Where does one even begin?
This place is, hands down, the most beautiful place I have ever seen, and it will probably be my favorite place on Earth forever. All of you reading this: book you plane/train tickets, pack your bags, and get here. Now.
Nic and I hopped on our train from Zurich and rode it to Bern where we switched to the train that would take us to Interlaken. When we arrived it was about 1:30pm and our hostel, Happy Lodge Inn, was only a five minute walk away. There is a restaurant underneath it, so we had a beer and figured out our plan while we waited to check into our room. We actually had a room that slept four all to ourselves which was nice, and we were right next to the shared bathroom.
After checking in, we walked around a bit to kill time before our walking tour that started at 6pm. The walking tour was advirtised at our hostel and it was free, so we obviously had to take advantage. It was a really great tour! We walked throughout Interlaken for about two hours, learned some facts and secrets, and filled our to-do list with activities for the next two days. Afterwards, we walked to a place our guide recommended for some beers and… nachos? Yes, we had nachos. It was called Bierhaus, and nachos may not been a very Swiss thing to order, but they really hit the spot.
The next morning was early for us; we were going up to Jungfrauyoch, the Top of Europe. It is a 2.5 hour train ride up and sits at a little over 11,000 ft. in altitude. The weather is freezing, and Nic and I did not plan on snow when we packed for this trip, so our wind jackets, jeans, and tennis shoes would have to do. It was a cloudy ride up, and when we got there, we couldn’t see a thing. There is an entire structure to explore, so we decided to do that for a while and wait for the clouds to, hopefully, clear up. We walked through the ice palace, outside for a bit, toured the Lindt Chocolate Store, learned about how it was built, etc. We had about four hours total before our train left to go back down, and somewhere between hours two and three, the clouds started the break, and it was beautiful. We looked out at the mountains and took more pictures than our phones could probably handle. It was definitely worth the wait!
After we got back down, we had tickets to go up to Harder Kulm, which is the Top of Interlaken. It had a restaurant and a panoramic view of the region and is stunning. It’s about an 8 minute ride up, but you can also hike if you want. We had some food, chicken burger and hamburger. We are so America. It was a very full day, and we still weren’t done.
It was quite warm out, and we wanted to do some swimming, so we decided to check out Lake Brien. After figuring out the busses for, what felt like, forever, we finally made it, but didn’t have the same desire to swim. We walked around instead and admired the views of the surrounding mountains.
After day one – we are in love with Interlaken, and we want to stay forever.
The next day, we had plans to go paragliding. Interlaken is known for its extreme sports, so we had to take advantage, and really, if you are going to paraglide, somewhere like Interlaken is probably one of the best places to do it. We were picked up at 10:45am and on the drive up, we were prepped on how everything would go. I was starting to get pretty nervous. Good thing we paid attention because once we were up there, we walked to our launch spot and took off! My pilot was Oliver and he was awesome – funny and had a lot of energy. The take off went well and we flew in the air for a while. The views are incredible. Everywhere I looked, there were mountains and water. It was 360 degrees of paradise. Once we got close to landing, Oliver asked if I wanted to get a little crazy and of course I said yes! We sped up and started tossing and turning. It was awesome and the pictures turned out amazing.
Once we landed, Nic and each recapped our experience; his guide was named Marc and he was also really great. We were starved and decided to grab some lunch at the hostel. It was still pretty warm, so we decided to try swimming again. We went to Lale Thun this time, and found a great spot. It wasn’t too crowded and everyone seemed pretty close to our age. One couple had brought their dog and kitten and it was adorable to watch them. We got in the water and it was frigid. Duh. It’s glacier water running down from the mountain. It definitely took our breath away for a minute; once you go numb, it feels pretty nice. It was a perfectly relaxing afternoon. We just laid around and took in the incredible scenery around us.
Afterwards, we made our way back to the hostel to do the only chore we had for the whole trip: laundry. There was a place not too far from the hostel that we walked to and after figuring out how everything worked, we hung around waiting for it to be done. Nic went to grab us a couple beers while we waited, and yes, this was legal. Unfortunately, in his hurry he grabbed one that was non-alcoholic. Silly guy! We met some nice people from Australia, who were also doing some of their own laundry, and that helped pass the time a bit.
When our laundry was done, it started sprinkling a bit. We booked it back to the hostel and sat around for a bit to see if it would clear up, but that didn’t seem likely. So, we put on our raincoats and headed toward a restaurant called Des Alpes, where we were going to have some fondue. We had to. We were in Switzerland.
I thought it tasted very, very good. I don’t care if all I had for dinner was cheese and bread and potatoes. It was very satisfying, rich. We couldn’t eat it all, mostly because I was the only one eating since Nic doesn’t like cheese. I think our waiter may have been offended we didn’t finish it all. It was super good though. It was still raining to so we walked quickly back to our hostel for the evening, and we watched a movie in our room on the iPad.
The next morning was a sad day; we had to leave. We strolled around the city one last time before boarding our train and eventually making it to Naples.
Nic’s take –
About the fondue – The only thing Amanda talked about for three days was how she wanted fondue. I hate cheese.