Interlaken: The Pigeon Forge of the Swiss Alps

All of our friends in Tennessee will understand when I say that Interlaken, Switzerland, is the Pigeon Forge to Grindelwald’s Gatlinburg.

Basically, the only way to get to Grindelwald is to go through Interlaken. And, while Grindelwald is nestled right there among all of the mountains, those same mountains in Interlaken serve as a distant, beautiful backdrop.

There’s more shopping in Interlaken. And more restaurants, hotels, and things to do. Standing in the central park area, we saw people hang gliding, skydiving, and kayaking down the river and on the lake, with the sound of theme-park style activities in the distance. The whole town was buzzing with tour groups, helicopter rides, and kids running from one confectionary to the next.

Plus, it’s a bit more affordable, as we found during our return visit to Grindelwald on this trip around the world. Hotels and meals in Interlaken are considerably less pricey than they are just up the road in Grindelwald. Yet another uncanny similarity!

I even saw an all-you-can-eat pancake house. But the pancakes were, you know, crêpes.

I wonder if there’s a Swiss version of Dolly Parton we don’t know about …