There’s one word to sum up the walk from Brunnen to Stans: Beautiful! Taking the ship from Brunnen to Treib is one of the first highlights. Afterwards the Way of St. James is leading along Lake Lucerne for most of the time. The most difficult part between Treib and Emmetten is also the most beautiful one offering breathtaking views. But you definitely shouldn’t be afraid of heights.
I started my walk from the station in Brunnen, crossing all of the village and going straight to the pier as I wanted to take a ship to Treib from there. Brunnen seems to be quite touristy, and many street organists stood close to the pier in their costumes, playing their organs and hoping to get some money. The weather forecast hadn’t been that good for the day, and as the train had been approaching Brunnen the sky had become increasingly cloudy. So clouds dominated my shots from the pier and the crossing from Brunnen to Treib. I was contented though, for at least it didn’t start to rain. The Way of St. James is leading uphill rather steeply, giving very picturesque views on Lake Lucerne and the surrounding mountains. Of course I couldn’t let it be and had to take lots of landscapes shots. The scenery is just really, really nice! And once I start taking photos, I usually also see many details giving nice combinations in colour and structure. So I often end up taking a photo every second step…This world is just to beautiful 😉 The official guide for the Way of St. James between Brunnen and Emmetten points out the fact that at certain places the path gets very narrow, steep and plunges down on the side very steeply. This means that you have to be a good walker, have good gear and should be free from fear of heights when walking along there. So I was a little surprised that in the first hours of walking I didn’t come across any spot I perceived as dangerous and thought they had just been exaggerating as always before. The way was even first leading down for a while before finally entering a forest and leading on the above-mentioned narrow path. And then after several hundred meters I came across places where even I started feeling nervous. In a spot the way was leading over a flight of stairs. Narrow. Veeeeery steep. Uneven. And the view down…phew…I already saw myself phoning to the safeguards: “I lie between two trees in a slope somewhere after Brunnen…erm don’t know exactly where.” But somehow I am quite sure that when you really fall down there you don’t do any phonecalls anymore. Never ever… So I decided to just walk on in the faith that my own way would lead me out of here safely. And it did…after about half an hour of walking I reached much less adventurous routes. And after another steep climb the way finally led out of the forest towards Emmetten. I took a short lunch break in Emmetten and then continued walking towards Stans. From Emmetten the Camino is leading all the way down to Lake Lucerne. So you walk downhill really steeply. But the tradeoff is a great view over the next village you are going to walk into from here: Beckenried. On the way into Beckenried I came across several other really nice sceneries. Enjoy! Beckenried itself looks very nice from afar, as it lies right on the lakeside. I didn’t really like the village that much once I was walking through it. But the view of the lake is of course very nice. On the walk out of Beckenried I also came across a nice and colourful chapel and several houses which are traditional for the canton of Nidwalden. After Beckenried the way is leading up again, away from Lake Lucerne and through several little villages into Stans, the capital of the canton of Nidwalden. Stans is the capital of one of the founding regions of Switzerland. It was the cantons Uri, Schwyz and Unterwalden (the whole region of Obwalden and Nidwalden) who first formed a pact in 1291, determined to stand together against ruling Habsburg (Austria). All of the other cantons joined this bund over a timespan of several hundred years, keeping their autonomy in most of the matters. This is why the Switzerland of today is no centralised country like France, but rather a federalist country. Stans has a vast amount of clerical buildings – at least compared to other places in Switzerland. This is due to the fact that there’s a seminary for future priests. The town itself isn’t very large, but the old buildings around the town hall square are definitely very nice. As I had planned to walk for two days in a row, I actually would have liked to stay in Stans. But due to the fact that I didn’t find a cheap accomodation, I finally returned home. I had already bought the ticket and was waiting for the train when I found an address list of cheap hotels and stays in the passage underground of the train station. So I leave you with this tip if you ever want to sleep in Stans as a pilgrim: Passage underground of the train station in Stans. Many addresses…and certainly there’s a free bed in one of them!