Violet cows with bells, pastoral landscape of the mountain meadows with thoroughly mown grass and white peaks of the Alps in the background, that’s the picture of the commercial… no of Switzerland – Interlaken, maybe except the colorful cows.
Exactly on the 3rd of January 2 years ago, I was bored waiting for delayed, by drifting snow, flight back from Riga to Warsaw. I was looking over the offers of airlines when suddenly I saw discount tickets to Basel. A better beginning of the year I couldn’t have imagined.
Switzerland can be divided into the northern part which consists of beautiful and charming cities like: Basel, Stein am Rhein, Zurich or Lucerne and the south dominated by stunning, alpine landscapes.
Going back from beautiful Lucerne, we knew that we’re heading in the right direction. The landscape was becoming more diverse and the road more winding. Our goal was the beautiful village of Interlaken, less than 70 kilometers away.
The name Interlaken means “a place located between the lakes” and indeed this place is located between lake Thun and Brienz. Interlaken is an excellent point for excursions to the Alps area.
By a cruise ship opearting on lake Thun, you can reach the city of the same name. You can visit the atmospheric old town and see the medieval defence castle with beautiful views of the city and the nearby mountains.
While being in this area is also worth visiting the phenomenal Beatus caves, located on the top of the mountain, with stunning panorama of the lake Thun. More information about this place here.
However, number one in the area is an absolutely spectacular valley – Lauterbrunnen. I won’t hide that this is one of the most spectacular places I’ve ever seen. The Lauterbrunnen is beautifully located in the valley, surrounded by three tall, Alpine peaks: Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau.
The name Lauterbrunnen in German means a “loud source” and is not accidental. There are 72 waterfalls in this small valley! Some of them are so high that before they reach the earth, they almost turn into a mist. The most spectacular waterfall is the Staubbach waterfall, 300 meters high, descending from a high limestone cliff, almost to the nearby houses.
Across the valley runs the river Weisse Lütschine, it begins in the mountain glaciers. It’s surrounded by green, Alpine meadows with thoroughly mown grass. No wonder that this fabulous scenery inspired the J.R.R. Tolkien to create Rivendell.
The Interlaken region is also a paradise for extreme sports enthusiasts like: paragliding, bungee, rafting, climbing and skydiving. Imagine a jump from a height of 4 thousand meters and 50 seconds of free fall in this setting!!!
However, for down-to-earth people, about 100 km further, driving the road which includes the transport of the car by train (what I wrote here) is the sunny town – Sion, well known from the wine growing. The most popular white wine of this region is Fendant.
Sion is one of the oldest cities in Switzerland and its story dates back more than 7 thousand years ago. The main tourist attraction in addition to the routes between vineyards, are two castles Tourbillon and Valère, located in the hills.
So, when you come to Switzerland, Interlaken is a must! 😉