Sunday, August 05, 2007

Interlaken


So yes, I was on a trip and I actually didn’t plan to make blog entry about it, but this is per request, so to say.

This is for you Matthew :)

Recently I went to the area called Interlaken (Switzerland). Interlaken belongs to the canton Bern and the area is placed between the lakes Brienz and Thun.

I went there to visit several waterfalls and caves. My first impression is that I got lost in time and space, finding myself in some sort of a fairytale. I can hardly describe the beauty of the area. One must see all those waterfalls coming directly from the local glaciers and falling down from the top of the mountains. The view is simply breathtaking.


My first destination was the cave of Saint Beatus. I had to climb to reach the entry but the climbing was an experience for itself.


There are two stations and several bridges made out of wood. Those bridges are crossing over two waterfalls that come right from the entry of the Saint Beatus’ cave. Both stations are actually museums.


The first museum is mainly about the cave, archeological findings, prehistoric settlement and the team of the people who constantly works on new researches. Shelves are filled with photos and different crystals, rocks, stalactites, stalagmites and so on. There is also a little pond in the front of museum and fountain.


The second museum is dedicated to Saint Beatus, also known as the apostle of Switzerland. The story says that after being baptized in England by St. Barnabas and ordained by St. Peter, Beatus went to Switzerland where he spent his life in the cave, converting pagan inhabitants into Christianity. The cave became a popular pilgrim's destination, the famed site of Beatus' fight with a dragon, according to the legend, which I sincerely hope it’s just a tale as I don’t want to think about Saint Beatus as of one more person responsible for the demise of species. Oh well, that is yet another story.


Anyway, you can see wooden dwarfs around the museum and dragons inside of the museum. It was interesting and I’m glad I didn’t skip it while climbing to the cave.




The cave entry looks like a little castle, which you can see on the following photo.


I was sitting in the left tower by the window, eating pizza and enjoying the beautiful view of the lake Thun and distant glacier of the mountain Jungfrau.

Development started in 1903, and the caves were opened to the public one year later. In the caves, one can see (the already mentioned) prehistoric settlement, the cave of Saint Beatus and his tomb, halls, waterfalls, underground gorges, etc. Very popular is the so called Koh-I-Noor, a mighty stalactite, 40,000 years old. The part available for tourists is one kilometer long of the existing 16 kilometers, if I remember correctly… Photographing is forbidden because it holds back the group but you can find photos of the cave interior on this page.

Anyway, I bought a few postcards for my friends and I have continued my trip with a rose quartz in my pocket. My next destination was the Trümmelbach falls.


Now, Trümmelbach Falls are simply fascinating! There are actually 10 waterfalls, coming directly from the glacier, making their way through the mountain with a speed of 250km/h.


This place is unique. It is the only place in Europe where one can see glacier waterfalls inside of the mountain. They are so powerful. I was totally amazed. And apart of being amazed, I was also completely wet as I had to get close to the falls as much as possible.


The temperature of the water and inside of the caves is very low, only 2 Celsius degrees during summer. Not many tourists are there and people are staying only shortly inside of the caves due to the low temperature. I was dressed well for this occasion and therefore able to explore and fully enjoy in this absolutely breathtaking sight, watching the water coming from the glaciers, making its way through the mountain while carving stones, and eventually bursting out of the rock and speeding away into the valley. It was unforgettable.


Interlaken is well known place for all adventure lovers. Aside from the waterfalls and caves, this area is good for paragliding, skiing, climbing, golf, skydiving, etc.


I didn’t take part in any of the mentioned activities but I enjoyed watching others. I love to travel and I usually find some quiet spot for myself whenever I go. Right now I am completely content while spending my days on the local hills with cows.


And cows are an inseparable part of the Swiss panorama ;)


14 comments:

the art of memory said...

looks like such a beautiful place.

Milena said...

Yes, the area is beautiful and I had great time :)

Lorri said...

Your photos are stunning! It looks like such a beautiful and serene place. I must go there one day. LOL

I am glad you had a great time.

Such breathtaking beauty!

Milena said...

Thank you very much Lorri! Yes, soon you will be here and we are going to travel a lot! ;)

Paul C. said...

I remember once when I was visiting Europe, and our tour bus drove through the Alps from Austria into Germany. Some really stunning views there. It felt almost like I was watching a Herzog movie, with the fog over the peaks and those gorgeous colors you don't see anywhere else.

I envy you being able to visit those falls though- I've never seen anything remotely like that. I'd love to someday though. While they're no substitute for the real thing, your photos nonetheless bring out the natural beauty and even some of the wonder of the surroundings. There really is no substitute for natural beauty- in landscapes and vistas, and in people too for that matter.

Milena said...

Yes, Paul, I agree with you. Unfortunately natural beauties are disappearing, especially in people...

madpotter said...

What a wonderful place! Great photos too! I've never seen anything like this. Have a great trip, Milena! :)

Lorri said...

That cow photo would make a wonderful postcard! :)

xoxo

Neo said...

You are definitely a traveler! :D

Thanks for the nice photos and good story. I always enjoy in your posts.

Kahl said...

It has been so long since I've had time to meander your page and you bless me with such a magnificent series of images. I can only guess at the majesty of this place when the photos are so beautiful. And I learned something new too! *blushes* I had always thought the Koh-I-Noor was a diamond....not sure how the hell I got that idea out of Stalagtite...but I did. ROFL

Miss our conversations dearly, our happy traveler. *hug*

Brian said...

Man, that cow photo is great! LOL

Milena said...

Kahl, you do have right, Kōh-i-Nūr or Mountain of Light is also a famous diamond. It was once the largest known diamond in the world hence the name for the mighty stalactite.

Kahl said...

After reading your comment I was compelled to look up the history of the diamond and such. Hooray knowledge!

You must visit more beautiful places and share them with us...although I would really like to go myself! :D

Did I mention I like your cow clock?

Nikola said...

The photos are really beautiful! I envy you so much for actually being there! Take care.