I started spending time in Switzerland when I was in my early twenties.
I was a keen hillwalker and a friend of mine introduced me to climbing the Munros in Scotland.
But we wanted to experience the Alps and to test our hillwalking skills to the max.
That’s when my first few trips to the Bernese Oberland came about.
I had barely been out of the UK at that stage so it was a real adventure getting to Switzerland and back.
Camping In Interlaken
To keep the budget under control, my friend and I set up base at a camp site in Interlaken.
We got the ferry from Hull to Rotterdam overnight and then took a road trip through various European countries to get to our final destination.
I didn’t own a car at that stage so I was chief navigator and road sign spotter.
It always took the whole day to get there but it was worth it when we got to Interlaken and could see the huge mountains.
It felt like such an adventure going camping. Apart from the tent and rucksacks in the boot we had the bare essentials with us.
I remember we said we’d go back every two years and for quite some time we managed that.
I enjoyed spending time in Switzerland so much that I persuaded my wife that we should go on our honeymoon to Interlaken.
The weather was spectacular for the whole two weeks we spent there. In fact at times it was too hot.
At least we could escape into the mountains or take a trip on one of the paddle steamers on the lake when it became unbearable!
My wife didn’t enjoy going up the Jungfrau so much as she fainted from the altitude.
I wanted her to experience walking out on the mountain but in my enthusiasm I underestimated any effect it might have on her.
That aside, our honeymoon was the best holiday I’ve had in Switzerland to date.
The hotel was a little on the basic side and we had a wasp’s nest outside our bedroom window but everything else was perfect.
Staying In Wengen
After such a great holiday in Interlaken we decided on our next to trip to Switzerland to splash out on the resort of Wengen.
It’s a car free zone and the only way to get there is to walk or to take the train.
I’m always amazed at how efficient the Swiss transport system is.
Spending time in Switzerland couldn’t be easier with the Fly Luggage service.
You check your bags in at the airport and you don’t see them again until you get to your hotel.
It makes getting to your destination much more relaxing!
Wengen felt like a much quieter place than Interlaken. I never felt cut off there though because there was so much to see and do.
You could get on a cable car, take a train, or just get out into the fresh air and take a walk in the breathtaking landscape.
We spent much of our time there walking along the well signposted walking trails.
One of the best walks we came across was along the Schynige Platte.
It’s certainly a few hours walk but the views are more than worth the effort.
The One That Got Away
Back in 2005 when we were living in the West Midlands we had planned to visit Davos in the East of Switzerland.
We’d booked the holiday, paid a deposit and were looking forward to it.
Then my wife got the news that she’d got a job up in Scotland which at the time we were really happy about.
However, it also meant we couldn’t go to Davos because we had to arrange our move up North.
To say we were gutted is an understatement. We’ve never made it to Davos or places like St Moritz.
It’s always felt like the holiday that got away from us.
Broadening Our Horizons
We enjoy spending time in Switzerland so much that we booked a holiday in Zermatt the following year.
I’d always wanted to see the mighty Matterhorn and we wanted to try somewhere different to the Bernese Oberland.
It reminded me a little bit of Chamonix in that to see anything you have to go up.
Zermatt is nestled in a valley and you can’t really see much because everything’s so steep.
Luckily there’s plenty of cable cars to get you to a height where you can take in the spectacular views.
We made the mistake of walking up from the valley floor on one occasion and were exhausted by the time we got to our destination.
Zermatt is a great place to stay and the Matterhorn was awe-inspiring.
However, I didn’t feel like there was as much to do around the area as there was around Interlaken.
Spending Time In Switzerland Ended In Chaos
The overriding memory of arriving back in the UK from Zermatt was of utter chaos.
Whilst we were away, there was a terror plot discovered in the UK and Heathrow airport was in lock down.
We were able to fly back from Geneva but got stuck in London for three days.
There were people everywhere, no flights taking off, luggage mayhem and we only had the clothes we were standing up in.
A man holding a microphone in the drop off and pick up point was in charge of Heathrow it seemed.
It wasn’t clear when we’d be able to get back to Scotland or where are luggage was at that point.
On the fourth day we were allowed to board a plane back to Edinburgh however and what a relief that was.
The unfortunate thing was that our car keys had to be packed in our luggage so we couldn’t get into our car and drive home when we got back.
It wasn’t until six weeks later that our luggage turned up and by all accounts we were lucky that we ever received it back.
Our car had been at the airport all that time. It was good that they let us off the charge for parking!
Is There Any Place You Miss?
We haven’t been back to Switzerland since our Heathrow adventures.
The kids came along and another opportunity hasn’t arisen yet. I hope it will one day.
How about you? Is there any place you miss or would like to go back to?