Our adventure to Switzerland started out rough. Like really rough.
After spending the entire day at a theme park in Germany, Cardin booked us another night train (if you saw my Portugal post, which you can read here, then you know I tend to have bad luck on those). This particular train didn’t have sleeper cars, so we had to sleep in regular seats. We were lucky enough to snag two spots together, put our earplugs in, our eye masks on, and pass out.
About 2 hours later, I was abruptly woken up by the sound of a man yelling hysterically.
I quickly sat up and pulled off my mask. Everyone around me (including my husband) was completely silent. A few rows behind us a man was crying and screaming in French as three police officers surrounded him. Being woken up suddenly at 2:00 am to such a dramatic scene—all I could think was he must have a gun.
Just as I began to process that we might be in danger, the police officers grabbed the guy and started dragging him off the train while he wailed.
It turns out the French man didn’t have a train ticket and was belligerently refusing to pay for one. Apparently he had been chasing the train employee up and down the aisle arguing with her, but of course, he only spoke French, and she just knew German and English. So, his yelling got louder, and as we pulled up to the nearest train station, the police were already waiting on the platform for him.
I’d also like to point out that with the help of earplugs I managed to sleep through that ENTIRE interaction—only when his yelling got particularly loud did I wake up. So, there are some perks to being half deaf. 😉
Unfortunately, though, the story isn’t over yet…
An hour later I woke up to Cardin nudging me as a train employee holding a ticket scanner glared at us.
Our tickets weren’t working.
Each time the guy scanned them, they show up as canceled. After witnessing such a dramatic episode with the last person who didn’t have train tickets, we both started to panic. And everyone in the train had woken up again and was staring at us. Thankfully, he let us purchase new tickets (at twice the price), but at least we weren’t going to get thrown off.
As he processed our credit card information, Cardin pulled up his email and asked the guy to try the ticket barcode there instead.
And they worked. Of course.
So, after already spending twenty minutes with us, the poor employee had to cancel and refund our tickets.
Moral of the story: I should avoid night trains. (And hostels—which you can find out why, here.)
We finally arrived in Interlaken and took a bus to our Airbnb.
And the picture above is the view we met as soon as we arrived. We had no idea we were staying that close to the water!
The next two pictures are of our Airbnb and the street it’s on:
The owners of the house converted their attic into a one bedroom apartment. When I booked it, the pictures didn’t make it look that great, but it was the best option I could find in our price range.
Little did I know that we would have the MOST amazing view from our window!
At that point, we would have been happy to hang around our Airbnb for a few days and not even bother to explore the rest of the area.
Thankfully once we recovered from our traumatic train ride, we did decide to venture out. The next morning we took a steamboat on Lake Brienz to Giessbach Falls.
Unfortunately, the boat ride was expensive, but the whole experience was completely worth it!
Once we arrived, we were hoping to take the funicular to the hotel at the top and catch the waterfall views there.
But, we forgot our cash at our Airbnb, and of course, it was cash only.
So we hiked—and I am glad we did!
Giessbach falls are 14 consecutive waterfalls, and the hike followed them the entire way up!
It turns out it was a short hike to the hotel anyway, so the fee for the funicular would have been a total waste. Don’t you love when happy accidents like that happen?
The picture above is of the Grandhotel Giessbach. It was built in 1874 and offers incredible views of the falls and Lake Brienz.
It’s also the perfect spot for a picnic! Once we finished our lunch, we hiked back down to catch the boat again and headed to our next destination.
Harder Kulm aka the most beautiful view in Interlaken!
If you’re afraid of heights, then this stop is not for you, but if you don’t mind a little thrill factor, it’s perfect!
After taking a very steep funicular, you walk out onto a patio positioned directly above Interlaken—giving you a breathtaking view of both Lake Brienz and Lake Thun.
The entrance/exit to the Harder Kulm funicular is near the center of town, so after taking in the amazing views, we walked around and explored a few of the local shops.
The town itself isn’t that exciting and feels a bit touristy, so if you ever visit, I highly recommend staying just outside of Interlaken in one of the more rural areas.
The next morning we woke up early and took a train to Lauterbrunnen. From there you can take a series of cable cars to each area, or you can follow the trails.
We took a cable car to a place called Grütschalp and then opted to walk to Mürren.
It was by far the most beautiful hike we have ever gone on! Part of the trail we wanted to take was closed from snow, so we can’t wait to go back one day and do the entire thing.
Cardin even found a statue of himself as a tourist…minus the socks and sandals, of course 😉
Wouldn’t you love to be one of those cows in the picture above? That view is their backyard!
After our hike, we took a bus to Trümmelbachfälle.
It’s a series of ten waterfalls INSIDE a mountain! I highly recommend a rain jacket for this stop though because you’re bound to get a little wet…
Seeing the double rainbow in the picture above was the best surprise!
We almost missed visiting this part of the falls since it was a bit hidden, but as soon as we turned the corner and caught a glimpse of it our jaws dropped! It was such an incredible sight!
After a long day of exploring we were happy to head back and relax around our Airbnb.
Their neighborhood is perfect for taking an evening walk, so we had to go on one last sunset stroll before leaving for Lucerne the next day.
The house below is right next to our Airbnb and had the sweetest garden I’ve ever seen!
If you read my post “Learning to Appreciate Sound” (which you can check out here), then you know how much I cherish hearing different noises while we travel.
My new favorite sound on this trip was waterfalls.
I love that you can always hear them before you see them—it felt like a fun little scavenger hunt each time we came across that familiar rushing water sound!
Our last night in Interlaken though, we came across another delightful noise: cowbells.
It took us forever to realize what we were hearing and kept assuming it was church bells because it was just that loud!
Until we finally made it to a field full of cows wearing huge bells.
I can’t help but wonder if the cows get a little tired of that noise after a while though…
Interlaken has officially made our list of top 3 favorite places to visit so far! If it weren’t quite so expensive there, we would head back to our cozy little Airbnb every summer.
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