Thursday, September 30, 2010

Interlaken, Switzerland

Last weekend was my big Switzerland adventure.  It started on Thursday afternoon and did not end until Sunday night.  It involved many trains, little sleep, lots of chocolate, and more rain then I could have imagined!

On Thursday night three friends (Megan, Emily and Laura) and I headed to the train station in Florence to begin what would be almost a 24 hour trip to Interlaken, Switzerland.  Unfortunately our first train heading to Pisa was late and led to one of the most anxious train rides of my life.  Due to the delay we would be getting into the Pisa at the same time that our next train to Milan was supposed to be leaving.  I can confidently say that we looked like we were nuts running through the Pisa station searching for our next train which may or may not have already left.  Fortunately the next train was about five minuets delayed as well so we were able to catch it!  The rest of the train rides went rather smoothly in comparison.  We did have a couple of scary moments during our seven hour layover in the Milan train station (from 12am-7am).  Spending the night in train station is not something that I would do again that is for sure.  Needless to say we did not get much sleep that night, and rolled into Interlaken around 11am on Friday.

Our first stop in Interlaken was to taste some Swiss chocolate and check into our hostel the River Lodge which was actually very nice and in a good location (right on the river).  Back at the train station we caught a bus to where we would be leaving to go canyoning.  Canyoning is a cross between white river rafting and cliff jumping, except you don't use any rafts and you are jumping into a river.  We wore wetsuits, helmets, life jackets and harnesses, in fact we were had so many layers on, we could barely feel how incredibly cold the water was.  It was a blast! We jumped off rocks that were about 5 meters above the water and slid down natural water slides in the river.  After a warm shower and dry clothes we had Rugen Brau beer with our guides and scouted out a good place for dinner.  We ended up at a place called Des Alps, which was okay, not the best food, but we all had a Swiss dish called Röusti.  Röusti is a pan of potatoes with eggs and swiss cheese on top.  After not sleeping for more than 24 hours we headed back to the hostel and were all sleeping by 7pm!

Interlaken, Switzerland - view from our Hostel
Saturday in Interlaken was dedicated to exploring the town and checking out the caves at Saint Beatus Höhlen.  It rained the entire day, so we made sure to make lots of stops in shops in the little downtown area to warm up and dry off as often as we could.  I of course bought some swiss chocolate and a post card as souvenirs.  Unfortunately the caves that we planned on exploring were closed because all the rain had caused flooding, so instead we toured the little museum attached and hiked the trails that led up to the cave.  Saturday night we went to a restaurant that one of the workers at the River Lodge had recommended.  It served swiss cheese fondue and it was delicious!

We started our Sunday by going out for Cappuccino and muffins (not very Swiss I know, but still good) We walked around for a bit taking more pictures since finally it had stopped raining for a bit.  Caught our train at at about 2pm and got back to Florence by 8pm (thankfully a much shorter trip then the way there).

Just for you Mom! This is where you should do your next marathon!

Local beer after canyoning

1 comment:

  1. Another great entry. Afer this beer picture, looking forward to the Oktoberfest photos!