We started our train ride from Interlaken Ost to Grindelwald (34 min – ca. 1090 m, 3600 ft). Here we went to visit a local public school. You can see the school right under the 4000 m (ca. 13000 ft) high mountains. We got an orientation about the Bernese School system – education is organized on Canton level. The most impressive part of the Swiss education is the apprenticeship program. Every student has to work as an apprentice – this is compulsory in all of Switzerland. The language of instruction is high German – students study that as a foreign language from 1st grade, then they study French and English as well. The education is free of charge, you need to pay a fee only for the university (ca. 700 Swiss Franc/semester). A young teacher earns around 5500 CHF/months – 13 times a year.
After lunch we got on a train to go up to Kleine Scheidegg (33 min, ca. 2061 m, 6800 ft). From here trains are going up to Jungfraujoch the highest train station in Europe (3454 m, 11400 ft). Since we had a beautiful sunny weather 2 of our participants took the option to go up and they enjoyed it tremendously.
The rest of the group walked a little at the foot of the 3 giants (Eiger, Mönch, Jungfrau – all free mountains are around 4000 m – 13000 feet high).
Then we took the other route down through Lauterbrunnen. This valley resembles very much the Yosemite Valley – it was carved out by a glacier you can tell it by its U shape.
In the evening we had a chance to participate on a local performance of William Tell. The locals are performing this play since 1912, with only stopping during the two world wars. It is an open air performance, although the audience is under cover, but the actors are performing in a forest. There are at least 100 “actors” including small children, 20 horses, cows, goats and donkeys. It is really fun! You can see the scenes with pictures on the following link: http://www.tellspiele.ch/szenenderauffuehrung.html