Solo Trip Through Switzerland

Let me start by saying Switzerland is hands down one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen in my life. When I was driving to the Alps I started screaming when I saw the first big peak. It is also one of the most expensive places I have ever been to which is why I will have to stay longer if I can afford it someday. Originally, I was supposed to meet my parents in Switzerland but my dad needed back surgery so they had to cancel. I had been so excited to see Switzerland so I decided to go anyway. I wanted to see as much as I could so I rented a car. I will admit that driving on some of the mountain roads there was pretty terrifying, but I loved having the freedom that came with a car. You can get by without one but if you aren't on a tight budget I always love having my own car when I travel.

I spent a few days in a village in the Bernese Highlands, and a few in Lake Brienz area. I drove all over to explore the Jungfrau Region as well. Each area was so unique and had something different to offer.

If you want to be high up in the alps and spend your time hiking and relaxing in a small village then you may want to consider looking into all the villages the Bernese Highlands has to offer. I met up with my best friend's (Paige's) grandmother while I was there. She was my next door neighbor when I was younger lived with my parents, but is originally from Switzerland. She still spends her summers there so when she heard I was there we decided to spend a day together. We went hiking and she pointed out all the varieties of wildflowers (I have never seen so many in my life). She even made tea from some of the flowers she picked! Later, we enjoyed some Swiss fondue and wine on her porch and she pointed out all the different peaks and trails on the mountains that you could see. Looking back, that day was a dream.

 

Next, I headed to Lake Brienz area. When I got my first glimpse of the Lake I couldn't believe my eyes. Honestly, no pictures can do justice to what I saw when I first laid eyes on the place. It was raining but I pulled off at a restaurant on the side of the road as I drove toward my B&B, because I couldn't wait to get an up close view of the lake. To my surprise, there was a man swimming in the rain.

The B&B I stayed at was a cozy little loft on top of a coffee shop on one of the most picturesque little streets in town. Funny enough, I had actually seen pictures of the street before on Instagram but had no idea it was the same one! The owner made us breakfast in the mornings, but I usually missed it because I was out the door early to make the most of my days.

One morning I decided to go on this hike I had read about online, it was a ridge hike overlooking Interlaken Lake. I decided to make it a sunrise hike so I left early in the morning and drove in the dark to find the trail. At one point I thought I couldn't possibly be on the right road - it was one lane through the mountains and I was road blocked by a bunch of cows - but that' s Switzerland for you! The trail I hiked to is part of the Hardergrat trail, called Augustmatthorn. Looking back, this was not a smart hike to do alone, in the dark, with a knee that was still recovering from surgery. I love heights but my legs were shaking at the top. I don't think my pictures do justice to the crazy drop offs and views you get to experience on this hike, and I didn't take many. If you want to know what I am talking about just google the trail. Once the sun came out, the clouds disappeared from the lake, and the views were spectacular.

I think the best thing I did near Lake Brienze was take the train to the top and explore some of the trails from there. The views were incredible without any hiking. I would love to come back with a healthy knee and backpack these trails one day. I'll let the pictures below speak to the beauty of this place.

 

The Jungfrau Region was beautiful as well. I never expected to see so many waterfalls in Switzerland. You may have seen pictures of Lauterbrunnen before, where it looks like the waterfall is flowing right into the buildings. I took trains up to the surrounding towns and peaks. I don't think I could ever grow tired of train rides in Swtizerland...

Hannah JanoeComment