Who's up for a hike?
Interlaken Travel Blog› entry 5 of 6 › view all entries
September 25-27, 2009
I lacked the funds to make it to Interlaken when I backpacked Europe in 2007 and I vowed I would make it there on my next trip, so I wasn’t passing up the chance this year. My host in Zurich tried to convince me that there were better places, less touristy to go instead, but I had my heart set on making it to Interlaken. I didn’t do anything my first night, as it was a bit rainy and my feet needed a break from all the walking I had done the past few days. I hung out in the lobby of the hostel I had found, caught up on some postcards, writing and reading. I planned out my course of action for the next couple of days. I knew I wanted to do some hiking and possibly some sort of sporting activity—skydiving, canyon jumping, paragliding, etc. over the next two days. I also wanted to find another hostel for the next night or two, because I wasn’t all that impressed with Funny Farm, where I was staying that night. Yes, it was nice that it appeared I would have a whole dorm room to myself, including bathroom and shower, but I wanted something a little more central and social. So I booked a room at the Backpackers’ Villa Sonnehof for the next day. Turned out, I would be sharing my room with one other American guy who showed up around midnight, small world, but we would end up being roommates for the next 2 nights as well…
What intrigued me about Interlaken were the unlimited options of outdoorsy things to do. It’s located in Switzerland’s Jungfrau region and provides the chance to do a lot of mountain hiking and exploring. I decided that my first full day would be dedicated to hiking. I caught the train up to Grindelwald to hit up some trails. Grindelwald, much like Interlaken, is there strictly for the tourists—tons of shops and restaurants catering to the interests of outsiders. It really hits you when you step off the train and notice all the shops subtitled in Korean (I think). There are also a couple of “American” restaurants. Maybe it’s me, but if I’m somewhere away from home, I’d rather eat local cuisine rather than a greasy burger and fries. That aside, I had picked up a map at my hostel that outlined the various hiking trails in the area, so I headed off to find some. Three hours later, I was ready to head to another town for some different trails. I looked at my map and price-wise, I opted to head to Lauterbrunnen, which is known for having some good trails and waterfalls.
That evening I met up with some Aussies staying in the same room as I was, so we headed out to downtown Interlaken to find some food and drink. They had just come from Munich and Oktoberfest, so they gave me the low-down on what to expect when I got there. We walked around for a bit afterward and then headed back to the hostel to crash for the night. I decided that the next day I was going to go paragliding and possibly canyon-jumping.