Discover Germany, Issue 85, April/May 2020

Page 87

Discover Germany  |  Travel Feature  |  Adrenaline Thrills Between the Lakes

summer months. But once we leave the main streets it gets much quieter, and traditional Swiss houses, with widely projecting roofs and facades richly decorated with wooden balconies and carved ornaments, come into view. Only 20 minutes’ walk away from the town centre we drop into a third-generation small farm for a cheese tasting. “Alpine cheese can only bear the designation Alpkäse when it is produced with milk from cows, goats or sheep grazing on the Alps. And unlike mountain cheese, it is produced only in summer and only on the Alps,” mentions Feuz. In a few months, the cattle in the back of the barn will be moved onto greener pastures. The next morning, just after dawn, I’m in the hands of a Mancunian, Dave Storey, who runs the Hightide Kayaking School, as we glide in near silence over Lake Brienz. Surrounded by snow covered mountains which reflect beautifully on the mirror-like water, I feel oddly connected with nature.

pressive castle complexes. It was built by the Imperial governor Cuno of Brienz in the 13th century and the ceremonial hall in the tower serves as a reminder of lavish celebrations overlooking the lake.

We break our excursion with a stop at Castle Ringgenberg, which sits on rocks rising high above the lake. As we climb the steps to the viewing platform a tortoiseshell cat is our only companion. While not very big, Ringgenberg is one of the Bernese Oberland region’s most im-

Back in the kayak and on our return journey, hazy mist rises on the other shore. Our Dutch guide Peter Blik explains that “it marks the point where the icy stream from the Lütschine River hits the lake. Only six hours ago that water was on top of a glacier”.

Jet boat – Lake Brienz. Photo: © Jetboat Interlaken

In the distance, paragliders take flight soundlessly. I’m tempted for a split second to join them in plunging from the top of a mountain, but I know what has been missing from my trip so far. Cheese fondue, impossible to resist, is on the menu in the SWISS Chalet. As I tuck into this hearty, traditional meal after my days full of adventure, I’m convinced that an Alpine spring break really doesn’t get any better than this.

Food tour – different Swiss cheeses to try. Photo: © Wibke Carter

Lake Brienz with paragliders. Photo: © Interlaken Tourism

Gabriela Schild – Harder-Potschete mask in progress and chisels. Photo: © Wibke Carter

Issue 85  |  April/May 2020  |  87