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Maggie's first report from Bernese Oberland 2016

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701 posts
top member
Jul 31, 2016 - 2:14 PM

Hi everyone,

We are just over half way through our time in Thun. So time to tell you about some of the things we have been doing. We have found the weather a bit frustrating in some ways as by the time we reach a destination, it can be either too hot to be comfortable or it decides to rain! However we have been on a few interesting trips and are just going with the flow!

The first couple of days involved settling in, visiting our friend Gabriela Schild’s shop in Interlaken, cruising on the lake (Thunersee), some shopping and some essential washing.

Having already travelled on the Bernina Express and Glacier Express in our first week, we have now done both parts of the Lucerne-Montreux route!

We went first on the Thun to Montreux route via Zweisimmen – it is a very pretty ride if less spectacular than BEX and GEX and we enjoyed the trip, though it was one of the days when the rain came when we got there. So we had to satisfy ourselves with a short slightly damp stroll beside the lake and a stop for ice-cream. (We had taken sandwiches to eat on the train for lunch.) We returned a different way via Lausanne and Bern.

The next day we decided to go to Lucerne – we chose to travel there via Bern then through the Emmental via Langnau – by the time we reached Lucerne it was stiflingly hot and humid! We headed for a small riverside café we had liked on a previous visit only to find it had expanded hugely and become very expensive so we went looking elsewhere and found a small place on the other side of the river more to our taste. We explored the old town a little though it was a bit uncomfortable in the heat. We returned to Thun on the Luzern-Interlaken Express as we enjoy that route along the lakes and over the Brünig Pass. I remembered to watch out for the animal carvings alongside the train going down towards Meiringen.

The weather forecast for the next day was also somewhat mixed but we decided to go to Schynige Platte (now covered by Swiss Travel Pass) anyway and risk it. Train to Interlaken West, bus to Wilderswil then the lovely cog-wheel ride up to the top. We enjoyed a nice lunch, bought a few presents to take home and as the weather appeared to be about to change, decided not to go round the Alpine Garden (we have done this a couple of times before) and headed back down. By the early evening heavy rain and thunderstorm set in!

A really wet day followed so we didn’t venture out!

Despite another less than promising weather forecast promising to be very hot and possibly wet, we set off next day to visit Brienzer Rothorn. We went using buses and trains to Sörenberg to take the gondola to the top. As the gondola rose up the mountain, the clouds rolled up too, engulfing us completely! The gondola top station is right by the restaurant so as there were no views to be seen, we decided to have our lunch first – a wise decision as there was almost as soon as we started eating, a terrific hailstorm outside! So much for the very hot part of the forecast we had gone up high to avoid! It stopped hailing briefly so we started to walk down the path to the train but it started again just after we set off! Fortunately we could take shelter while waiting for the next train down to Brienz and the clouds lifted sufficiently for us to enjoy the scenery on the way down to Brienz. There was a boat due so as it was still quite early we took a cruise back to Interlaken. More rain and a rainbow over the lake! An interesting day despite the damp state we arrived back in!

We wanted to go somewhere we hadn’t been to before, so next day we went to Zug (Mike was intrigued by a place called “train”). We went via Lucerne as changing trains there is easier than in Zurich. Our aim was to take a round trip on the lake (Zugersee) and we found our way easily enough to the correct place to board. We enjoyed the cruise very much but wished we had taken a packed lunch with us as unlike other cruises we have done (and they are many!) the only food on offer was a full meal and expensive at that – no snacks or sandwiches. After we disembarked we found a little kiosk selling lovely home-made ice-cream and the local specialty – a cherry tart. We didn’t really have enough time to explore the old town and it had become very hot again so after walking back towards the station, we found a lovely café for a snack and drink then returned to Thun, again via Lucerne and the Luzern-Interlaken Express.

Didn’t venture out next day as a) we overslept, b) it was extremely hot! So uploaded some photos and had lazy day.

Next day again promised hot afternoon so decided to go where I know there is a cooling breeze! By bus, funicular and gondola to Niederhorn. It was pleasant up there, nice restaurant, nice views and a cool breeze. Mike went for a walk and was pleased to be able to get some cine-film and still shots of steinbock. Unfortunately the cool breeze turned cold and the rains came again, so we went down to Beatenberg by gondola and then took bus to Interlaken West and a bus back to Thun.

We woke this morning to the predicted rain which is supposed to happen all day but hasn’t! But I think it will return soon by the look of the sky! Indeed just as I finished resizing some photos down came the rain accompanied by thunder and lightning!

Signing off for now,

Maggie and Mike.

7567 posts
Jul 31, 2016 - 8:37 PM in reply to maggiehorswell

Hi Maggie-

Hard to control the weather.

Did you consider the Rhonetal? It can also be hot on the north wall (where the BLS Südrampe trail runs from Hohtenn all the way to Brig), but is often dry, and the weather is often different from the rest of Switzerland.

We've had times like those you describe, and have settled on September for a better probability of good weather.


7104 posts
expert &
Aug 1, 2016 - 8:44 AM in reply to maggiehorswell

Hi Maggie!

Thanks for your detailed trip report! Good to hear you're back in Thun and enjoying your time in your beloved Bernese Oberland. Too bad weather doesn't seem to be cooperating that well. The combination of heat and showers isn't really pleasant and I can imagine it's a bit hard to succesfully plan your trips. The sudden showers you've experienced, just as well as predicted rain staying away for a whole day, once again proves how unreliable both weather and weather forecasts in the Alps can be. Unfortunately there are no guarantees in any season. I'm glad you've been having clear and sunny moments too, judging from your pretty pictures of the Zugersee and the Niederhorn! Zug is a really charming town by the way, and exploring the old town center can definitely be recommended. Maybe you're up for a second trip to Zug to take a bit more time there, but I'm sure you won't get bored as there are so many (new or well-known) day trips to choose from. Good thing that your Swiss Travel Passes can get you anywhere you like. I hope the both of you will enjoy the rest of your stay in Thun, and I'll keep my fingers crossed for good weather!

By the way, happy 1. August! Will you be joining any festivities today?

701 posts
top member
Aug 1, 2016 - 9:21 AM in reply to Annika

Hi Annika

Yes, we have been invited by our hosts to join them for dinner this evening in the garden - should be fun - our bi-lingual conversations are always fun!

We would like to go back to Zug to visit the old town and the journey there from Thun was easy to do - it would be a good option for a dry but cloudy day!


118 posts
active member
Aug 1, 2016 - 11:42 AM in reply to maggiehorswell

Thank you for the review. It sounds like so many of our recent trips as to the weather. Switzerland is so enjoyable regardless of the weather. Loved the photos.

7567 posts
Aug 1, 2016 - 12:52 PM in reply to maggiehorswell
Last modified on Aug 1, 2016 - 12:59 PM by Slowpoke


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