What Festival?

Interlaken Travel Blog

 › entry 2 of 2 › view all entries
waiting for trains is fun
Hello and good morning! We rejoin B.R.A.D. on an overnight train to Switzerland. With the lights of Paris behind them, their next journey underway, our heroes awake and wipe the drool from their mouths and the crust from their eyes. Oooh, you are an unsightly bunch! Let's give them a minute to make themselves presentable, or at least less smelly...

After switching trains and applying deodorant our heroes are on their way to Interlaken where they'll catch yet another train, a bus, and finally a gondola to the mountain village of Gimmelwald. The train to Interlaken quickly fills itself to the gills with teenagers and young adults sporting band t-shirts and enthusiastic hair.
B.R.A.D. don't think much of this aside from, "gee, it's crowded. Is that smell coming from me?" After several minutes of averting eyes in the breathing-room-only train car a young Swiss girl addresses our culture shocked quartet, "Are you going to the festival?" B.R.A.D., unaware of a festival and too disoriented to think to inquire further, shake their heads, "no" in unison. The awkwardly silent and cramped train ride thus continues. Later Bryan mentions seeing a flier for a brass band festival and B.R.A.D. dismiss the rabble of young folk, chalking their idea of a good time up to cultural differences. This assumption will surely come back to haunt them.

The mountains surrounding Interlaken are lush and majestic with waterfalls cascading down the cliffs, one after the other,  forming a colossal shower room for the gods.
hero food
..and/or just really beautiful scenery for mortal men and women. Ahem. Our heroes catch their next train, fill their bellies where it stops, and then catch their bus to the gondola that will take them up a cliff to Gimmelwald, an "enchanting, authentic mountain village," according to Amy. Why, you can even sleep in the barn! How excitingly rustic!

Upon arrival B.R.A.D. is somewhat disappointed. The village is indeed enchanting, however, the food is terribly expensive, as is the hostel, and the going rate for one person to sleep in the barn is more than it would cost for all four of them to camp in the valley below. "Well we didn't come up here for nothing did we?" Amy proclaims, and suggests they at least try the food. Agreed.

Not feeling very heroic at the moment, all four of our weary travelers choose to forgo the Horse Shit Balls and play it safe instead, ordering the schnitzel.
no thank you!
So Gimmelwald is not what they had hoped, but the campsite B.R.A.D. secures in the valley nearly makes up for it with its spectacular views of the waterfall-laden cliffs. In the morning our downtrodden lot make their way back to Interlaken.

As they are chugging into town they all spy through the train car windows a massive tent city in the distance. Upon closer inspection they realize that this has to be the festival the young girl spoke of. It is not a brass band festival at all...it is in fact a rock concert. A three day rock festival if you will. A rock festival they could have been enjoying instead of wandering through an old, boring village! R.A.D. turn and glare accusingly at B., who promptly kicks himself in the ass for his very unfortunate error in assuming hundreds of young people would board a train and flock to a brass band festival.
idiot #1
But maybe all is not lost? Maybe they can still partake in the festivities?

B.R.A.D. pile optimistically into a crowded shuttle to the festival, walk to the entrance, and are turned away because they only accept cash. Bryan will surely never live this down. They decide it isn't worth it to ride all the way back to town, get cash, and come back to pay the $180 each just to see the last few bands. And, since they are apparently not heroic enough to jump the fence like so many others are doing as they stand there hating themselves (mostly Bryan), they retreat back to the train station and decide unanimously to leave Switzerland behind and carry on to Italy...but not before having a little moderately overpriced fun to lift their spirits!

Our heroes (i am hesitant to give them that title presently.
camping in the valley
..oh well) barely make it to the rafting site in time for the last run of the day. Upon arrival they hear a strange voice calling out to them, "Chicken, over here! Chicken!" Chicken? Are they going to feed us? B. and D. begin to salivate at the thought. All four make their way toward the voice. When the origin of the voice is reached they immediately realize their mistake. It appears this rafting company is run by Australians; which explains the misleading pronunciation of "check-in." B. and D. are visibly disappointed that there will not be chicken, but they'll soon get over it, for tight, soggy wetsuits, helmets that are too large, and icy cold rapids are calling them come hither.

The ride is everything one would expect from a class-4 river in the mountains of Switzerland. The water is cold, the rapids are rolling, the paddling is fierce, and the brothers are intent on submerging their sisters in the freezing water when the ride is finished.
well done heroes
Just as one would expect. The waterlogged Americans ride back to the rafting company's home base, extract themselves from their wetsuits, don their clothing and are greeted with a very welcome surprise. Free bread and beer. What more could one ask after such exertion? They are rejuvenated and in high spirits (no pun intended), thanks to the friendly Aussies. They are now ready for the history, culture and sunshine that awaits them in Italy. Ready, set, overnight train to Florence!

So onward, heroes! And don't forget your Eurail passes (David)!
JeAr says:
awesome, just awesome!
Posted on: May 19, 2009
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
waiting for trains is fun
waiting for trains is fun
hero food
hero food
no thank you!
no thank you!
idiot #1
idiot #1
camping in the valley
camping in the valley
well done heroes
well done heroes
pictures from moving trains look a…
pictures from moving trains look …
waste not want not
waste not want not
look...a barn we didnt sleep in.
look...a barn we didn't sleep in.
david has no respect for rules
david has no respect for rules
we have ways of entertaining ourse…
we have ways of entertaining ours…
view from Gimmelwald
view from Gimmelwald
view from Gimmelwald
view from Gimmelwald
idiot #2
idiot #2
Gimmelwald can be fun if youre cr…
Gimmelwald can be fun if you're c…
walk to the campground
walk to the campground
the walk to the campground
the walk to the campground
hero tents
hero tents
amy in the valley
amy in the valley
awesome
awesome
hehehehhhn
hehehehhhn
post rafting festivities
post rafting festivities
david with his bread and beer
david with his bread and beer
bryan with his bread and beer
bryan with his bread and beer
robert with his bread and beer...a…
robert with his bread and beer...…
if thats not a heroic bunch then …
if that's not a heroic bunch then…
478 km (297 miles) traveled
Sponsored Links
Interlaken
photo by: sherryshakarob