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Entries about interlaken

Caves, Parasailers and Fondue!

Our day in Interlaken

View The Alps Bucket Trip on sstalpo's travel map.

===St. Beatus Caves===
From the official website- "Release the dragon! Hunted by St Beat, a 6th century monk, the story goes that the mythological creature took shelter in this this extraordinary geological site – St Beatus Caves, next to the the lakes of Interlaken".
After breakfast we headed out to explore the St. Beatus Caves. We took a bus there (the Swiss really do their public transportation right!) and was greeted by the great, long, pretty, cascade rich, steep climb up to the TICKET booth! Thank god for multiple benches along the way.


We got a LOT of really good exercise! So many stairs, and steep trails. We started reminiscing about being in our teens and when hiking was FUN and we loved it! I hiked all around Strawberry Lake, BAREFOOTED, when I was 15.. and we talked about spelunking. Patrick loves caves, me not so much after an experience crawling through a black cave on a teen trip. Proud I accomplished that but not a favorite hobby choice. But this place has a ton of history - back to prehistoric times and the monk from the Middle Ages (who happens to be buried there).


Not a lot of photos from inside but what was cool was the rush of water. That cascade on the outside is the river that runs through the inside of the caves. One of those photos, if you look very closely, is the amber color of a stalagmite with the light shining through it. So hard not being able to capture the intensity of things with my phone camera!!! Urg.

Here is a MUCH better video someone else took. St. Beatus-Holden Caves Dragon and a Saint

We were both exhausted when done, so decided to stay there and eat lunch at the restaurant. The day was BEAUTIFUL ! The sun felt soo good after the cool of the caves. Even though it was very cool inside, I was dripping with sweat when we exited. Again the phone photo does not capture the beauty of the lake and the village on the otherside. Where I want to live. :) We had good solid Swiss food (Roesti and Pork Schnitzel). YUM!

I was hoping to catch the boat back to Interlaken but we were still up way too high to make it in time, so again caught the bus back. I thought about doing the Lake Thun cruise but it was two hours long and I was bushed (aka old and wanted a nap). Pat wanted to stop at the CooP and pick up some things so I wait for him where the bus let us off. While waiting I saw an amazing site.. actually two.. the sight of the Jungfrau through the buildings and a 'gathering' of parasailers and hang gliders flying around each other above a nearby cliff. Again.. photo sucks compared to the real thing. I did get a movie but have to see if I have room still to load it up.


With Patrick back (did you know its impossible to buy ice at a grocery store here?) we decided to go sit by the river and enjoy being outside .. and rest. We stopped by the hotel (which was amazingly well situation to EVERYTHING - train, bus, restaurants) and found an old lock in the river to sit by and rest. It was a VERY cool place and pretty.


There are many old, and majestic, buildings on this side of Interlaken. Which makes it beautiful. There are castles around the two lakes, which are also majestic. So the city is a real mix of the modern and the old.

Overall what impresses me about every place we have been to so far:

  • They are peaceful - people work, but are respectful (for the most part). They laugh but there is a calmness about .. well them, the atmosphere in the air, everything.
  • Things are organized and run smoothly. Public transportation is amazingly smooth.
  • It's CLEAN !! In the cities a street sweeper is run 'every day' in the early morning. And there are guys around the streets picking up stuff in between. There is some graffiti but very little in comparison to you see along train routes in the US.
  • It feels SAFE.. you really could walk the streets without idiots bothering you.

There is a LOT the USA could learn from these countries.

Anyway, back to the hotel we had a long chat with one of the front desk people. She was the one who checked us in yesterday. She is a Kiwi! From New Zealand.. can't remember her name but very chatty and nice. She shared how she and her sister we telling their mom, who is 84, that she has lived past her social security years and cause everyone was going that it was draining their retirement coffers. It's not just in America guys!! LOL Poor mom though...

Btw, here is our hotel. Our room was the second story balcony - the one with the pink and red flowers on your left.
So off to dinner which was literally 200 feet from our hotel in one of the top 5 restaurants in the area. Swiss food again! yum! Restaurant Baren We made reservations as recommended by TripAdvisor --glad we did as it filled up fast.
Pat and cheese fondue and I had braised beef. (I got some of the fondue too!)

And back at the hotel the Jungfrau and the Monk did not disappoint with the light of the setting sun making them pick and purple..

Good night!

Posted by sstalpo 12:11 Archived in Switzerland Tagged caves interlaken beatus Comments (0)

Finally - the Alps!

I mean.. got to see the 'real' big stuff..

View The Alps Bucket Trip on sstalpo's travel map.

I am posting from the Post Hardermannli hotel in Interlaken
Our first Budget Hotel

And to my surprise (it took me a while to figure out what it was) the Jungfrau !! (translates to 'young girl') outside the window of my hotel room!!
It's beautiful and a TRUE ALP. There is also a building up there called the Top of Europe!

Anyway.. we are not going up there. It's just cool that I can see it from my hotel room!

It was hard to leave Lucerne (cause I so want to live there). I'm loving that we have been staying in every Altstadt (Old Town) so far. Same in Interlaken. We are staying in the Unterseen area. Horse drawn tourist carriages come by all the time. We can watch the parasailers high up above the city (They have ****S!)

But today's big thing was the Golden Pass train ride here !!! The first class car was super spacious! Great area for our luggage and only four other people in there with us. Plus a waitress brought be some hot tea (which I was thankful for cause it was really cold in there!). But off we went. Btw, I agree with everyone (aka Rick Steves) that the Swiss rail lines are super, super nice.. . clean.. easy to use..

When we got up into the mountains and saw the real Switzerland in my mind! Cows, Beautiful waterfalls. Houses perched on sides of mountains. Green!! Cute Villages (where I want to live). Though the pictures from my phone are worthless to the impact of seeing the steep mountains and waterfalls. The snowcovered peaks which peak out from behind the green ones are huge and right there! In your face! The camera pushes them out and blurs the rocky crags which are crystal clear in my eyes.

So thought I tried to get some shots, I gave up over time.

Though the color of the water in the lakes was AMAZINGLY turquoise! This is lake Brienz! As we first came into the Interlaken area.

The green is still getting to me. Is it possible to OD on that color? :)

We were pretty bushed so decided to just have dinner in the restaurant attached to the hotel. Though it was pretty darn good! Rated #2 in TravelAdvisor for the Unterseen area. Patrick has Swordfish with Veges, and cause it was an Italian place I had Spaghetti Bolognaise.

and FINALLY - I got a good shot of the Jungfrau! I also tried to get one of the moon coming up next to it.. but as you can see (you kinda have to figure out the round white dot to the left is the moon. In real life it was like WOW!!!)

btw, I didn't get a picture of Pat's gig at the Shamrock Pub! He did great! Played for a couple of hours. Got applause. There was a group of older people from New Zealand who particularly liked him. We chatted a bit with them afterwards and they really liked that I lived in 'Oz' for three years back in the day..
But he did great.. I had chips and lager.. it overall it went really well.
Trip Advisor's Page on the Shamrock

Posted by sstalpo 16:46 Archived in Switzerland Tagged jungfrau interlaken Comments (0)

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