Dear Diary – Page 44 (Early 1960’s – Switzerland)

In 1961, we had our first trip to a different country. We went to Dover by train (via London and so two train rides!); crossed the English Channel by boat, and then boarded a luxury coach in Calais which took us through France and into Switzerland!

We stayed in (what was then) a small town called Merligan, on Lake Thun, and our hotel ( Hotel des Alpes) overlooked the lake. 1961 Switzerland_0002I had such a wonderful time because the most efficient way of getting around was often the paddle steamers on the lake. I also found a railway line in Interlaken! Ships and trains! What more could anybody want?

1961 Switzerland_0001Above: My younger sister Frances and I waiting for trains at Interlaken.

It was here that my Dad introduced me to dark beer! (“If anybody asks ……. tell them it’s coke!”)

We had many adventures both from an organized perspective and from occasional wanderings but two that come to mind were the chair lift ride up Grindenwald (3000ft above sea level; surrounded my ice and snow, and warm!), and Trummelbach Falls (so much water flowing through tunnels naturally created through rock!). We had never seen anything quite like it before.

A note on the back of the Interlaken photo (above), and in my Dad’s hand writing, reads:

INTERLAKEN – “Happy Days” – Just over twenty pounds each for a fortnight’s holiday – Full board, with excursions thrown in! Wow!

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13 thoughts on “Dear Diary – Page 44 (Early 1960’s – Switzerland)

  1. Oh Colin, that sounds like such a wonderful memory. I had tears in my eyes reading it. What big journey that must have been. I laughed at your father saying “if anybody aks, it’s coke”. That really sounds like a happy time. Perhaps you should come over once to see how everything changed 🙂 Interlaken is not so far away from where I live.

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  2. I somewhat miss the days when even going across the channel was an exciting adventure. These days you can just pop across to get some shopping – taken all the magic out of it :). I love the photo of you and your sister!

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    • The world is so small now with high speed travel (and the internet) that an adventure today is very different from during my teen years. Of course, if we go back another generation or so, then an adventure limited to a horse and carriage would have been different again! I suppose it is all progress, but I did love that 1-1/2 journey across the channel. Thx for sharing your thoughts. 🙂
      ps. We were never very good at posing for a photograph! 🙂

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  3. A spectacular country indeed. Just visited. Also went there in 1967 and with my family in the mid-sized. I remember Interlaken. There was a casino there which reminded me of James Bond. Oh yes … chairlifts! Loved the photographs.

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