While we were waiting for the train to Spiez, rain began to fall. The Bern train station could be considered as a major hub for the railways in Switzerland. So be sure to get your platform correct, otherwise it would be a hell of journey to find your right platform, especially when the trains are on time, ALL the time. The family were looking at me, I just shrugged my shoulders. Rain was predicted by the weather forecast but our remaining journey will be in the boat, so it wouldn’t do much harm, except that we might not get to see everything clearly.
Looking at the picture will tell you how bad the rain was. This was a deluge, it was like the skies opened and rain just came down in torrents. We had a boat to catch. Unfortunately, it is about 1km away from us. Time to adorn ourselves with our raincoats and step out into the rain.
Luckily for us, it was a mostly downhill walk and there were shopfronts in between, so we were kept out from the rain, more or less. It did make the walking slightly faster, we covered the whole distance in less than 15 minutes. The boat wasn’t here yet. You might wonder why didn’t we just take the train from Bern back to Interlaken, it was faster and we would avoid the rain. I think it was mainly because we wanted to experience a lake ride. Switzerland and their lakes go together.
We could have visited Schloss Spiez if we had a nice and sunny day. Most of the time we had at Spiez were spent under the shade away from the rain. We were so close and yet it was so far away.
“Why Schloss Spiez?” asked Mom.
“It’s covered by our Swiss Pass, the same as the boat trip.” I answered.
That’s the beauty of having the Swiss Pass. We could just hop off the train and decide to take the boat trip, or we could just continue with the train. Either way, everything is covered by the Pass.
“As always, the boat was on time.”
Everyone retreated into the dining section of the boat. We hanged our coats to dry and enjoyed the slow boat ride across the Thunersee. This boat ride is punctuated with a lot of stops along the way, so if you’re the adventurous type and if you have the time, you could actually get down at any stop and have a walk around while waiting for the next boat to arrive. Or you could take a bus ride back to Interlaken. That’s how good the Swiss travel system is set up. Always an alternative to each journey.
The beauty of the Swiss travel system lies in the fact that there is always an alternative journey to whichever destination that you want to be, if you missed your first option.
Now, I think this is just good town planning. Looking at the small towns located along the Thunersee, most of the houses are facing the lake and I don’t think there’s anyone with a blocked view. The planning was so perfect that the houses are built in staggered/stepped levels, allowing everyone to enjoy the view. That’s a smart idea that our country should take, instead of outdoing each other with higher buildings.
The boat trip ends at Interlaken alongside the Interlaken West train station. The rain has petered out and we stepped into another part of Interlaken, rarely seen by tourists — Unterseen.
“Maybe that’s a direct translation of Under Seen,” quipped GC.
Unterseen is most probably a residential area, or part of the suburbs. But there are also a few rows of shophouses, selling all sorts of eclectic products. Not to mention a handful of restaurants too. But what caught my eye was the interesting waterlock across the small river that connects both lakes and the one that gave the name to the town — Interlaken. That’s me, noticing the ordinary and making it out to be extraordinary.
To cross over into Interlaken, you just need to walk across the bridge, and you can see two rams fighting each other, wonder who will win?
And that concludes the day. We started out from Interlaken, spent half a day at Bern. And another quarter of the day on the boat ride across the Thunersee. Rain spoilt some parts of the journey but it was all worth it. At least it didn’t rain in Bern. We were already in the confines of the boat when most of the rain struck. I think that’s part and parcel of traveling unless you are planning to spend a month at a single place. We only have 3 days here in Interlaken, so we had to make do with what we’ve got.