Trip Start Mar 03, 2011
48Trip End Jun 03, 2011
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Anyway, our first afternoon there we wandered around the city looking at shops and things. And then that night we tried our first bit of Swiss food! It was just too damned expensive back in Zermatt, and with careful budgeting we could at least afford it Interlaken. We got to try Swiss version of cheese fondue! I am happy to say that it is on par with La Fondue back home in Saratoga (Brie and Amie will be happy about that- the four of us have a fondue ritual back home)
So, we had two full days in Switzerland, and just our luck it was supposed to storm, complete with thunder, both days. The two things I absolutely wanted to do in this city were to: (1) sled down one of their 16km sled runs (i know! THAT LONG! The ecstacy of sledding down a hill for longer than 20sec!!) and (2) take the train up to Jungfrauich (the Top of Europe, as its called- theres an ice sculpture museum on top along with other activities, and you get awesome views of the Jungfrau region). First of all, the snow for the sled runs finished melting three weeks prior. So that was a no go. Secondly, the clouds cancelled out the Jungfrau trip, because when its cloudy you cant see anything at all up there. Its an expensive trip by train (not included in our rail passes), so its pointless to go up there to see cloud world. FAIL. Sigh.
Thus, I woke up utterly depressed our first morning. I didnt know what to do. My major plans were ruined, and I wasnt even sure hiking was a good idea given the weather warnings. I keep tellin people here that the weather is so different back home. You wake up, look outside, and know what kinda day you are gonna have. In Europe, weather changes rather quickly. In the end, we decided to chance the weather and do a hike. Interlaken is just the main city in that area... as you head up the mountains, there are several smaller towns and villages. So we paid to take a train, funicular and then a cable car to get up the cliffs to a small village called Murren. The valley was so pretty! The high peaks were all covered by clouds, but you could still see tons of snow and crazy granite cliffs like in Yosemite back home (Id hedge a bet it was formed by glaciers). Our plan was to hike back as far as possible until the rain started, and then just pay to take a train the rest of the way back. This was a ridiculously steep climb down the mountain cliffs. lol, we felt it all over our bodies the next day. I think it was steeper than the Yosemite Falls trail back home. We did make it to the bottom to the town of Lauterbrunnen with only a little of sprinkle from the clouds, and the sun even came out for awhile! It was a good 3000ft descent, tho! (Little did I know at the time what a somewhat dangerous idea our hike was. We were lucky, I guess
Our second day, was fail after fail, lol. Plan A was to take the train to Jungfrau if the weather was miraculously better. Fail. Plan B was to meet up with Nicole to hang out for the day. She missed our message online by a matter of 2 minutes. Fail. Plan C was to go do an indoor ropes course in Grindelwald, a small town above Interlaken. I had seen a poster in our hostel lobby, so we went for it. We took the train all the way up there, found the gym, and wouldnt you know it, it was the ONE random day they were closed for some sort of employee thing. FAIL AGAIN. Sigh. So we were lookin around for other things to do... There were some glaciers on the far side of the valley in Grindelwald, but we had no way of knowing if they would also be closed since the tourist office was closed! We didnt have anything else to do, so we hiked 40min across the valley, and of course they were closed
Yup, that was Interlaken. Switzerland was expensive. Yeah. That made us love Germany all the more.