Europe – day 5 – Grindelwald

We drove from Zurich to Grindelwald near Interlaken after breakfast. We tried to stop in Luzern for lunch to see some of that city also since we were driving around, but we had rain and lightning when we got there and decided that we would have to come back to see that city. It looked lovely but damp.

The rain continued as we arrived in Interlaken after a lot of driving on winding roads. We arrived hungry since our lunch plan in Luzern had fallen through. We wandered inefficiently through the streets as only the truly hungry can. We did some shopping after lunch while paragliders descended from the mountain above us. It appeared they were going to land right on the main drag of town but they landed in a near by park instead.

We headed up to our hostel in Grindelwald using turn by turn directions we had printed out from Google maps. They proved to be particularly useless as the road apparent changed names about 30 times between Interlaken and Grindelwald. Google kept telling us to continue on “blah de blah” for another .2 km. None of these names were marked on the map. We later discovered that the directions actually put the address in the wrong place on the map. But despite our best efforts we managed to find the International Youth Hostel. It was up a steep hill and some narrow switch-backs from town (we are told a 15 minute walk up the hill from the train station).

This hostel was quite a contrast with the one in Zurich. Obviously it was a lot more rural. It was also very much oriented to families with play equipment, games and even a small child’s play room in the basement by the laundry and ping pong table. It also has one of the most beautiful views of any hotel in the world. Most of the rooms in the hostel face the valley although ours did not. Ours was also under the eves which meant many more bumped heads but the room was still larger and had more space than Zurich. Grindelwald also had at least 5 common rooms. It was large and offered breakfast (and an optional dinner) so those rooms and the balcony were used for eating. It had a piano and a guitar which I tuned. We met a nice fellow from the Northern Territories in Australia who picked up the guitar after I tuned us and serenaded our planning.

It continued to rain which literally put a damper on the plans to go up the mountain in some sort of gondola, train, or funicular. We could only hope that the next day would bring sunshine.

We found a great Italian restaurant in Grindelwald called Restorante Mercato. Kevin and I ordered the calzone which was particularly good but violated the saying “never eat anything larger than your head”. Two grown men could easily split one calzone.

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