Thursday, February 23, 2012


As a boy growing up in San Marino, California in the 1950's and early 1960's, I watched a lot of TV.

During those Golden Years of Television in the greater Los Angeles megalopolis, there was an advertisement that always remained in my memory.

The product? Ovaltine chocolate drink mix.

The ads claimed that Ovaltine was rich in vitamins and minerals and that back home in Switzerland it was used by men training to hurl the famed . . .

Unspunnen Stone

83.5 Kg. / 184.1 Lbs. of Fun!

Every 12 years people gather in Interlaken for a Swiss culture festival that includes Unspunnen Stone hurling, wrestling and yodeling. The last gathering was in 2006.

I drank a lot of Ovaltine as a youth because of those commercials!

But I digress . . .

Thursday Morning in Thun

Scuba Diving

No, merci. They continue to do work near the combination sluice gate/wooden covered bridge on the short walk into downtown Thun.

Today I bought a round trip bus ticket for the 55 minute ride to the resort city of Interlaken. My city bus pass was good enough to get me halfway there so I had to pay a fee for the other half.

Mini Stonhenge?

After a very comfortable and wonderously scenic bus ride I arrived in Interlaken.

Höhematte ("high meadow") Park, seen here, is in about the middle of town.

Take a chance?

Not me.

Not Las Vegas glitzy, I kind of expected to see James Bond walk out of here.

Gnomes and Poisonous Mushrooms

The Casino's interesting entry way

Even the Casino's lights were stylish

The view of the Alps from Höhematte Park

Souvenir shops are everywhere

More Cow Bell!

This is the area for milk cows that produce a wide variety of dairy products to the world.

Not Real

What were the odds?

The skiers make perfect sense, but carved American football players?

Catholic on the left, Protestant on the right

I was hungry, it was time for lunch, but where?


Tempting but no

I asked for help at the Tourist Information Center and the very nice lady directed me to . . .

Des Alpes
Restaurant Pizzeria
Terrasse Bar Konditorei

This place covers all of the culinary bases. Now the question was what to order?

How about a Swiss favorite? Why not.

Schweizer Rösti

Hash browns with Swiss cheese, cubes of baked ham and fried onions.

The waiter insisted that I sprinkle a seasoning made for fondue and raclette by a company called Butty on the Rösti. It was delicious!

I followed it with a cappuccino and I was stuffed! When I finally got back to Thun I passed on dinner at Morris Restaurant, I was still too full.

A Funicular Railway Station

Adolf Guyer-Zeller
The Father of the Jungfrau Railway

These railways opened up the natural splendors of the Bernese Oberland area.

Not Real

Chocolate Break

Should I?

Well, if you put it that way

The Swiss are very health conscious.

Låry's Broom?

Japanese Garden

It was donated to the people of Interlaken by the citizens of their sister city, Otsu, Japan.

Adam and Eve vacationing in Interlaken

Interesting home

Not Real

The city of Interlaken is small and easy to navigate. The city's permanent population only numbers 5,500 souls. The city is basically a base camp for skiers in the Winter and for hikers and lovers of water sports in the Spring and Summer.

People started to vacation here en masse in the 19th Century and thus the town experienced a building boom of grand hotels to house upper class travelers.

Many of these Grand Hotels are still in service like these majestic ones . . .

Grand Hotel Victoria-Jungfrau

Hotel Savoy

Royal Hotel St. Georges

My personal favorite.

Hotel Interlaken

Lindner Grand Hotel

Continental Hotel Central

A\This one is located cross the Aare River in the village of Unterseen.

Lake Boat

This one was moored on the Aare River right next to the Hotel Du Lac where my favorite sister-in-law Gayle Hicks and her husband David will be staying during their Interlaken visit in early May.

This boat and other similar ones that I saw will be quite busy when it warms up. They will cruise both Lake Thun and Lake Brienz. Interlaken and Unterseen both mean land between the lakes.

Gayle is my only sister-in-law.


And very proud to be Swiss.

There is snow in the Alps

This week was a school holiday for Winter Sports. The Swiss want familys to have a chance to enjoy all that nature has provided for the country at this time of the year.

I like the concept.


The Aare River
Switzerland's longest river

Here it flows from Lake Brienz to Lake Thun, then meanders on to Bern before ultimately joining the Rhine River as it journeys into the Netherlands and finally the North Sea.

Damn, I came here today!

Sunny Days?

I could use some sunshine today for sure!

It was a B&B.


It was hanging out in a pen near my bus stop.

Fika Time!!!

A little hot chocolate for the road home after a splendid afternoon in Interlaken.

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