Monday, December 8, 2008

Getting lost at night in a foreign land is no fun at all

You may be wondering about the title of this post. Well, as you can easily guess, we had some difficulties finding our close-to-nature hostel in Interlaken.

Interlaken is a district in the Bernese Oberland, the highland area of the state of Berne, Switzerland. Being the oldest tourist resort in Switzerland, coupled with its close proximity to the Swiss Alps, Interlaken is the perfect place to catch the first glimpse of the splendours of Switzerland. Here in Switzerland, the people are mostly German speaking, which presented a n excellent opportunity for Ms Rehau to practice her German. Fortunately for non-German speaking Mr Irish and myself, the Swiss speak good English too.

To get to Interlaken from Venice, we had to take a train to Spiez station and switch trains to get to Interlaken. Our hostel is situated at Interlaken Ost (which means east in German), whereas the Interlaken city centre is at Interlaken West (approx 20 mins' walk) from Ost.

Marvelous scenery along the way - trains are truly a wonderful way to travel in Europe

Spiez station, awaiting for train to Interlaken

Splendid mountains just behind the station-where else can you ever find such a view?

At Spiez station, we weren't sure which side of the train platform to wait for the next connecting train. I guess our confusion was quite apparent, because this elderly and genteel man approached us and directed us to the correct platform, without us asking him. So helpful! I must say, my first impression of the Swiss was a very pleasant one indeed.

When we reached Interlaken Ost, it was already quite late, and getting dark. Following the directions given by the hostel, we walked past a small park, across a bridge that got us across a large river and came to a dirt path, which seemed to lead to the hostel as indicated by the hostel's directions. When we followed the path, obstructing us, were barricades for bicycles, which we could have gotten past rather easily. Perhaps, psychologically, the barricades seemed to impede our sense of direction, and we turned back, thinking that we got the wrong path and walked further up and along an up sloping road. There were no buildings in sight that remotely resembles a hostel, except perhaps a very creepy looking wooden lodge up on a hill.

By this time, we were rather tired, especially after trudging up and down slope with our luggages, and Ms Rehau tried to call the hostel. Fortunately, despite being so late (I think it was close to 10pm), the hostel picked up the call and told us to go straight ahead along the dirt path we abandoned earlier! *faint*

Following the dirt path, which runs parallel along the creek, we finally found the hostel! Late at night, it was hard to discern the hostel's appearance. or its surroundings We did come accross some friendly hostelites, some American guys who chose to pitch their tents on the compounds of the hostel instead of sleeping in the hostel's rooms.

Though it wasn't exactly the most pleasant first night in Switzerland, I expect the next days to be much, much better! And I was right, by the way. More photos in the next post to prove! =)

Even the air smells fresher in Switzerland. haha.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

yeah..i totally agree.Should always try to aim to reach the hostel bfore nitefall on the first day of arrival.but luckily u guys managed to find the hostel in the end..


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