At the center of Europe, Switzerland is known for its neutral military stance and famous chocolate. But Switzerland is more than an expanse of dairy farms for chocolate and cheese — even though it is nice excuse to indulge in some of their culinary specialties along the journey — the country is also famous for their adventure sports. At the center of it all is Interlaken, pinched in between Lake Thun and Lake Brienz, the hub for a gamut of outdoor outings. Directly south is the backdrop to many of the pictures in the area, the Swiss Alps and more specifically Jungfrau. To get to the top of the massive mountain is a steep train ride. At the feet of the beast is many villages space out by the valley. Interlaken is the heart, the two main train stations (Interlaken Ost & Interlaken West) flow into smaller, idyllic villages such as Lauterbrunnen or Thun.

In Interlaken, right next to Balmer's (the oldest hostel in the town), is a row of cozy apartments ideal for a couple or small family. Right next to the apartments are two of my suggestions, Outdoor Interlaken and a small Thai restaurant. Immediately after the restaurant is a driveway which leads you to the alpine escape. Each apartment in the row provides a welcoming glow and are built with a colored wood which is typical of the area.

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Inside you will find a European style kitchen, a small living space, and a master bedroom with an attached bathroom. Even though the kitchen looks small, it gives you plenty of room to cook and eat a family meal. The table seats four.

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A steep climb to the upstairs is the master bedroom which has a king size bed with a spacious bathroom. Back to the first floor is the small living space and balcony which give you all the room to relax and take in the views. The couch in this space is also a pullout sofa if you are looking to house more people for less.

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While I was stationed in the alpine apartment, it was a little gloomy (as you can see from the picture above) for some of the days. Mountain weather is rather unpredictable. Warm gear for cold weather is recommended even during the summer months. This may come across as common sense to others, but I ran into a handful of people unprepared for the glacial draft.

A bonus suggestion for a traveler caught in similar rainy weather is the St. Beatus Hoehlen Caves. It keeps you out of the rain, just make sure to get there early, others will have the same idea as you.

$84 per night