Brienzer Rothorn to Turren

The last of three walks near Interlaken I did in July 2022, Brienzer Rothorn to Turren offered more spectacular Swiss scenery and memorable train rides.

Dating from 1892, the Brienzer Rothorn Railway is the fourth highest railway in Switzerland, and one of the few remaining steam powered. It climbs 1,678m up the mountainside, with parts as steep as a 25% incline. The open air carriages are ideal for photography and are atmospheric (and a little smokey) going through the tunnels.

The views are increasingly impressive as it climbs high above Lake Brienz. We were followed by another train which gave an idea of scale.

This following train disgorged a school party, which was a bit overwhelming but thankfully the walk soon became quieter, with far fewer people than either the Schynige Platte to First via Faulhorn or Oeschinensee walks.

The 2,350m Rothorn summit is close to the station and marked with a trig.

From here it is downhill, passing by a ski lift and a giant heart, obviously added for social media. I think there are a few around Switzerland…

The path then narrows with large drop offs, but there is support and it felt relatively safe. I spent a fair amount of the walk looking at my feet more than the views.

Though when I did stop the views were pretty good.

This was the first of two run ins for the days with cows nearly blocking the path.

This lookout was a good point to stop for food and rest though there was no shade the whole way, and it was over 30C. A sign said 1.10 hours to Turren so I was nearly two thirds of the way there.

Just before Berghaus Schönbüel there were two signs to Turren, though neither had timings on them. I took the path to the left, which after 10 mins walk had a sign saying that Turren was 1.45 hours away!

The heat had got to me by this point, it was late morning and the temperature kept rising, so I walked back to Berghaus Schönbüel and found a sign post just behind it saying Turren 55 mins away which was more appealing. Checking the map the first was the proper route that went along narrow paths and had a particularly steep descent at the end, while the other that I took was more gradual and went through farmland and down a road.

It was still incredibly scenic heading down and through the farm, which had a cute church and small shrine beyond on the road, plus more cows to dodge.

It was road walking but scenic road walking, if still no shade anywhere.

I finally reached Turren to catch the large yellow, but somewhat infrequent, cable car down to Lungern and then a train back to Interlaken.

Author: jontycrane

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