As Trish was having trouble with altitudes above 8,000 ft we looked for something below this altitude and came across the Brienz to Rothorn Bahn Steam Train. and had to experience the romance of an alpine steam railway
The town of Brienze and the railway station was just a short 15 min walk around the lakeside from our campsite.
Starting from the lakeside station in Brienz, situated at 1850 feet above sea level, the Brienz Rothorn Bahn conveys you on an awesome railway from the warm temperatures on the Lake of Brienz up to the cool mountain air at the summit of the Rothorn Kulm at 7362 feet.
This journey up into into the Swiss Alps commenced at the picturesque valley station and as soon as you hear the exhaust and feel the thrust from the steam locomotive, you wonder just how a train can go up such a steep 1 in 4 gradient and hope that the brakes work!!
The Brienz Rothorn Railway has been steaming its’ way up the Rothorn mountain from the charming village of Brienz since 1892. It is the only steam powered railway in the world operating 3 generations of steam locomotives on a daily basis.
The railway climbs a total of 5505 feet during its 4.7 mile length. The journey takes about one hour and encompasses some of the most scenic countryside that Europe has to offer. The line initially meanders between Chalet gardens of Brienz before cutting through the lowland meadows above the village. The route then leads up to the mountain forests and tunnels before bursting out onto the stark glacial terrain of the alpine peaks.
Steven hiked up the path to the very peak of the Brienzer Rothorn the actual summit while Trish had coffee and admired the view from the Rothorn Kulm Restaurant near the station. The 360° panorama takes in the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau to the southwest complementing the peaks of the Pilatus, Rigi and Jura to the north.
Trish coped quite well at 7500 ft as long as things were taken slowly. Back down to Breinze picked up some supplies and back to our lakeside camp.
Off to Lucern tomorrow.