17.3.07

A Run Around Switzerland

After checking the weather forecast and staying up way too late last night deciding what I wanted to do, I got up at 7 AM this morning and headed to the SBB. I had decided to take a three leg trip by train, making two stops, around central Switzerland. The weather was promising when I set out, blue skies, but a little hazy. The first leg of the trip was from Basel to Luzern.

I arrived at 9 AM and started a walking tour of the city. The weather had gotten progressively hazier but the sun was still fighting, getting brigher and dimmer in waves. No worries though. It was still early.

I knew most of the tourist spots weren't open until April but this was more just to get the feel of Switzerland outside of Basel and have a look around. I saw the Lowendenkmal, walked over the Kappelbrueke (a 14th century bridge), walked along the lake and through the town admiring the painted buildings. I had a sinful dish of Alpen Makkaroni for lunch. This is a dish of potatoes and macaroni in a heavy cream sauce kind of like scalloped potatoes. It is served topped with roasted onions and with a side of applesauce. Mmmm! A once in a lifetime treat. The view of the lake was disappointing and I couldn't see any of the landscape in the region because of the haze.





At this point I debated whether to just head home and relax in Basel since the weather wasn't cooperating. I decided to go on with the second leg because I still had hopes the sun would fully break through - ever the optimist.

The next leg was from Luzern to Interlaken on the famous Golden Pass Line. My hopes soared higher than the mountains that I would be treated to some spectacular views. It wasn't to be. I had hints here and there of how it would look - a waterfall pouring down the sheer face of a mountain, snowy jagged peaks rising through the clouds, little villages and teal mountain lakes dotting the valleys below - but it never cleared up enough to see much. I'll have to try it again sometime on a clearer day.


I took a much briefer stroll through Interlaken. I had intended to stay longer but there wasn't too much exciting at Interlaken. There were some great old school Swiss hotels and a nice view of mountains around the city. I sat on a bench at the park and watched people paragliding down from the mountains. They used the park as a landing spot. I was tired and the sun never broke free of the clouds and haze so I decided to call it a day and head back to Basel.



Despite my love of traveling around alone, I have to admit I missed my German nuisance. I guess I finally found someone I like being with more than I like having complete independence. I'm sure I looked like a fool smiling on the train when an SMS came from M. letting me know he was thinking the same.

Posted from Basel

2 comments:

Un-Swiss Miss said...

Too bad the weather wasn't too cooperative. But looks like you were able to see some neat stuff anyway!

Luzern is one of my favorite places in Switzerland, but personally, I didn't care too much for Interlaken. It felt too touristy, with all those fancy shops and hotels and little else.

Next time you're in the area, consider visiting Thun, which has some lovely parks on the lake, or going up to the Jungfrau area (I believe a train runs directly from Interlaken to the mountains). Yes, it's the ski resort I just went to, but in summertime there are tons of hiking trails. And provided the weather cooperates, the scenery is spectacular!

Expat Traveler said...

Oh the pics from Lucern look great!

Have you know that going a bit out of the way, there is a lot more to see in Interlaken. P's friend's mother lives just off the main street you were on and she showed us around everywhere. We were in shock with her hospitality and hope to go back again one day..

Behind that building is the River and a river walk and the old town of Interlaken (small) but it's more interesting than the main street. A bike is the best way to get around right there. But if you go up higher, that's where the excitement is!

Can you believe that famous golden pass line used to go past my house in Montreux!!