Switzerland: Land of Swiss army knives, superior watch brands, chocolates, cheese, cows and banks. I didn’t exactly expect the change in pace or scenery as we entered Switzerland from France but the difference has been pleasant and awe-inspiring. Today I sit in the grounds of the fabulous Mountain Hostel in Grindelwald, surrounded by (as above) divine, dramatic country – sweeping cliffs, streams of swiftly moving glacier water, green hills and cute wooden brown chalets all decorated with colourful flowers, cable-cars and trains making their way up and down the ranges to lookouts and snowy playgrounds, and of course the big one above us, Jungfraujoch Mountain. To wake up to such surroundings this morning was lovely, like straight out of a storybook. I’d love to share more images, but my usual trusty computer is currently out of action so I’ll do my best this afternoon and add some further media later…
Cooper and I stayed ‘down the mountain’ today (more for the sake of saving our last few travel dollars in this expensive neck of the woods than anything), but we certainly weren’t unhappy about the prospect of exploring the area because everywhere the eye can see is picturesque.
Many of our fellow travellers started early this morning though, in order to make their wayup to Jungfraujoch for some sight, snow and skiing action (we’re looking forward to seeing their images over dinner tonight)! We walked into the town of Grindelwald (15-minutes walk, although quite a steep climb uphill, so be warned (note to Cooper, probably not a good idea to wear flipflops again on this journey)), and hiked through some surrounding forest areas.
We’ve already liaised with a few other travellers and can report that everyone has captured amazing photos throughout the day. The scenery here is magical. I can only imagine what it must be like in peak snow season (later in the year). There are numerous activity options all year round on offer in the Swiss Alps regions including snowboarding, skiing, canyon jumping, paragliding, tobogganing, hiking… even eating Fondue (primarily melted cheese) or Rösti (based on potato) – double-yummy famed local dishes.
Switzerland is super expensive though – as we discovered on our brief stop in famous Geneva yesterday, where for a ‘mere’ AU$30 we scoffed a McDonalds burger, fries and salad – eeek! The city (which I know from history class as being central in a little deal named The Geneva Convention) is quite pretty as far as cities go, and particularly well known for a striking water feature called The Jet d’Eau, or ‘water-jet’ fountain (below) which apparently projects about half a cubic meter of water per second up to 140 meters high into the air!
More amazing water features lay in wait for us on the drive through to our final destination of Grindelwald yesterday, namely, the spectacularly gorgeous Lake Thun (pictured below) which lies to the west of Interlaken (the region we are exploring today): crystal blue surrounded by soaring mountains – straight off a postcard. Evidently tomorrow on our drive out of the region we will pass by the other famous body of water which surrounds Interlaken, Lake Brienz.
Switzerland is nothing short of beautiful, and I’d relish a little more time to explore the Alps in all their glory. If you’re keen to visit (and we’d recommend you did!), save money – it is as expensive as everyone says here, although much of what you’ll experience is worth the money. Serene, peaceful and quaint. Even the locals are friendly, not to mention efficient. You have to like somewhere that loves their dogs, and cows… this place even hosts annual cow beauty contests and the farmers are known to bring their animals inside in winter when it’s very cold. Bless! Moooo :-)
Travel tip: Check into the CoOp store in the centre of
Grindelwald for inexpensive salads, drinks, alcohol and food.
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