How can I even begin to describe the beauty of the Swiss Alps? But first . . . We got in late last night, and at check-in the receptionist says, “Oh great – so you have 2 rooms tonight?” What? “What do you mean 2 rooms???” “Well, you reserved one room directly with us and the other through Hostelworld.” The receptionist then went on to remind me that both reservations were apparently non-refundable. And I went on to explain that when I didn’t get a confirmation on the direct booking, I went to Hostelworld to secure the room. Then she turned her computer screen around and said, “Is this your email address?” Oh Crap. I’d misspelled my email. Which is why I didn’t get the confirmation. I put on my bed sad face and asked, “Can you please help me? I can’t pay double (the rooms was almost $150 a night) for the room.
I don’t know if it was my sad face or her kindness, but she ended up canceling the “non-refundable, non-cancelable” reservation I’d made directly with the hostel. Balmers. That’s the name of the hostel and I can’t recommend them highly enough! Today we met the owner, Erich Bruno Balmer, who is an incredibly thoughtful and kind, genius at marketing his hostel. After I told him I had a friend in Long Beach named Eric Balmer as well, He gave me his card and said to give it to my friend Eric in Long Beach . . . and he said bring him next time I come and we both stay free!
So this is our first real “hostel experience” on our trip so far. Though we’ve stayed at hostels inn most of the cities we’ve visited, they’ve been pretty tame. In each location we’ve booked a private room with “ensuite,” which means our shower and toilet are private and in our room. Here, not so much. Both toilets and showers are shared. And the toilets for our section of rooms are just outside our door . . . so they get lots of use.
I have to say that I really have enjoyed the common areas, where everyone seems to congregate in the mornings and evenings. We chatted at length with a younger guy from Philadelphia last night. Then this morning, I found myself interacting with a guy from Melbourne, traveling with a girl from Toronto. Then spoke with another young gent from Tennessee, going to college in Indiana. Such incredible diversity here! So beautiful! And everyone raving about this place!
Now . . . about the beauty of
the swiss landscape
The river that runs through the town, the Aare is the longest river in the Swiss Alps. It might be the most beautiful river I’ve ever seen. The color is also unlike any other river I’ve ever seen. When I looked it up, Wiki says it’s because of tiny glacier particles that settle to the bottom and give the water its distinct color.
harder kulm. aptly named
The hike we took today was to the “Harder Kulm,” the top of the mountain above Interlaken. And harder it was . . . than just about any hike we’ve done recently. But the beauty of the landscape was unbelievable. See Sherry’s blog for today. She’s got loads of hard-to-imagine-it’s real landscape photos.
You also might enjoy this short video of the cable car that goes up the mountain to the place we hiked.