First I'd like to thank all of those here - especially the destination experts - who advised and suggested.
Not an easy time of year I was here - Zurich for work with a weekend in between and my partner - wanting to go somewhere lovely for the weekend.
Yes, it is low season, yes the weather is iffy - but we managed to have the perfect weekend getaway!
Though many advised against it, after thorough research (and I mean THOROUGH) I really wanted to see Jungfraujoch and I decided that Interlaken was a good place to stay for the trip. Though everyone said Wengen, Murren, Grindelwald etc., I had a hunch it would be a mistake this time of year.
First of all, yes Interlaken is a tad touristy, but it's quaint and lovely. We stayed at the Bellevue thanks to the good reviews on Trip Advisor and it was simply marvelous - will be writing a separate review. I was very glad to be on the West side since it was much more charming and less ostentatious. Very close to the train too.
When we arrived we got tickets for Jungfraujoch from the front desk - we had bought the Half Fare Pass - highly recommended for anyone spending a shorter amount of time in Switzerland, and it was cheaper to Jungfraujoch . then it would have been with the Swiss Pass!
We had dinner at a lovely little restaurant called Stadhouse - separate review to come. The most amazing fondue I could have imagined with truffles and sparkling wine in it. The fondue could have served as a wading pool though it was for 2!!
The next morning after an amazing breakfast we took the train to Interlaken East and from there set out to the 2.5 hour journey to Jungfraujoch. By the advice of our hotel manager, we went uo through Lautbrennan and Wengen and lanned to go down through Grindewald since the latter was sunnier so we could spend an afternoon there.
The ride up was gorgeous - the train made short stops at each stati so we could easliy pop off for some pictures. The sun was kissing us more and more the higher we got.
Finally after 3 changes and climbing, we were at the magnificent Jungfraujoch. Pay attention - the off season the train back down is once an hour so plan your time accordingly. An hour + was plenty for us to see all the sites and get back on the train so we could see other places. We could have stayed another half hour easily - an hour would have been to much since the snow attractions were closed.
Was the trip up worth it - OH YES!!! Amazing view - truly stunning!!!
On the way down we stopped in Grindewald. Now honestly, I felt that this town was even more touristy then Interlaken - only smaller and much less to do!! Quaint, lovely but a total tourist/ski trap. And to our chagrin - the First flier and even the cable car was closed, so we couldn't even do that!!! Most restaurants and cafes were closed for a holiday pre-ski season, we found one nice little restaurant at the Eiger Hotel called Memory where we had some delicious tomato soup and hot wine.
We hopped back on the train, back to Interlaken, pick up some sparkling wine at the Coop Grocery store - a MUST for surviving the expense of Switzerland - great place for staples for sandwiches and such. We got off in the East and walked to the west. It was a lovely walk but I could see from the Easy why people thought that Interlaken was so touristy. Not my cup of tea. The casino had lovely grounds but was pretty poor looking inside - not worth the 5 Francs to go in...
After a toast and a rest we had another lovely dinner at a place called Chalet - the rump steak and the Zurich style veal and Rosti were amazing!
The next day, since it was apparent that most attractions in the area were closed, and it was Sunday which closed most of the stores, we took it easy, had a leisurely breakfast and took an hour walk in the more residential areas of Interlaken - beautiful little homes and gardens.
Then at 14:00 - the highlight!!! There is a boat that runs from Interlaken West to Thun - and in the winter in only runs on Sunday. We got the tickets onboard (hlaf price thanks to the pass) and settled outside for the view. Oh my gosh!!!! Spectacular views of the Alps and the unbelievably picturesque towns we passed along the way. I couldn't believe our stroke of luck for mot missing this!!! There was food on board, but we had made our own sandwiches and enjoyed them onboard.
The boat docked in Thun at 16:25, and it was a totally different Switzerland - gone were the sunny, crisp skies, and in were grey, foggy and COLD skies. We skipped the thought of traipsing around Thun and seeing the castle, and got back on the train directly back to Zurich.
It was a magical, wonderful weekend, and I hope this report helps people in the future decide at this time of year!!!
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