I really enjoy being outdoors and hiking, so naturally I had to go to Switzerland. Switzerland was up there with Greece on my study abroad bucket list. I have officially visited all of France’s bordering countries (with the exception of Andorra). I tried to get a group of friends to go, but no one wanted to go with me, so I decided to carve out some me-time and make it a solo trip. I hopped on a 5 hour train and made my way to Interlaken!
As soon as I got there, I ditched my bags at my hostel and wandered around the city. I think this is the first city that I actually walked down practically every street. I quickly learned that Switzerland is quite expensive. The cheapest restaurant was McDonald’s where a meal costs 14.00 CHF!
After spending the day in the city, I did a cheese fondue dinner at the hostel with some other travelers. I sat with a girl from Brazil, a girl from Ireland, a girl from Australia, and 2 guys from Canada. Everyone but the girl from Brazil knew each other and the party was definitely on. We had a very entertaining waitress from the south of France.
I found Interlaken itself to be kind of small with not much to do in the city. However, the views are to die for and there’s a TON to do in neighboring areas. I decided to take a quick train ride to Lauterbrunnen for a hike. Once there I treated myself to a big pot of cheese fondue, and it was worth every bite. If I could eat just melted cheese for the rest of my life, I would. To work off all the cheese, I set off chasing waterfalls in the valley. I got to see so many Swiss cows, and I was in love. It was a perfect bluebird day and started getting hot so I took off all my layers. I looked around and noticed that everyone else around me was super bundled up. I checked the temperature and it was 37°... I guess I got very into my hike; I was sweating! I definitely needed a water bottle. I walked from Lauterbrunnen to Stechelberg and back. That day I walked 10 miles.
Once I returned to Interlaken, I hung out in the city and got some Swiss chocolate (highly recommend); the champagne chocolate was surprisingly very tasty. I was pooped from my hike so I hung out at the hostel for the rest of the evening. I had plans to go back to town and get one last fondue meal, but I decided I didn’t want to spend more money or eat that much, so I headed to the grocery store and got a quick dinner with delicious, cold milk (I miss Midwestern milk, but I think Switzerland has them beat in the milk department!).
On my last day, I only had the morning to explore. I wanted to check out Saint Beatus caves, but I was afraid that I wouldn’t make the buses on time and miss my train. Instead, I walked by the water and checked out Lake Brienz. The water there is so incredibly blue! It was the perfect way to end my solo journey. I checked out of my hostel and got my 10 CHF key deposit back. I can’t use it in France so I made an impulse buy and got a post card and a Swiss cow bell. You can always use more cowbell.
I’ll definitely be returning to Switzerland, hopefully for a backpacking trip!