Geneva to the Alps

The flight into Geneva was a bit delayed and so was our luggage, so we ended up taking a train that was later than the one we had planned. The train station is on the same level of the airport as baggage claim, so it’s a short walk to buy tickets from the automated ticket machine and find our track. We’ll travel from Geneva (airport) to Bern, where we change (7 minutes between trains) for Interlaken. With rare exception, the trains travel on a very tight schedule, so you have to hustle if you want to make a connection like that.  It’s enough time, but you also have to locate your connection on the big yellow departures board (Abfahrt) to locate the track.

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Thunersee

Once in Interlaken, we have to buy a ticket on the private rail system (Berner Oberland Bahn or BOB) that operates higher up in the Alps ( the train we took to Interlaken was part of Swiss Rail -national rail system). Along side the rail tracks out of Interlaken runs a river, the water a blueish green from snow melt.

It’s not uncommon in Interlaken to see hangliders, and we see six of them as we enter into the area around Interlaken Ost (station).

Interlaken (literally “between the lakes”) is so named because it lies between the Thunersee and Brienzersee, two Alpine glacial (very large) lakes. These lakes are miles around. The small villages clustered along the lakes seem to be mostly summer resorts. There are passenger ships that ferry you across the lake.

So 13 hours after we left our hotel in London, we’re finally in our B&B in the little village in the Alps. It’s in a valley, which is not particularly high in elevation at 2600′. Across the street is a large waterfall. The valley has 70+ waterfalls, some larger than others depending on the season and snow melt. The valley is high enough up that on days like today, the clouds come down into the valley, shrouding the mountain peaks. On opposing sides of the valley, higher up, are other villages. There are lifts and/or trains up to either side of the valley. These are primarily ski resorts, but are active with summer sports as well. On the slopes of the mountains above us, you can also see farms. We visited one of these several years ago to see the cheese making operation of one farmer.

From here, you can take the the train up to Wengen and then up to the Jungfraujoch, which we’ve done several times (not a cheap journey, but worth it). There are other small villages (Gimmelwald, Murren, Wengen) and cities (Grindelwald).within easy range if you want to make other day trips. 2014 trip photos and 2012 photos. 2001 photos

Fuel for automobiles is much more reasonable than in some prior years. Regular unleaded (bleifrei) is 1.49 CHF/ liter ($5.70/gal) and Diesel is 1.47 CHF/ liter. (1 gal=3.785 liters), with the combined effect of lower oil prices and a strengthened US dollar. (1 CHF= 1.011 USD), at the one self serve gasoline station in the village.

From our room, almost all you can hear outside is the sound of the waterfall and , the quiet. There’s almost no traffic.


More photos on Flickr.

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