LungererseeOctober 18 in Switzerland ⋅ ⛅ 12 °C
On the outskirts of Lungern village a layby with a handful of wooden benches overlooks the waters of Lungerersee as they change colours with the sky. We are calling this home for a couple of nights and enjoying a bit of downtime.
We're both a little tired from the excitement of the last few days, visiting stunning waterfalls, hiking the Bernese Alps to see glaciers and exploring different cantons at the Ballenberg Open Air Swiss Museum.
We didn't need to travel far to reach the lake and the road beside our layby isn't too busy. Young cattle graze the steep slope rising from the other side so the sound of cowbells is a constant accompaniment. There are glorious views of autumnal forest accross the water and when the sky is clear we can look down the valley and see what we think are the summits of Eiger and Mönch.
On the first day we took time to chill. Will swam even though the slippery bank made getting in and out difficult. Vicky baked another chocolate cake (which came out a lot better than her first attempt last week) and gave Will a long overdue haircut.
The sun brought blue skies on the second day so we took a walk into Lungern. The houses were large and well presented with extensive use of timber. Some even had small, rounded wooden tiles covering the walls, which looked a little like scales. We can say without a doubt that out of the 20 countries we've visited on this tour, Switzerland has the greatest number of bovine pastures. The cattle, who tend to be kept in small herds, seem happy and healthy on the whole, but at one farm we saw as we walked, the farmer had gone above and beyond to look after their animals' welfare. Half a dozen cows could be seen enjoying a specially designed activity yard, rubbing themselves up against what looked like an oversized pipe cleaner, as it rotated and scratched those hard to reach places! An old tyre holding a salt lick was suspended from a beam and there were various other contraptions to keep them content.
Near the centre of the village stood an old stone church tower. Acting on a hunch, Will walked up to the entrance where a sign stated it was open for visitors. A wooden staircase attached to the inner walls gave us access to the top level where we found a bell. Will began joking around pretending to ring it. We both got a shock when it produced a deafening 'ding'. There was no 'dong'. It was only as we began to climb down that we noticed the small box inset into the banister for donations towards the upkeep. The experience was definitely worth a few of our francs.
Swinging by the bakery we picked up some bread and asked if there were any local sweet treats. We chose one of the zigerkrapfen (goats cheese doughnuts) and one of the ofenkrapfen (oven doughnuts) which were in a prominent display. They were sold as a seasonal special for October/ November, but the only links we could find online were to Shrove Tuesday. These rhomboid pastries were filled with curd or berry jam. They were good to try but we wouldn't get them again.
In the small supermarket next door, Vicky slipped an 'exclusive edition' Toblerone into the basket alongside the essentials. It's sleeve was printed with 'I ❤ Lungern', the town we were staying in!
Back at the van we scoured the internet for the latest Brexit update. As October 31st approaches we are becoming increasingly anxious as the debates twist and turn.
To distract himself, Will cooked up a fondue, using less emmental, more gruyére, some alpine cheese and a decent dry white wine, as recommended by Antoine and Gina. It was definitely tastier than the last one. He didn't stop there, given our proximity to Meiringen, he whipped up and baked a batch of meringues. We were pretty stuffed by the end of the day!Read more