Party town between the lakes

Interlaken Travel Blog

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From Bern I took a train to Interlaken.  I had read this place was a popular spot and obviously with my ida of travelling by ferry as often as possible it made sense to go to a place which lay between two lakes. 
  Interlaken was appropriately named for the very reason it has the Thurnersee laying West and the Brienzersee to the East.

I arrived there as it was coming on dinner time.  It was still light but I didn't have a very detailed map of the town and I struggled to find the hostel I was looking for.  Time passed as I walked about the town and I must have looked a bit lost because at some point a local man pulled his car over beside me and asked where I was walking.

Dawn, Len, Jeff, Jim, Paula & I enjoying a quiet beer as the swiss army looks over our shoulders.
  I told him I was looking for Balmers Hostel.  He knew it and generously offered to drive me there.

I had read that Balmers never turned anyone away.  I have no idea how many beds it has but it may be that they don't actually know themselves.  I booked in and was told where I was to sleep.  i found the room and located the bunk.
  The room had no door at either end and was more of a passage than a room.  One wall had two or three levels of wooden bunk that looked like they could comfortably sleep 6.  I dumped my bag and had a wander about the place.  It seemed to be chocka-block with Americans.  i think I saw more orange "Let's Go" books that afternoon than I had seen over the last month travelling through Europe.

Once I felt I knew my way about I went next door where there was a bottle store and some tables in a courtyard.
Lovely Irish Paula enthralls the swiss army
  Whilst I was buying a couple of bottles of beer I was greeted by an Aussie bloke who saw the Australian flag on the back of my t-shirt and thought I was one of his compatriots.  NZ and Aussie have a affectionate banter and I quickly chastised him for  his insult pointing out my t-shirt was a souvenir of Simple Mind's world tour and therefore had many flags on the back. 

The Aussie's name was Jim.  It was a good metting and he introduced me to his friend Paula from Ireland and after they had purchased their own libations we went out to the table and joined several other people who were staying at Balmers.  Most of the others were from the US and as we chatted and drank we attracted the attention of a table full of Swiss soldiers beside us.
Madeline tries an army beret for size
  Long after the sun had gone down we were still singing and laughing.  This didn't impress the landlord of the bottle store who kept coming out and telling us to go to bed as he had closed and it was late. 

The soldiers left without needing another telling but we were happy to continue enjoying the night and after being told 3 or 4 times the landlord was now getting quite mad about our loud celebrations.  Finally we recognised we had upset him and made our way indoors to find our beds.  When I got to my room and found my bunk it seemed there were 20-30 bodies slotted like sardines in a can.  Even the floor beneath the bunks was littered with unconscious backpackers.  I decided to find another spot to crash.
  Unfortunately that was easier said than done.  I went into one of the lounges and found a tiny space half under a chair and curled up there on the floor.  it was a very uncomfortable and restless night for someone like me who is a very light sleeper.  The next morning rolled around and after completing my ablutions I found all my friends from the night before lined up for our bread and cheese breakfast.

After breakfast we discussed what the day had in store for everyone.  Most were heading up into the mountains since this was the doorstep of the Grindelwald and the range which includes Switzerland's famous Jungfrau.
  I suspected their activities would be expensive but that aside I still had much of the counrty to see and my 5 day pass was busy expiring. 

I would have loved to stay with my new friends but instead we exchanged contact details and I wandered back through town to the ferry terminal.

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This badge speaks the truth!!
This badge speaks the truth!!
Dawn, Len, Jeff, Jim, Paula & I en…
Dawn, Len, Jeff, Jim, Paula & I e…
Lovely Irish Paula enthralls the s…
Lovely Irish Paula enthralls the …
Madeline tries an army beret for s…
Madeline tries an army beret for …
photo by: sherryshakarob