Interlaken was definitely one of the most amazing places I have ever visited. From the bright blue lake to the quaint country houses to the snowcap mountains, Interlaken was a dream. It reminded me of a painting, and it was everything I imagined it would be and more. But seriously, Interlaken really felt like a dream. I think I feel this way not only because of how beautiful it is, but also because of how different it was than anything I have ever experienced.
The city itself confused me the most. I could not decide if it was a city, town, village or resort. I eventually decided that it was not any of these because it didn’t completely fit any of my schemes. Personally, I think it seems most like a mix between a village and a resort. Next, the huge focus on extreme sports was strange to me. I did not understand why so many people moved to Interlaken to be extreme sport instructors or why so many people would travel to Interlaken just to skydive. It made a bit more sense once I found out that Interlaken was one of the places where extreme sports like paragliding, hang-gliding, and skydiving can pretty much happen all year long. The size and extent of the city also caused confusion. I did not understand why there was one pool meant for the entire city population (which I soon realized was pretty small) or why there was an empty field in the center of the city with a playground and tennis court. It turns out that the field is used as the paragliding landing site and the playground and tennis courts are used by the tourists and the locals.
In comparison to where I live and to TCU, Interlaken felt a bit like a utopia. Interlaken is much smaller than Fort Worth and Austin. A single pool, tennis court, and playground would definitely not be ideal in Austin or Fort Worth. Also, although both Fort Worth and Austin and filled with people from all places, it seemed much more obvious in Interlaken. On the skydiving bus alone, I met two people from China, one person from Japan, five people from the USA, two people from Australia, and two people from India. The sustainability and how rural Interlaken is also very different from both Fort Worth and Austin. Austin is a decently green city compared to other cities, but not as much when compared to Interlaken. Interlaken consisted of self sustaining farms, small dairy farms, a small amount of cars, a large amount of bikes, and a large amount of people who choose to walk everywhere. Seeing how people lived in Interlaken made me realize the sort of minimalist lifestyle that could be possible for good living. Interlaken was almost too perfect.
In the end, I absolutely loved Interlaken. I plan to visit again in my lifetime for the extreme sports and the scenery. I am and forever will be in love with the culture and the adorable dairy cows with bells around their necks. See you later, Interlaken!