Interlaken: Switzerland,Things To Do,PhotoEssay


Interlaken forms a prominent base for excursions to the mountains. A small walkable town with population as less as 5000 many of them still living in traditional Chalets, Interlaken as an international resort was made famous in the 1800’s by painters and landscape artists. Then over the years, with the introduction of Railways, more and more tourists landed in. 

Catholic Church of Interlaken
For previous posts on Interlaken, click here
For previous posts on Switzerland, click here

 Interlaken, as obvious as it sounds ( Inter - Laken) , means ‘between the lakes’ and is situated between Lake Thun and Lake Brienz with Aare river flowing between the two.

 We arrived at Interlaken OST Station and just after a 3 minute walk was welcomed by the courteous
staff of Grand Hotel Beau Rivage.

Situated right next to the Aare river, the view from the hotel itself was amid the imposing mountains and the river. It was very quaint and peaceful and the rooms were spacious. Just after we freshened us up, we headed straight to get our jackets from Outdoor Interlaken (they had sent their car to the hotel) after which we took a quick stroll in Hoheweg which is the main street of Interlaken and which is where our hotel was also located.

River Aare from Grand Hotel Beau Rivage

Interlaken The History

 Until 1891 Interlaken was known as Aarmühle. The convent of the Augustinian Canons was built around 1133 when it was mentioned as inter lacus Madon and lasted until 1528.The mill on the left bank of the Aare river was first mentioned in 1365 as Amuli, while the town on the right bank was mentioned in 1239 as villa Inderlappen.Interlaken Abbey was built around 1133 on imperial land on the left side of the Aare river. The abbey controlled a bridge over the river and generated an income from tolls. A village grew up around the abbey, along with a mill (which gave the municipality its name until 1891).

On the right bank of the Aare, Unterseen became the only municipality and absorbed the village of Interlaken. In 1838, on the left bank, the villages became the two municipalities of Matten and Aarmühle. However, Aarmühle used the name Interlaken for its post office and train station, leading to that name becoming more well known. Officially the name changed to Interlaken in 1891.

With the reformation of 1528, the government banned all catholic religious services. The celebration of mass was permitted again in the former monastery chapel in 1842. The catholic church and the castle church are Interlaken's significant past that still stands proud.

 Interlaken The Town 

Interlaken has some very pretty views.

 Hoheweg has a lot of eateries, restaurants, souvenir shops, cafes, bars and 150 year old hotel Victoria Jungfrau.

From the church to Hohematte Meadow

A great park within Interlaken is Höhematte where you get to see beautiful views of mountains specially sunsets and sunrise. 

Now when in Hoheweg grab in lot of chocolates for getting back home and magnets ( if you wish but magnets are expensive FR 6-10 , chocolates make the best souvenir). Switzerland is all about chocolates and most of us love that! But we get the best chocolate(as told to us) was at Lindt in Jungfrau. Interlaken also has a casino called Casino Kursal.

We had our dinner at OX Restaurant and Grill, the ambiance was nice (bells bells everywhere) and the food was ok.

A great restaurant where we had good food with the view was Top O' Met at Hotel Metropole.

Chicken Breast with Butter Rice at  Top O' Met 

Interlaken also has a youth hostel 2 minutes walk from station (just opposite Beau Rivage) and I have heard they also rent tents and are very neat and clean.

 Interlaken The Winter 


And Schnapps

 Nothing can keep you as warm as a sip of Glühwein in the winters. Wein in Gluh means leftover hot flames after a flame and that is yummilicious hot white wine. We had our GluhWein at the ice rink, just before we were supposed to glide on the ice. You can understand how we glided :) .

Me at Ice Magic :P
Never tried skating, watch my video on first time ice skating..

We took the help of a stand to hold on. You can say its one of the most beautiful ice skating settings in the alps, as its just not skating in the 450 meters of winding ice runaways that happens, but the whole ambiance of music, colorful play of lights, market and the IGLU restaurant. Its a big skating rink and you can buy the admission tickets either online or at the venue and can rent the skates. It happens between Dec - Feb and is a meeting place for locals and lovers of food and ice skates in the Hohematte Meadow.

 The IGLU restaurant in interlaken has a very pleasant setting inside(though nothing is made of snow) and serves great food with cheese fondue with boiled potatoes and macaroni and apple sauce. We also had the liquor called Schapps for digestion. Those were Schnapps shots and I guess had high percentage of alcohol ( as we were tumbling and mumbling after a few shots a bit on our way to the hotel) but it tasted good. Since we had so much food, I guess we needed aid in digestion :P and we were told by one of the Swiss guys that they out of sheer fun, have these shots and go sledging in the mountains with the gang of guys.

So that’s some wild fun! 

 Harder Kulm : Interlaken’s House Mountain : Top of Interlaken

That's the Funicular railway track to Harder Kulm

 Why not visit Interlaken's very own 'house’ mountain? The 8 minute trip up by funicular takes you to Harder Kulm which is 1322 m above sea level. But the funicular operates just during the summers. In winters you can take a hike up of 2+ hours to Harder kulm.

Harder Kulm is the highest point of Interlaken also called Top of Interlaken. It's a view point which offers a beautiful view of the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau mountains as well as Lake Thun and Lake Brienz. There's a restaurant that looks like a reminiscent of a small castle and a cantilevered sky bridge.

 We’ll proceed to the mountains tomorrow and the rest of blogposts and learn some cooking in the Hotel Beau Rivage in the end. Have you been to Interlaken, if yes, share your story :)

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