Larkin' in Interlaken
Trip Start Sep 27, 2012
15Trip End Oct 12, 2012
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I love seeing into people's back yards and I had hours of it on this trip - so many veggie gardens, trampolines and even pools. All the wood cut the same length and stacked so neatly. All the flower boxes on the south facing wooden houses with red geraniums - what would happen if someone planted something else? Australians would never be so conformist. The houses are clustered so close to the line that you could almost touch the shutters or have a conversation as the train passes. The pastures are such a vivid green and look as though they have been freshly mown. Picture perfect is the only way to describe rural Switzerland. All so neat - even the cows look happy and organised, grazing on lush grass and producing the milk for the local Gruyere cheese. On the steep hillsides, grass is still cut by hand and dried for the cows to eat in winter when all is covered by snow.
The trip is 112km long but takes nearly 3 hours because some parts are so steep. On the round trip we went through 72 tunnels and over 40 bridges. In winter it is a snowy wonderland, but at present is mainly green with some distant snow peaks. I thought there might have been more snow but I had to wait until I got up higher. It reaches its peak of 4000 feet at Gstaad, which is a famous resort town and also the place where Menuhin started his school for young musicians
Then there are the fit cycling tourists - all tanned and lean with name brand outfits and gear, eating yoghurt and drinking energy drinks. There are also a lot of Americans; you hear them from a long way. They seem to have a lot of luggage and be having a very good time! It is a new experience for me to be a lone traveller and kind of liberating because I don't expect to see anyone ever again, and don't really care how I seem to them. I must be growing up at last or becoming comfortable in my skin, as they say.
At some point in the trip I began to notice that we had moved from the French speaking part of Switzerland to the predominantly German Swiss. People were saying Gruezi instead of Bonjour (I was proud to know the difference from our previous trip!),although the announcements are all in German, French and English
In Interlaken I decided to find the Harder Kulm funicular and go even higher. So glad I did, as there were the best snow views up there. The combination of the aqua lakes and the river joining them, the towering mountains and snow peaks and the wooded slopes makes you feel as it you are part of a wilderness calendar. Had a glorious time up there topped by a very special sundae which seemed in keeping with the view! I discovered that my little Panasonic Lumix camera is limited when it comes to snow photography and that while I had wanted some sunshine, the dazzling conditions made it hard to take many good photos. Never mind - great memories of a perfect day.