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La Grange, Illinois
June 5, 2004
On a sunny day you'll be rewarded with spectacular scenery: Lake Thun surrounded by rolling hills dotted with quaint Swiss chalets, and majestic mountain panoramas.
p>Ferries are a wonderful form of transportation. In typical Swiss tradition, ferries are timed so you can combine train and ferry travel. Coming in from Zurich, a great way to beat jet lag is to take the train to Thun, instead of Interlaken. In Thun cross the street, and board the ferry that will be waiting for a leisurely cruise to Interlaken. Being outside in the sun on a ferry breaks up the journey and the sunshine help fights jet lag. It's a great way to begin a trip.
Lake Thun is 10 miles long. From Interlaken, it's about a 1.5-hour ferry, with stops at
charming little villages along the way. If you find one that suits your fancy, just get off the ship, explore the town, enjoy a drink waterside, and catch the next ferry.
Be sure to pack a picnic lunch and snacks.
You can even uncork a bottle of wine and enjoy it with your lunch. The Migros grocery store across from the train station has everything you need for a delicious picnic. Bread, cheese, chocolate, pastries, and you'll be set!
Thun, with 40,000 inhabitants, is worth a few hours. You'll enjoy a marvelous well-preserved old town featuring cobblestone streets and buildings that date back to the Middle Ages. One of the highlights is Schloss Thun, a castle built in 1200 featuring a historical museum with five floors of exhibits. Schloss Thun is located on the lake, up a hill, with wonderful views in all directions.
Another interesting stop is Oberhofen with its 13th-century castle right next to the boat dock. Schloss Oberhofen hosts a collection of artifacts documenting life in the Bernese Oberlands from the 16th to 19th century. The medieval chapel and gorgeous gardens are definitely worth a visit.
While a trip on Lake Thun is spectacular on a sunny day, it's a great way to spend a cloudy or rainy day, too. If you don't want to go up the Jungfrau only to find yourself in a gray cloud, a lazy steamer day is an excellent choice.
So, pack a picnic and prepare to relax, surrounded by some of the most magnificent scenery in Switzerland!
From journal Interlaken -- Gateway to the Mountains
by Linda Kaye
San Antonio, Texas
November 14, 2000
Tickets for the boat were sold at the train station. The English-speaking ticket clerk
suggested that we take 2 ½ hour ride by boat to Thun, a town on the far west end of this massive lake, see the sites at Thun and take the train back to Interlaken. That worked out perfectly. We could have save 25% with our Eurail Pass but didn’t know to ask for the discount until later.
We found what we thought was the perfect place to sit to enjoy our time on the Thun. It was on the upper deck where the chairs were extra comfortable. Everything was perfect, good weather, sunny blue skies and great views. Then, the man taking tickets came by and after looking at our tickets said we were sitting in the "First Class" section and would have to go down to the lower deck OR pay the difference to upgrade. We moved!. Although the lower deck was a little more crowded, the views were just as good.
The ride on the lake was beautiful and relaxing, and we met some really interesting people. One young women in particular was on a two month trek recuperating from the ordeal of taking the bar exams for her attorney’s license. Her theory was: instead of sitting at home waiting for her results, she would wonder around Europe. (Good thinking).
From the boat dock at the town of Thun, it was an easy walk to the City Center. We walked through stores and small unique shops and just wandered around, seeing many beautiful and old structures. Harry found the cutest little car and wanted desperately to hide it in our luggage and bring it home (see picture).
After a late lunch and some shopping, we made our way to the train station that was adjacent to the boat docks and returned to Interlaken.
From journal Gateway to an Adventure
October 16, 2000
From journal Swiss Lake Steamers