Niesen, is a Mountain overlooking Lake Thun that is known as the "Pyramid."
The Niesen funicular is located at Mulenen, and we were hoping to go up it.
Even though it was a nice, sunny day, one look at the Mountain, and we couldn't see the top for fog! No good for doing that!
The Mountain summit is 2362 metres.
DID YOU KNOW...........
Alongside the path of the Niesenbahn is the longest stairway in the world with 11,674 steps. It is open only once a year to the public for a stair run.
The Season runs from April to November, and the funicular departs half hourly, and when extra busy, every 15 minutes..
Departure is from 8am at Mulenen
An Adult return ticket is chf 51.
We just sat in the car and watched it, then went on our way1
A nice sunny day when we departed Thun, so we decided to try one of the back roads for some Mountain scenery.
The one we chose would have gone all the way to Kanderstag, which I had read was beautiful, but we chose to go only as far as Mulenen because of the time factor. The Mountain roads are to be taken slowly, especially if enjoying the scenery.
Right from the start, we had great scenery of farmland, snow capped Mountains, little Villages, and we met some local Cow's!
At Mulenen it was time to stop, before heading back.
A nice, scenic drive.
Located just 6kms from Thun, is the delightful little village of Einigen and its 10th century historic Church. Just a short detour off the main road.
The Church is set in a pretty position overlooking the Lake, probably why is is popular for weddings, what great photo's you would have! It is also a much visited pilgrim site, as it is the original mother Church of the twelve Churches of Lake Thun.
It was closed, but if open, there is a font dating to 1446 with the Bubenberg coats of arms, the baroque pulpit and a 1948 organ. A walk around the adjoining cemetery was interesting, and the views were lovely!
As you drive along the road, check out the lakeside house with all the saucepan's hanging, rather different!
Dorfstrasse, Einigen, Spiez 3646
Merligen is one of those villages on the northern shore of Lake Thun. It enjoys a sunny location with mild climate, protected from the cold northeastern wind. Down by the lake you find a few hotels and B&Bs, restaurants and shops. Further up the hill there are some alleys with local style older and newer houses (Chalet style) with the typical flower boxes.
Definitely walk up the few minutes to the church which was built in 1937 on top of a hill overlooking the lake and the village. Fantastic location. The interior is quite modern, with nice frescos and stained-glass windows.
What really puts Merligen on the map is the five star Hotel Beatus. It has a great spa, excellent restaurant and out-of-this-world terrace by the lake and the boat station. Not that I stayed there ... but I had coffee at their terrace. A must.
Gunten is the 2nd of the smaller villages of interest at the sunny northern bank of Thunersee. Gunten had stayed in my memory mainly for the great Hotel Hirschen that you may see in my 1st and my last picture. This traditional hotel is directely at the ship-landing-station, and it has plenty of rooms facing the Thuner See and the panorama of the alps including Eiger - Moench and Jungfrau in a distance. Prices are a bit cheaper there than in Interlaken and the village is less touristy, that is why lots of people choose Gunten as a base for their holidays in that area !
You may get to Gunten by ship, by bus (Thun - Beatenbucht - Interlaken) or with your private car of course !
Merligen is quite an unknown village at the northern bank of Thuner See. Nevertheless it is an interesting place to go for a day-excursion, maybe in connection with the castles of Huenibach and Oberhofen.
The village is full of lovely wooden houses and also an old palace, dating back to the 14th century : Schloss Ralligen, it is used as a guest-house today.
The largest hotel in Merligen is Hotel Beatus , you may see it at my first 3 pictures.
Neuhaus is just a small village of only a very few houses, one large hotel (Motel & Restaurant Neuhaus) and a giant campingsite at the north-east-end of Thuner See, in a distance of about 18 km from Thun.
Neuhaus is a perfect place for a quiet vacation, there is also the golf-course of the city of Interlaken, a natural-reserve-park and a public bathing-area including changing facilities and toilets.
You may get easily from Thun to Neuhaus eighter by bus ( Thun - Interlaken, that bus is driving along the north-bank of the lake ) or you may take the cruise-ship, Neuhaus will be the last stop before you get to Interlaken.
Neuhaus is also a great place to go paragliding !
Bern, the capital fo Switzerland is not more than just 22 minutes away by IC / Intercity-train and 30 minutes by ordinary trains, so it makes a perfect day-trip or even half a day it would be worth.
See my pictures and take also a look at my Bern-page :
1)The view of Bern from Rosengarten
2)Marktgasse, the main shopping-street with lovely arcades at both sides of the street, that will guarantee easy shopping also during snow and rain. Lovely fountains and in the back : Zytglocketurm
3) the townhall of Bern
4)Looking down from Bundesterrasse to the river Aare
5)The entrance of Berner Muenster, the cathedral of Bern, this church is really worth a visit !
Niesen is the most prominent mountain around Thuner See and you may recognize it easyly also from a long distance because of its typical shape like a pyramid.
A funicular will take you from Muehlenen to the top of Niesen for an exscellent panorama of Eiger - Moench - Jungfrau and a lot more peaks of 4000 meters hight.
Please click here for a panorama from Niesen
--- --- ---
Click here for the weather-forcast of Niesen !
--- --- ---
The funicular will run between May 5th and Nov. 11th (in 2007)
trains will run every half hour
Daily between 08.15a.m. and 06.00p.m.
Always at Wednesday, Friday & Saturday from july4th - Nov. 12th
there are additional tours till 07.45p.m. uphill
and at 11.15p.m. the last funicular down
The ticket Muelenen–Niesen Kulm–Muelenen is 47.–
the funicular is included in the Regionalpass Berner Oberland !
Free ride at your birthday !!!
Knabenschuetzenhaus was built in 1583 for the young boys, who wanted to learn how to shoot with crossbows. This tradition is still alive today but nowadays also girls are participating in the competitions. Every year at "Ausschiesset" ( at the end of September) they will shoot at a picture of Landvogt Gessler (the one of the Tell-Saga) and the winner of that crossbow-competition may take this picture home.
Knabenschuetzenhaus was restored in 1970 and you may see it in Bernstrasse, next to Hotel Emmental and the monument of Fulehung.
Spiez is quite a large town at the southern bank of Thuner See, in a distance of 10 km by train from Thun. Spiez is well known for its wine,a lovely castle and a romatic church that is a very popular place for marriages in Switzerland.
Don't miss to see the palace of Spiez also from inside, it is beautifully furnished and from the tower you will have an excellent view over the lake and the surrounding mountains. Next to the palace wine is grown and Spiez is also a popular place to go for a vacation, with plenty of great hotels by the lake, but it is a lot more quiet than Interlaken. Visiting the palace of Spiez is easiest, when you arrive by ship, because the train-station is in a distance of 1500 meters from the palace.
Good news for all VT-ers : Photography is NO problem at all inside the palace !!
Beatushoehle is about 15km east of the city of Thun and another place of interest that you may visit easyly by ship or by public bus from Thun. Of course you may not compare that simple cave with the other natural sights of the Jungfrau-region, BUT it might make sense to go there on a rainy day maybe.
St. Beatushoehle is where Holy Beatus spent several years of his life in a hermitage. Next to the cave with stalagtites there is also a waterfall, a museum and a souvenirshop. When driving along the panorama-road along the noth bank of Thunersee, you have to leave that road close to Sundlauenen. When arriving by ship you just have to follow the path through the woods in order to get to Beatushoehle.
Take a look at my 2nd and 3rd picture for the great construction of the coastal-road to Beatusbucht !
The caves and the museum are open
between Palm Sunday and October daily between 10.30a.m. and 05.00p.m.
the museum closes 30 minutes later !
Schloss Oberhofen is certainly the most beautiful palace / castle that you may find in the area around Thun and it is also really close and easy to get there : Take a cruise on Thuner See and the ship will take you directely to the water-castle, or take the bus in direction to Beatenberg.
During the cruise you will pass by in a short distance from the lovely castle and its great surrounding park. When-ever you have enough time, just leave the ship and walk around at least the lovely garden around the Schloss Oberhofen, or visit the museum of great furniture inside the palace.
Oberhofen is at the north bank of Thunersee, about 4km east of Thun. Go there by bus from Interlaken or Thun or - much more romantic - take the ship.
The museum in Schloss Oberhofen is open daily
between mid of May and mid of October
Monday : 02.00p.m.-05.00p.m.
Photography is NO problem !!!
Schloss Huenegg is quite an interesting palace in a distance of just 3 km from Thun, in the small village of Huenibach, at the northern bank of Thunersee. Huenibach is just a few kilometres from Oberhofen and so you may combine it with a visit to the lovely watercastle of Oberhofen. Get there by one of the ships of Thunersee or take the local bus in direction to Beatenberg.
Schloss Huenegg was built in french renaissance-style between 1861 and 1863 and in summer 2005 it was unfortunately under reconstruction, as you may see on my photograph.
Already in the year 1900 it was redecorated and furnished with a lovely Art-Nouveau-interior.
Schloss Huenegg is open for visitors
daily between May 15th and October 15th
daily between 02.00p.m. and 05.00p.m.
sundays also between 10.00a.m. and 12.00 noon.
Covered bridge: This seems to be almost a necessary feature of any Swiss German-speaking town. There is one in Thun as well. Not as old and majestic as those of Lucern, it still looks charming with its chocolate-brown wood contrasting with white foaming water.