I was going to write today about my trip to Switzerland, which I used to gather location details for my new book. My intention was to talk about trips up cog railways and cablecars, visits to castles and to panoramic vistas over alpine meadows. The trouble was, there’s too much to show and tell, if I want to do justice to any one place. So instead, I’m narrowing my focus to give you a little snapshot of Brienz, a small, quiet town in the middle of Switzerland – a place I used as my base for a week. It’s not a place you’ve probably heard of, but it’s a terrific base for exploring.
Brienz sits on the edge of Lake Brienz (of course!) in the Bernese Oberland. It’s in the vicinity of Interlaken and is a great stopping off point to visit Grindelwald, Lauterbrunnen and to see the Eiger, the Jungfrau and a host of other amazing peaks. From here it’s a short trip to the Reichenbach Falls where Sherlock Holmes is famously supposed to have met his end. There’s also the wonderful, wonderful Ballenberg open air museum of traditional Swiss buildings which have been saved and transported from all over the country, and which it takes a good day to explore.
But rather than focus on what’s around Brienz, here’s a taste of the little town itself. The view at the top of this post is Brienz from above, taken from partway up the Rothorn (Brienz’s own mountain).
Here’s a narrow street in the oldest part of town where homes are old and built in the traditional style using lots of wood.
Speaking of wood, Brienz is famous for its wood carving and even has a wood carving school. There are carvings everywhere, including signs. I particularly like these life-sized locals having a chat by the lake.
Brienz has a lovely church high on a knoll overlooking the lake. I met some walkers there out for a long day’s hike from church to church along the lake.
If you can’t be bothered walking, take the cog railway up the Rothorn mountain. This view is from near the beginning of the trip, just on the outskirts of town.
And if you go higher you enter a different world. This photo was taken in mountain cloud, amongst small huts and houses that are generally used in summer.
I hope this glimpse of Brienz has whetted your appetite. My stay there was almost by chance. I chose it for the places I could get to from there, little realising what a lovely place it was to come back to each night. Now I’d like to visit again.
Have you ever visited somewhere by chance, perhaps on the way to your planned destination, and found a gem?
If you’re interested, my new release, which is set in a castle in the Swiss Alps is called ‘Revelations of a Secret Princess’.
To find her precious daughter, stolen from her at birth, Princess Carolina will do . Including masquerading as a nanny! Jake Maynard, her daughter’s uncle, is all that’s standing in the way of the reunion Caro has yearned for. If only her body got the message he’s the enemy…
Caro knows this powerful billionaire won’t give up the only family he has left. Yet after years of emotional numbness, Jake is reawakening her! He shows Caro a life filled with passion, not protocol, but what will happen when Jake discovers her true identity?
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