A Sunday Drive

One of the lovely country lanes that we drove today
One of the lovely country lanes that we drove today

I had to take a photo at this little bridge!I had to take a photo at this little bridge!

Lake BrienzLake Brienz

Defender at the overlookDefender at the overlook

Hostel at Gimmerwald
Hostel at Gimmerwald

View from a lookout on the A8 road

Hairpin turns are becoming part of everyday driving on this trip, but today we found ourselves descending a spiral that ran through a tunnel. The image of the road on the GPS looked like it was tied in knots!

We’d set off late in the morning, heading for the Stechelberg cable car station for a visit to Gimmelwald. We expected the drive to take about 1 hour and 40 minutes, but it ended up taking quite a bit longer, thanks to my frequent photo stops and a long lunch break.

The woman in the GPS seems to take us on some unusual back-roads but I was glad she did today. We found ourselves on some wonderfully scenic narrow roads with hardly another car in sight. And the little covered bridge was a nice treat! Not long after the pleasant country roads, we found ourselves on the A8 heading towards Interlaken. It was the A8 that had many tight curves, hairpins, and that corkscrew descent through a tunnel. Pretty amazing for a Sunday drive out.

The A8 brought us along the shore of Lake Brienz and the small town of Brienz. It was already past 1.00pm, so we decided to stop for lunch. We scouted the available restaurants and settled for the Weisses Krenz Hotel and Restaurant that overlooks the lake. It was an inspired choice, as their vegetarian dishes were tasty and well presented.

It was after 3.00pm when we left the restaurant and resumed our journey toward Stechelberg. The cable car goes to the top of the Schilthorn mountain, where the revolving restaurant featured in a James Bond movie. However, at a cost of 96 francs each for the return trip, we were not too keen. Instead, we settled for the 12 Francs ride to Gimmelwald, the first stop and the village that we had come to see.

I had read about Gimmelwald in Rick Steeves’ book ‘Europe through the back door’ and wanted to take a look. The villagers of Gimmelwald still farm the way their ancestors did and have managed to keep the developers at bay by having the village declared an avalanche zone. This little hamlet seems somewhat isolated from the rest of the country, save for some back-packers hostels. It was nice to pay a quick visit and to leave with some nice photos.

After the brief visit to Gimmelwald, we retraced our route, back through Brienz, the A8 and the lovely country lanes. Back to Engelberg for our final night.

Tomorrow, we head east to another part of Switzerland.

(despite my best efforts, the blog software will only take six photos)

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