The Most Friendly People in the World
I was absolutely stunned by how friendly and helpful the people of Switzerland were. And the farther you get away from Geneva and Zurich, the friendlier they are. Getting into Interlaken, and more so to Gimmelwald, I was treated with so much courtesy and respect that I laughed more than a few times at just how accomodating these people are. Not once in my entire time there did a worker act even the slightest bit rude or unpleasant. Absolutely wonderful.
Take a hike!
Go for a hike - we spent one day walking around and saw some amazing sights!
I am sure you could just walk for hours (we did) and be amazed by everything you see... Everywhere you look the scenery is just gorgeous...
Celebrating the 1st of August
The Romans used to say "semel in anno licet insanire" which translates as "Being crazy once in a year is ok". Apparently the Swiss do it on August 1. It is their national celebration, the way July 4th is for the USA.
On that date you must expect parades with people in funny costumes (Wilhelm Tell instead of George Washington, of course), cows with their best bells hanging from their necks and flowers on their heads, music, food and drinks everywhere. Most important of all, you must be prepared for fireworks. Not only the ones arranged by local authorities and professionally done, but a day-long series of explosions that will never stop until late at night. My impression was that on this day, and only on this one, every Swiss tries to be as noisy as possible.
What to bring with?
Luggage with wheels is always a good idea, wherever you are travelling. Whether snowy/wet/sunny/warm or cold weather, layer your clothing.
Wear thermal underwear (these are easily bought at the local clothing shops), with warm leggings and a top under a toasty jacket for the cold. I have my trusty grey duffle coat, plus a white snow jacket for this type of weather, and they are a godsend!
Wear flat shoes that have a good grip, as when it is snowing, and afterwards, when it is sludge, it's really difficult to walk and keep your balance!
Always remember to bring a cap/hat that covers your head and neck for when it gets hot, as well as sunglasses. unscreen (Factor 35 is the minimum factor I use, no matter what the weather is), headache tablets and usual little things like some plasters for blisters, cotton wool, germolene etc. Your camera, with charger, and a EUROPEAN plug extension. Have a map of the area handy, plus a local bird, flower and tree book. For this you also need a pair of good quality binoculars
Interlaken is a resort town that caters to young adventure travelers from all over the world. One of the most popular activities is white water rafting. The company we used is no longer in business, but you should have no trouble finding another guide to satisfy your needs. The afternoon we spent on the river was thrilling and unforgettable. They provide the rafts, oars, helmets and lifevests... Just bring your sense of adventure and be prepared to get soaked!