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We spent a long weekend in Interlaken towards the end of summer. The plan was to visit the world famous Jungfrau but for that altitude, it requires a clear and cloudless sky. Otherwise, the visibility is effectively zero. At the tourist office, they told us the weather on the first two days were not good but the last day would be fine. They recommended taking a cruise on Lake Thun on the cloudy days.

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That’s the reason Interlaken is such a popular resort – even if the weather  is not cooperating, the city provides an attractive alternative.

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A ferry service has been operating since 1835. We were on one of their larger and newer ship – MS Bernese Oberland – see pictures of their fleet here. The cruise runs back and forth between Interlaken and Thun.

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We embarked the ship at Interlaken port – right next to the Interlaken West railway station (an international train station – we saw many German trains). A ship canal connects the port to the lake.

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Thunersee (in native Swiss German) takes its name from the town of Thun on its Northern shore. Thunersee was a part of Brienzersee (Lake Brienz) until the deposited silt piled up so much that split the lake into two.

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The cruise made 10 stops on both sides of the lake, before reaching Thun. The first stop was Neuhaus.

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There are sheer cliffs on the north side of the lake near Interlaken. See the road that is really a “bridge” built onto the side of the cliff.

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At a few spots, the winding road becomes a short tunnel.

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There are lots to do (hiking, water-sports) along the rim of the lake, But it is definitely wilder on the Interlaken end of the lake. This stop – Beatenbucht – next to the station of a funicular – Beatenberg – Niederhorn – takes one from the lake shore to the start of many hiking trails at around 2000 m.

thunersee-8It was windy in the afternoon – perfect for this water sport.

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Merligen

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After stopping at Merligen which is half way on the North shore, the cruise crossed the lake and stopped at Faulensee on the South shore. Looking back at Merligen, one can see the steep meadows just behind the town and the mountains on both sides. It might be too small to see it on the photo – next to the clouds, there is a communication tower at the peak of the mountain on the right.

thunersee-11To be continued …

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One Comment

  1. Hi Chris & Sue, enjoyed the pics…talk soon I hope.
    David S.


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