In the early summer of 2019 I traveled to Switzerland on a photo trip. It was my misfortune to land in the midst of the the first heatwave of the summer (there were subsequently two more), with the temperature in the mid 90's, the snow and glaciers were all melting, and some of the smaller lakes were shrunken in size. Nonetheless, it was possible to capture some of the Swiss spirit and the beauty of the Alps. I stayed in the Berner Oberland area in the city of Thun and fanned out from there to Bern, Lucerne, and the Alps. The gallery below this one, "The Medieval Dance of Death," focuses on one interesting aspect of the trip, the Medieval paintings on the Spreuer Bridge in Lucerne. This gallery is about Switzerland, specifically the Berner Oberland area, and not about its Medieval past.

A Street in Thun ©
2019

My home base during the Swiss experience was the small city of Thun, a charming city on the glacially fed Aare River. Because the Aare River was cool, it managed to keep some parts of the town more temperate. My hotel, Hotel Freienhof, in fact was on an island in the midst of the Aare. While that didn't do much during the day, it made my room cool and comfortable at night. The images is of a two level commercial street in the heart of Thun, charming as much of the city was.

Covered Pedestrian Bridge Across the Aare River ©
2019

Covered pedestrian bridges are one of the nice parts of Swiss city life. This one is across the Aare River, a glacially fed river running through Thun. Notice that if you are riding a bike, you get off and walk the bike through the bridge. As can be seen, the river flows swiftly through the city.

On the way to Lake Thun ©
2019

The Thunerhof was a classical fine hotel in the city of Thun. It is located along the Aare River and the view is toward Lake Thun and the Berner Oberland Alps in the background.

Hail in Thun ©
2019

As I have said, Switzerland was in a heat wave when I was there. With all the heat energy, a thunderstorm blew up with hail the size of quarters and larger. Because the Aare River ran right by the hotel and was cool, I took my evening meals out in front of the hotel. I was there when the storm blew up and the hail hit.

A Facade in Thun ©
2019

I thought the archway and the windows on this white building in the heart of Thun made an interesting architectural study.

On Lake Thun ©
2019

Not far up the Aare River from Thun is the entrance into Lake Thun with the Alps in the background. The air was so hot already in the morning, and the lake so cold, that there was a heavy mist over the lake and everything in the image. As can be seen, however, the Lake and the Alps beyond it are beautiful.

Hike into the Alps ©
2019

The sun was so hot and everything so relatively parched that this image just did not look good in color. In black and white, however, the path, the Alps, and the cloudless blue sky make for a more striking image.

Blue Bench in an Alpine Meadow ©
2019

It is amazing to me that flowers are still blooming and things are relatively green. We were in the midst of a heat wave with temperatures in the mid-90's consistently over ten days. This image was taken in the same general area as the previous image of the hiker.

Grazing in the Alpine Meadow ©
2019

The summer grazing land with its cows and the summer shelters for the farmers are shown along with the train that passes through the Berner Oberland. Lake Thun is barely seen in the distance cradled among the Alps.

High Pastures and Lake Thun ©
2019

Lake Thun was hinted at in the previous image but this shows it clearly nestled among the Alps. I have photographed the high pastures with Lake Thun in the background.

The Alps: Eiger, Münch, and Jungfrau ©
2019

This image of the three most famous peaks in the Berner Oberland was taken from an observation facility on a mountain across the valley from them. It was so cloudy that it was hard to get all three in one view, but this image does that.

Münster in Bern ©
2019

This was a catholic cathedral before the Reformation. Even though it is now a Lutheran Church, the frieze over the main entrance has been retained from the Middle Ages. The blessed and saved and, especially, the damned and condemned are prominently displayed.

City Garden in Bern ©
2019

Bern, the Swiss Capital, is a small city but in the midst of it is a terraced community garden with flowers and vegetables. Swiss cities make an effort to be green and livable and it pays off.

Chapel Bridge, Lucerne ©
2019

The famous Chapel Bridge in Lucerne across the Reuss River is another of many covered pedestrian bridges. This one is frequently pictured in travelogues. It was once decorated with Medieval paintings but most of those were destroyed in a fire. Nonetheless, the bridge is festooned with flowers and is delightful.

Flowers on the Chapel Bridge ©
2019

I took this perspective in order to emphasize the flowers on the Chapel Bridge in Lucerne.

Spreuer Bridge Across the Reuss River ©
2019

A second covered pedestrian bridge on the Reuss River is the Spreuer or Miller Bridge. This bridge is the home to many late Medieval paintings, the Dance of Death images. There is much more about the images and the bridge in the next gallery, which is devoted to the Dance of Death Series.

Dance of Death Series, Spreuer Bridge ©
2019

The Dance of Death paintings are tucked into the rafters of the Spreuer Bridge. Again, much more about the paintings and the bridge in the next gallery, "The Medieval Dance of Death."