Hiking in Beatenberg, where every other name is Grossniklaus, I came upon this plaque commemorating the most famous Beatenbergian – Erich Von Daniken.
For those in the dark – Von Daniken presented “evidence” of alien interference in evolution of life on earth and “paleo-CONTACT”! And he came from Beatenberg – they love him here and have a whole avenue named after him.
He set up the Mystery Park in Interlaken, with domes and pyramids and other weird stuff – but the park was later closed down due to lack of interest. Apparently Mr. Daniken has more fans in Bengal where his book Chariots of the Gods was translated into Bangla and popular with many school kids at the time. I have read the book – meh! But his home town has spectacular views of the alps and the Thunersee down below.
Interlaken – the city between two lakes, the Thunersee and the Brienzersee, is beautiful and a walk along the river connecting the two lakes is serene and calming after a whole day of going up and down the mountains in cable cars!
I was told by a local that most Swiss who like the outdoors get helicopter insurance for 40 Swiss Francs a year. That way if you get lost in the mountains, a chopper is only a cell phone call away to come and airlift you out of danger. Why would you need a chopper? What do these Swiss blokes get up to anyway? Well, they ski off sheer drops with parachutes and float over snow-covered mountains 14,000 feet high and then drop down to the ground from those incredible heights.
They take their 8 year olds skiing over the highest slopes in Europe – the same ones where Mr. Bond was followed by men in yellow ski suits shooting at him and Diana Rigg!
These ski slopes are vertiginous in incline and I viewed them safely from a revolving restaurant at the top of a mountain!
The views were breathtaking and the best ones included the grand trio of mountains – the Eiger, Munch and Jungfrau!
On the way back there were hippie Swiss and even some folks dressed as Native Americans! I felt right at home.
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