Years ago, when I was living in the Lauterbrunnen Valley, a reader wrote to ask for some Switzerland travel tips.
“How long,” they wrote, “should I stay in the region to see absolutely everything?”
“Your whole life,” I typed back. And then I deleted my answer because I knew that wasn’t really what they were asking.
But even though I tried to give them a better answer, my first answer is still the one my gut always responds with when people ask me questions like that.
Because I lived in the Alps for two years and even in my own region, I still didn’t make it to every hiking trail, every restaurant, every perfect picnic meadow.
Our trip back to the region this winter reminded me of that. Because despite having lived 20 minutes away for two years, I’d never once heard of the castle ruins along the edge of Interlaken: Ruine Weissenau.
Hidden away in a protected park along the shores of Lake Thun (or Thunersee in German), the ruins are of a fortress, formerly surrounded by water, built to protect a route through the mountains. First mentioned in documents in the late 1200s, now what’s left of the castle stands surrounded by woods.
A lone tree grows from the top of the tallest standing tower and half-tumbled-down walls surround the courtyard. And the rest of the walk through the park isn’t too shabby either.
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All photos taken with my Sony a6000.