Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Alternative to Interlaken: Thun

A few posts back, it was discussed that the city of Interlaken is Switzerland's ultimate tourist trap. Hooter's. Japanese Gardens. Loud motorcycles. The town's got everything but the traditional Swiss feeling people go there to find. So what's a traveler in the area to do?

Go to Thun.

Recommended by Romy, in the comment section from the "What happened to Interlaken" post, Thun really is worth a day trip. A Swiss friend from Appenzell also recommended it to me, so with the parents in town, we went last week, and it was wonderful.

Now you won't see Thun in most guidebooks. Usually this is a good sign as the amount of space something takes up in a guidebook usually corresponds to the amount of unfortunate neon signage that you'll encounter when you get there. So I always make it a point to take the less trampled, less written about places.

It's easy to get to Thun from Interlaken and the best way is by boat. (from anywhere else in Switzerland, check the train schedule here)

Get on the boat to Thun (takes 2 hours total from Interlaken). Stop by Spiez on the way and visit the castle there. After peeking around the castle grounds, jump back on the next boat and take it to Thun. On the way, you'll pass by several other gorgeous castles. When you get to Thun, enjoy a restaurant on the river. Afterwards, climb a castle that's so uncrowded that you'll feel like you own it. At the top, enjoy the views of the Alps, the lake, and the river and then stop by a spotless garbage recepticle and throw away that Interlaken-touting guidebook. Now that's what I'd call happily ever after.


mrsmac said...

And on your way to Thun, get off the boat to see St Beatus' Cave if you have time!


Matt Morelli said...

I can also vouch for Thun. Nice castle, quiet, lovely little alleyways and streets. Very pleasant. I really don't get the fascination with Interlaken. It does have excellent transport links but there's literally nothing else there. Nothing! Quite why anyone would stay there when places like Lauterbrunnen are within such easy reach is beyond me. If you're going to travel to the alps, stay IN the alps, not just outside them,

Romy said...

Oh, you went, how wonderful! I'm so glad you liked it (and totally agree about the castle - it's NEVER crowded!).

Chantal said...

Glad to hear all of you found Thun as pleasant as I did. And thanks for the tip about the cave.

Jenni said...

This is Switzerland we're talking about...shouldn't we recycle the guidebook?

Chantal said...

Good point :) Why miss an option to tie stuff with string?

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