Skip to main content

Zero Visibility and Disappointment

Lake Thun
Interlaken as the name suggests, means between lakes. So I was watching the passing view carefully as the train raced closer to the valley between the lakes. And suddenly the shimmering, crystal clear waters of Lake Thun came into view. Heaven!

It was fascinating to watch paragliders drop anchor on the Höhematte under the shadow of the Jungfrau. They make it look so easy to land on the green lawn of the park.

Two Lakes Bridge, Harder Kulm
The opportunity to see all three peaks, the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau, from the summit of Harder Kulm was something I felt I couldn't miss. I had been observing the funicular climb up the steep side of the mountain from my hotel doorstep. It takes approximately ten minutes for the ascent to the summit (1,322 meters above sea level) by funicular. But in those 10 minutes, the clouds rolled in and swiftly wiped out the view. 

Coffee anyone?
After waiting for thirty minutes in the cold mountain air for the fog to disperse, I decided to wait it out inside the warm and cozy Panorama Restaurant. I ordered their chicken cream soup to fend off the chill. The bill came to 8 euros. The weather did not improve so I paid my bill and took the funicular back to town. (In hindsight, I should have bought the ticket that included lunch. It would have been a better deal.)

Lake Brienz
On the way down, I had a better view of Lake Brienz and the steeples of both the Catholic and Protestant Churches in Interlaken. These images are all I have of my little adventure in Harder Kulm. 

It helps to manage expectations when traveling. I was in Interlaken in early November and enjoyed several days of sunshine and blooming roses. Weather conditions change quickly and while it was clear in the valley, it was the exact opposite in the mountains.

The funicular to Harder Kulm is 26 Swiss francs roundtrip. You can also hike up the 4 km trail from Interlaken Ost train station to Harder Kulm. It takes approximately 2.5 hours to reach the summit. For more info about hiking in Interlaken, check this helpful guide from the Fit Traveller:

Sluice on the Aare
The Aare river crosses Interlaken and flows into Lake Brienz. It is the longest river entirely within Switzerland at 295 meters (183 miles). Here is one of the locks that control the waterway.

The Garden of Eden
Tucked away in one of the neighborhoods in Interlaken West was this painting of Adam and Eve under a heavily laden apple tree. Urban art with a biblical theme.

And on a quiet street I found a few Victorian-style houses. Interlaken revealed itself to me the farther I walked away from the expensive boutiques of Höheweg

I stopped a while to listen to the cowbells. It was mesmerizing. Swiss cheese didn't even cross my mind.

How to get to Interlaken:
There are convenient train connections from Geneva and Zürich via Bern to Interlaken.

Where to stay:
Hotel Carlton Europe
Höheweg 94, Interlaken
This hotel is walking distance from Interlaken Ost train station where trains depart for Lauterbrunnen, Wengen with connections to Mürren, Grindelwald, Schilthorn and the Jungfrau.

Where to eat:
Coop Restaurant
The restaurant is across the square from Interlaken Ost train station. It offers both hot and cold dishes, cakes and pastries. It's convenient to eat here after grocery shopping at the Coop Supermarket downstairs. The price of your meal depends on the size of your plate - small, medium or large. You can fill your plate as much as it can hold.


Images by TravelswithCharie

Popular posts from this blog

Adare, Ireland's Prettiest Village

Thatched-roof cottages
Twenty minutes south of Limerick City on the River Maigue is Ireland's prettiest village, Adare. It's a small town, pleasantly quiet even in mid July, at the height of the tourist season. There was a celebrity classic golf tournament going on at the exclusive Adare Manor Golf Course during my visit. But thankfully, this did not bring in the crowds.

Augustinian Priory
It's an easy stroll from the Augustinian Priory to Bill Chawke's Lounge Bar on the opposite end of town.  Centuries old thatched roof cottages, medieval monasteries, vine covered townhouses, the Adare Town Park and the quintessential Irish pubs line Main Street. There's no need to rush. All these places invite visitors to linger and savor the moment.

At Bill Chawke's the kegs are full and ready to be served. But before saying your first "sláinte!" (to your health), consider walking the extra mile or so to the ruins of Desmond Castle, north of Adare Manor. It dates bac…

Bargain Shopping in Greenhills, Metro Manila

At Greenhills indoor flea market, you will find santos (religious statues), costume jewelry, authentic South Seas pearls, clothes, shoes, knock off branded handbags, Oriental furnishings, Christmas decorations, paintings, souvenirs and linens. There are stalls upon stalls of goods and you walk down narrow aisles teeming with shoppers who are at this moment doing their Christmas shopping.

I was particulary interested in new costume jewelry trends and there are a variety of stones and glass beads on display. The latest is a headband made of shiny glass beads, a unique party accessory. I was pleased to find wood carvings and paintings at much more reasonable prices than elsewhere in the city, except in Divisoria which I have yet to check out.

Weekends and holidays are the worst times to come though you can shop their night market during the holidays. Crowds notwithstanding, I plan to spend more time shopping for home furnishings at Greenhills after the holidays.

* * *

Photos by Charie

Carlos "Botong" Francisco, A Nation Imagined

Carlos "Botong" Francisco, FILIPINO STRUGGLES THROUGH HISTORY Oil on canvas, 1964, (located at ManilaCity Hall) A National Cultural Treasure owned by the City of Manila
Carlos Botong Francisco: A Nation Imagined is the latest art installation at the AyalaMuseum in Makati to celebrate the 100th birthday anniversary of Carlos “Botong” Francisco (1912-1969), a Philippine National Artist. Forty paintings and lithographs were culled from various private collections to form this exhibition. Of the large scale paintings on display, Maria Makiling and Fiesta, both oil on canvas, are representative of the indigenous genre which Botong loved to portray. In Maria Makiling, Botong reveals a relaxed and recumbent woman with her legs dangling in the cool waters of the stream and playing with an exotic deer by her side. Fiesta is about how the Filipino people gather to celebrate an important occasion, be that a religious feast or a wedding. The central figures are dancing the tinikling, a po…