Friday, June 05, 2015

Interlaken & Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland

Back in October 2014, Drew and I took a trip to Switzerland. We love traveling in October. I honestly think it is the best month to travel. Our first year in Germany, in October we headed down to Croatia, and paid 1/8th of the cost. Since October is technically considered off season we got our hotel for a steal! Did I say I love traveling in October? The weather is still nice, but since no one really travels in October everything is dirt cheap and since we like to travel so much, the cheaper the better! 
This time we stayed at an Apartment instead of a Hotel. We stayed at the Ferienwohnung Schulhaus Hirschmatt, I booked it through booking.com. It is located in the Gantrisch Nature Reserve in the Bernese Alps! We literally stayed in the Alps! It was 132 CHF (Swiss Francs) for 2 nights. It included Parking, WiFi, and we were able to take Seamus & Rylie! It had a full kitchen and everything! We found out that it was cheaper to bring food with us, or hit up a grocery store in the town we were in. We like to try the local cuisine, and Lunch is always the cheapest meal. We figured out that if we brought groceries for Breakfast and Dinner, we could save money!


Our plan for the weekend was to check out Lake Thun, Murren, and go up the Matterhorn. Actually I remember not planning this trip at all. Drew bugs me about being spontaneous and not stressing myself out with planning and trying to go with the flow, so this trip I did the best that I could. I still tried to plan a lot of things, but things don't always work out the way that we want them too.
Sidles Family in Switzerland October 2014


At the northern rim of the Alps, in the midst of the Bernese Oberland, Lake Thun is surrounded by a fabulous mountain scenery, a myriad of cozy villages, and the charming cities of Thun and Interlaken. Lake Thun's approximately 2,500 km² large catchment area frequently causes local flooding after heavy rainfalls. This occurs because the river Aare, which drains Lake Thun, has only limited capacity to handle the excess runoff.

There are 5 Castles along the Lake Thun. We only checked out 3 of them, mostly because we had other plans to go up to the tallest mountain in the Swiss Alps, but it was going to cost us about 90 euros to go up a mountain and I couldn't justify spending that much just go up a mountain, so instead we spend the day driving around Lake Thun and checking out all the castles around it. I just love castles!
Our first stop of the day was in the town of Thun, to Thun Castle. Thun Castle was built between 1180 and 1190 by the dukes of Zähringen and stands on the hill of the town. The Castle overlooks the whole of the town of Thun and the panoramic views of the Bernese Alps and Lake Thun are quite unique. The Historical Museum laid out over five storeys retells the cultural development of the region over the past 4,000 years. We didn't spend much time at Thun Castle. We climbed to the top of the castle got some pictures and headed back. It was a pretty cool castle.
View from the top of Thun Caslt
Lake Thun from the ground



Seamus & I on top of Lake Thun (Boy I look fat here!)



Our second stop was to Oberhofen Castle, we spent the most time here. Oberhofen Castle was built in the early 13th century and boasts wonderful views of the Bernese Alps. The romantic castle complex with its extensive park and restaurant is situated right on the shores of Lake Thun. The lakeside turret is straight out of a fairy tale. The castle exhibition provides an insight into the way of life in the Bernese region during the 16th to the 19th century. I didn't think the castle it self was interesting. I just loved how beautiful it was. The castle is pressed up to the Lake and the water is super blue! It was even better than seeing the ocean.
Check out that view!

Seamus! :/
Look at that Castle

I love this picture! Perfect timing.

 We walked around for a bit trying to find a place to eat. Not really sure why things were closed, probably because it was off season. We ended up finding a restaurant right on the water a couple blocks away from Oberhofen Castle. We sat outside and had a nice little lunch, but boy was it expensive! For lunch, we spent 80 euros! The Swiss Franc, at the time was more than the Euro, and the Euro was less than .70 usd! I loved Switzerland, but next time I'll make sure to save up a stash.
Having lunch right on the water.

Lake Thun
Look how clear the water is!
Pulled off to the side of the road for this view!
:)


After leaving the Oberhofen Castle, since we decided not to go up the Matterhorn, we decided to drive around the Lake and check things out, we got some great shots of the lake!
We ended up heading towards Lauterbrunnen. There is a beautiful waterfall located n the town. It's less than 2.2 miles in width, but it certainly packs a punch, with imposing rock cliffs and mountain peaks that rise over 300 meters from the valley floor.Funny thing is that, this is the start of where the train cart to Murren (Alpine town in the Alps, that you can only get to by cable cart) is located.



 Funny thing about Lauterbrunnen, just like Germany things are closed on Sunday's! Well at least the stores are, so we didn't get to do any souvenir shopping. But we did get to check out the amazing waterfall that was there. There are 72 waterfalls that help frame the lush valley, the most famous of which is Staubbach Falls.
This place was absolutely beautiful! Lauterbrunnen is exactly what I think of when I think about Switzerland. Picture's don't even do this place justice. We climbed to the top of the cave so we could get a good view of the waterfall. The dogs had a good time. Drew had a great time too. It was a little wet and slippery for me, but like I said the pictures were fantastic!



This place is soo cute!




After leaving Lauterbrunnen we decided to head back to the hotel, on the way back we ended up back around Lake Thun. There was another castle we wanted to check out, Castle Spiez, The Castle’s present-day church dates in style from the early romanesque period and was built around the year 1000. Portions of the current castle shield walls and main tower were built during the 12th century and by the 13th century the town of Spiez existed outside the castle walls.





Lake Thun from the otherside!





I was in castle heaven! We had stopped off at 3 different castle's and I loved every single minute of it! Switzerland was a blast. I would recommend going. But then again traveling is high on my list. Just remember Switzerland is sooo expensive!