comment. Miss you.
26th March 2016

How did you pack?
Another great blog. In fact, all three of the past blogs on which I didn't comment were super. What a trip!! What I want to know is how in the world did you pack for a seven week trip with the extremes in temp and the need for different clothes in different places. We always pack in our carryon size bags and were quite proud of being able to make it for four weeks on trips where we usually don't have much of a climate change between stops. I am very impressed. Can't wait to hear about your visits to Paris and London. S
26th March 2016

How did we pack?
We are master packers. All of our long trips have included temperature extremes. This one was easier to pack for than others. Although Egypt was warmer than it was supposed to be so we were hot some days. We carried our coats and gloves through several countries unused and we layered. Not a variety of clothing because we travel with a 20" suitcase and a pack pack each. We manage....we are not fashion plates.
27th March 2016
Dave and Freddie Mercury

Claiming Freddie Mercury
Amazing how many places claim a piece of the one & only Freddie Mercury. The Swiss and Dangerous Dave may but Denise & I sipping the world's strongest Long Island Tea in the restaurant named after him can vouch Zanzibar (his birthplace) does too!
27th March 2016
Dave and Freddie Mercury

Claiming Freddie Mercury
I am not necessarily claiming Freddie, Dancing One, but merely adding him to my informal collection. Had my pic snapped at the Phil Lynott statue in Ireland two years ago.
27th March 2016
MJ with the band

Mississippi Blues Child
Guess three or more times makes you part of the band MJ...Lead Vocals?
27th March 2016
MJ with the band

Mississippi Blues Child
It was so great seeing him again but for us it was an odd venue as there was no place to dance. On the last song he asked everyone to stand and dance at their tables. The crowd loved it when he walked the room and played for each person. He knows how to win the audience!
27th March 2016
Dave with the band

Putting the Danger in Mr Sipp
Guess three or more times makes you also part of the band Dave...Dangerous Mississippi Blues Child?
27th March 2016
Dave with the band

Putting the Danger in Mr. Sipp
Not ready for the big time just yet, but the lads were impressed we showed up and the tape on our glasses impressed them and some of the fans as well!
27th March 2016
Just another fantastic view

Snow, cheese and friends!
I must say, I can't get enough of your snow pictures, especially with the quaint little towns and the towering mountains--the Eiger, wow! Lovely that you got to hook up with Nina and Marks--you are probably the most connected TBer of us all. Plus, cheese, chocolate, music and roots. Fabulous!
27th March 2016
Just another fantastic view

Snow, cheese and friends!
We feel fortunate to have seen so many amazing Swiss towns and villages. The blanket of snow really has made it special. We love meeting wonderful people and so many of them are travel bloggers. Thanks for following along and commenting.
27th March 2016

Amazing planning
You travelled through Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan, Israel and then in the last day in Switzerland get to see Mr Sipp, that is what I call amazing planning.
27th March 2016

Amazing planning
We are exceptional at planning so when we travel we must find the right balance between winging it and planning. We could not miss our Mr. Sipp so we were thrilled he was in Bern the same time we were. We promised him we were not stalkers and he laughed. The band is excellent if you ever have the opportunity to see them.
27th March 2016

Snow Cool ;)
Just catching up WOW how awesome does that snow look after such an epic trip. My hats off to you both. Brilliant blog
27th March 2016

Snow cool
You know we are beach people but we are really enjoying the variety in this trip. Thanks for commenting.
27th March 2016

Great to meet you finally
It was such a pleasure to finally welcome you in Switzerland and our home. We are really happy that you enjoyed your time in our region (although Markus took you in quite an altitude ;-)). And Fritz was happy to meet a new friend as well - and he is so proud that he finally made it on travelblog ;-). Have a great trip and enjoy Paris and London. Hope to see you very soon again somewhere in this wonderful world.
27th March 2016

Great to meet you finally
We loved every minute of our time with you and Markus. He took us to some beautiful and amazing places. We were thrilled too meet Fritz-- Brutus is glad to have a new friend. See you soon.
28th March 2016
Enjoying the view....still

Stunning view
Wow what a stunning view. I think I could sit there all day drinking tea and enjoying the mountain views. I see you guys are heading for London, that's so cool.
28th March 2016
Enjoying the view....still

Stunning view
We could have stayed there a long time soaking in that view. It is amazingly stunning beauty.
29th March 2016
More hot chocolate, please!

What a view
I bet that hot chocolate tasted so much better for the view. Those mountains are so cool, they almost look blue screened into the shot! :)
29th March 2016
More hot chocolate, please!

What a view
It was an amazing view and the chocolate was super.
3rd April 2016

Memories
Reading this I remembered staying at a little hotel outside Interlaken with my late husband and getting up about 5 am to see the most wonderful sunset ...thanks for that memory. Grindlwald, Lauterbrunnen .. It's all just soooo beautiful.
3rd April 2016

Memories
If we've stimulated a positive memory with our blog that is all we can ask for. An amazing part of the world. Thanks for following along.

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