Swiss Steam and Scenery

22 July 2019

Our next Brienz exploration involved the Brienzer Rothorn Bahn, the steam railway that goes up the highest mountain in the Emmental Alps, the Brienzer Rothorn (2351m7713ft), from the lakeside to 2244m leaving just the last 350ft to the summit to walk. It was a lovely journey up with great views of the turquoise lake below and our campsite at it’s foot.

We passed farmers turning and gathering their hay, and higher up the livestock sheds and the cows munching on their high pasture, their bells audible even above the chugging of the steam engine. The rack and pinnion mechanism of the railway was certainly needed given how steep it was. 

The views from the top allowed us to see where we had come into Brienz from over the Grimsel Pass, and as it was clear we could see across the lake, in the distance, the peaks of the Jungfrau, Mönch and Eiger. 

Eiger, Mönch & Jungfrau

We had decided to stretch our legs out and walk the 3,000 feet downhill to the station at Planalp. The wildflowers were gorgeous

and they, the cows and the views were a welcome distraction on what turned out to be a very steep path at times. Danny was being careful with his knee and Kate’s knee went after an hour which made taking things slow an imperative – walking down a hill

The train down generated a gentle but welcome breeze in the heat of the afternoon and we cycled back to camp and went straight down to the Lakeside for a lovely cooling dip. We do prefer sand under our feet but when it’s hot you take what is there!

This was our 22nd anniversary of getting together, and we celebrated with an anniversary meal at the campsite restaurant. Danny had his first taste of rosti, which he loved – well he is Irish and it is potato – and we treated ourselves to a bottle of Swiss red wine, the only one we bought in our time in Swizerland. We finished with a stroll to the edge of the lake but actually we were knackered after all the fresh air and just wanted an early night.