Seeing that my Interrail pass actually covers Switzerland, it would be a waste to skip this wonderful country that is also notorious for being expensive. I spent quite a lot here. By approximation, I spent around 300 pounds for my 3D2N trip.
I was staying at a city called Bern. Having included Switzerland in my trip at pretty much the last minute, I couldn’t find a good deal for accommodation. Thus, I had to rely on Couchsurfing, a website that connects you to thousands of hosts who would be happy to let you stay for a few nights in exchange for some cultural education. Not that I mind. I stayed with a host a few nights prior to Switzerland at a little charming town called Utrecth and my first experience with Couchsurfing had been fun and eye-opening.
After a day of resting and exploring in Bern, I took the train to Interlaken. From the train station in Interlaken, I can actually take the boat for “free” up to Lake Brienz courtesy of my Interrail pass. However, I opt to walk up there. It was a pretty easy walk, and I reached the middle of the lake after about 35 minutes. I stopped at a little shop and queried about the price for the activities there. After a few minutes of chatting with the boss, I rented a Kayak for the price of CHF 25. It was pretty cheap in my opinion. My friend came in the height of summer and he said that the price was hell of a lot more than CHF 25. Luckily for me, I was travelling in the shoulder season and thus, was able to get a better price.
I spent that 1 hour drifting in the middle of the lake and enjoying the lack of human contact – coming perilously to drowning when I almost tip the board over after I dozed off. I had not intended to nap. I just wanted to close my eyes and listen to the sound of nature, but I guess my medication had impaired my ability to think properly.
Usually, I’d be afraid to be at a place where there is no human in sight. However, I was fine with it at that moment because there is absolutely no way for anyone or anything to jump or attack me while I was distracted. At the end of the hour, I returned the kayak to the boss. That one hour of not-so-intense rowing had left me tired and hungry for some hot nourishment. I was surprised that they actually serve Thai food at the little establishment and ordered myself a chicken curry (if i remember correctly). After lunch, I took a little walk before stripping down to my bikinis and jump into the ice cold water. My host had previously warned me that the water would be around 10 degrees but I didn’t listen. I quickly swam to the float that was about 30 meters from the land and climbed onto it. I did not expect to have difficulty swimming. I mean, I was
fit normal. Usually I can swim for laps, but that 30 meters sapped all my energy away. It was a lot harder to breathe in the cold water and I was glad that I did not fell out of the kayak earlier. I would have drown before I reach the land. Before you ask, yes, I did rent a life jacket but I removed it after a few minutes due to discomfort. Anyway, after a few minutes of resting on the float, I swam back to land and was greeted by a mother-daughter pair. They said I was very brave to swim in the cold water. We chatted for a few minutes, then the mum asked me to join them on the pedal boat. Her daughter wants to play but the two of them are not strong enough to paddle far and back.
After we were done pedaling, the kind lady bought me a snack and sent me down to the station. I was supposed to take the train back but I saw a booth with a pretty girl. Let’s just say that I’m a sucker for pretty things. A few minutes of chatting, I was down CHF160 for a session of paragliding. No regrets though. I had never tried paragliding before and it was the most exhilarating 15 minutes of my life. I was lucky to lose my paragliding virginity in such a beautiful place. I could feel my heart beat furiously and being in such an excited mood, I ended up paying an extra CHF40 for rather novice photos. Sigh. If only I have a GoPro. Could have save myself that CHF40.
That concluded my day trip at Interlaken. I went back to Bern with a nice tan, good memories, and new stories to “storytime” my friends.
By the way, while I did not do Switzerland budget style, it is still possible to stay there for two nights for under 100 pounds. Just skip the paragliding experience.