Thursday, March 14, 2013

Travel diaries: Interlaken

Hello! I've just recently completed my Infectious Diseases and Trauma/Ortho cycle. Got my credits on Monday and the very next day, started my Paediatrics cycle without even a breather in between. Only two days into this cycle and I'm already feeling exhausted. Two MCQ tests tomorrow and an ENT conference to attend after that. Pretty much explains why this is my least favourite fifth year cycle. Meh.  Anyway, my mom will probably start texting me pestering to continue these series of posts if I leave it for too long so I'd better get on with it. :)

The day after Titlis, we checked out and left the hostel for the train station. Yet again. But I really love the Swiss transport system. Not only is it effiicient, its also comfortable and it really makes the journey an experience by itself.

You see, there are several ways of getting to Interlaken from Lucerne. Prior to the trip we read that the Brunig Pass, connecting the two cities is one of the most scenic train rides in the world. So naturally we just HAD to take this route. And we HAD to opt for the panoramic train, right? Haha. Basically the panoramic train is just like an other train except with larger windows and a skylight. And we just HAD to scour forums just to find out if it would be better to sit on the right side or the left side, right?

Travel planning lvl: Asians.

But yeah, quick tip: Get seats on the right side of the train if you're traveling from Lucerne to Interlaken, otherwise you will have to make do with view of rocks and whatnot. The Brunig Pass is basically a railway built on a watershed between the upper reaches of two separate rivers, one which flows into Lake Brienz and Lake Thun and one into Lake Lucerne. We thought that the sights were less exciting in winter and boy were we wrong! After making our way through the mountains with small waterfalls and creeks running along the left side of the train, we finally emerged to the sight of  this:

It was as if Switzerland was saying: "Think you've seen the best of me? Wait till you see THIS!" Seriously, we were amazed at how every experience just kept getting better and better. Plus, we've been supremely blessed with AMAZING weather and all the days we've planned to sightsee and things. And if there's one thing that can render me silent, it has got to be the beauty of nature. Somehow, it took me a few seconds to realise that I was mulling over nothing. Soon after that, consciousness returned to me and only then was I able to comprehend everything that I was seeing. The mountains went on forever and the lakes seemed to mirror the blue sky. But really, the Brunig Pass is a MUST for those planning on making a trip to Switzerland. Nothing beats rail travel along the ridges of the Alps between waterfalls and rivers and I bet it will be twice as amazing in the warmer seasons.

The two hour train ride sure didn't feel as long and soon enough, we reached Interlaken Ost. Then we had to change trains and take another train to Interlaken West where we were staying.

Spot me hauling my large 15kg backpack. Hardeeharrr. We didn't really have anything precisely planned for the day so we checked into our hostel and decided to walk around the city to get the feel of it.

Hullo! Hahahaha. Interlaken is the total opposite of Zurich and Interlaken. Definitely way less dense and it was pretty nice! No traffic, no congestion, heck, I don't even recall seeing a traffic light there. Hmmmm?

Interlaken is definitely the place for those who seek a more relaxing experience rather than the fast-paced nature of the larger cities. It was really nice to come to a place like this after long transfers and train travel. :) More on Interlaken in my next update! Till then, bye! :) 

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