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2017 Swiss-Italy Trip Countdown (T-10)

Written by Jeff Drake
9 · 26 · 17

Woo hoo! Only 10 days to go! I am starting to feel like the clock is spinning faster and faster!

Today Lisa and I nailed the train schedules (finally, yes!) and I even purchased a couple of tickets for all 4 of us for specific legs of our journey which other travelers had mentioned in their trip reviews as being very popular. Better safe than sorry! For the rest of our journey around both Switzerland and Italy, we’ll just wing it because it’s Europe, it’s not our first rodeo, and we can figure it out as we go.

And just where are we going exactly?

We leave Portland on September 21 and arrive in Zurich, Switzerland on the 22nd, where we’ll meet Mike and Denise. From there we take the train to Interlaken.

Interlaken is a town in a region of the Swiss Alps known as the Bernese Highlands (Bern, the capital of Switzerland is not far from Interlaken). We’ve been watching Youtube travel videos a lot (How did we ever get along before Youtube?) and while Interlaken is a pretty town, compared to the other towns and places we’ll be visiting in Switzerland, it is rather plain in comparison.

Fortunately for us, Interlaken is just a hub we have to travel through whenever entering or leaving the town that is our final destination – Wengen (pronounced, “Vengen” with a hard “g”). I am most curious to see this place! Both Wengen and another nearby town called, Grindelwald, have managed to make a long-lasting positive impression on my buddy, Mike, who visited here some years ago. Since I respect his judgement, I know we are in for a treat! We will no doubt, fall in love with Switzerland, too. We’ll be staying at a place called, Chalet Arven. This place had great TripAdvisor reviews and the host has been very responsive and helpful.

I’m expecting to arrive in Wengen and see women in strange hats and dresses, men in strange hats and lederhosen, everyone yodeling, drinking beer. Okay, well I think there will be beer, at least. I’m hoping they have a few radical Brewmeisters wild and crazy enough to make a good ale. Hmm. I wonder if they have Bitters in Switzerland? I’ll have to look into that!

We are only going to be in Switzerland for a week. During that time we have a number of day trips planned, including some hiking. More on this, in an upcoming post. We’ll be there between festivals, doggone it, so we will miss them, otherwise, we might have experienced some Swiss heritage activities.

On September 28th, we say goodbye to Switzerland and “Ciao, bella!” to Italy as we hop on a train from Interlaken to Sestri Levante, a beautiful Italian city with easy access to the Cinque Terre on the Italian Rivera.

More tomorrow. Ciao!

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Jeff Drake

Retired IT consultant, world-traveler, hobby photographer, and philosopher.