Day 11 – Chilling in Interlaken.

After last evening’s romantic rainfall, we were hoping today would be dry and sunny. However, the weather person says more rain and a chance for some afternoon thunderstorms is in the forecast.

Oh well, we had decided to rest up a bit and enjoy Interlaken, so we can deal with it.

We started the day off with a little walk towards the river. The water flows so fast between Lake Brienz and Lake Thun; this morning there are actually paddle boarders zipping by.

The Aare River flowing through Interlaken

The water has greenish-blue tint. We found out that the color comes from all the minerals it picks up as it flows down from the glaciers.

Just around the bend from the river is the funicular to go up to Harder Kulm. Since it looks fairly clear up top, we decided to head up.

This is another steep ride. The grade is at 68 degrees at one point. We did pass some folks who were hiking up to the top and struggling a little bit – we waved.

Up top, the views were gorgeous. There were more clouds in the direction of Lake Brienz than Lake Thun, but the other mountain peaks were clear. We were snapping pictures in every direction, as the views were awesome everywhere you looked.

There is a cute restaurant up top with views to die for – just don’t drop your spoon. Additionally, there is an observation platform to take pictures and we’re told that in the evenings there are folk music performers.

A little breeze came up and in mere minutes we were surrounded by clouds and the beautiful views disappeared. We started walking back to the funicular and could see that the clouds were thinning so the views would return.

Pretty flowers along the path

More flowers along the path

Upper and lower – the views disappear when the clouds blow in

Views from the funicular

Hikers crossing over the tracks

This time, we had front row seats on the funicular and could really see how steep the grade really was. Passed some more hikers on our way down – waved again. The funicular takes eight minutes to make the trip; the hike is two sweaty hours. No math needed for that equation.

The weather was still decent, so we took a walk into the town center. Very nice, lots of little shops – especially watch shops. When we arrived at the park, waiting in front and loading passengers was the City Tourist Train. Call me crazy, but I love those things, so we hopped aboard.

The City Train and below, Heidi’s grandpa on the right.

According to Sue, our “engineer” bore a striking resemblance to Heidi’s grandfather. She was delighted; I was wondering why he left Heidi home alone. Must be a Swiss thing.

He took us around town, regaling us with interesting facts and folklore – including the man whose face is in the mountain after the death of a girl from a fall.

Can you see his eyes and mustache?

After our ride, we hopped across the street to sample some delicious gelato, before crossing back over to watch the paragliders landing in the park. I’m not sure if there is really a weight limit, but that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. Otherwise I would have been gliding like a bird.

By the way, still no rain.

We took a nice walk back to the hotel to relax for a while before dinner. Tonight we are going to the restaurant in the Hotel Interlaken. We saw the menu when we walked by and it looked good, so I can’t wait.

When dinner time arrived, we grabbed our umbrellas and head to the restaurant. Our meals were delicious. Sue had a salmon dish and I had roasted pork belly. Yum!

Tom’s Smoked duck appetizer

Sue’s goat cheese appetizer

Tom’s pork belly dinner

Sue’s salmon and white asparagus

When we finished, we walked back to the hotel with our umbrellas still closed up – so much for the thunderstorms.

We enjoyed looking at the pictures from the day and then made our plans for Bern tomorrow morning.

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