Can’t believe it’s been almost 5 months since my last post…time sure does fly! And discipline sure does slip, haha. I’ve been wanting to write about Interlaken for a while now—and after cleaning out photos from my camera a few days ago I decided that I was going to do it today. I still have so much Switzerland content to get through; it’s exciting and overwhelming at the same time! Hopefully coming to that realization will inspire me to post more often. But anyway, let’s talk about Interlaken…one of the most beautiful cities I’ve ever visited!
To be honest, I felt that way about every city we visited in Switzerland. But the views just kept getting better! It’s amazing when you think about how small Switzerland is in terms of area. How is it that all these beautiful (and VERY different) natural landscapes ended up in this tiny country. It’s almost not fair, haha. But definitely convenient for travel- each city was usually just a short 1-2 hour train ride away from the next. You definitely get your money’s worth using the Swiss Rail Pass. We took an early morning train from Lucerne and arrived at Interlaken around 8:30am. Dropped off our stuff at the hotel and walked down to the dock where the lake cruises depart from (we took the cruise across Lake Thun). I remember being super hungry that morning! And the hot dog stands next to the station saved my life! They were good hot dogs too. Just be prepared to pay a Swiss premium on food in general haha. I think it was $7 or $8 for a hot dog. Better than paying $22 for a bowl of pho though (we did this the night before).
There are several stops along the cruise route. You can choose to cruise all the way to the other side of the lake, stopping at the final destination of Thun. I think it takes a good 2.5 hours each way though. We decided to only go halfway across the lake, and got off at the stop for Spiez. It was about a one hour boat ride to Spiez from Interlaken, and the scenery was absolutely breathtaking! So much green. And gorgeous mountains and hillsides. And stunningly blue waters. The weather was perfect that day, although it did start getting a bit gloomy in Spiez. But no rain, thank the lord. Random funny story I just remembered! We saw a Korean couple on the cruise. The guy was taking pictures of his girlfriend on his phone, but we noticed he was holding the phone backwards…and he wasn’t looking at the phone. He was looking at his girlfriend. The phone was actually in selfie mode! And the girl would tell him when she thought the framing looked right and then he would press the button to take the photo. FASCINATING, no? Maybe she’s just really picky about her photos? I can’t imagine the guy being that hopeless. But yes, we tried out this technique as well, and it actually worked better than I expected (thanks Victor!) – see picture above.
We spent the early afternoon wandering around in Spiez. Such a cute town!! Limited food options, though. Most of the restaurants are concentrated by the water where the ships dock. We tried to eat at a hotel restaurant further in the city. But it was empty and there was nobody manning the restaurant. Soooo we headed back towards the water and ended up grabbing a relatively cheap lunch at a sandwich stand near a park. WIN! Not even kidding, any meal that we managed to have under $40 was a win. Food was hella expensive all across Switzerland. We wandered around a nearby church after lunch, and decided to head back to Interlaken so we could take the train up to Harder Kulm. Scenery in Spiez was beautiful! Highly recommend stopping by, or even stopping here instead of Thun if you don’t want to travel all the way to the other side of the lake 🙂
The last part of our first day in Interlaken was Harder Kulm – a viewpoint 1300 meters up that puts you at the top of Interlaken. The views were unreal!! Worth the price and the fight through the crowds of tourists. We were there around sunset, so the lighting was perfect. You get perfect views of the lake, the mountains, the city below. This is a definite must if you’re visiting Interlaken! Could not have asked for a better end to our first day in this beautiful city 🙂 Stay tuned for Day 2!