A bit of a contrast to staying in a tent I can’t stand up in, waiting for the freezing rain to stop, last week I stayed in a luxury safari tent in Interlaken, in Switzerland. It was the first time I had been on holiday with my cousins and my aunt, so I had no idea what to expect!
The tent had deck chairs, a big camping stove, cupboards, a fridge and a freezer. Also, proper beds, and bedrooms complete with rugs! Although my aunt was “surprised at how basic it was,” for me, it was the height of luxury.
On the first day, we went to Lauterbrunnen to walk to the Trummelbach Falls. It was a longer walk than we expected, but the views were amazing. It was a perfect welcome to the area, and the waterfalls themselves were so beautiful, they are almost impossible to describe. My photographs simply don’t do it justice! You go up inside a network of caves and tunnels in the rock, and the water sprays and thuds around you. we were all pretty glad of the drenching we received, because the warm weather was a shock after the Scottish summer we are used to!
We went to Bern, which (this surprised me) is my aunt’s favourite European capital city. She loves it because it is quiet, and not particularly urban – ironically, for those reasons, it is not my ideal destination!
After a stressful yet delicious lunch in the Migros food hall, we went to see the city’s famous bears. Unfortunately, they were re-doing the new enclosure so the bears were being kept in a zoo elsewhere. However, the old “bear pit” was open for us to go inside instead.
I remember the pit only vaguely, but even as a child I was confused and unsettled by the cramped space the bears lived in, while people threw food down at them. Going into the pit itself was a very strange experience for me. Obviously the bears are treated a lot more humanely now, but I think keeping them in captivity at all doesn’t feel quite right.
It was a great week, and I got to see parts of Switzerland I wasn’t familiar with, and also revisited a few places I went to as a child. We went to Ballenberg open air museum, went swimming in Lake Thun and had some amazing food. However, the highlight was going up the Schilthorn – I’ll be writing about that in my next post.