14th September 2018
Waking up to another breathtakingly mesmerising sunrise, I was slightly disappointed to leave Interlaken soon. The past couple of days had been the most eventful, and I really wished I had the luxury of more time. I had only about six hours until my Flixbus to Munich, and I intended to make every second count.
The night before, I had reached the Villa pretty drained after a long day of exploration. “No point in continuously overexerting yourself” Rafael advised as I pondered over my last few hours in Switzerland. “Take it easy before the travel – if you like nature I know just the thing you will enjoy” he said, while suggesting me to take a bus to Iseltwald village, followed by a hike to the Giessbach Falls.
Coming back to my last morning in Interlaken, I decided to take it really easy and enjoy the sumptuous breakfast buffet (certainly the best breakfast spread I had seen during my trip). Considering the long walk that lay ahead I decided to stuff myself. Having multiple Nutella sandwiches never felt guilt-free before (and the blueberry yoghurt demanded that I help myself to multiple servings). To save time later in the day, I decided to complete the check-out formalities and lock my belongings before I left for my mini-adventure (which in hindsight proved to be a really smart choice).
I waited in front of Casino Kursaal for my 10am bus to Iseltwald. It was pretty fascinating to see that the pets were welcome on public transport as well – the dog curled up under my neighbour’s seat looked just adorable. With the privilege of the window seat, most of my time was spent gazing at the beautiful vista outside (which ended up deepening my newfound love for Interlaken with every passing second). Almost thirty minutes of an eventful journey later I disembarked at Iseltwald, more than excited to begin my solo hike. Everything about the day had me smiling – right from the kind hospitability of the Swiss to their attitude in general. The amount of enthusiasm people have towards maintaining a healthy lifestyle is just admirable – and not just the people, the pets seem to enjoy it as well!
Everything about the tiny village appealed to me – right from the breezy fresh air to the Swiss architecture of the houses to the perfectly manicured lawns replete with lawn ornaments.
The balconies lined with tiny flowering bushes kicked the aesthetic beauty up a notch. The wide trail at the end of the village marked the beginning of my hike.
It was just a normal forest trail – a walking lane under the canopy of trees, rocky at some places and muddy at the others.
The mini rock-tunnels, wooden bridges and occasional sight of mushrooms acted as a welcome break to the monotony of the hike.
I loved the idea of putting up rock and wooden benches en route (for some reason I could visualize my mom sitting there enjoying the view and capturing its splendor on her canvas).
The thing that set it apart from the usual forest hikes was that the entire trail was along the shore of the lake Brienz. The bright crystal blue hue of the lake was certainly the cherry on the cake.
The picturesqueness of the place accompanied by the slight wind chill was certainly an experience to relish. I realized that the route was somewhat popular among the local population there some of them were even riding their bicycles on the trail.
Having begun my journey a little later than I should have, I was concerned if I would have enough time to complete the hike. With my bus to Munich departing at around 3.30pm I reckoned I had a little over 2.5 hours. I planned to return to the Villa an hour before my bus and grab some lunch on the way. Slightly concerned about the situation, I decided to speed up as much as I could (at one point I was almost sprinting) and ended up breathless after a while. I ended up reducing the pace a bit after ensuring that I had more than enough time on my hands.
My heartbeat raced a bit as the sound of gushing water grew louder. Tracing my route along the course of the falls, I walked up the slope until I was as close to the falls as I could be.
Standing inches away from the strong force of the water, I was awed by the feeling of droplets splashing onto my face. The deafening roar of the falls and the misty droplets instantly made me forget my tiredness.
Having some time, I just sat by the waterfalls allowing myself to get completely lost in its beauty for a solid twenty minutes. Post that I began walking down to the point where the waterfalls met the lake (which coincidentally was one of the stops of the ferry ride back to Iseltwald). Passing by the Grandhotel Giessbach, I caught a glimpse of the Funicular during my descent.
Waiting for my ride and chatting with a fellow tourist, I saw the ferry pull in.
As I walked stepped into the Lotschberg, I realized that I had chosen a befitting end to Swiss leg of my journey. I was rather fortunate, as the ferry wasn’t very crowded and the weather was really pleasant for an afternoon.
I would certainly recommend the ferry ride, as the 15-minute journey offered a view of the Brienz from a completely different perspective.
Although ecstatic for the amazing morning, I couldn’t help but feel slightly disappointed as my time in Switzerland and my backpacking trip drew to a close.
I really enjoyed every second I spent in Switzerland – right from the heartwarming Swiss hospitality to the enthralling landscape to the crystal blue glacial waters and fountains I could drink right out of without the least bit of worry. Special thanks to the Backpackers Villa Sonnenhof team for making my stay really enjoyable. I wish I had the opportunity of meeting Rafael again and thanking him before my departure. I hope I get the opportunity to visit Switzerland again in the near future (probably to go skydiving or checking out the Reichenbach Falls).