My technology needs work so you’ll have to cope without linked images, in the meanwhile here’s some text:
Ah, the first day of a major holiday, plenty of mixed feelings, opportunities for drama and mistakes abound. Luckily we picked Switzerland, so transport was as flawless as usual, we got to Wilderswil exactly when and how we expected to.
The hotel for the next two nights is the Alpenblick, which whilst chosen largely at random, it had rooms free on the Interlaken tourist database, turned out to be stellar. It’s justifiably in the top 30 3* hotels in the country. The staff and owners are incredibly friendly and helpful, speak flawless english and there’s the added extra of a seriously good restaurant. We’re leaving dining here till the return, but comparisions have already been drawn with The Star at Harome. the breakfasts are comprehensive and Swiss, a boiled egg is a chargable extra, just write your room number on the shell.
Today’s activity was to settle in and acclimatise. Interlaken is only at 500 ish metres, we’re going up to 3000ish hopefully, but we walked the town for what turned out to be 13km on the flat. It got our muscles used to moving a bit, as well as stocking up on last minute provisions such as a fork (i really should have got that titanium spork from thinkgeek) and the ever addictive paprika crisps.
The water in the lakes and canals is the incredibly clear blue that we saw from the glaciers, like Lac Dix south of Grimentz. The towns architecture is a mix of class victorian to traditional swiss to ultra modern and the variety of languages is fun on the ears. Oh, and mountains. I’m not sure I can ever get enough mountains, not proper, steep, tall, wooded, mountains that are higher than anything the UK’s got. Even though there’s a railway running through them all with places to eat sleep every 2 hours walking. Mmm, rosti.
There are a few things we’re lining up for the return leg, like a short 1st class trip on a classic paddle boat, the railways up to the tops of mountains, that sort of thing. One Attraction is the Jungfraujoch, which is a large complex built into the summit of a mountain, served by underground railway. Very Dr Evil.
for now, i’m at a hotel with an internet and have a spare hour to type up a few notes into my phone before posting. This is highly unusual, both because my batteries are insufficient to last the duration we’re in the mountains and I’m unlikely to have the time to spare for a few days.
It’s also a good opportunity to test out the gadgetry, i’ve got a cheap bluetooth gps that’s on speaking terms with my E70, combined with the frankly excellent Viewranger software and the 1:25k and 1:50k swisstopo maps, it means we’ve got gps tracks of the walks (until the batteries die, I guess maybe 2 days max between charges) and an option of ‘argh, wtf are we?’
Not yet in holiday mode, despite the quantity of cheese consumed already (Valliser Raclette Pizza from Hotel Baren), but this is only day 1 of 14.
Photos you’ll have to get yourself from http://flickr.com/photos/davstott