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Adventures in Interlaken and Lauterbrunnen

on-the-way-to-interlaken

Through Switzerland we traveled via train from place to place. This seemed to be the most efficient and convenient mode of travel and offered breathtaking views. From the lakes to the rolling hills and mountains there always seemed to be something to catch your eye in the Swiss landscape.

While in some of the South East Asian countries (.ie Laos) transportation was sometimes a grueling ordeal with uncomfortable seats, low speeds and windy roads, in Switzerland it was simply a pleasure.

Once we stepped off the train in Interlaken we were in a different world. The adventure capital of the country simply exudes a Bavarian mountain town charm that you just can’t help but smile at.

Interlaken

We had booked ourselves for one night at the Balmer’s hostel – the oldest one in the country, in none other but a dorm room as all the doubles and triples were booked up.

Now this place has character. Aside from the 4pm checkin 10am checkout (what do the staff do during all those hours exactly?) and paid lockers (come on now) we loved the place.

Balmers Hostel

With the Swiss flags lining almost ever lamp post and paragliders floating calmly through the air, we went out to explore. Straight out of a fairy tale is what this place is. With the enormous mountains towering over your from all sides and the stunning wood paneled houses on every corner you can’t help but be amazed that such a place still exists.

Interlaken

For a day trip from Interlaken my friend and I took the train to Lauterbrunnen, another magical Swiss valley.

Lauterbrunnen  Valley

Initially we wanted to bike there from Interlaken but thankfully realized how ambitious of a plan this was before we started out. In hindsight we would have had barely enough energy to make it to Lauterbrunnen alone without even spending any time biking there.

Lauterbrunnen

We took the lazy route, the train, and instead rented bikes there. With a late start we arrived mid afternoon and with our bikes set off to see the waterfalls, first the Staubbach Falls and then the Trummelbach Falls.

Staubbach Falls

The Trummelbach Falls are simply amazing, especially as the only glacial waterfalls of ‘their kind’ (we noticed there were a lot of sights in Switzerland ‘the only of their kind’)

It truly is impressive what nature can really do.

Trümmelbach Falls

As we made our way to the cablecar to Murren we were held up by a slight traffic jam. A slew of cows crossing the road. Not just that, but a few of them had frightening diarrhea so we kept our distance before they all passed.

Murren is another mystical little Swiss village up in the mountains, entirely free of cars, and sometimes completely enveloped in a deep thick fog.

Murren

Imagine playing tennis right on the side of a cliff with a view of mountains peeks in the distance. Not sure you’ll ever get a ball back if you throw it over the fence.

Tennis Court by the Cliff in Murren

Murren is where we enjoyed our first Swiss meal.

Rosti; also known as pan fried grated potatoes. All for the bargain price of $22 (I hope you recognize the sarcasm here). Simple hash browns for over $20. Hello overpriced Switzerland. One of our first and last meals out.

Rosti

As we made our way back down and biked over to the rental shop we saw that the place had closed. When we got the bikes the owners failed to mention the time we needed to return them by, so we just took our time.

Then came the dilemma – how to lock up our bikes. The other bikes all had a chain going through the tires so we decided to lock our bikes to the chain.

But what to do with the key?

Simply leaving the key in the lock would have completely defeated the purpose of locking up the bikes to begin with.

What to do?

Finally we settled on attaching the bike lock to a tire of a bike a few rows down. Seemed brilliant.

It’s a good thing the Swiss bike shops don’t charge a deposit when taking out the bikes.

Overall we had a great bike trip around Lauterbrunner and a cablecar up to Murren. I highly recommend checking out these places!

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4 Responses to Adventures in Interlaken and Lauterbrunnen

  1. Damn, twenty bucks for hashbrowns! Did they at least come with a view? I would like to go to Switzerland, but everything I’ve heard is that it is super expensive.

    Eric | Venture2Adventure September 20, 2013 at 12:44 AM Reply
    • Haha they did at least come with a bit of a view! It is a beautiful country but the prices are simply outrageous and when we traveled to Austria and Bavaria region of Germany we felt like we got a similar experience with lakes, Bavarian style mountains houses, etc for a fraction of the price!

      Vicky September 26, 2013 at 5:43 PM Reply
  2. Absolutely beautiful, but omg the prices for food! Was the bike rental, train, and lodging reasonable at least?

    Jon Patrick September 23, 2013 at 8:50 AM Reply
    • I wish! Nothing in Switzerland seems to be reasonable! In Interlaken at Balmers we each paid $35 for a bed in a 10 bed dorm! Gone are the days where we could find a luxurious hotel room for $23 as we did in Hanoi Vietnam!

      Vicky September 26, 2013 at 5:39 PM Reply

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