Plenty of fans of Sherlock-Holmes are coming to Meiringen, in the east of Berner Alpen, simply in order to see the only existing replika of the home of Mr. Holmes :
Meiringen is a must for all fans of Sherlock Holmes : In der very centre of Meiringen you may see the world's first authentic replica of the living-room of Sherlock Holmes in Bakerstreet 221b. This replica was made according to the exlanations, given in the books and it includes all the small details beeing mentioned there. This room is shown in a small museum that includes plenty of other interesting Holmes-souvenirs, letters that were sent from all over the world to "Sherlock Holmes, Bakerstreet, London" etc.etc.etc.
You really might get the feeling, Holmes was a real person, how else could they show his private things there...
The Sherlock-Holmes-museum is next to Parkhotel du Sauvage
inside a small wooden church and is open
May-September : Tue-Sun 01.30-06.00p.m.
October-April: 04.30p.m. - 06.00p.m.
postal adress: CH-3860 Meiringen c/o Parkhotel du Sauvage
Tschäggätä Tradition in the Lötschental
The word Tschäggätä refers to the piebald costumes worn at this carnival custom in the Lötschental (canton Valais). The unmarried young men wander through the villages in old clothes turned inside out, sheep or goatskin tunics, a cowbell on a leather belt, a colourfully painted wooden mask, coarse gloves and shoes wrapped in sacking. During the carnival period, the terrifying masked figures roam the streets roaring and clanging their bells.
Although the more spiritual of the inhabitants have tried again and again to forbid the noisy custom, it continues to live on. However, the monsters have given up the practice of spraying young girls with manure and emptying sacks of ashes over them.
The men taking part in the custom start their normal working days earlier during the carnival period so that they will have enough time to join in the noisemaking in the late afternoon. In particular, the masked figures go to find the unmarried girls who have banded together in some cosy spot.
On Carnival Saturday there’s a procession, a masked ball and an awards ceremony for the best masks. The latter event has led to a competition among the mask carvers.
LOWA-Testcentre is an excellent place to test new mountain-boots for a whole day, before you buy them. This shop and renting-station for hiking-boots is inside the top-station of Schynigge Platte-bahn and you may choose a pair of mountain-boots there, leave back your Manolo Blahniks and test the mountain-boots before you will eventually buy them !! You may test them the whole day and return them in case you don't like them.
Test LOWA-mountain-boots the whole day
between may and October between 10.00a.m. and 05.00p.m.
AND in case that you decide to buy these boots, you will be given a special present :
A dayticket for the trains from Grindelwald - Kl.Scheidegg - Eigergletscher (NOT to Jungfraujoch !!) and back to Lauternbrunnen
Sorry I have no idea about the price, I made a hike from Schynigge Platte to First and did not return to the shop, so I could not try out that offer !!
Meiringen has a small museum about local customs, costumes, furniture etc. inside that lovely old wooden house next to the old church and the Campanile / belfry of Meiringen. Haslital is the local name of the valley around Meiringen and in the Hasli- & Naturmuseum Meiringen you may see plenty of exhibits about the life in the valley and in the alps high above it. There are also 150 different birds shown in the museum - a good chance to see rare birds from a short distance !
The museum is open daily 03.00-06.00p.m.
July&August also Monday-Friday 07.00-09.00p.m.
FREE entrance, But donations are welcome !!
All of the village of Meiringen is pretty much Sherlock-Holmes-orientaded. So you may find many street-names refering to his books. It might be a funny idea for a rainy day to search for these places. Although Sherlok Holmes did never live in reality, in Meiringen you may see the place, where he died and you may see his monument at the main-square of Meiringen, that is also called Conan-Doyle-Place. The monument was made by John Doubleday in 1988 and at many places on the monument you may find engravings and marks, giving 60 hints, that may help you to solve 60 Sherlock-Holmes-cases...
It is ment for the members of the more than 200 Sherlock-Holmes-societies, who meet quite often in Meiringen - you may see pics of them at Reichenbachfall and other places.
The monument for Sherlock Holmes is close to the Sherlock-Holmes-museum, next to Parkhotel du Sauvage, in the very centre of Meiringen.
Berner Alpen is not only a place for fans of James Bond, also fans of Sherlock-Holmes may find traces and great informations about their idol here in the small village of Meiringen, at the east-end of Berner Alpen.
There are lots of activities for Sherlock-Holmes-Fans in and around Meiringen. Every year there are "pilgrimages" of Sherlock-Holmes-societies from places all over the world and they come to Meiringen in their costumes, visiting all the important places in that area.
See the pics, that I saw in a window at the station of Reichbachfall-funicular.
In Hotel du Sauvage you may attend a 4-course-menu and have to solve a murder-mystery togeather with other guests and some actors.
Learn more about Sherlock Holmes at :
The Sherlock-Holmes-Society in London
and you may click here in order to see another Sherlock Holmes museum in Switzerland, close to Geneve
The Sherlock-Holmes-Museum in Lucens
When tasting delicious merinques you might have asked yourself, where they came from and got that un-usual name. In Meiringen, in the east of Berner Alpen you might find the answer to these questions:
Merinques is a special kind of desert, that originated in Meiringen and of course you may get it all over Switzerland and many places of Europe today. In 1600 A.D. a confectioner named Gasparini invented that crispy pastry that consists mainly of beaten egg-white, a lot of sugar and maybe some extra flavors. The merinque will then be put in the oven untill it gets dry and crispy.
When you order Merinque in a restaurant it will be served with a lot of whipped cream and mostly it is hard to tell, what is the merinque and what is the cream.
Merinque is upon request also served in combination with chestnut-mousse and/or icecream or fresh fruits. I am ot a real fan of Merinque so I did not taste it at my last visit in Meiringen.
For the Guinness-book-of-records the world's biggest merinque was produced 1985 in Meiringen : 2,5 meters long, 1,5 meters wide and 1 meter high
Every year at the end of the summer you may watch a special event in most of the villages in the Berner Alpen. Almabtrieb is the event , when the local farmers take down their cows from the alps, where they had stayed during all of the summertime. I was lucky to see such a small Almabtrieb, when I had been in Meiringen at the end of October 2005. See my photographs : the first in the procession was a police-car, that directed all cars to stop as far as possible at the side of the street, leaving the main-space for the cows and the farmers family, who directed the cows towards their home-stables. All of the cows were decorated with giant bells and other decorations.
When-ever you are in Switzerland, check the local newspapers or ask at the tourist-office - some of these events will be posted there and will be big festivities with hundreds of cows, traditional folk-music etc.
In many parts of the world it is dangerous to drink the water out of the faucet, but all over the Berner Alpen the best drinkable water could be found in the mountains, at all of the small wells that you will see all over Switzerland !
Just bring one of these light PET-bottles and fill them up when-ever you see one of these wells, the water comes freshly out of the mountains and tastes really great. Of course you may buy bottled water also in the supermarkets and in machines at all of the stations, but the price is at least 2 sfr / 1,50 euros for half a liter and the taste is not really special compared to the fresh mountain-water you may get for free.
b.t.w. the water is also always quite cool, like it would come out of the fridge.
It used to be a tradition in Interlaken that during summer you may see the James-Bond movie "In her Majesty's Service" in the afternoon of a rainy day at least once a week in one of the 2 cinemas in Interlaken and it might be a good idea to see that movie again before you take the cablecar to Schilthorn.
Fans of James Bond should also not miss the James-Bond decorations at the souvenir-shop on top of Schilthorn. These graffities are a bit hidden behind the small self-service-bar in the back of the souvenir-shop. Great memories of the movie "In her majesty's service" are coming back, when seeing these graffities. In that movie Piz Gloria is something like a beauty-farm, where the most beautiful girls were educated and got a fragrence as a souvenir at the end of their stay. That fragrance included a poison that would bring danger to the world... but of course James solves all of the problems.
This souvenir-shop is at the same level as the helicopter-platform, you cannot miss it !
In Schloss Oberhofen there is an old ledgend that you will have big luck, when you touch the mermaid's belly. This lovely mermaid is part of the chandelier inside Seetuermchen, the small tower of Schloss Oberhofen that was built in the lake. That chandlier looks really nice and it is still operated by candles, giving light to the small room in the tower. Such mermaids were quite common as a part of chandeliers in the 18th and 19th century.
Another funny chandelier is the one on my last picture : It is out of a children's room , where you may see great toys for the royal children: knights, cannons, trains etc.
Since I went on this trip with my choir, we had a concert at the old church in Ringgenberg - wonderful church and a lovely audience!
At the end we not only got applause, but the mayor of Ringgenberg also gave us a chronic of his hometown - what a precious present!
Oli explaining the total eclipse of the sun with a plate and a giant Croissant (Mega-Gipfeli)