July 16th 2016 Around Interlaken
We woke up at around 5:30 AM, a bit early to gauge the weather. We requested our hotel to give us breakfast 10 minutes earlier than the usual time, which was 7 AM and they nicely obliged. We had breakfast and set off for the day. Meanwhile we saw possibility of clear skies ahead. So we took a train from Interlaken West to Interlaken Ost and then to Lauterbrunnen for Schilthorn. The journey from Interlaken to Lauterbrunnen was picturesque. I loved the views from Schilthorn in photos than Jungfraujoch, so chose this one. Also, when we got off at Lauterbrunnen we saw the rush towards Kleine Scheidegg and felt happy to take the other way. We went up via Grütschalp to Mürren. The rides were fantastic with mountains rolling beside us, and sudden small streams flowing. Mürren is one beautiful place, and after much photo-ops, we went up from Mürren to Birg and directly went up to Schilthorn. Lake Grausseli was frozen. What a view it was. All you could see were mountains around you. We feel lucky to have reached at a time when the visibility was really good and the Sun not so high up. It was windy at the edges, but quite pleasant on the deck. We spent almost an hour there on the deck, then walked on the fresh snow that fell the previous day to the Adventure walk from there. My mom sadly had a minor slip in the snow there, which came to bite us later in the day. Anyway we went and had a second small breakfast in Piz Gloria (Elevenses rather; Hobbits anyone?) and were amused at how the restaurant rotates and the view from there. I decided to stay away from gadgets but my dad did not; so resulted in a few excited FB posts. After a full 360 degrees or so of the restaurant, we decided to go down to Birg. Big has the newly opened Thrill walk. My mom was still a little down from her slip, so she was happily lying on the cushions of the Birg observation deck (or skyline walk as they call it) and enjoying the view around, while my dad and I went on the Thrill walk. It was fun, not much thrill, just involved a little walk on the roap, and transparent glass, that's all. Here is the photo for walk on the roap: www.anony.ws/image/NNw N and here's the one for the walk on the clear surface: www.anony.ws/image/NNw Z . Other than that, it was walking up and down the stairs to see great views around.
We came down to Mürren, walked again across almost all the town, and went to Allmendhubel. The person at the ticketing centre of the funicular reminded us that it was not the way to Schilthorn. We smiled, thanked him for the information and insisted he give us a ticket anyway. While we waited for the funicular, we admired how beautifully the houses were adorned with flowers and the gardens surrounding each establishment with myriad flowers around them. It is a beautiful town. We went up to Allmendhubel and we met a group of people who were going on North Face trail. We sadly could not do that trail, and we went around on the flower trail. The views from Allmendhubel are spectacular as well, and I saw some peculiar Alpine flowers which are quite unique. However, we were not quite fortunate to see a good bloom this year. There were more placards with the flower names written than plants at certain patches. We went on a bit on the North face trail with the group we met and they described how they have hiked the mountains in Colorado last month and I expressed keen interest since that trip is coming soon for me.Then we went back on the funicular to meet another interesting couple sitting across from us, discussing flowers in different mountainous regions with us. The funicular here started late by 10 minutes or so (the only late thing in Switzerland we faced). We went back again across the town to go down to Stechelberg. The way down was gorgeous, with so many waterfalls, green valleys and view of rivers. We stopped at Stechelberg for a while to look at the beautiful falls there. We had planned to go to Trummelbach falls, but gave up on the idea since my mom's feet were aching a bit. We took the bus through the beautiful landscape to Lauterbrunnen, had food there in a local restaurant, clicked a bit of Staubbach falls.
We kind of gave up on all other plans we had for the day, and decided to make good use of our Swiss travel pass and just go around by train, since that might be a relief to my mom. So we went to Grindelwald, then Kleine Scheidegg and back by Lauterbrunnen. We stopped at each place and walked around a bit. We found Grindelwald too touristy (I felt it was more touristy than Interlaken, but then we did not venture much away from the train station). There was Eiger Ultra Trail going on and a huge crowd around that. I liked Kleine Scheidegg though. It was nice walking around there. I wish we could make the walk KS-Mannlinchen, but may be some other time. We came down to our hotel by 7 PM. Mom put her feet in hot water and felt better. So we went to Harder Kulm.
We took the last harderbahn up to watch to sunset, and I would say we did the right thing in doing so, since the sunset that day was too beautiful. The view from Harder was so good at sunset. We saw lake Brienz for the first time from the top. The color of the water, and different shades of orange and red it reflected during sunset was worth noticing. And the mountains changed colors to different shades and we were enthralled at the display. We took the last train down, went and ate in a restaurant in Interlaken and took the late train to Interlaken West.
[One thing I forgot to mention about in the previous post was how beautiful the journey from Spiez to Interlaken West. It was along the Thun lake and every turn of the train gave us breathtaking images. I wished we could do boating on Lake Thun as well, but time constraints :( ]
Overall this was a wonderful day. Though much of what we planned did not happen, thanks to the Swiss travel pass, we could just hop on trains so that we do not miss anything. And my mom showed great spirit. I never thought I could do so much on one day with my parents. Also, one more thing my parents enjoyed was bakery products in Switzerland. They are so good and filling that no one complained about eating the whole day. Food was extremely good wherever we ate. People were so nice. We met very nice backpackers and groups who told us all sorts of their stories. Some couple even told us their 33 years of coming to Bernese Oberlands from UK each year at the same time. As my dad said, you miss out on stuff even when you blink. Thanks to the forum again for the plan. More on the trip in the next post in this thread.