I am an avid map reader. I can spend hours poring over a map of a destination I plan to visit. Give me a map and I can find my way to anywhere – I’m like a homing pigeon where directions are concerned. So when I consulted maps of Interlaken and its surrounding Bernese Oberland, I was surprised to discover that they seriously confused me. I finally figured out why – they were all upside down. Unlike in the United States, where all our maps are oriented with north at the top of the sheet, in Switzerland the maps all seem to use the Alps as their orientation. Thus all the maps of the Interlaken area show the Alps at the top with Interlaken at the bottom, even though the Alps are to the south of Interlaken. This is the case even in the train, where the route map is printed on a small table beneath each window – if you are following the station stops as the train travels along the route, you have to follow from the bottom to the top, even though you are traveling north to south. That also means that the two lakes between which Interlaken lies are reversed on the map, with Lake Brienz (which s actually to the east of Interlaken) shown on the left-hand side of the map, and Lake Thun (which is to the west of Interlaken) shown on the right-hand side of the map. It took me a while to get oriented.