Schynige Platte

When we booked this holiday, the rack railway up to Schynige Platte was due to open the day we got here.  But a big storm and lots of snow at the beginning of the month meant that it wasn’t open until last weekend.  So that is when we went up!  It was the first day of the season, and there was still a lot of snow about at the top.

For the first few hundred metres the track runs alongside the ‘main’ line to Lauterbrunnen and Grindelwald.  As it is so early in the season, the winter weeds have not been destroyed!

The journey takes nearly an hour, most of it at a very steep incline.  This was built towards the end of the Nineteenth Century, and one can imagine how thrilled the Victorians would have been as they were pushed up by steam engines.  The track is mainly single, with a couple of passing places.

The first part of the journey takes you through farmland, with sheep and cows (most with bells!):

Then it is through the forest…

.. and out on to the open alpine pastures.  The line passes through several tunnels, and the engineering is obviously very clever!

Once above the tree line, there are views in all directions.  This is across Interlaken to the lake of Thun:

This is looking down the Lauterbrunnen valley:

And this is looking across the valley to Morgenberghorn:

The top station had been cleared of snow, but there were piles of it lying about.

Nige seemed to enjoy it all!

One of the ‘attractions’ at the top of the line is an Alpine garden, planted with all the local species.  Much of this was covered in snow, but there were some flowers to be seen, like the Star Gentian…

… and the Alpine buttercup.

The rock formations were fascinating, too.  This is an area where the geology is on view at every turn!

The journey down was even better than going up!  There were fewer people, and we could move from side to side of the compartment to get the best views!  Once down at Wilderswil, I came on back to Wengen while Steve took Nigel on in to Interlaken to do a bit of shopping.


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