That morning at 08.45 local time, we arrived at the EuroAirport International Airport Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg. This airport is very unique because it is located on the border between France, Germany and Switzerland. But this airport is still part of the France region. To reach the city of Basel in Switzerland, from the airport just take a bus.
After picking up the baggage, we were confronted with 2 exits, one towards France or Germany, the other towards Switzerland. We also took the Swiss exit. Then we took bus number 50 to Basel train station. Whether this is a free bus or not, once we get on the bus, we are not billed for money or Swiss Travel Pass. Because I was confused I showed the Swiss Travel Pass ticket that had been purchased online before and had been printed to the bus driver. He just nods his head. But it seems like if I don’t show the Swiss Travel Pass, that’s fine, because other people just get on the bus.
Once at the Basel train station, we took the train to Interlaken West. The trip to Interlaken from Basel takes about 1 hour 50 minutes. When I entered the train, I was not asked for the train ticket, just went in. But when I was on the train, there’s an officer who will check the train tickets and we have to show train tickets or Travel Pass to the officer, along with our respective Passports.
Well, it was just here that we realized that my dad’s Passport didn’t know where it was. We all panicked, what if Passport disappears. Already thinking about staying longer in Switzerland, the money spent will be even more, not to mention taking care of losing the Passport at the Embassy or Immigration, so it must be troublesome. Fortunately the officer is still nice, he did not mind it if my father’s Passport could not be checked.
After searching here and there, I finally found my daddy’s Passport. It turns out it’s in my cousin’s bag. So, he put it on my cousin’s bag then forget it. We’re grateful to be able to find the Passport, if it’s really gone, it’ll be more complicated.
Once we exited the Interlaken west train station, we were greeted by heavy rain. The initial plan was on that day we want to go up to Schynige Platte, because here we can enjoy the beautiful Alpine Garden. But because of the weather did not allow it we finally decided to take a walk around Interlaken, at the foot of the Alps.
At that time we were quite busy while carrying suitcases, while using umbrellas, walking from Interlaken West station to our hotel stay, the Crystal hotel. Because it was not the time to check in, we just put the luggage in the hotel lobby, then we immediately went on the road again to find food.
Switzerland is all too expensive, food is also expensive. People said the cheapest was to eat at the supermarket, like Migros or Coop. Near the Interlaken West station there is Migros, so we returned to the Interlaken West station for lunch at Migros.
Migros is a supermarket that also has a buffet restaurant. At that time the seven of us spent 101.35 CHF (or around Rp1,418,900) for lunch at Migros, meaning per person around Rp202,700.
After finishing eating, it actually didn’t rain anymore, and that means maybe we can go up to Schynige Platte to enjoy Alpine Garden. But because we thought we were afraid to rain again, so we decided to take a boat, go around Lake Thun or Lake Brienz. Because Lake Thun is the closest to Interlaken West, so we chose to take a cruise on Lake Thun. We also asked the cruise schedule at the Information Center in Interlaken West. After that we immediately went to the cruise harbor.
Cruise was waiting for its passengers at that time. We immediately entered the cruise, without checking the ticket. We were asked by the officer of the cruise ticket when we had been sitting a bit on the cruise. Then we show the Swiss Travel Pass to the officer. We chose to sit outside so we could better enjoy the view. The weather was suddenly sunny, if we knew this, we would have gone up the mountain, but it was already late. So, we enjoyed the views of Lake Thun and its surroundings for about 1 hour 30 minutes.
The first hour we were on this cruise, we actually felt a bit strange, how come we didn’t make it to Interlaken West anymore. It turns out that Lake Thun is huge and vast. In every area it can stop too. Cruise is like a means of transportation that connects between places. At that time we only realized after riding this cruise. Finally we decided to get off at the next stop, namely Spiez.
Around 15:00 local time, we finally got off the cruise in Spiez. Spiez actually has interesting tourist attractions too, like Spiez Castle. But because we wanted to go straight home to Interlaken, we didn’t have time to visit Spiez Castle. We immediately headed to the bus stop to Interlaken. It turns out the bus here is fairly rare. We waited for about 20 minutes for the number 21 bus to Interlaken OST to arrive. The bus from Spiez to Interlaken OST takes about 40 minutes. The bus is indeed much faster than the cruise, if the cruise is 1 hour 30 minutes, the bus ride is only 40 minutes.
Interlaken is arguably like China Town. There are lots of Chinese / Taiwanese tourists coming here, some are from Korea or Japan. Most still from China / Taiwan. When we took the number 21 bus, next to me sat a tourist from Taiwan. We were initially chatted in English, then chatted in Mandarin.
Arriving at Interlaken OST, we also walked to Interlaken West. Along this road there are many souvenir shops, watches, restaurants, cafes, bars, and so on. With beautiful views of the Swiss Alps, Interlaken is truly a small and beautiful city.
Interlaken is indeed one of the center of souvenirs in Switzerland. So don’t miss the opportunity to shop here. Because there are so many Asians here, there are also many shop’s staff who are Asian and can speak Mandarin. I also met some Indonesian people here. They all went on tour, and they were so surprised to know we were going alone without going on tour. Actually for me it’s better to go by myself, the itinerary can be adjusted by myself, as well as the budget. Transportation in Switzerland is already good, ans we mostly use public transportation such as trains, buses, cruise and cable car in here.
Besides being famous for its souvenirs, Interlaken is also famous for its outdoor activities, or challenging activities. For examples, Paragliding, Tandem Paragliding, Night Sledding, Bungee Jumping, Sky Diving, etc. I actually really wanted to try exciting activities here, but the price was crazy. Airplane sky diving can be up to 6 million IDR. It’s true once in a lifetime, but it’s too expensive. Maybe I’ll try later when I have more budget and when traveling with friends.
Before returning to the hotel, we bought tickets to Jungfraujoch for the next day. Before buying a ticket, we first ask the clerk how the weather forecast for tomorrow is, because we are afraid of bad weather again like that day. Apparently the officer said, the weather will be bright tomorrow. Finally, we also bought return tickets for Jungfraujoch on the Grindelwald – Kleine scheidegg – Jungfraujoch route, and Jungfraujoch – Kleine scheidegg – Wengen. We bought the tickets for only 962 CHF (or around Rp13,465,200) for 7 people, meaning around Rp1,923,600 / person. This price is already discounted, because we have a Swiss Travel Pass. If the price of the original Jungfraujoch ticket without a discount can be up to around 3 million Rupiah / person.
But if you don’t have a Swiss Travel Pass and want a cheap Jungfraujoch ticket, you can buy a Good Morning Ticket for 145 CHF (or around Rp. 2,030,000) per person, if you go from Interlaken OST. The Good Morning Ticket is only valid from early May to mid-October. Because it’s “Good Morning” Ticket, there are specified departing hours and returning hours. If you are late from the specified hour, the ticket can be expired. Initially, because I didn’t know which was cheaper, between a Good Morning Ticket or a discounted ticket because of a Swiss Travel Pass, I thought I’d choose the Good Morning Ticket. But the officer said it would be cheaper if I use a discount from the Swiss Travel Pass. And sure enough, I’m more fortunate to use discounts from the Swiss Travel Pass. Swiss Travel Pass is the best! Love it so much 😀
After buying Jungfraujoch tickets, we went straight back to the hotel to rest and finish. Our dinner was only at the hotel: boiled Indomie. We still have to prepare the energy for the next day to climb to one of the top mountains of Switzerland, Jungfraujoch.