Mediaeval Thun and its beautiful lake in the Interlaken region of Switzerland was the first goal of our third day in Switzerland and this day proved just why a First Class Swiss Transport Pass is the way to go. To begin the day we took an intercity express train from Zurich via Berne to Thun. It’s a longish journey made more comfortable by first class seats upstairs with plenty of leg room and great views of the countryside. First class on trains is good!
Added to that we had the company of a delightful Swiss lady fellow traveller, Monica, and her 88 year old Mother. They were on a trip down memory lane, too. Monica was able to fill us in on a lot of what is going on in Switzerland today – especially on the numbers of wealthy German and Austrian people moving to Switzerland because of the world economic downturn and the EU crisis. This is forcing up housing and land prices in Switzerland and is beginning to have a real impact on ordinary Swiss folks, especially the young people.
We arrived in Thun with an hour to spare before our schiff departed to cruise down the lake. We had to choose – a walk in the old town – turn left; or a walk beside the river -turn right. We chose the quiet walk by the river. Water from the Lake of Thun – the Thunersee – rushes through a weir into the Aar River at Thun.
There are many photos of Thun on the Images section of Google, so I have just added photos of our experience.
The river here looked placid enough but it was far from placid for these little chicks. It was hard work.
The information below is from the web site http://www.paddlesteamers.info which claims to be ‘the Internet’s leading database of Paddle Steamers past and present’.
Lake Thun’s Paddle Steamer, PS Blumlisalp dates from 1906 but,after withdrawal in 1971, it seemed that the era of the paddler had come to an end on Lake Thun. An unprecedented preservation and, ultimately, restoration project by enthusiasts with significant public support, saw Blumlisalp reenter service in 1992. She is owned by preservationists but operated by her original owners the BSL who maintain ownership of the motor vessel fleet. (The BLS is the Bern-Lotschberg-Simplon Railway, which also operates the local railway services). The recent major renovation was paid for by the preservationist group with financial support from the BSL. (Long may she sail! JT)
Our Motor Schiff, the Berner Oberlander, also moored in the canal, was almost ready to sail, so we joined the queue to embark for our cruise down the length of the lovely lake, the Thunersee.
More of that cruise anon. J and A
Photography © JT of jtdytravels