It was already dark as we changed
trains at Interlocken. I found an ATM at the train
station, and made a withdrawal in order to get some Swiss
As we waited for our connection, I
grew more apprehensive. "Maybe we'd better
find a place to stay here," I suggested. "After
all, we don't even know if we can make it all the way to
Gimmelwald tonight, and if we do, the hostel may not be
open. The last thing I want to do tonight is sleep
outside on a chilly Alp."
"You can stay here if you want to,"
Kim replied, "but I'm going to Gimmelwald." Kim,
I was discovering, had a will like a force of nature.
"All right, then. I can't in
good conscience let you freeze to death by yourself."
So we caught the last train out of Interlocken
At Lauterbrunnen we transferred to the very
last bus headed for Stechelberg and a short time later we
were deposited at the Gondola station for a trip high up
into the misty blackness.
It was slightly after midnight as we stepped
out of the Gondola. We were the only two people
outside, the foggy night silent except for the
gentle electric hum of the Gondola as it left us to our
I worried about finding the hostel, but I
needn't have. Like moths, we moved toward the only light
still shining in the small village. We mounted the porch
and tried the door. My relief extreme, the handle
turned and we entered a cheery room of wood and stone.
Warm and Hospitable Hostel
Kim models her "Zen Slug" shirt, probably the
main reason I'm here in Switzerland at all.
A sole figure, a man in his twenties, sat
at one of the broad wooden tables, strumming a guitar and
looking not at all surprised to see us.
"Did you bring any food with
you?" he asked. "Because the only grocery
store is a half hour hike up the hill, and it closed at
When we told him we hadn't, he said, "Well,
no problem. If you're hungry, I've got some Rösti in
a box that you can fry up."
Before long, I was standing at the huge commercial
gas stove, wielding a giant spatula through a sizzling cast
iron skillet of potato gratings -- I had made myself
at home in Switzerland.
Mountain Hostel Morning