Interlaken



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Interlaken
Lake steamer cruises. Take a boat to Brienz, a picturesque woodcarvers' town at the far end of the wild and scenic Brienzersee. Allow time for a morning or afternoon at the Swiss Open-Air Museum at Ballenberg, near Brienz. Or catch a steamer to Thun, where Lake Thun feeds into the River Aare, and enjoy the views from the towers of its medieval castle. Mountain excursions. The Jungfraujoch Railway is Europe's highest. It takes you through Alpine meadows, then plunges into a stone tunnel on its ascent to permanent snowfields and spectacular views. Other (and less expensive) excursions include the Schilthorn aerial cable car, the Schynigge Platte cogwheel railway, the Brienz-Rothorn-Bahn with its antique steam-driven locomotives, and funiculars such as Harderbahn, which carries tourists up Interlaken's " Hausberg ." Hikes. Whether you're an experienced trekker or a casual walker, you'll find a plethora of well-marked trails in Interlaken and nearby resorts. (Note: Paved footpaths along Lake Thun and Lake Brienz are suitable for wheelchairs, strollers, and baby carriages.) City, town, and village sightseeing. When the weather turns dreary, head for Bern (the Swiss capital), where you can shop in arcaded passages, visit museums, and enjoy other activities that don't require an umbrella and galoshes. Even when it's sunny, you should allow time to visit Thun, Brienz, and some of the mountain resorts and villages in the area. All are easy to reach by train, bus, and/or boat.