Saturday, 6 July 2013

Day 16: What language is spoken in Switzerland?

Hello from the YMCA Hostel in Basel, Switzerland! Currently on day 18 though blogwise a bit late... AWESOME hostel, very spacious, and free tea! Shame about the lack of real  plugs to recharge computers tho...

Anyways, blogwise we are on Day 16, which you need not know too much about. I was gradually getting tired of travelling, and we were both getting tired of Italy. We had a miniscule breakfast so we could have a nice final Italian brunch before our train at 12, but found no fast pizza-place as I'd wished for. Settled for a very very average plain pizza-sandwich thing (pastry and tomato-stuff on top.). Real Italian pizza is great, and pasta is AMAZING, but if you want a quick sandwich... Italy is not the place to be. I'm sorry to say. Maybe we were just too used to France.

So maybe it's forgivable that when we reached Milan, where we had a three-hour stopover, we sat in McDonalds. And maybe it's forgivable that on our way to our train we got a Burger King. Whatever, it was good food.

See the joy on his face
You can see my difference in travel-and-experience-the-culture-inspiration. At the beginning neither of us even considered going to McDonalds. In Pisa CC suggested getting a milkshake from McDonalds. I refused and went to find my own, much more expensive but at least real Italian quality-milkshake (that was the tiramisu-one, om nom). And now, I was tired, I was annoyed, and Milan was the HOTTEST it has been, so I happily sat in McD doing my travel journal. There, hate me if you will, but I enjoyed it.

Anyways, from Milan we went on towards SWITZERLAND!!! Which we LOVED. Already in Northern Italy the scenery from the train was MAGNIFICENT with all the mountains... and getting into Switzerland it just got better. "Why aren't these places massive tourist magnets!?" CC wondered, very much in awe. All I could answer was that probably most of Switzerland is like this, not every single square kilometre could be a tourist magnet...

Some photos à la CC taken from train...

Our first stopover was in a town called Brig. It was clean, nice-looking, the mountains were AWESOME, and even the first creepy guy came over to us just to compliment CC on his choice of girl! ;) Unlike all of the Italian (and French) creeps, bless them I know they aren't well off, but they are SO ANNOYING. The amount of random people trying to sell stuff. People hanging about near ticket machines trying to find out your pin code. (I never liked working those machines by myself, I just wished I had eyes on my back. And my sides.)

By the time we got to Interlaken, we were both in excellent spirits. Only then I realised that we were both a bit subdued in Italy - it was all cool, especially Florence and Rome (not to even mentioned Cinque Terre, which is still both of ours' favourite day and place!), but Italy was HOT, stuffy, not working and full of annoyance. An amazing experience, but we were happy to leave.

Interlaken was described as one of my facebook-friends as pretty ugly since it's built by Brits. I didn't think so. Pretty quaint houses, shops and restaurants with nice fountains or little parks at suitable distances from each other. Mountains on every horizon (usually not seen too well behind the hoards of Asian tourists being pictured in front of them tho...). A VERY PRETTY TOWN. And everywhere advertising paragliding. No, I didn't do it, but mark my words mummy, one day I will... I will.

We got there just having the street address of our hostel, no sort of map, so we were a bit worried about how to find it. But, have no fear, you are in Switzerland, and at the station they have a very fancy and nicely organised board showing all the hostels&hotels in the town, including info if they have free rooms, and including this map.

You press the button of your hostel and it lights up (red)
We did find out only after we got off at Interlaken Ost (East) that Interlaken West would've been a tiny bit closer... oh well.

Some of Interlaken
Our hostel... best yet, and highly unlikely anything will be better. HAPPY INN LODGE. Downstairs an amazing, comfy, cosy, Britishy pub/restaurant, SUCH friendly staff, loads of leaflets and stuff on all the crazy outdoor sports you can do... LOVED IT.

Final confusion of the day: WHAT LANGUAGE DO THEY SPEAK IN SWITZERLAND? I know there's German, French and Italian areas but which one is which? Like, Interlaken was a German area, but no one EVER said "danke", but always "merci"!? Explain to me please.

Lots of love,


  1. Paragliding... Perhaps not as schrecklich as bungee jumping...

    Nice to have things working for you smoothly. Äx

  2. Interlaken... your great-grandmother (grandma's mum) went there... look out for "Louisa Victoria" scratched on the bark of some tree somewhere...

  3. Lol I love the logic of the lack of tourism!

  4. Surprisingly, the photos make Switzerland look a wee bit like Scotland! Am I crazy?? :) xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx