Europe Express: Spoilt by Swiss Alps scenery


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After hours on the TopDeck coach, we arrived at a village in the middle of the Swiss Alps. A town that caters for backpackers and hikers. We pulled up at our hostel that boasted a hot tub and a pub on their premises.

With 12 people to one toilet and shower, we were a little bit cramped. But having been in such close proximity to everyone on the coach for hours on end, we were beginning to get used to each other. After all, this was only day three – eight days to go!

Surrounded by mountains in a basin called Interlarken, we relaxed and enjoyed the view as the fog began to descend and melt over us. The drinking water available in the town was straight from the mountains. Cool, and refreshing compared to what we drank in the middle of Paris and London.

After downing a couple of pints at happy hour, we found our way to our beds sporadically through the night. (Me being one of the first to call it a night, of course.)

DAY 4 – First full day in Switzerland!2016-06-13 10.28.02

This is the country I had been waiting for! Up at 7am, I downed my breakfast. The night before, a group of us decided to take a hike to the nearest waterfall – departure time was 8am sharp!

 By the time 9am rolled around, I realised much of the group was a tad hung-over and wouldn’t be making it until later. So, a few of us decided to go for a stroll around the town.

We saw parachuters, and a man driving a horse and cart. He took his hat off to me as I stood slack-jawed on the pavement, trying to get a few happy snaps of the little steel-grey pony.2016-06-13 10.34.31

I named him Sparkles… The pony, not the man.

By the time we looped around to the hostel to figure out how to get to the train station, we picked up the rest of the group and began our walk soon after.

The train station was akin to that of a station found on a child’s wooden train set. Nothing more than rails on the same level as the platform, with a small room to buy tickets from.

2016-06-13 14.13.45The ride up the mountain was pleasant, despite how close it felt we were to toppling off the side!

We soon found ourselves in a village full with bars, cafes and souvenir shops. The architecture was quaint, with flower boxes, and villages fitted in between the forests on the side of mountains.

We strolled past and admired the brightly coloured buildings, and frequent chapels, before the 20 minute walk to the foot of a mountain.

We looked up to our destination – a beautiful and massive waterfall!

Wading through the school children and American tourists, we trudged up a near-vertical path, and past the flock of sheep with bells around their necks. Pulling my rain jacket on, and opening my umbrella, we wound up stone stairs to find ourselves behind the waterfall.

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We. Got. Soaked.

2016-06-13 13.06.01In the movies they show waterfalls as thick sheets of water, but this just felt like we were caught in torrential rain! The waterfall splashed and sprayed us all as we tried to take photos of ourselves.

Needless to say, the photos of my soggy face with what appears to be rain behind me, didn’t quite capture the moment.

After almost drowning our phones, we stumbled back down to eat lunch.

A pleasant and slow-paced day, a welcome break between chaotic Paris, and our next destination: Venice, Italy.

There really isn’t anything to entertain you in the Swiss Alps – you’d have to go for a reason. If I was to return to Switzerland, I would probably go to see the horseracing on ice.

Perhaps I’ve been spoiled, though. The Swiss Alps was similar to not only the Scottish Highlands, but also the South Island of New Zealand. Just as serine, just as blue, fresh and clear.

If you want to marvel at lakes and mountains, or you’ve come prepared for a two-day hike around the peeks, then you’ll love it at any of the above locations.

Disappointingly, I felt as though I had seen it all before. Including the chocolate; much of the Swiss Chocolate brands can be found at your local supermarket.

I still enjoyed being away from the city though! (And seeing a pony.)