The Swiss Alps

here is Winter
she is a storm
from chaos & ice
Spring is reborn

As our train sped out of Strasbourg, I could feel the chill in my bones and smell snow in the air. It was strangely nostalgic as I felt the same way when I drove west of Denver, into the mountains, except this time I was heading east, out of France, and into Switzerland.

I glanced at my shoes and my little red carry-on in dismay. The snow was falling quite thickly now, reminding me of winter countrysides in the Midwest as blankets of snow enveloped the small towns we passed by. I don’t remember ascending into the Alps as by then, our train was engulfed by the storm. I sadly thought about my snow boots. My boots, along with the rest of my winter gear, were stuffed in a closet thousands of miles away in Colorado.

Nothing feels worse than being unprepared. But like the same rule out in the Rocky Mountains, you’re supposed to prepare for all seasons. The same goes for Switzerland.

We arrived in Wilderswil, Switzerland, during an April snow storm.

We chose to stay in Interlaken as there was a train station (do you see a trend yet?) and it was on the way to Italy. It’s nestled between the gorgeous lakes, Thunersee and Brienzersee, and surrounded by mountains. We found an Airbnb in Wilderswil, just a ten minute train south of Interlaken. However, the train was down due to snow so they had complimentary buses that dropped us off at the Wilderswil train stop. From there, we walked to our Airbnb, Hotel Bären, which had a sauna, restaurant ($$$), and very nice concierge to help us during our stay.

Waking up in Wilderswil

We took the the regional Swiss train (which was not covered by our Eurail train pass) to visit Lauterbrunnen and Grindelwald, the sun now shining brightly on the fresh snow. Frosty creeks rushed alongside the train tracks; the snow had begun to melt from the spring trees. It had also snowed so much, said our barista in Grindelwald, that they had reopened the ski lifts for just that day, too.

Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland

Lord of the Rings author J.R.R. Tolkien based the elven city Rivendell from his stay in Lauterbrunnen.

Grindelwald, Switzerland

P.S. As far as where to eat in Switzerland, I recommend heading to the grocery store and packing up a lunch and snacks if you want to save money. Most restaurants I found were part of bed and breakfasts, which had limited hours and were guest-only. Interlaken had more options, but it was not convenient to us as we were out in the mountains so plan accordingly.

Photography by Tristan Lonberger

Next on the blog: A Weekend in Florence

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