23 March 2012

Day 7 : Niesen

At 11:54 we (Me, my mom and sister in law Ariane) left from Thun station by train to Spiez.  At Spiez we changed trains and rode to the Mülenen station. From the station it was a short walk to the Niesenbahn office.  We bought tickets (for me and mom) to take the Niesenbahn to the top of the mountain while Erik and Ariane decided to walk up.

Mulenen Station
The Niesen is an interesting mountain because it is shaped in the form of a pyramid. The Niesenbahn funicular was completed in 1910.  Next to the funicular is the longest staircase in the world with 11 674 steps.  (I only learned of this after returning to South Africa.  If I knew I would have taken a better look and maybe a photo.)
Inside Nieselbahn
At 13:14 the funicular departed.  We went up to the middle station, Schwandegg.  It took about 14 minutes and we traveled from 693m to 1669m above sea level.  At this station we changed to the next funicular and traveled 12 minutes to the top station, Niesen Kulm at 2336m above sea level.
Change to next funicular at
Schwandegg station
The funicular coming up the mountain
We walked to the viewpoint and at the top of the mountain (2 362m above sea level).  Along the path there are information boards with facts about the history, flowers and animals of the mountain.  Although it was cloudy and misty the views of the mountains, valleys and Thun Lake were incredible. 

View from the top

View from the top - Thun lake
















We waited for Erik and Ariane to walk to the top of the mountain.  They walked to the middle station and realized it was going to take to long.  Then they took a funicular to join us at the top at about 15:45.  We sat and had a picnic at a table close to the Niesen Kulm station. 

At 16:15 we went down with the funicular to Mülenen station and then with the train to Spiez and Thun. We walked back to Ariane’s parents house in Thun because we missed the bus and did not want to wait for the next one.  It was very steep roads to the house and we were quite tired when we reached the house.

At the house I helped to make some Malva Pudding.  (R & V had Malva pudding is South Africa and got the recipe from a friend but it was the first time they made it.)  At 19:15 we had a nice dinner on the balcony.  While outside we heard a church bell ring in the distance. It was a lovely evening. 
Stockhorn Mountain
 
Mom and me

View of Niesen Mountain from Thun


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