Sunday, 11 August 2013

Holidaying in Switzerland...


Above: Schynige Platte region

Above: Schynige Platte

Above: Schynige Platte region, view of the Eiger 'North Face'


Over the past few weeks I have been really busy with various things, leaving me with barely any time to look after myself, let alone write a blog post! This is the reason why I haven't written one for quite some time now - almost a month - even though I originally stated that it would be at least once a week...

Although this hasn't quite gone to plan, I have some interesting things to write about now, with one of them being my holiday to Switzerland. I went to Switzerland 2 weeks ago with my mum, and stayed in Interlaken, a lovely resort right in the centre of the Bernese Oberland, overlooking numerous valleys and mountains. As there's so much to write about, I will be compiling another couple of posts over the next few days, with one focussing on the Jungfrau, and the other on the Schilthorn - two of the really amazing trips that I did.

Before going to Switzerland, I had quite a few people ask me 'Why did you choose Switzerland?'. The reason is that I was recommended by a few different people, as well as another reason being that I'm bored with beach holidays and fancied something different - I think the images show how much of an amazing place it is to visit!

The images above are of the Schynige Platte region, featuring the most amazing views of the Jungfrau, Eiger as well as the two lakes, Brienzersee and Thunersee. The Schynige Platte is the end of the cog railway, with the train being visible in one of the images above. The views from the train are really spectacular, and the photographs really don't do the views justice - they look so amazing in real life and it really takes your breath away, especially when facing the north face of the Eiger, knowing the amount of people that have died whilst climbing it. I would definitely recommend taking this trip - it doesn't take long to get to the top from Interlaken (approximately 40 mins - 1 hour), and has great views and a lovely restaurant at the top.

Above: Woodcarving village of Brienz

Above: View of Brienzersee from Brienz

Above: Brienzersee

One of my days was spent taking a boat trip on the steamer from Interlaken, visiting the towns that lie around Lake Brienz. The water of the lake was so clear and very turquoise in colour, again with really amazing views. On the way we passed the Giessbach Falls and we stopped off at Brienz. This village is very traditional, with the cute, wooden chalet style houses, and with various woodcarving shops, where you can watch the woodcarvers hard at work. Brienz was one of my favourite places that we visited, as even though it was small in size, it was very lively with people swimming in the lake, sunbathing and wandering around the shops. It's also definitely one of the prettiest places to live - the houses are amazing and you couldn't really beat living alongside a lake as beautiful as that one.

Above: Staubbach Falls

Above: Staubbach Falls

Staubbach Falls is the second highest waterfall in Switzerland, and can be found in Lauterbrunnen Valley, which is known for having 72 waterfalls. As you can see from the photographs, you can actually climb up the rocks and stand behind the waterfall, with amazing views of the whole of Lauterbrunnen. The waterfall is named Staubbach after dust (Staub = dust), as the water droplets spray in all directions. On this particular day it rained all day, and I was originally refused entry into the Trummelbach falls due to the shoes that I was wearing (health and safety reasons), therefore we took a visit to this one (although my mum decided to leave this one out!). With no one there for health and safety, it could be a bit dangerous particularly in bad weather. However, it was a good trip to go on whilst it was raining - at least it didn't matter about getting wet!

Above: Murren

Above: Murren

We visited the village of Murren on the way to the Schilthorn. It's a very quiet place and quite interestingly there are no cars in this village as it is only accessible by cable car. On the way back we walked from Murren to Lauterbrunnen - a massive descent and this walk took a lot longer than we had originally realised that it would, meaning we were feeling very achey over the next few days!

Above: pretty house in Interlaken

Above: Swiss National Day fireworks

Above: Swiss National Day fireworks

Above: Swiss National Day parade

Above: Swiss National Day parade

Above: Swiss National Day parade

Swiss National day falls on August the 1st, therefore we had the privilege of being in Interlaken whilst this took place. The centre was very busy, with food and drink stalls all over the town, as well as a parade and an amazing fireworks display in the evening. The fireworks really were amazing - the best I have ever seen (much better than London NYE). So much effort went into them, and the finale was spectacular; with Interlaken being surrounded by the mountains, once they had finished the noise continued for quite a few seconds due the the mountain echoes. The whole day was a really great atmosphere, with fireworks being set off all day and night. If you are thinking about visiting Switzerland, I would definitely recommend going so that you are there on this day - I was recommended this and I'm very glad that I listened!

Above: Harder Kulm

Above: Starter at hotel

As you can tell, I really enjoyed my time in Switzerland and would really recommend going to visit it if you can. Although it is very expensive (I paid over £5 for a bottle of water in Murren), it is worth the extra money. The food is also really amazing. We went half board as we were informed that the prices were very high for food and drink, therefore we went ahead with being half board rather than self catering. There were four courses of food, and it wasn't buffet food like it is in a lot of hotels that I have visited in the past, it was served dinner with a great range of food each evening. This shows that although it is more expensive, you pay for what you get! 

To find out more about Interlaken, a great website to visit is http://www.interlaken.ch/en/discover-interlaken.html, where you can see all the activities to do around the area.