Cora and I decided that we would be economical and save over 200 Euro by taking a 13 hour overnight bus from Croatia to Switzerland. Oh what a good idea that seemed at the time. After 1 hour it was all downhill from there. We arrived to Zurich somewhat delirious at 5:30AM. We stumbled our way to the train station and were told that it would cost us about 170 U.S. dollars each to get to and from Interlaken. The woman must have seen our jaws hit the floor because she quickly gave us an alternative route that was about half the cost. We grabbed our tickets and boarded the train and instantly passed out on some couches. We were woken up by a grumpy old man asking to see our tickets, clearly not in the mood to be dealing with a couple of twenty-something backpackers that closely resembled hobos. You know when you wake up from a nap and you have no idea what year it is or where you are? Yeahhhh that was me. I must have stared blankly at the old man for a solid two minutes until he yelled “TICKETS!!!!!” We showed him our tickets and he not so kindly informed us that we were accidentally in first class and out tickets were for second class. We grabbed our packs and walk-of-shamed to second class where we passed out on the less comfortable couches.
We finally arrived to our stellar hostel on Lake Brienz in Interlaken. At this time in our travels our backpacking packs had begun to smell like wet dogs and thus, so did we (sexy, I know). After a (few dozen) cups of coffee, we grabbed some clothes that were less dirty than the others and decided to do a hike. Realizing now that that was probably not the best idea considering we were running on about 4 hours of sleep. “It’ll be a nice little hike!!!!” (lol “little”).
We got to the trailhead with tons of energy despite our lack of sleep. A couple hours later we made it to the top. Barely. Looking back now, I am seriously laughing at how much we were struggling. I would like to blame it on the lack of sleep but let’s be real I haven’t been in shape since I was a competitive swimmer. At the top of the mountain we relaxed (Cora took a nap and I ate pringles lol), soaked in the glorious Alps views then we began the descent back to the bottom.
About halfway down we came across a little old German lady with walking sticks slowly making her way to the top. Thinking she might need some encouragement (hell, I did) I said, “Almost there! The view at the top is incredible!!” She smiled and responded “Oh I know! I make this hike three times a week.” As we picked our jaws up from the ground she mentioned that it typically takes her about half the time it took us to get to the top. Again, we’ll just blame it on us being out of shape…. Once back in Interlaken we grabbed some groceries, made dinner, read by the lake and then PTFO.
Our second day in Switzerland we took a train to the Lauterbrunnen Valley. This place was frickin magical. No wonder it inspired J.R.R. Tolkein to write The Lord of the Rings novels. We spent the rest of the day hiking around this beautiful valley, exploring mountain peaks, little villages and waterfalls. It was the best of times.
Check out some pics from our time in Switzerland below.