Blogs from Interlaken, South-West, Switzerland, Europe

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Europe » Switzerland » South-West » Interlaken August 22nd 2019

Findlay's reunite in Interlaken, Sarah from the UK with her boyfriend and Mum, Dad and Dan from NZ. Unfortunately Murray was at World Water week in Stokholm so missed the family trip, but had a very productive time in the pre meetings to the conference. We were blessed with amazing weather and an apartment that was located near the main park in Interlaken. We were able to walk around, enjoying the rivers and para-gliders coming into land in the park near us. Mum shouted us a trip up the Jungfraujoch. An expensive trip but well worth it. It was more touristy than I had realised. Catching the bus up and then 2 train trips to get to the top. Where there are tunnels leading you to different areas. There was the Ice palace which was great ... read more
View of the Jung Frau from our accommodation in Interlaken
Interlaken
View of the Jung Frau

Europe » Switzerland » South-West » Interlaken » Matten bei Interlaken September 25th 2018

We had intended to go hiking in the Emmentaler area today at a small place called Sumiswald but decided against it as it meant another 2 hours on a train to get there and another back again. It is our last day in the Berner Oberland so we figured there were areas close at hand that we could visit. We set off for Wilderswil first which is nearby and headed off down the Lutschine River to it's outflow into the lake of Brienz. One mistake. There was a really cold wind blowing and we were doing our Kiwi habit of shorts and a light jacket when longs and a windproof jacket was in order. The Lutschine flows down the far side of a huge unused aerodrome belonging to the armed forces. All around it are large ... read more
A sheltered spot near Boningen at the head of the Brienzersee
The Monch and Jungfrau mountains from Unterseen

Europe » Switzerland » South-West » Interlaken » Matten bei Interlaken September 24th 2018

A note: "Higher, stronger, faster" is the Olympic Motto. And seen on a poster: "The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not the winning but taking part; the essential thing in life is not conquering but fighting well" (Pierre de Coubertin) "And shopping is not an Olympic Event" The weather has changed and it has been a cold, blustery day. After all the hiking in the mountains over the past few days it was time for a break and to go somewhere less elevated and warmer. We figured to go to the other side of the Alps where the weather was fine but cold. Our Swiss Travel Pass allows us to go anywhere in Switzerland so we set off to visit the Olympic Museum in Lausanne which we'd visited many years ago but was ... read more
The world record high jump
One of the interactive displays

Europe » Switzerland » South-West » Interlaken September 22nd 2018

Today was our catchup day with our old Swiss friend, Mariann. We had decided that not matter what socializing we did today, it had to include using the Swiss Travel Pass as they are expensive - F900 for 15 days or around $1000+ of ours. After spending the morning with Mariann at her house she agreed to come with us to Kandersteg where we went many years ago but hadn't been back. We would either go up to the Lake Oschinesee or to Sunbuel which Mariann had been told was a lovely place to go to. The lake we had been to before and is one of the icons of mountain lake photos so always worth a visit. However, we were happy to go to somewhere new too. We set off from Interlaken West station to ... read more
At Sunbuel with a side branch valley behind
Looking back down the Kander Valley from the cable car

Europe » Switzerland » South-West » Interlaken » Matten bei Interlaken September 20th 2018

I opted not to write up a blog for yesterday as it was a travelling day from St Gallen to Interlaken and then to settle into our apartment and buy food. The apartment is up to standard and in a quiet location but not with the views we've been used to from previous trips. After a chat to the family at home, we headed off to Interlaken Ost to get the train to Lauterbrunnen. What a circus! Tourists everywhere and standing room only in the train. And we thought coming later in the year would downsize the tourist population. I guess there are some places in Switzerland which are an absolute magnet and this is one of them. On reflection, in perfect weather, why wouldn't people want to go up the Jungfrau or Schilthorn? However, we ... read more
What a lunch time view to soak up
The 1.2km tunnel
Such a strange place for a long tunnel

Europe » Switzerland » South-West » Interlaken » Matten bei Interlaken September 17th 2017

The next morning, I got up early before the other girls and headed for the train station towards Switzerland. France is another country where you have to make ticket reservations before you board trains, so the day before I had gone to the ticket office to book my trains, and they told me that the trains I wanted were fully booked. They did, helpfully, find me another route with more changes I could get instead though, and I booked myself onto those. My first train was from Nice to Avignon, and then from Avignon to Lyon, then Lyon to Geneva, Switzerland. I had only really booked Geneva as a place to stay for the night between travelling, but had been told it was a nice place to see on the banks of Lac Leman. As soon ... read more
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Europe » Switzerland » South-West » Interlaken September 7th 2017

Today we have our eagerly awaited trip up into the Alps to the Jungfraujoch. It is overcast but not cold. Our tour bus picks us up near the station outside McDonald's. McDonald's somehow seems out of place in clean, green, culturally sophisticated Switzerland. Our guide introduces himself as Kid, and he is from Burma. This seems even more out of place here than McDonald's. I wonder how someone from Burma got to be guiding tours through the Swiss Alps. Kid's accent makes him a bit hard to understand, but he seems to be very well organised, and Issy says that he has got great reviews on TripAdvisor. He tells us that we will first drive to the town of Interlaken. Along the way we pass through a lot of tunnels, including one that is five kilometres ... read more
Casino at Interlaken
Jungfraujoch
Jungfraujoch

Europe » Switzerland » South-West » Interlaken July 31st 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 ... read more
Views from trail
Goat on trail
Our ride up on a gondola

Europe » Switzerland » South-West » Interlaken May 29th 2017

This morning I experienced the Swiss Alps. I rode the gondola to the top of the Schilthorn peak. It takes about half an hour to get there. At the top there is a revolving restaurant, a gift shop, a James Bond display, and sublime views of the mountains (see first two photos). It was not particularly cold despite the elevation of 9,744 ft. (Timberline Lodge is 5,960 ft.) I loved the views of mountains and valleys in every direction. I didn't spend much time in the restaurant, gift shop, or James Bond display. The reason for the latter is that "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" was partially filmed here. The rides up and down provided great views, too. I took a picture of the gondola station on the valley floor (see photo). Fairly nearby is a ... read more
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Europe » Switzerland » South-West » Interlaken May 28th 2017

Last night I went out to eat and had a Swiss tradition for dinner: fondue. Appenzell, the town where I stayed, has its own cheese and its own beer (see photo). I thought both were pretty good, although I couldn't help thinking that eating fondue is a little like eating a cheese pizza in bite-sized chunks. This morning I drove into central Switzerland and paid a visit to Fortress Furigen, a decommissioned WWII defensive fort buried deep in a mountainside (see photo of entrance disguised as a shed). At the beginning of WWII, the Swiss were concerned that Nazi Germany might cut through their territory on their way to invade France. Later they were concerned that either the Nazis or Italy might invade just because Switzerland was the only unconquered nation left in central Europe. Their ... read more
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