I recently just returned from a short trip to Interlaken, Switzerland and I have to say it was one of the most stunning places I have ever experienced. Interlaken is situated between Lake Brienz and Lake Thun with a stunning backdrop of the Eiger, Monch, and Jungfrau mountains. Perfect for those mind-blowing panoramic views from Harder Kulm.
Interlaken is an adventure paradise that draws in all kinds of adventure junkies. A plethora of ski resorts dominates the landscape. If skiing is not your cup of tea then there is paragliding, skydiving, boat cruises, amazing hiking trails, alpine coasters, or simply exploring the area.
When my buddy and myself were arriving, I am pretty sure we survived about ten different near miss accidents from gawking at the incredible mountains that surround the lakes by not paying attention to the road. Oops. Even the lakes are beautiful. The lakes give off a turquoise blue color. Incredible I must say.
We checked into Hotel Roessli which was voted #1 on Tripadvisor. I have to say the customer service was amazing. The front desk was extremely friendly, helpful, and spoke great English when we asked what we should do around town. The guy that works there suggested we hike up to harder kulm which overlooks Interlaken and the Bernese Alps. He said it would take about an hour or so but it was steep. Well, steep was an understatement. It took us about three and half hours to hike the trail which included clear skies, snow, and then rain on the way back down. The 4.1 km hike was pretty difficult due to how steep it was (4337 feet) and the elevation kicked my butt. At the top is what made it all worth it. A platform extends over the cliff to give you beautiful views of the whole area.
Our second day the weather was not the best. Mostly cloudy with no visibility. We planned on paragliding or hitting up one of the alpine coasters but the hotel front desk said we were "in-between" seasons so everything that was fun to do was closed. Bummer, I know, but we made the best of it by just driving around the lakes and checked out a small town called Beatenberg that was nestled in the mountain that overlooked one of the lakes. I was curious how the hell a small town was created on the side of a mountain but the views from the town and looking at the town from the other side of the lake were quite impressive. I brought out the drone and took a few shots in the area as well (pictured included.) After driving around, exploring the town was next. A swiss army knife was a priority because well, they are the best and I am in Switzerland. Switzerland is an expensive country. I paid 7 Franks for a magnet if that gives you any idea of how pricey it is. Dinner was roughly 50 Franks which is just about a one to one ratio to the US dollar. Stadthaus was the dinner option and I was not disappointed either. Friendly staff and great beer. I stuck with the chicken wings and fries but they were fantastic!
The Top of Europe Experience is a two and half hour train ride from Interlaken and it takes you through the beautiful town of Grindelwald and a few other ski resort towns that are in the valley of the mountains before heading into a tunnel of Eiger mountain that leads up to the top. There are two stops (Eismeer and Eigerwand) in the tunnel that offer views of a glacier and part of the surrounding towns down below. and restrooms in case you need to go potty.
Jungfraujoch is the highest railway station in Europe which is 3454 meters high. Jungfraujoch has it all. Shops, Viewing platforms, an ice palace, chocolate store and three restaurants that offer incredible while dining. The cost for the experience is $200 but I think it was worth the views, food, train ride, and overall experience. It is not about the money, it is the experience that will last a lifetime. I can not get enough of Switzerland. Ill be back, until then. Stay classy Swiss.