Save the best for last! On the last day of our holidays in Switzerland, we decided to visit “Schynige Platte”, one of the most beautiful spots in the Bernese Highlands. The mountain ridge is mostly known for its Botanical Alpine Garden and spectacular views of Lake Thun, Lake Brienz and the three highest mountains in the region: Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau.
To get to Schynige Platte (which literally translates to “shiny plate”), we took our car to Wilderswil, a small city near Interlaken, where the Schynige Platte Railway starts. With its neatly restored coaches, the antique rack railway connects the village with the the summit station near the alpine flower garden. It was opened in 1893 and is one of the highest railways in Switzerland. The journey up the mountain leads through forests and alpine pastures, offering an ever-changing panorama of both lakes and mountains.
After reaching the summit station, we first visited the Botanical Alpine Garden. It displays 670 different plant species, including the famous edelweiss.
The weather conditions weren’t the best. Mist gathered in the valleys below and soared up into the sky to join the billowing clouds, sometimes blocking the view and sometimes suddenly disappearing completely. However, I think that the mist adds a little mysterious touch to the pictures and I really like it.
From the flower garden, we decided to continue on one of the panorama trails, which lead us across the mountain ridge to the viewpoints “Daube” and “Oberberghorn“. On our way, had to stop every couple of minutes to admire the sepctacular panorama in front of us and to listen to the cow bells. Alp Iselten, a small farm located in the middle of Schynige Platte, is home to about 50 cows – some of them grazing very close to the trails.
On our way back from Oberberghorn, the weather conditions worsened and suddenly we heard a call echo across the mountain ridge – the farmer called for his cows to come back to the stables. Immediately, the cows answered his call and started moving towards him. This meant that we had to walk through their herd, as they had to cross our trail. Cows are such magnificent and peaceful creatures, we passed them without any incident.
We reached the railway station just in time before the weather turned really grim. Tired, but happy, we took the rack railway down to the valley.
As this is the last post of my little summer holiday series, I hope you enjoyed following me to Sintra, Aveiro and the Bernese Highlands!
27 May to 22 October, 7:25 am to 4:45 pm
The rack railway departs every 40 minutes from Wilderswil station. The last descent from Schynige Platte is at 5:53 pm.
Wilderswil – Schynige Platte: CHF 32
Wilderswil – Schynige Platte – Wilderswil: CHF 64
Where to eat
Schynige Platte Panorama Restaurant and Hotel