My Europe Trip 2010 – Switzerland

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Landgasthof-Hirschen-hostel

For the third day, we stayed in Landgasthof Hirschen – a castle turned hostel located at Interlaken West. The reason we stayed here was because our train to Milan on the following day departs from Spiez, which is only 10 minutes away from Interlaken West.

hotel-reservation-booth

These hostel reservation kiosks list the hotel and hostels along with their price, contact information and availability. A free working phone is even attached for travelers to use, how nice.

Landgasthof Hirschen

Landgasthof Hirschen is just too beautiful to be classified as a hostel, I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a comfortable, clean and affordable accommodation at Interlaken. And don’t forget to ask for a free bus ticket that entitles the holder to free rides within the town.

coop

Recognize this sign – Coop because it is the second largest supermarket chain in Switzerland where you can get quality products at reasonable prices. We got some marinated steaks and fruits here for a nice price.. definitely cheaper than eating out.

migros-interlaken

Then we used the free bus ride to get to MIGROS for lunch before visiting the rest of the town.

migros

MIGROS is another sign you would often see in Switzerland. They are the largest supermarket chain and they operate an affordable self-service restaurant too.

croissant

cakes

For a supermarket-operated restaurant, the selection here is surprisingly good and tastes great.

roast-chicken

Half a roast chicken with fries and salad is only 13CHF here, very reasonable considering you can pile as much fries and salad as you want as long as the plate can hold it.

interlaken-river

Interlaken as seen from the train station.

interlaken-watch-shop

Being the largest watchmaker in the world, a visit to Switzerland would not be complete until you step into a watch shop. SL got herself a very beautiful watch here for a bargain.

cuckoo-clocks

Handmade cuckoo clocks hanging in a cuckoo clock shop.

boat-cruise-harbor

Another perk of having a Eurail pass would be the free boat cruise in Lake Thun and Lake Brienz. I suggest you go for the cruise in Lake Thun because Brienz is described as a sad, gloomy lake.

boat-cruise-2

cruise-view

boat-cruise

town-view-from-boat

The lake cruise was great and passengers are rewarded with nice sceneries from the boat that otherwise could not be seen.

spiez-harbor

But we felt the boat was cruising too slowly so we got off at Spiez and switched to using train to continue visiting the next town.

spiez-castle

Spiez is pretty much a small, charming city with the Spiez Castle being the main attraction. This medieval fortress is surrounded with vineyards that produce a local wine called “Spiezer”.

thun-city

Thun, on the other hand is much larger city but still walkable. What immediately grabs visitors attention must be the strong and imposing Aar River.

thun-cafe

There is a stretch of road in Thun where plenty of cafes, boutiques and restaurants can be found. Think of it as somewhere like Bukit Bintang but minus the traffic.

switzerland-sandwich

These pretty looking open-faced sandwiches are very common in Switzerland and you can get it almost in any bakery. Try it if you come across any, they are delicious!

steak

Then we headed back to Interlaken via train, where we cooked ourselves perhaps the best meal we ever had in the entire trip – steaks bought from the local supermarket lol. I didn’t expect them to be so juicy, tender and flavorful.
Actually there are still many good things to talk about Switzerland, which I could go on for another two or three posts. So now you can understand why I loved Switzerland so much despite our horrible start. Blessed with beautiful landscape, clean, safe and modern with friendly people, Switzerland is exactly the opposite of Malaysia (sad to say) And not to forget the free public toilets too. You may laugh but you won’t be laughing when you are required to pay €0.50 (RM2!) for using the toilets in Italy and Germany…
In fact, our Swiss experience was so great that it affected the rest of our trip.. We couldn’t count the number of times we heaved a long sigh, then wishing we were in Switzerland instead lol. If you are a Swiss and you’re reading this, let me just say that “Man, your country is awesome! It must feel great to be Swiss!”
Ah well, next up is Milan, the city of fashion.

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