Ever since our first visit to Lake Thun, we wanted to climb mount Niesen. This almost perfectly pyramid-shaped mountain towers ever-presently above the lake and had been calling us for years. This summer, we decided to take up the challenge!
Accompanied by Julius’ grandfather, we took the Niesen funicular to the interchange section at Schwandegg (1169 metres / 3,835 feet), which is located about halfway up the mountain. By the way, the stairs alongside the railway are considered to be the longest stairway in the world (11,674 steps)! However, they are only opened to the public once a year, at the famous “Niesenlauf” (= “Niesen race”).
From Schwandegg, we followed steep trails through dark-green and mossy forest until the trees grew fewer and the peak came into sight. It took us about 2.5 hours to reach the Niesen Kulm restaurant at the top of the mountain.
After reaching the peak with its viewing platform at 2,362 metres (7,749 feet), we had a breathtaking view over Lake Thun and the Bernese Highlands. As the weather was quite nice, we were able to see the three most famous summits of the Bernese Alps: Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau.
The panorama was absolutely spectacular and we took our time to enjoy it while eating our lunch. After identifying every visible peak, we took the funicular back down and spent the rest of the day with Julius’ lovely grandparents.