Campsite in Interlaken.
They say bad luck comes in three’s and it looks like they are right.
The Wednesday before we left for our trip the key to my van snapped, I have a spare at my mum and dads so popped over and picked it up.
The Friday night before leaving we went out for a meal with our two daughters and when we came out the clutch had gone on Mel’s golf, no problem got an Uber home and my mate picked it up the next day on his recovery truck and sorted it for me whilst I was away.
So we set off Saturday morning from Leicester on our little adventure, just as I was going over the Dartford crossing the eldest rang and said “you do realise you’ve left your wallet here don’t you?”
We were starting to think the trip was doomed before it had even started but thankfully that was the end of the bad luck (with the exception of hitting a pigeon just as we got off the ferry in Dunkirk!) and with mobile banking we were able to shift money round to an account we did have a card for!
As we approached the Swiss border we were waved to one side by a customs guy and the following exchange took place.
CUSTOMS GUY:- “hello mate, you need to buy a Swiss Vignette to drive on the motorways here in Switzerland which is 40 CHF, or €40 euros whichever you prefer”.
ME:- “OK, no problem” and I hand over the money.
ME:- “Can I just say your English is fantastic”
CUSTOMS GUY:- “It should be mate, I’m from Bristol”
I felt a right idiot but it did give us all a good laugh.
I booked Camping Au Lac for 4 nights and what a wonderful campsite this is, everyone that we met there, workers and fellow campers were really nice and friendly, and the views speak for themselves. The 4 nights we stayed cost us 160 CHF which is about £135 with electric hookup.
To give you a little idea of the nice people in Interlaken we got the bus one night to go out for a meal in Interlaken west, when we got on the bus the driver explained he only went as far as Interlaken OST and then he was finished for the night, no problem we thought we’d get off there and walk the 30 odd minute walk to the west as it was a warm and pleasant evening. When we arrived at OST everyone got off the bus and we said thank you to the driver, he put his “not in service” sign on the bus and told us to jump back on and said he’d drop us off in the west near the restaurants on his way back to the depot, gave us the number of a good taxi company as the bus service had stopped by then and even told us how much it should be in a taxi so we didn’t get charged too much. What a lovely bloke he was.
A nice quiet beer next to the lake.
Got to have a little swim, it was cold though but very refreshing.
This was taken from the side door of the van.
The one thing I really wanted to do whilst in Interlaken was the Jungfrau railway, a train ride to the highest train station in Europe at 11,782 feet above sea level. It’s expensive but to be quite honest it’s worth every single penny. The cheapest ticket you can get worked out at about £240 for the both of us and leaves Interlaken OST at 7:05am, this meant an early start for us to get the bus from outside the campsite at 6:35am which got us to the train station at 6:45am which worked out really well. When we arrived at the campsite they gave us both a free bus pass that you can use as many times as you like which is great and we used it a lot to head down into Interlaken itself.
I’m not going to put any photos up of the actual train ride up through the mountains, they could never do it justice and it really is something you should see for the first time when you are there.
When you get off the train at Jungfrau station you are still technically in the mountain but when you walk out on to the viewing platform my goodness it is amazing. The views take your breath away.
I’d read about what clothes to wear due to the weather and also how the view could sometimes be bad in poor weather but we were lucky enough to pick a brilliant day to go, we walked out onto the snow wearing a tee shirt and jeans and felt fine.
Jungfrau station, the highest train station in Europe.
Inside the viewing platform.
Outside on the viewing platform, such amazing views.
On the way back down from Jungfrau we were a little bit more flexible with which trains we could get so decided to stop off at Grindelwald station and grab a bite to eat.
This is a lovely little town and we had a stroll up the main road and found a nice little cafe called “tea and take away” which was quite reasonably priced and sat in the sunshine for an hour before getting the next train back to Interlaken OST.
Tea and take away.
Switzerland was very expensive, we had a burger king meal each that worked out at £28! But at Interlaken OST there is a co-op so we got the free bus to the station, did a bit of food shopping and then jumped on the free bus back to the campsite which worked out really well.
I can really recommend the local beer, Rugen Brau which was quite cheap to buy and was really nice.
They sell the local beer at the campsite, 2 CHF a bottle.
It was with heavy hearts that we said goodbye to our fellow campers and the staff at the campsite and made our way towards Lake Como, before the trip started Mel said she wanted to go to Italy, we had nowhere booked for the second week and just thought we would go wherever we fancied at the time, not having a plan is sometimes the best plan!
So it was off to Italy!
The view as you drive down into the campsite.