*Saturday – July 12: Day 1 in Switzerland: Today we got up fairly early as we wanted to leave quite early to go to Switzerland. we left around 7.00am to make our trip to Switzerland. We drove through Luxembourg, part of Germany and mostly France. We started out with fairly nice weather and some sunshine, but once we got closer to Switzerland it was getting really wet. At the border with Switzerland we had to pay $40 CAD and you get a sticker on your car so you can use all the roads. This is some sort of a one time road toll/tax you pay and it’s valid for a whole year. In France you also pay this toll, but only on certain highways. It was still raining hard and by the time we got close to the place we were staying we were quite tired. We stopped at a gas station to fill up the car and since there was a supermarket there as well, we bought some things for the first couple of days. This way we could do our big shopping some other day.
Some photos on the way to Switzerland
Once we were in the area of Spiez we had some nice views over Lake Thun even thought it was raining. After about 15 minutes we arrived in Interlaken and from here on we had to pay attention to where we had to go as our GPS could not find the place where we were staying. We followed the signs towards Beatenberg and after the first big right hand turn of 180 degrees there would be a sign saying “Ruchenbuhl” and that’s where we had to turn. We had to follow the 3km partly dirt and partly paved road. My goodness, that was a fairly narrow road and only about one car could fit on this road…so we were hoping not to bump into anyone going the other way! It seemed like a long road and in some places we could see quite deep down the cliffs. My mom didn’t like that too much as she is afraid of heights. Finally we got to the place and it looked beautiful.
It was a wonderful typical Swiss house on top of a hill with a view over Lake Thun and the mountains. We met with the owners and she showed us our “apartment” as they call it. We had a full equipped kitchen, 3 bedrooms, a bathroom with jetted tub and a shower, a sitting/dining room and living room with satellite TV all to ourselves. On top of that we had 2 beautiful balconies overlooking the lake and mountains. In the backyard there was a patio, a stone bbq, a games room and a swimming pool all for us to use as well. Well, we were impressed and I was happy that I found such a beautiful place with wonderful owners! In the evening the rain stopped for just a little while and we saw the most beautiful rainbow. That was a perfect ending of the day.
*Sunday – July 13: Day 2 in Switzerland: Today we slept in a little bit and it was a rainy day again sadly enough. We decided to go into town and visit Interlaken for awhile. The trip on the narrow unpaved road was much better today. I am sure after driving it a few times we will get used to it. Interlaken is quite a touristy town, so most of the souvenir shops and such were all open. Even though it was a fairly wet day, we enjoyed walking through Interlaken and seeing all the stores. We found a little grocery store that was open 7 days a week until 10.30pm, so we did a bit of shopping there. They had this amazing kind of white bread which looked like a ring of buns attached together, they call it “Krustenkranz”…my oh my that was delicious! After that we went for a little drive to Lauterbrunnen, a beautiful valley with several waterfalls coming down from the cliffs. This place looked like a fairy tale even though it was raining. It was so beautiful and I can’t imagine how beautiful it would look if it was a nice sunny day. We walked around in the town for a while and enjoyed the views. At one point the rain was really coming down, so we decided to go sit on the patio of one of the coffee shops/café’s in Lauterbrunnen. It was really nice and we enjoyed it. After that we headed back to our apartment and took it easy the rest of the evening.
*Monday – July 14: Day 3 in Switzerland: After waking up and looking outside I was feeling a little depressed because it was raining AGAIN! It was really getting us all a little down as this was our 3rd day and so far all we had was rain. Because the clouds were so low you couldn’t really see the mountains. We wanted to see those big snow capped mountains that I saw on pictures when I was doing my research. Oh well, we would just try and make the best of it rain or shine. Today we went to Lucerne which was about 45 minutes driving from Interlaken. It was pretty cool outside, when we left in the morning it was only about 8 Celsius outside (about 46 F). On the way we passed by beautiful Lungern Lake where we would stop on the way back. Once we were almost in Lucerne it wasn’t raining anymore. We walked through the town and over the river where we had some wonderful views over the city. Since it was our 3rd wedding anniversary we went for dinner at a nice restaurant. We went to the Movenpick in Lucern which was pretty good and very friendly service.
On the way back from Lucerne we enjoyed some beautiful views as the clouds lifted up a little. I could notice some fresh snow on some areas of the mountains. I guess it was it cool enough to snow way up there while we got all the rain down below in the valley. We stopped along the highway between Lucerne and Interlaken to enjoy the views over beautiful Lungern Lake. This is a beautiful lake with a bluish color. After that we went shopping in Interlaken for some groceries. We found this big supermarket called “Migros”, it’s a great store with pretty good deals and wonderful breads that are so tasty. After that we went home and just enjoyed the evening. For some reason I went out on the balcony and WOW, I couldn’t believe what I saw. It was clearing up and these huge snowcapped mountains (Eiger and Monch) were appearing through the clouds. What a view, absolutely stunning. It looked like we might get lucky tomorrow and finally get some nicer weather.
Please see my next post "My life in Canada (July 2008)...Part 3" for the rest of the story!