Grindelwald-First

More from Switzerland

02.09.2019

After getting engaged at the Schilthorn summit, we had a few days left to our trip! We had a few days booked in Thun followed by one day in Lucerne. Then we would make our way back to Zurich the night before our flight home.

Thun

The town of Thun was completely different than the countryside and villages of Wengen. This town definitely was more of a bustling city and had a lot of great architecture.

One of the neatest things I found in Thun was a wooden bridge with little dams built into it. People actually SURF on them in Switzerland. Crazy! The water is so blue in Thun and for a second I felt like I was actually looking at Caribbean waters, not a Swiss lake!

Another neat fact about Thun is there is a medieval castle called “Schloss Thun” built in the 12th century.  It actually is a museum now and has a hotel built into it!  We went up a large set of steps (see photo) to get to the castle. It was a pretty dreary day so we unfortunately didn’t get any good photos of the castle itself. 

That evening, we took a quick trip to Bern to meet up with one of Nick’s coworkers who lives in Switzerland. We met some awesome friends of his who were also visiting from the US and had some delicious Swiss beer. Now, I’m not a beer fan at all but Swiss beer is totally different. I don’t know why…but it just is and I actually loved it!  We took a stroll past the Bern Minster Cathedral before we took a train back to Thun.

The next day, we were shopping in the streets of Thun and came across a store dedicated to all things cat. I mean, this place is a paradise for cat lovers. Literally…that’s the name of the shop!

We absolutely went in and I debated buying so many things. Realistically, I didn’t need any more cat items so I left empty handed. But I will be back someday, Das paradies fur katzenliebhaber…

We decided to take a boat cruise the next evening along Lake Thun. In my first post about Switzerland, I mentioned that we got the 8 day Swiss Travel Pass which saved us so much money as we were traveling around the country by train during our trip. The boat cruise was included with the pass so all we did was hop on and enjoy the view!

A fun fact is that one of the stops on the boat took us up next to the Schloss Oberhofen castle! You can actually tour this castle, just like the Schoss Thun. We elected to stay on the boat and enjoy a Swiss beer!

Oberhofen Castle
Boat Cruise

One of the last stops was in Spiez. We decided to hop off the boat here and hang out for a little bit until the next boat came by to take us back to Thun. We had a quick bite to eat at a local restaurant. This was the most interesting “chicken salad” that I’ve ever had and it actually was pretty good! After we ate, we enjoyed some views near the marina.

The next day we decided to do a day trip to Grindelwald. It would have been easier to do this from Wengen but as I was sick one day and we had to do a make up trip to Murren, we decided we would still make the trip another day during our stay in Thun! We decided to leave our bags in a storage locker the Interlaken-Ost train station. That way, we could pick them back up on our way to Lucerne later that evening. I was able to get this gorgeous shot from the train:

Grindelwald

I actually had only heard of Grindelwald about a month before our trip. A friend from high school (who is actually going to be our wedding photographer) and her husband had gone to Swtizerland a few weeks before us and posting these epic photos and videos from Grindelwald. 

We instantly added the town to our list of places to visit on our trip.

Grindelwald-First has so many cool things to do, such as:

  • Flying across the sky in a glider
  • Mountain carting 
  • Bag jumping
  • A cliff walk
  • Bike tours
  • Hiking 

We decided to do the mountain cart adventure and paid for this before making our way to the gondola cars to make it up to First. The views were absolutely incredible. Switzerland just felt like living in a postcard, no joke!

View from Grindelwald

Once we made it to the top of the mountain, we saw something incredible. Clouds. Everywhere. 

We truly were in the middle of these massive clouds. They would just slowly whoosh by us and everything looked like it was covered in fog!

As the mountain cart adventure started one station down (not at the top of the mountain but at the Schrekfeld station) we decided to walk around the top of the mountain and do the First Cliff Walk! We love adventure and all things thrill so this was totally up our alley!

We then made our way down to the Schreckfeld station to do our mountain cart adventure.I highly recommend this to anyone.

They explain it as a cross between go-karting and sledding. I’d say that is 100% accurate. You ride the carts from Schreckfeld to Bort and can go as fast as you want. Okay, you aren’t *supposed* to FLY around the corners but we totally did and it was an absolute blast. I only wish I would have had a Go-Pro to capture it!

And the end of our ride, we ended up in Bort. The view from here looked like it was a scene from “The Sound of Music” so we spent a little bit of time here before heading taking a gondola back down the mountain.

Grindelwald

It was actually a really warm day once we may it back down to the town area so we found a little gelato shop and decided to have a quick stop! No regrets. #delicous

Lucerne

We made our way to Interlaken and picked up our bags. Once we got to Lucerne, we decided to take a taxi to the hotel because we were pretty wiped after our day in Grindelwald and didn’t want to have to figure out how to get a bus to our hotel, the Seehotel Kastanienbaum. This hotel was the perfect choice because it was situated right on Lake Lucerne and had a phenomenal view.

We made it and checked into our room, which was reserved with my Chase Sapphire Reserve points. We hurried up and changed for dinner as it was getting later and we figured it would be easiest to just eat at the hotel’s restaurant. 

The patio featured a stunning view of Lake Lucerne and I started to get a bit bummed that we had to head home in two days. Nevertheless, we enjoyed the beautiful view and had an amazing steak dinner.

Hotel Restaurant on Lake Lucerne
Dinner

We headed back up to our hotel room and enjoyed a gorgeous sunset from our balcony. This hotel definitely is one to stay at if you enjoy stellar views right from your room.

The next morning we were planning out our day and decided we would check out and take the bus to the train station to drop our bags off in a storage locker so we could gallivant around Lucerne for the day.

I took one last gander out from the balcony at the beautiful lake before we left the hotel.

Once we dropped our bags off in a locker, we made our way to the diagonal chapel bridge, which is called Kapellbrücke.

One of my coworkers told me I had to check it out and I am so glad we did!

The bridge actually has a number of interior paintings (we didn’t realize this until after we got home and a friend asked what we thought of the paintings) and was built in 1365.

This bridge resembled a massive version of the wooden bridge we saw in Thun. It was also covered in flowers, which made the bridge “pop” with color.

After walking around Lucerne for a bit and doing a little bit of walking around, we started to get hungry. We stopped at a patio restaurant with a view of the lake.

I went with the pork schnitzel meal and was not disappointed. Swiss food is definitely different but it sure is delicious. After lunch, I elected to get a cappuccino. This is commonplace in Switzerland and you will almost always be asked if you want coffee after your meal.

Schnitzel dinner

After lunch, we walked around Lucerne for another hour or so before heading back to the train station.

We made it back to Zurich that evening and enjoyed one last night (or so we thought) in Switzerland. This trip was one I certainly never will forget!

Our plane ended up having issues with one of the engines so after 3 hours on the tarmac, we were told our flight was cancelled. Delta gave us a hotel and free dinner that night and we actually each ended up getting a check in the mail for $784.99 due to the EU261 rule about cancelled flights. So keep this in mind if you ever have a flight delayed or cancelled in Europe! While Switzerland is not a part of the EU, they still follow the same travel rules and this worked out in our favor big time!

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