After only a few days aimlessly strolling down the backroads of Interlaken, Switzerland, drifting along the Aare River and sampling the “finest” of authentic Swiss cheese fondues, it was already time to move on. Times at Interlaken’s Happy Inn Lodge were good but the picturesque Lauterbrunnen valley had called, and we were hopelessly looking forward to answering.
On what ended up being one of our rainiest days in Switzerland, we happily splashed on towards the train station, somehow managing to avoid all the overpriced Swiss army knife souvenirs, gourmet chocolates and most of the cheeses along the way.
Upon buying tickets for the next train, we walked over to join the others who were also trying to get out of this rainy town. There were hand-holding couples, a small number of work folk, a trio of cackling ladies and a decent-sized crowd of small children and teens waiting on the platform.
At first glance, one would assume this whole group to be completely harmless; all simply connected by their shared intention of hopping on the next train that came by. However, having been warned (mostly via media) of the dangers of devious gypsies and their children, one may be advisably willed to speculate otherwise.
In the warning sections of travel magazines and internet articles, it is well known that gypsies often successfully attempt to distract and take advantage of travelling backpackers especially; mostly because we stick out like an unknowledgeable foreign sore thumb. As our 50+ liter backpacks gave us away that day, we unconsciously took a few extra precautions to secure our gear and avoid leaving anything important easily accessible. Practically sitting on our packs, for comfort as well as peace of mind, it appeared as though our efforts were going to pay off.
In reality, those kids were probably just part of a church or summer camp, as they were following about five camp-counselor-looking adults, without mischievous intentions of robbing us of all our innocent traveling necessities. Though, thanks to the travel books and internet insights, we got to be the ones to absently rob them of their childish innocence, exposing and denying them their possible attempts at ill-willed thievery.
No matter, in the end, we made it aboard when the whistle blew, and fortunately remained free of any distressing gypsy encounters.