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  • Writer's pictureDeborah Kade


Brienz is located in the middle of charming mountains at the eastern end of turquoise-colored Lake Brienz. The cozy village is starting point for excursions to the Bernese Oberland, the Ballenberg Open-air Museum but also to Luzern or Interlaken or across the nearby Alpine passes. It is famous for its wood carvings.

It was a beautiful day for a walk along the shore of Lake Brienz.

We caught the train from Interlaken West to Interlaken Ost where we changed to the train headed toward Luzen. We got off at the first stop: Brienz.

Imagine you just boarded the train. Here is the announcement before the departure.

The two railway stations are just a short distance away from the ship embarkation point: Brienz is located on the narrow-gauge railway line which links the famous holiday destinations of Interlaken, Meiringen-Hasliberg, Brünig, Luzern and Engelberg. The other station is the small base station of the steam rack-railway up the Brienzer Rothorn panorama and hiking peak.

I picked up a walking map at the tourist information center.

Some examples of wood carvings there.

In the famine of 1816, wood turner Christian Fischer from Brienz started decorating everyday objects with wood carvings and selling them to tourists. In order to meet growing demand he soon began teaching the skill to people from the region. In 1851, Brienz woodcarving achieved international recognition at the London World Exhibition. The Brienz Woodcarving School was founded in 1884, becoming an educational institution and official training workshop of the canton of Bern in 1928. Now known as the School of Woodcarving, the institution is the only place in Switzerland where young people can learn the art of woodcarving. Since 2009, the school has also provided vocational training for new turners, basket makers, coopers and white-wood coopers. Today, professional woodcarvers run independent businesses, fulfilling demanding contracts but also producing souvenirs, since the ties between woodcarving and tourism remain strong after two hundred years despite various attempts at diversification. Because the products and the historical and practical knowledge of "Schnätzen" (woodcarving) are threatened by the changing generations, the Association for the Collection and Exhibition of Brienz Woodcarvings was established in 1990, in turn establishing the Swiss Woodcarving Museum in 2009.

A walk along the traffic-free lake promenade, past small boat ports and playgrounds, is a refreshing experience. Come walk with us.

They used these type boats years ago to cross the lake.

All the flowers along the lake are planted in boats.

The children can dig in the stones.

Many homes have wooden sculptures attached to the walls.

Metal sculptures, too.

The Jungfrau just left Brienz and is headed toward Giessbach.

Michael and I have eaten at the Lindenhof.




Test your balance

So many interactive "toys" to play with.

So many games to try your skill at.

Rose Meier used to make a homemade plum tart using these type plums.

Still have not figured where this water came from.

Probably, the most romantic part of Brienz is the Brunngasse which, having once been awarded the title "most beautiful street in Europe", is well-known abroad. Most of the houses on the street date from the 18th century and are decorated with wood carvings. Brienz, which is well-known as the "village of carving" has a long tradition in wood processing and to this day has a school for carving and violin-making.

Next, we walked up toward the church which sits high atop the hill.

View of Brienz from the church

View from the church looking out over the lake.

Beautiful wood carvings inside the church

This church in Brienz is part of Jacob's Trail - Pilgrimage on Ancient Paths. You can stamp your card.

Of course, we lit candles.

A bomb shelter

Decided to catch the train back to Interlaken from the small Brienze West Station. Surprised it was a regular scheduled stop and not a stop on demand location.

Fränzi and Marcel invited us their apartment for dinner. It was a very special evening!!!!

We sat outside and enjoyed the appetizer, salad and this first course.

Such a delicious taste. The bottom is not regular dough but phyllo dough . The topping was sliced grape tomatoes. The fresh buffalo mozzerella was so good!

We came inside to enjoy the main course.

This is an acorn squash risotto topped with kurbis (pumpkin) oil, a unique tasting black pepper, and shredded cheese. It is served in its own shell. I can not describe how delicious this was! AMAZING!!! It was creamy and rich.

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