Slippery when wet…

“The way from Brünigen to Brienzwiler is very dangereous. Don’t you walk that all alone!” That’s what I was told in a restaurant in Brünigen, on the pass between Giswil and Brienz. Indeed, it had been raining the whole night and the weather wasn’t much better the next day when I continued walking from Giswil. Should I dare to walk or should I rather wait one whole hour for the next bus? I really didn’t know…

It had been raining the whole night through, and therefore I pretty soon came to value my gaiters highly. Nope, it wasn’t raining the time I set off from Giswil that day. But once the path enters the forest above Giswil, it leads right through the grass and bushes for about one kilometer or so. That’s not really a long distance and it’s definitely no problem when everything is dry. But after a rainy night, one kilometer is enough to soak the trowsers and maybe even the shoes entirely. Therefore I did put on my gaiters for the first time ever – and managed to stay almost dry! As it was very cloudy, the view unfortunately wasn’t that great. So I didn’t manage to get a good shot from above Giswil. The way leads up for several kilometers and you come back into a main road in Kaiserstuhl. This is a tiny, tiny little village right on the shore of Lake Lungern. Here are a few shots to give you an impression of its lovely surroundings. Trying to imagine how amazing the landscape must be during good weather and with a clear sight. Unfortunately it started raining heavily while I was walking through Kaiserstuhl. So I had to put on my rain poncho for the first time in Switzerland. And it continued raining all the way to Lungern on the other side of the lake.
After Lungern the way leads up steeply again. I didn’t make any photos here, because it was raining all the time and you are mainly walking through forests. There never was a possibility to look back down and the only thing in view were tree trunks, leaves, grass and occasionally the main road.

Upon having reached Brünigen at the top of the pass, I decided to have something to drink in a nearby restaurant. That waitor nearly freaked out when I told him I was going to walk down to Brienzwiler. He meant it was really dangerous, because the way was leading downhill so steeply and uneven that you should only take that walk in groups. Just in case something happened. And oh yes…an experienced hiker had just had an accident there the week before and the way was even more dangerous when wet because it gets slippery.

Needless to say that I felt a growing unease. Of course I hadn’t read the guide for the first time before setting of that day. Furthermore, I was walking alone and it had been raining heavily the night before. So I decided to take a bus down to Brienzwiler. I bought the ticket and then discovered there was no train or bus for another hour! And there was no way I would wait until 3pm to hop into a train bringing me just two stations further. That’s why, finally, I continued walking despite all warnings and just chose another route, which was supposed to be a little less dangerous.

The emphasis here is on SUPPOSED… because after a time I stopped counting the times I nearly slipped out or stumbled. Don’t want to imagine how unsafe the real route is! Of course not the whole way to Brienzwiler is that hard to walk. I also passed by other farms and small villages. But occasionally I was walking enormeously slowly, checking out with every step if the ground below me was stable enough to carry my weight.
I was relieved when I reached easier paths…:)

I guess if I had walked that part a few weeks later, there would have been many ripe berries along the road. They are one of the treats you can find here when walking in late summer or early autumn. I loved Brienzwiler a lot and found out there was a pilgrims’ hostel there, which looked really nice. I regretted to have only one day for walking. Otherwise I’d have stayed here for sure! The houses of the village are all out of wood and built in the traditional style of the Canton of Bern. It really is absolutely lovely! There just is one downturn to wooden houses: They catch fire very lightly. That’s why it’s forbidden to smoke there when it’s windy. The village just after Brienzwiler is very nice as well. See a few impressions of Hofstetten below. After Hofstetten the way is even for most of the time. It only leads downhill to Lake Brienz just shortly before the village of Brienz. The last part of the way then leads along Lake Brienz into the village. This normally is a very picturesque landscape. But due to the weather, my joy was little bit reduced, because the mountains were veiled in clouds. Well…bad weather is also a part of a pilgrims’ life. Even walking through strong rain has its beauties. Be it the landscapes still being very nice, the great feeling of getting out of the soaked clothes after the arrival or simply the feeling of having walked the days’ part or the route against all odds: Every pilgrim will find something he or she likes about it. Amen. 🙂

About Miriam

I am a traveller. Not in the fast sense. I am travelling on foot, as a pilgrim. And I love writing and playing music. Since I found back to singing and writing while walking the Way of St. James in Spain, I started mingling the two. Means I am walking with my little guitalele and playing whenever the situation seems right for it :-)
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One Response to Slippery when wet…

  1. Thanks for the marvelous posting! I seriously enjoyed reading it, you happen to be a great author.I will remember to bookmark your blog and will come back in the future. I want to encourage yourself to continue your great posts, have a nice day!

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