Lake Thun, the Swiss Alps, and a pristine Swiss village
06.19.2013 - 06.19.2013 85 °F
Our boat pulled into Oberhofen at the dock next to the castle, a 500-year-old structure that extends a tower over the lake. It’s a hot day; I’m guessing in the upper 80’s as we roll our luggage behind us into town.
“It’s just a 9-minute walk to the hotel,” I say to Sheri, Courtney, and Jake, “—according to my Google map.”
The downtown looks like a movie set, like Hollywood’s version of a Swiss village on a lake with the Alps jutting up on the horizon. A sailboat flies its spinnaker. Chalets cover the steep mountainside, flowers spilling out of their boxes in front of shuttered windows. Swiss flags fly from a few of the homes. I can smell cow dung, but I don’t hear any cow bells. I expect to hear yodeling, but it doesn’t happen.
“Ah, we go up this way,” I say seeing a sign for the Park Hotel.
It’s a road that winds up the mountain, and it’s very steep. After nine minutes we’re dripping with sweat. No hotel in site.
“It’s close,” I say pointing to another the sign for the Park Hotel. The sign doesn’t point left or right but up. Straight up. You have a to be mountain goat to live in this town, I think. It’s a good lesson for packing light.
After 40 minutes we make it to the Park Hotel. We’re all drenched with sweat. My family looks at me as if they’re planning my funeral. But it’s worth the climb. And after showering, everyone is chillin’ out.
Hours later, we find a short cut back to town to have dinner. Well, sort of a shortcut; steps, 260 of them. Sheri counted them (Eins, zwei. . .) It takes just 5 minutes to get downtown. Lizards dart in front of us disappearing into the cracks and crevices of the stone steps. Jake threatens to catch one and pull off its legs. Please don’t kill the natives, I think.
The first restaurant we come across is an Italian pizzeria. Jake likes the idea of pizza. He’s had it everywhere we’ve been. But pizza in Switzerland? It turns out to be the best pizza of the trip according to Jake.
We walk some more. Along the lake, east of the Oberhofen Castle, there’s a beautiful path landscaped immaculately.
And then we walk back to the Park Hotel, up the 260 steps, past backyards and gardens and accompanied by lizards darting around us.