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  • Writer's pictureDeborah Kade

Hergiswil, Switzerland Glasi Hergiswil

Off to Hergiswil and the glass making factory for the tour and some shopping. I know they ship as we have done it before.

The Glasi Hergiswil is the only remaining glass works in Switzerland where glass is still blown and shaped by hand.

Took the train from Interlaken and went in the direction of Luzern.

Train bypasses Brienz and Meiringen. Meiringen is where meringues originated. It is also home to a Sherlock Holmes museum and the Reichenbach Falls, the place where Sherlock Holmes and his arch enemy, the evil Professor James Moriarty plunge to their deaths.

Met a very nice couple from Dubai on the train. She had asked me if they were on the correct train for Luzern. They had the spelling Lucerne. Both were very talkative and social. They are on a second honeymoon. She has been to Switzerland before but this is his first time. He was so very excited. Their son is three months old and staying with his maternal grandparents. The couple were going to spend the day in Luzern and then they are off to Milan tomorrow morning.

They were surprised at my age. Thought I was way younger. Yeah! She told me ladies my age in Dubai have problems with Vitamin D deficiency. The women are always covered up and they don't get vitamin D from the sun. I also learned ladies as they get older have swollen legs due to the humidity and being covered up. Most of the time, people drive and don't walk, too. Never thought about those things.

Glass has been made in Hergiswil since 1817. Happy 200th Anniversary!

In 1817, the Siegwart brothers found an ideal new production site at the foot of Mount Pilatus.

Following serious economic problems, the Siegwart Glass Works was threatened with closure in 1975. Automated glass production abroad almost forced the owners out of business. However, the Glass-Lüüt (Glass People living in Hergiswil), the Hergiswil council and above all Roberto Niederer managed to save it. He put new life into the traditional craft. Niederer introduced new design principles that remain today. Shortly before his death in 1988, his son Robert took over as director of the Glasi. He has been keeping the place going with the help of over 100 employees ever since.

From the gallery high above the men, I watched them pour hot molten liquid in molds or blow it. Quite fascinating!!

The furnaces never shut off.

There were two molds. One was of a Swiss lady and the other a Swiss man.

One man worked the furnace. He poured the molten liquid in the mold where it stayed for a few seconds.

Another man, with what looked like a metal peel slid it under the glass, lifted the mold off and put the glass shape on another area.

While the liquid was still pliable, a third man bent the pliable glass like the man or woman were sitting.

There were display samples and it looked like the dress of the people from this area. The glass has an impression of their face and clothing. This has to be something new as I didn't see them for sale in the shops. Maybe it is something for the Christmas line. The glass man and glass lady will sit at the edge of a shelf. They were quite pretty.

There was another group of men blowing glass.

One man took a glob of molten liquid on a long pole and started blowing and turning the rod.

Once it got to a certain shape and size, he placed it into an upright mold that a second man squeezed shut.

After a few minutes, he took it out of the mold and started rolling the pole on a surface.

A third man added a glob of molten liquid and the fourth man finished the piece off by rolling it to the desired shape.

Went into the Phenomenon of Glass, a hands on exhibit. I could discover, play with and experience glass, in all its many facets. The exhibit features over 70 experiments involving glass. You can play on glass instruments, marvel at optical illusions, etc.

Also had fun with the water games. You use the play equipment to form the water into entertaining shapes. Actually, the adults played more than the children.

If you are wondering if I bought something, the answer is yes. They will hold my things and ship it in two weeks. I actually had fun shopping! Who would have guessed!

Took a different route back to Interlaken. Went from Hergiswil to Luzern to Olten to Interlaken. Sometimes you just need a change of scenery.

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