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What was your favorite day trip from Interlaken,Sw?

What was your favorite day trip from Interlaken,Sw?

Mar 18th, 2002, 08:34 AM
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What was your favorite day trip from Interlaken,Sw?

We will be spending 5 days in Interlaken and would like to make day trips.....what is your favorite?
Is there a doable day trip to an area where French is spoken (my husband loves to practice his French)? I imagine Zermatt is too far for a day trip right? Thanks, Mary
Mar 18th, 2002, 09:45 AM
Bob Brown
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Interlaken is German Swiss, but virtually all Swiss take French in school. It is an official language.

Zermatt is not too far, if you rent a car and drive. Go to Kandersteg and take the train ferry under the mountain to the Rhone Valley. Go to Visp, and head south to Täsch where you park for Zermatt.
Car is quicker than train. It is about a 3 hour train trip one way. But to see anything well, you must go farther because Zermatt is down in a hole.

But why would you go to Zermatt when you are only there for 5 days and the Berner Oberland is virtually at your front door???
It is a few miles to the best views, and you can see virtually nothing of the high peaks of the Berner Oberland main range from Interlaken.
(I hope you don't think that you can get a good view of the Eiger, Finsteraahhorn, Schreckhorn, Breithorn, Mönch, Jungfrau, and Eiger from Interlaken, because you cannot.)
Having spent several weeks in Lauterbrunnen and having roamed those hills several times all day long, I think you will find enough to see and do without going to Zermatt.

Zermatt is a worthwhile place to visit, don't get me wrong.
But there is plenty to see close enough to Interlaken that you will wonder where the time went.

I can suggest quite a few trips from Interlaken, particularly if you have a car, that will give you plenty to do.
For starters, Kandersteg and the Oeschinensee. The Grimsel Pass east and south of Innertkirchen -- awesome.
Luzern, either car or train. And of course the villages of Mürren and Wengen up on the mountain sides.
Or go to Kleine Scheidegg for a full view of the Jungfrau and the Eiger. And if you want to really splurge go to the Jungfraujoch. Expensive but unforgettable.
Then there is the Schilthorn. And the gondola from Grindelwald to First, which is an eye popping trip with the north wall of the Eiger looming before you all the way up.
And then there are lake trips on the boat. Or a visit to Spiez and Thun at the other end of the lake from Interlaken West.

So with that much to do in Interlaken, and you only have 5 days there, why Zermatt??
Mar 18th, 2002, 01:23 PM
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Dear Mary, We spent a week in Grindelwald last March. That should be on your list for possible day trips. It is only a 30 minute train ride away but it feels like a world of difference. Once in Grindelwald, you can hike from First. What a beautiful walk. Stop in at the tourist office (just up the street from the train station) and they will make recommendations for hikes or things to do.
If you get a beautiful day, it is hard (maybe impossible) to beat the Jungfrau excursion. While it is expensive, you get a discount with the Swiss Pass and it is an unforgetable experience. You can check with the tourist office in Interlaken to see if they recommend the exercusion on any particular day (in Grindelwald, they actually told us to wait a day - which we did and the weather was perfect).
We also took the train to Bern. Wonderful city, very easy to walk without getting lost. Check out the museum and of course, the bear pits. We went on a Saturday and there was a lively market.
Hope this is helpful. Enjoy your trip.
Mar 19th, 2002, 05:59 AM
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Thanks for the good ideas. I do appreciate it. Bob, I should have mentioned that we will NOT have a car but plan to purchase the Swiss Pass. We do plan to spend a couple of days in Lucerne so will not need to see this city as a day trip. Thanks!! Mary
Mar 19th, 2002, 12:43 PM
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Take the train to the falls at Lauterbrunen. It is an utterly awe-inspiring sight.
Mar 19th, 2002, 03:13 PM
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For one complete day.
On the way to Bern get of the train for an hour or so in Thun. Walk the main shopping street on the way up to the castle. Very interesting. The street has 2 levels. The upper walkway is the roof of the lower street.

Thun is 20 minutes before Bern. Also, from Bern you can go 20 minutes south to Friburg. Beautiful college town. This is the dividing line between German and French. The street signs are in both languages. Don't stay near the train station. Walk down on the way to the river. Beautiful town. You will find yourself with a very steep walk back. Take the funicular back up.

Spend 2-3 hours in Old Bern. Just walk the streets toward the bear pits and the Rose Grden. Bern is a town of flowered arcades and fountains.
Mar 23rd, 2002, 04:57 AM
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Hi Mary. I'm sure you can make a long day trip to Lac Leman to hear lovely French. Check the SBB web site for train schedules to see what comes up when you plug in Interlaken to Montreux or Interlaken to Lausanne. J.
Oct 28th, 2002, 09:56 AM
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Reply to Bob Brown:

We just returned from a trip that included a stay in Interlaken. The weather was very foggy and overcast, but we decided to follow your suggestion and go to Kandersteg and Oeschinensee. When we were on the cable car the fog was so thick we could not see 3 feet. It was the same as we were walking to the lake. Just as we got to the lake, the fog lifted, the sun shone. I don't think I have ever seen anything more beautiful. Walking back, the fog returned. Thanks for your recommendation. It was one of the highlights of our trip.
Oct 28th, 2002, 10:27 AM
Bob Brown
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Cloudy conditions are indeed a problem, and no season seems immune. We were in Lauterbrunnen for a week, again, in early September. Most of the time we saw light to moderate clouds to the extent that I did not risk the Jungfraujoch. One day we drove to Zermatt, which is not a bad drive from Interlaken. After we arrived in Zermatt, we took the train to the Gornergrat end station. The Matterhorn was semi hidden, and I never got a clear shot of it with my camera. Monte Rosa played tag with the clouds all day, but I got pictures of those big glaciers flowing north from its twin peaks.

At least I did not get pelted with sleet this year! That was a moderate improvement!
Oct 28th, 2002, 03:20 PM
Jinx Hoover
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No one has mentioned the Blausee ("Blue Lake"), a beautiful, small glacial lake located just off the road to Kanderstegg. Crystal clear and filled with large trout (forelle), this is a scenic and gastronomic delight.
Just stolling around the edge of the lake is eye-popping. Then there is a roaring mountain stream that leads you to a large trout farm where you can see trout in various stages of development.
The restaurant on the edge of the lake serves the trout fresh out of the water, prepared several different ways. Delicious!
As a bonus, you get to stroll through huge boulders left by the glacier that formed this scenic area (as you enter and leave). A great way to spend a half day.


Jinx Hoover
Oct 29th, 2002, 07:54 AM
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Like everyone else I'm biased - here are my favorite day trips doable from Interlaken:

- Go to ADELBODEN: a small village tucked away in a valley; there you can go up to the Hahnenmosspass - an easy but scenic walk from a mid-station, with a view to the Wildstrubel; or the Engstligen Falls. Incredible Alpine vistas but also mountain pastures, chalets, cows, etc.

- Go to WENGEN: carless village; take the small train from Lauterbrunnen to get there; then, head up to Kleine Scheidegg for a mind-blowing view of the Eiger/Moench/Jungfrau mountains. The Eiger carries lots of lore (steep North Face a challenge for mountain climbers; mountain highlighted in the film "The Eiger Sanction". If you have the time, walk back down from Kleine Scheidegg to Wengen, probably about 2 1/2 to 3 hrs. It is an incredible mix of mountain, woods, pastures, etc. You will be in Heidiland, I assure you.

- If you want some French exposure, then go to ROUGEMONT or CHATEAU D'OEX, two villages just past Gstaad that begin to enter into the Fribourg "Pre-Alp" region. Take the gondola up to the Videmanette mountain outlook and spend some quiet time up there enjoying the view.

I'd forget Zermatt in this situation - stick around in the Berner Oberland/Fribourg Pre-Alp region. There's so much to see and do there.

Oct 29th, 2002, 09:22 AM
Gloria Kunz
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Also try the lake tours...Interlaken is located between two lakes...I cannot recall the names right now and my scrapbook is upstairs...anyway, each lake has a specific boat tour, which can last all day, if you wish. The boat makes many stops along the way at small towns with wonderful old castles, etc. You can get off at any stop and then get back on the next boat to continue the tours. We had a great time; wear good walking shoes. Any of the hotels you stay at will have information on the boat tours. The Jungfrau is also a good idea. Adelboden is lovely (we spent a day there as my husband's grandmother came from there. Had a great time walking through the old graveyards and finding headstones of ancestors. Switzerland is gorgeous...you will love it. One other tip...you do not have to stay at 3 and 4 star hotels; the less expensive accommodations are fine...and very, very clean. Enjoy.
Oct 29th, 2002, 10:08 AM
Bob Brown
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The two lakes are the Thuner See on the west and the Brienzer See on the east. Both are lovely.
The Brienzer See is situated so that it extends southwest to northeast; the Thuner See is inclined southeast to northwest. Interlaken is appropriately named because it is built out to the edge of both lakes.

Nov 3rd, 2002, 02:37 PM
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Take an early train to Lauterbrunnen & hike to the end of the magnificent Lauterbrunnen Valley. From there the cable cars up to Murren and dine on the patio of the Edelweiss Hotel, a heavenly day trip. Return to Interlaken by rack railway & funicular to Lauterbrunnen and train to Interlaken. Enjoy!

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