by Sarah Scaddan
I should have recorded the looks on my children’s faces when I told them that we will be staying in a tube for the weekend. A TUBE? Are you serious? But I hate tubes (what?!). However I have wanted to check out SwissTubes ever since I heard about them a few years ago, and on a lovely sunny bank holiday weekend, off we set.
SwissTubes are described as a ‘module hotel’; one way of saying five tubes piled on top of each other that you can sleep in. They are all the same size (30m2) but vary in number of beds, with the option of sleeping 4, 6 or 8 people. The accommodation was considerably nicer than I had anticipated. If Ikea made module hotels, this is what it would look like. There is a small but modern bathroom, a wardrobe, a fridge, comfy bunk beds and end of the tube is all window, looking on to the small private garden, and beyond that, Lake Thun.
It is the position though that is really special. SwissTubes are 200m from the shore of the lake with stunning panoramic views of the surrounding mountains. The site is bordered by a protected nature reserve and the lovely Bonstetten Park. The lake at this shore was really shallow and although pretty chilly, the water was spectacularly clear. As I lounged by the lakes edge, I indulged in a bit of people watching. I spied on extended families barbequ-ing together, friends catching some rays, young children paddling, dogs with their owners taking a stroll, and everyone looked jolly pleased with themselves.
If like me you are sensitive to early morning sunlight, be prepared to be woken up early. Also there is heating but there is no air conditioning. It was 26 degrees when we were there and it was cool enough to sleep, but any hotter might be a bit sticky. Thankfully though the tubes are well soundproofed, we could hear nothing from our neighbouring Tuber or from the tube above.
A few meters away from SwissTubes is the campsite shop, playground and also a restaurant, which is open all day, every day. It’s a schnitzel and fries kind of place, but if you can open your heart to the deep fat fryer, it is rather good.
Since moving to Geneva I have been lazy about exploring the sights of Switzerland, I’ve even been heard to say it is on my senior citizen itinerary. So this SwissTubes vacation forced me to explore the area around Interlaken whilst I still have my own hips, and for that I am grateful. We visited Lauterbrunnen, Grindelwald and also St Beatus Caves. I would have liked to have visited Wengen and also try the Jungfraubahn cog railway but we didn’t have the time. Hands up, I admit I underestimated the beauty of this area. I even had one of those moments when I thought wow, we are TRULY lucky to be living here.
Need to Pack – Duvet Covers, Pillow Cases, Mosquito Spray, Table Tennis Set, Football, Badminton Racquets, etc., Beach Towels, Hairdryer, Bottle Opener, Wine and Glasses.
No Need to Pack – Towels, Toilet Paper, Sheets, Pillows, Duvets or a Torch.
SwissTubes are situated at Gwatt, on Lake Thun, which is 2 hours drive from Geneva. Rates start at 120chf per tube per night. For further information visit http://www.swisstubes.ch.