Well its official, after Interlaken I can throw my shoes away when I get home. After joking about walking in previous posts I can say with certainty that any REI store would be lucky to have me. Interlaken was all about hiking, and then some more hiking. It’s hard to do anything else when you’re surrounded on all sides by the Alps. We got to our hostel early in the afternoon and with the help of a friendly Swiss lady on a bike who unprovoked, stopped and asked us if we needed help finding something. The backpackers villa hostel was by far the best one we’ve stayed at so far, going so far as to even offer laundry services (which I took full advantage of.) The rooms were large, and the views from the back porch were amazing. Imagine staring at a seven thousand foot snowcapped mountain while you drink your coffee in the morning.
After getting settled in we decided to set out on our first hike of the trip choosing to go right, in the direction of one of the two lakes that Interlaken is nestled between. Let’s just say I needed every last drop of my fresh Swiss water to make it up the trails. It’s been a while since I’ve been physically fit or even active, so this part of the trip was definitely a kick in the pants. Every step I took involved either a lunge, or an uneven slippery rock or branch. Needless to say I got my work out in, but the views that we saw made up for the Jillian Michaels style workout. Interlaken is a very small town, and it was amazing to see all the little houses and hotels bunched together from a few hundred feet up. The town also has two canals running through it with crystal green water that made for quite a sight from our vantage point. We just managed to get off the trails and back on the main road when it began to storm. We found a barn to huddle under till the storm passed and made it back to our hostel. It rained for the rest of the day so we were mostly inside the hostel which allowed us to relax after our long hike.
The next morning we decided to tackle the beast known as Harder Kulm. When researching Interlaken for our trip I had read about the summit at Harder Kulm which was about 4300 ft. above sea level. At the top of the mountain was a restaurant and a giant ledge that was perfect for taking pictures off of. You could take a little train up to the top or you could hike, which do you think we chose? Admit it; you thought we chose the train, of course not. The hike was supposed to take two and a half hours to complete but it felt closer to four hours by the time we completed it. Even with constant water breaks I was beat by the time we made it to the top. All that work was rewarded with amazing mountain vistas below and before us. I even managed to fight back my fear and walked onto the platform to take a few pictures of the stunning scenery. We couldn’t have asked for a clearer day as we were able to see for miles towards both lakes and the small towns around them.
Tired and sweaty we awaited the meal at the restaurant with great anticipation. The first course was bread soup which tasted incredible; partly because of our hike I’m sure. The soup was essentially Switzerland’s version of French onion soup, with fresh chives cut in for good measure. At that moment there was nothing that would have tasted better. The main course was stewed beef with polenta which was ok, followed by some sort of fruit panna cotta creation. Overall it was the perfect way to reward our hard work making it up the mountain.
Well that’s about the extent of our time here in Interlaken. We’re off for our last leg and country of our trip, Italy. We’re taking the train to Venice today and should be there around 5. Thanks for reading and enjoy some of the view from Harder Kulm below.