The plan was to get to Switzerland and simply sit still and catch up to ourselves. The plan was good, but the reality was kinda different. We cannot be blamed, Interlaken is beautiful. See for yourself. This is the view from our hotel window.
The town of Interlaken is situated between two lakes, Lake Thun and Lake Brienz. Both the lakes, as well as the waterways in and surrounding Interlaken, are pristine. The water quality here is fabulous, and in most cases, except when the water is very, very deep, you can see to the absolute bottom.
Life is good for these creatures.
Interlaken is strictly a resort town that has a focus on outdoor activities. The town has managed to avoid the tourist trap persona. There is a downtown area, but watches, refrigerator magnets, Swiss Army knives, and outdoor sports equipment make up most of the sales. You will not find a Gucci or Valentino brick and mortar in Interlaken. With the outdoors on everyone’s mind you would expect Interlaken to be very clean and ecologically mindful, and it is. The residents tolerate nothing less. In fact, it is the cleanest place this Unseasoned Traveler has ever visited. Hotels take extra pride in their hospitality and cleanliness. The Beausite Hotel, where we stayed, is no exception… all charmingly Swiss.
Authentic Swiss food is served by real candlelight every night. What could be wrong with potatoes and cheese?????
Nourishment of this nature is needed in order to participate in one of Interlaken’s favorite sports offerings, mountain gliding. When you climb to the top of an Interlaken mountain and jump, you will find yourself floating in the clouds, moving slowly (or it seems so) to the bottom for a soft landing in the middle of town. This colorful sight is a delight for onlookers….like me!!!
Jumping like this takes fuel, but also faith. Interlaken is home to some beautiful places of worship. We stopped into one.
For those of us who prefer to keep our feet on the ground, other stimulating activity choices exist. A river walk never disappoints.
Generous amounts of flora can be admired even though Interlaken springtime is about four weeks behind springtime in Northern Virginia.
If river walking is too tame, take a long sail around one of the lakes. The trip is really nice….
and you can meet some super people. These good folks are Kevin and Mary from Australia.
Ashleigh and I had a great time talking to them. Connecting with new people is one of the best parts of travel. You discover that people are more alike than they are different. Our thanks to Kevin and Mary for sharing a bench with us.
Our new friends were off to conquer some beautiful roads with their bicycles, while I, with Ashleigh’s help, was off to the top of Harder Kulm, Interlaken. Harder Kulm is an amazing mountain that overlooks Interlaken. The mountain is 4337 feet tall. Not gonna tell a tale; I knew this was gonna be hard for me….soooooo. I got on this innocent looking little train which is really a funicular…that is two cars that work together by taking turns pulling up and letting down each other. Seems innocent enough on a small scale, but getting to the top of Interlaken is not small scale. Take a look.
The weight of both cars makes for a reliable and slow ride to the top. Up or down takes about eight minutes….eight long minutes. Everyone sits facing forward in order to enjoy the experience. Some enjoy it more than others.
The car makes its way up an almost vertical climb until it reaches the top of the tracks, and yet there is further to go.
Follow a perfectly safe trail about an eighth of a mile, and when you think you will never see the world you know and love again, a wonderfully civilized place in the universe pops up!!!! Almost out of nowhere!!!
This mountain is a pimple on the face of the earth compared to the other mountains surrounding it, but let me tell you, this mountain was big enough for me. A few thrill seekers ventured out onto a arm extension. I was told the sensation was fantastic.
I chose a far less exciting way of bonding with Harder Kulm, but I wanted to show that I did, indeed, make it to the top.
From the top, you can clearly see both lakes and the town of Interlaken, making this mountaintop oasis a blessing for those who find their way here. I was delighted to discover that some normal thrills were offered at the top of Interlaken. I could have some of this…Yes, the Swiss understand that most anything can be improved with a little cheese, potato, onion, and, the all important bacon.
Here we are on the way down. Guess what???? I sat in the front.
I hope this qualifies as a junket!!!! See you in France, The Unseasoned Traveler.