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LAKE BRIENZ (BRIENZERSEE), SWITZERLAND  

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Paddle Steamer Lotschberg sails end-to-end through magnificent scenery. Scroll down for more. Thanks to Malcolm Oliver for this photo taken in 2008


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Paddle Steamer Lotschberg is based at the famous resort of Interlaken, built on the flat area of land which divides lake Brienz from lake Thun. Although there are navigable channels from both lakes to Interlaken itself, the steamers cannot pass from one lake to the other. Lotschberg therefore docks at Interlaken-Ost (East) and on arrival backs up the channel. Seen left, the steamer is leaving Interlaken and once it clears the railway bridge it finds itself in Lake Brienz.  


On the south side, the village of Isleten-Isenthal juts out into the lake. It is one of the few settlements on the steep shores and motor cars are normally restricted from accessing the lakeside area.

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The northern shore is a little less precipitous in parts. Lotschberg prepares to call at Oberried.


View of Lotschberg at Oberried pier

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Close to the eastern end of the lake is the Giessbach waterfall with an impressive hotel perched high above overlooking the lake.


The terminus for services on Lake Brienz is the pretty small town of Brienz itself. From here there are onward connections by train to Luzern on a narrow-gauge main-line which involves a steep climb to get away from the lake area. Roads penetrate onwards through a flat valley past the Reichenbach Falls, fictional scene of the death of the famous investigator Sherlock Holmes in the novels of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and the town of Meiringen before reaching the spectacular Susten Pass. A popular attraction at Brienz is the Rothorn Mountain Railway, steam operated and affording magnificent views over lake Brienz.

Very close to Brienz lies Ballenberg, the Swiss National Outdoor Museum, where traditional farmhouses and chalets from across the Swiss cantons have been re-built amidst pleasant countryside to illustrate farming and country life of the past.

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