Who Needs Lakes Anyway…

Walking out of Thun on the Way of St. James means waving goodbye to those beautiful landscapes of turquoise lakes surrounded by green mountains and lovely vineyards, which make the region between Lucerne and Thun so special. And with that to one of the most beautiful sceneries on the Way of St. James in Switzerland. But who needs lakes anyway…

It’s been a while since my last post, and there’s quite a bit to catch up with. I walked this part of the way in 2012 already and made it to Moudon, about 14 kilometers from Lausanne that year. This article covers the walk from Thun to Riggisberg, which corresponds to a distance of 27 kilometers.

I had spent a great but short night at the pilgrims hostel in Thun. I remember having been over the moon by the fact to have met several other pilgrims that night, which had ended in several hours of great talk and being back at that feeling of utter happiness I had experienced during my walk on the Way of St. James in Spain. Pilgrims on that route truly are like one big family, and awesome discussions in great atmosphere are guaranteed! If you’d like to familiarize yourself with what had happened the day before, check out this article here, or click yourself through my entire journey through Spain and Switzerland.

That day, I set off with Ivana from Czechia. We first made a tour through the city – something I highly recommend. Thun is just simply beautiful. Just look at the following photos to convince yourself. Street in Thun The way into the beautiful city center… Ivana taking a pic of the Ferris wheel in Thun A Ferris wheel against the blue sky…
Detail in Thun in the early morning
A bar in the town center…
Main square of Thun in the early morning
Panoramic view of the town square…Thun is definitely one of the most beautiful cities in Switzerland!
Panoramic view of the castle of Thun
We loved the castle and the surrounding old town so much, we simply had to explore it from every angle. Here’s the panorama view from close to the city gate.
Balcony seen from the city wall of Thun
And as you know, I love balconies…this lovely one you get to see from the castle of Thun. Awesome!
Castle of Thun in the early morning
The view up to the castle from the balcony….
View over ThunBeautiful view over Thun…
View back on the castle of ThunThen we took a last view up to the lovely castle of Thun…
Another nice view on Thun…before walking back down towards the city center. Here’s the view over the old part of town, the Ferris wheel in sight. Ferris wheel seen between the housesAnd here’s another view over the roof and the Ferris wheel. ...and had Ivana take a shot of me there...I absolutely loved the stairs leading back down into town – and especially this colorful roof. Thun is just so picturesque!Cool shop window in ThunOn the way out of the old town, I came across this shopping window. Isn’t this beautiful?

By the time we left the town, it was already noon. The Way of St. James leads along the shore of Lake Thun for several kilometers before finally making its way into the hills towards Amsoldingen and Riggisberg. The wooden path right in the outskirts of Thun is especially beautiful and quite crowded on sunny days. If you want to avoid bumping into crowds of people on this promenade, I’d definitely recommend to head off earlier in the morning. Walking into the sunrise must be wonderful here anyway!Lots of folks enjoying a walk along the lakeWay of St. James leading out of ThunLike before at Lake Brienz, the Way of St. James leads through several camping grounds. This means ‘crowd alarm’ on hot and sunny summer days, making an early start into the day all the more appealing. On the following pic you see some of the housings available for rent there. Doesn’t this look interesting? If I was still there, I think I would rent such a thing for a night, just because!Interesting accomodations just ouside of ThunRight after this camping ground, the Way of St. James took leave from the lake and headed into the forest. A nice path it was none the less. Felt like walking right into a fairy tale – just without fairies.Forest track after ThunAnd there we were, walking away from that beautiful place. But, alas, it is only by leaving the old shores behind that you discover new lands. Our new shores were the hills of Bern – a region known for its beauty.Camino before GwattWe got one last glimpse of the lake right after Gwatt…Last view back on Lake ThunAnd then we were definitely on our way towards Amsoldingen. A few kilometers from Thun, you’ll pass by a nice old house, called the “Alty Schlyffi”, which has formerly been a mill.'Alty Schlyffi' after GwattThe way then leads away from the asphalt for a bit, passing by several farms. When we were walking it in Autumn, the apples just started getting ripe, which meant we had a nice snack here and there.Way leading uphill after GwattWay leading towards AmsoldingenIn Amsoldingen, we took a late lunch – and pictures of the church 😉 Church of AmsoldingenWe then headed on towards Uebeschi – a small village with some nice traditional houses. UebeschiThis is a really rural area – so don’t expect large villages or even cities for a while. All the better if you like the green landscapes and farms of Switzerland. Ivana walking towards BlumensteinIvana walking towards BlumensteinLandscape view before BlumensteinAfter Blumenstein and Wattenwil (traditional house in the following picture), the way leads up into the hills very steeply. Traditional house in WattenwilAnd ‘very steeply’ is no exaggeration here. This is the view back on Wattenwil with Ivana just making her way up.View back on WattenwilI love cows. And cows with calves are even more adorable. Which means that, at times, I shoot half a dozen cow pictures a day when coming across a herd. No worries, there’s no way I will bother you with cow pictures now – just with this one. Isn’t this cute? The little baby calf running and jumping towards its mom jollily – we really should enable all of our cows to live a happy life like this! 🙂CowherdA view back down on Lake Thun – now far, far away…View downhill close to BurgisteinI loved this castle close to Burgistein.Castle close to BurgisteinLandscape between Wattenwil and Burgistein.Landscape between Wattenwil and RiggisbergA traditional house right before Riggisberg.Traditional house just before RiggisbergAnd there we were – walking into Riggisberg. This is a little rural village, where you’ll find restaurants, some grocery stores, and places to sleep. As for me, I had to say bye to Ivana and take the bus back home, as I had to work the next day. In fact, Ivana continued walking the Way of St. James all the way to Santiago de Compostela and Fisterra – to Geneva, through the entirety of France and then along the Camino Francés. We had met in September, and she arrived there sometime in November. Isn’t it wonderful to be able to say “I walked from Prague to the End of the World?” Nowadays, not many people take this time, slow down to 5km an hour and walk 2’000 kilometers – every hour, every day, every week for several months. But one thing I can tell you: it’s the experience of a lifetime and very rewarding! 🙂Riggisberg from afar

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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