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Published: August 18th 2017
We have arrived in Interlaken by car. This is a cute town with a river running through it. It has a huge green field in the center of town. It is located between two lakes Lake Thun and Lake Brienz. It is surrounded by mountains, forests, meadows and glaciers. We are staying in an Airbnb rental, a 117 year old home owned by a young couple. They are renovating the house and it is very plain inside but has a great location near the center of town. In Interlaken everyone speaks German so we change to guten Morgen (good morning) and danke (thank you).
Our main reason for coming here is to hike, the weather report is not looking good but in the morning there is a change and we head offf to Grindelwald. If you do not have a car the train goes to Grindelwald and the cost is 13 francs. We find parking in the large underground garage. We take the gondola to First (gondola station), the cost is 30 francs one way. From the station we hike up hill to Bachelpsee Lake. The cows graze in the highlands and they all wear big cow bells. Everywhere you
hike you can hear the symphony of cow bells. We eat our picnic lunch at Bachelpsee and then continue on uphill to Faulhorn. From here Brad and Christopher decide to hike all the way back to Grindelwald and take the train back to Interlaken. Mark and I are beat so we hike back to First and take the gondola back to Grindelwald. It was an awesome hike with views of the Eiger, Jungrau and other mountain peaks. They mountain peaks feel so close.
Today is a national holiday in Switzerland. We head to the green field in town to watch the fireworks. It is one of the best firework displays I have ever seen. It is also a long display. We missed being in the US on fourth of July so I am happy to get a fireworks show. We are so close to where they are shooting offf the fireworks we can feel the explosions vibrating through us. After the fireworks show we shoot off the fireworks I bought in Berne. A local tells me I need a bottle to put the rockets in. We put the rockets in a wine bottle and light them. Wow, they shoot
up high and explode into a small firework display. It is legal to shoot off fireworks and the fire department is here in case there is a problem. Fun we can't do this in California legally.
The weather says no rain so back to the mountains we head. We dive to Lauterbrunnen and park in the train station parking lot. We take a train to Wenaen. In Wenaen we buy a ticket for a aireal tram to Mannlichen. There is a huge wooden cow slide here for the kids. This is a downhill hike all the way to Lauterbrunnen. The trails in Switzerland are well marked and they tell you how long the hike is not the distance. The hike down is beautiful with views toward Grindelwald in a valley on one side and views of the valley were Lautebrunnen is located on the other side. We also see multiple waterfalls. As we were hiking we hear what sounds like thunder and look up to see a part of a glacier break off and crash down. We eat our picnic lunch being serenated by the cows bells. Half way down we stop at Kleine Scheidegg, there is a restaurant
and hotel rooms here. The sign says bathrooms are for customers so we decide to have a beer on the outside deck with amazing views. This is a popular spot to watch climbers scaling the sheer rock faces of the Eiger. At this point you can catch a tram back to Lauterbrunnen. From here you can also see the trains taking people to Jungfraujoch, called the Top of Europe. As we are enjoying our beer local musicians start playing long horn instrument called Swiss Longhorns. Four people play the instruments and a fifth waves a Swiss flag. Life does not get any better than this. We continue hiking down for another two hours. We are alone on the trail for the last two hours down. There are three different trails down, one steep, one through the forest that is longer and the middle trail which has more views we take the views trail. Another great day in the Alps.
Today rain is forecast so we will give our legs a rest. We decide to explore the two lakes near Interlaken. We start at Lake Brienz. We stop in the town and walk along the promenade. The lake promenade has
boxes filled with beach chairs and a sign saying relax in them then return them to the box. Christopher and Brad go for a swim and Mark and I relax in the chairs and eat our lunch. We return to our car and drive to Lake Thun. We find a swim beach and join the locals in a swim. Mark, Christopher and Brad all swim in the cold water but I just relax on the lawn. Our next stop is the City of Thun, we are surprised by the size of the city, much larger than we imagined. We visit the lakeside park Schadau Park, stop at a 14th century church and drive by the Thun Castle but it is too late to go in. We walk in the old town, watching people jump off the bridge and float down the river. At a spot where the water comes out of a spill way, locals surf. Since people float down the river you see many locals walking back up the street in their bathing suits to return to the bridge. We have a rare meal out then head back to Interlaken. As we drive back we see many swim beaches,
people sailing and two groups of scuba divers. The locals love their lake. This is our last day in Interlaken and we loved how it is a jumping off spot for hiking or lake activities. The town itself has walking paths along the river which we enjoyed but there are a lot of tourist visiting here so you need to get out of the town to visit the best the area has to offer.
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