One Week in Wengen – Aare Gorge
On the second full day of our One Week in Wengen, overcast weather was forecasted. So, we decided to visit Aare Gorge. The trains took just under two hours to reach the Aare Gorge from Wengen with typically quick Swiss rail transfers in Lauterbrunnen, Interlaken and Meiringen.
Aare Gorge, Eastern Descent
One of the most unusual parts of this day trip is the arrival at the Aareschlucht Ost train stop, which is located in a tunnel. This train stop for the Aare Gorge is by request only. When you hit the stop button, the train stops in the tunnel. Then you will find an exit button at a steel door on the train platform. The door slides open to let you out of the tunnel. From there you cross a foot bridge over the River Aare and climb a hillside trail to the Aare Gorge entrance.
Aare Gorge East, Train Tunnel Entrance
The Aare Gorge is an interesting experience. At the start, the walkway is suspended over the river as you follow it downstream. The gorge then narrows to only a few feet with tunnels and short paths over the river to enjoy. Eventually you come out at Aareschluct West where you catch the train again. You can also do the entire route in reverse if you want.
Aare Gorge Narrows, Aareschlucht
One Week in Wengen – Thun
By the time we finished the Aare Gorge, the sun had come out. With the Berner Oberland Pass, the options were almost endless. We could visit Giessbach and Istlewald on a steam boat, head to Harder Kulm for lunch or head past Interlaken to Spiez. With the great train connections from Brienz, we quickly found ourselves all the way at the end of Lake Thun in the sunshine at the village of Thun. We wandered over the quaint and historic bridges in Thun, through the old town, up to the castle and to the viewpoint at the church.
Thun Village, Wooden Weir
Lake Thun Cruise
At the train station after our visit to Thun, we noticed a boat cruise leaving across the street. So, we took the boat on a 2 hour cruise all the way back to Interlaken. The cruise passes several castles along the way including Schloss Shadau, Hunegg, Oberhofen and Spiez. From Interlaken we took our standard two train rides back to Wengen. At dinner time we enjoyed thunder, lightning and a heavy downpour to celebrate another over-the-top, successful day.
Oberhofen Castle, Lake Thun
On the third day of our One Week in Wengen, the forecast was for sunny periods in the morning. We took a very empty early morning train from Wengen to Kleine Scheidegg. This route was impressive. You get lovely views of Wengen, the Lauterbrunnen Valley and Murren on the way up. Then the train line passes along the base of the north face of the Eiger, Monch and Jungfrau peaks.
Eiger & Monch from Train near Kleine Scheidegg
At Kleine Scheidegg the early morning air was crisp and the absence of tourists made the small train station feel like an intimate part of the alpine peaks. A glimpse toward Schnyge Platte let us know it was likely a good choice for a visit this morning too. So, we took the next train back down past Wengen to Lauterbrunnen. From there we transferred to Wilderswil and caught the next cog train ride up to Schynige Platte.
Schynige Platte Summit Station
One Week in Wengen – Schynige Platte
The cog train ride to Schynige Platte takes almost as long as the Brienzer Rothorn, but not being a steam train made the ride so much quieter and enjoyable. Clouds and fog formed in the mountain valleys as we rode up, but Schynige Platte and Lake Brienz remained in bright sunshine.
Lake Brienz from Schynige Platte
At the Schynige Platte station the Jungfrau was glistening brightly, while the tips of the Eiger and Monch were barely visible. Clouds kept swirling up the valley to change the views. As the train arrived, two men in traditional German outfits began playing alpenhorns. The sound of the horns combined with the fog to make a magical experience.