Bernese Oberland 2017 part 2.
July 31st Monday.
Slept a bit late and I wasn’t feeling great so had a rest day. I spent some time resizing some photos to send off with St. Moritz emails. Mainly relaxing and resting a sore foot! Mike went off to explore Delemont and Pontpuerry, he took some photos of buildings – he said it was very hot while he was there. Weather seems to be alternating between too hot and too wet!
August 1st Tuesday. I was still not at my best – tummy this time! Mike went on the boat to Interlakenwhere he visited Gabriela and Felix at their shop. They sent me a little gift and a get-well card! He then filmed some of the National Day Parade. There were fire-works going off round the village all day! There was another sudden storm around tea-time, otherwise hot all day. Had microwave meals for tea again!
August 2nd Wednesday. Feeling better so able to do planned trip. Train at 10.13 to Bern to catch 11.00 a.m. to Lucerne – it was 8 minutes late “because of animals on the line between Lausanne and Fribourg”! So we missed the connection to Zug – caught slower S-Bahn instead. Then we got bus no. 11 to Schönegg-Zugerberg – the funicular up Zug’s “home mountain”. The lady in the ticket office didn't recognize our Swiss Travel pass and asked if it was a half-price pass so charged us that. She had another look at it and I said it was like a tourist version of Swiss citizens’ AG pass so she went off to ask the bus driver if that meant the funicular was free – he said it was so she gave us our money back! We had a really superb meal in the restaurant at the top of the funicular – best so far! There were lots of trails to choose from at the top and good views over Zugersee. Mike decided to try the sculpture trail which was a round trail so got him back to funicular – I think it was a bit longer than he expected and it was very hot. I was tempted again by a sale in a clothes shop in Zug on our way back to station! Returning, the train from Lucerne left late because of a technical problem with a coach so our 12 minute connection time in Bern was cut to 2! The S-Bahn we wanted was also running late by 3 minutes so we made it by skin of our teeth! A great day out despite the heat!
August 3rd Thursday. Not our best planned day! Overslept after yesterday’s exertions so our travel connections weren’t as good as planned! Train to Thun, bus to Interlaken West, bus to Wilderswil, train to Schynige Platte. (Some pretty irritating fellow passengers in our compartment!) Despite altitude it was still hot. Took some photos though it was a bit too hazy for good definition, then went to restaurant to eat. Ordered a macaroni dish but it was so overcooked I couldn’t get my fork in the pasta never mind chew it so sent it back – the waiter said he would take it away and bring it back though it was in my mind beyond rescue! I asked if I could have something different (in case a 2nd offering was same!) which when it came was fine – a very tasty sausage but the rösti got cold very quickly so I was still not entirely happy! Mike however enjoyed his fish dish! We decided it was too hot to walk around the Alpine Garden and we have done it a couple of times before taking loads of photos, so we decided to go back down and go to see Gabriela and Felix in Interlaken. I bought Mike one of her special creations for our Wedding Anniversary. Trains back and did some laundry as it was quite early.
August 4th Friday. We had planned Pilatus for today but neither of is felt great when we got up so decided on a rest day. Mike did a bit of shopping while I uploaded his photos from car rally etc. Quiet day. Mike went for short walk up the hill to look at the local church we can hear chiming the hour.
August 5th Saturday. Read about construction work between Bern and Olten over weekend causing delays and changes to connections in timetable (remember I asked you about that Lucas? All the timetable and connections had been changed from normal) so to avoid all that, the lakes were our choice of destination. Trains first to Brienz where we planned to have lunch, but we spotted a bus at the station ready to leave for Axalp so thought we might have lunch up there instead. When we got there we found the 2 places to eat we knew about were closed, there was a 3 hour gap before next bus down so we went straight back down again! Spotted a new small café just as we set off but 3 hour wait if we didn’t go walking was too long anyway. We enjoyed the ride up and down though as the views are great and the skill of the driver on the switch-back twists and turns to be admired and his use of warning horn great fun – he had right-of-way so lots of drivers having to perform tricky reversing maneuvers! Had nice lunch eventually in Brienz then got boat back to Interlaken Ost and after ice-cream at the boat station, another one from Interlaken West to Thun. Nice relaxed day out. Weather on the boat trips was very threatening so got some atmospheric photos of stormy skies!
August 6th Sunday. Planned to go St. Peter’s Insel but woke to rain and a painful leg! Medication has been causing my ankles and knees to swell up quite a bit so the lack of flexibility when walking slows me up and causes strain in calves etc. – have to ration amount of walking I do. Mike went to Thun to do a bit of shopping as local Co-op closed on Sundays (it is only 7 mins to Thun by train and there is a Co-op opposite the station and another in station). He also found open a small local shop in Uetendorf we wish we had known about before as he found some nice home-made quiches and other goodies! It brightened up a bit later but too late to go anywhere.
August 7th Monday. Weather forecast for today was good. Pilatus our choice of excursion (especially since this year it is covered by Swiss Travel Pass!). Up nice and early to catch 9.15 to Bern and the 10.00 a.m. to Lucerne. Arrived at Alpnachstad at about 11.45 but it was hugely busy and next train up we could get was the 13.45! To be fair they had everything really well organized by issuing different coloured tickets for each available train so you didn’t need to queue for the whole waiting time. (Obviously lots of people taking advantage of free ride and best day’s weather for a while) So we had a nice early lunch in the restaurant while waiting. My favourite soup – barley soup with slices of sausage. The ride up to the top by cogwheel train is spectacular and I was able to take some pictures on the way. It was a bright sunny day but with a comfortable temperature and views were terrific though a bit too hazy for good photos. We stayed up there for a couple of hours, Mike did a short walk. We returned via cable car and gondola to Kriens, then a short walk to a trolley bus ride back to Lucerne. Decided to take pretty route back via Meiringen instead of quick route via Bern. A very satisfactory day out.
August 8th Tuesday. Heavy rain! So decided to use time wisely by doing bulk of the packing as it is a complicated business working out what to put in hold luggage and how much cases will weigh! Mike did a little bit of shopping. I wrote up Bernese Oberland reports ready to send off as emails but photos still need resizing so might have to wait to send them.
August 9th Wednesday. Couldn’t go far today as had to take cases to station later. So we decided to go to Thun then by bus to Oberhofen to enjoy lunch in our favourite little café there. (you asked me last year what it’s name is Annika so I made note! Confiserie tea-room Berger.) We sat by the lake for a while first then had lunch – very tasty beautifully cooked ham omelette - before returning to the apartment to finish off the packing. Our hostess Esther kindly drove us to the station in Thun so that we could check the cases in and get our boarding passes for the flight next day. Because we fly with Swiss air we can send cases ahead in this way and pick them up in Birmingham!
August 10th Thursday. Rain! Put the rest of our stuff into our carry-on bags and tidied up. Esther came to say good-bye and bring us a gift of two lovely mugs and kindly dropped up us off by the Co-op where we bought sandwiches to eat on the train journey. No problems getting to the airport but we were ridiculously early! No problems with flight or getting back home from airport. Another Swiss adventure over – time to plan the next one?!
first group couple of pics from Delemont then our Zugerberg trip.
also the cow in neighbouring field! And a picture of a huge castle on a hill I am trying to identify! we keep passing it between Bern and Lucerne and I want to know where it is and can we get to it?!
PS I am going to write a general tips and hints post to follow these reports.