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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.