Thun

Thun calls itself “The City of the Alps” and stands at the north western end of Lake Thun (Thunersee) in the Bernese Oberland of Switzerland.

Dark clouds over Thun’s Panorama shopping centre

Black over Will’s Mother’s

One of the phrases which comes down from generation to generation in Britain, which is used when seeing dark, stormy clouds in the distance. Quick online research shows that the phrase dates back to the 19th century at least, but there appears to be no clear indication of its initial origin.

Black over Will’s Mother’s

Photographing the Milky Way

I’m certainly no stranger to long-exposure photography. But during the few years that we’ve lived in a flat with a balcony and an unobstructed view of the night sky, I’ve come to realize that I’d never photographed the Milky Way properly. The first time that I can even remember seeing the Milky Way at all was when we were in…

Photographing the Milky Way

Faulensee, Switzerland

1st August is Switzerland’s national day, and fireworks and communal events are the norm. On Lake Thun, in the Bernese Oberland, the main ships of the local transport company parade around the lake and the surrounding villages time their firework displays to coincide with their arrival.

Faulensee, Switzerland

Unterbergli, Switzerland

At Unterbergli, on the way to the Sigriswiler Rothorn, there is a large meadow on the privately owned alp. Access is on foot only, and entails a 450m metre ascent of a pretty steep path through the forest. Once there, you reach a haven from the world: whilst I was there, I saw mountain hare, red deer and several…

Unterbergli, Switzerland

Spitzi Flue, Switzerland

Spitzi Flue is the very Swiss-German-sounding name of a huge promotory of rock on the “Sigriswilgrat” (or mountain ridge). Although the rock looks a bit small in this photo, it’s actually the tip of a rockface around 500 metres high. (Compare with this photo, in which a climber stands atop the pinnacle.) I hiked up to Unterbergli from Wilerallmi on…

Spitzi Flue, Switzerland

Sigriswil, Switzerland

I’d heard people refer many times to the “Niesenbänkli”, a bench on the slopes above Lake Thun which afforded the absolute best view from its northern side to the Niesen on the opposite shore. As the weather forecast was wonderful, we packed a lunch and took the ship across the lake from our home to Merligen, then hiked…

Sigriswil, Switzerland
Video preview image

Gwatt nature reserve, Thun

I just came across a short film I made in January and posted to YouTube at the time. Filmed with my X100 and edited quickly in iMovie, it shows the publicly accessible lake-shore nature reserve at Gwatt, some fifteen minutes’ drive from home.

Gwatt nature reserve, Thun

Thunersee nature reserves

The Swiss aren’t generally as keen on nature reserves as the British. Despite the stupidly beautiful countryside, there are comparatively few places like RSPB reserves (over 200 in the U.K.) and the National Trust (who is the U.K.’s largest individual land owner). We’re lucky enough to live near two of the small Swiss reserves at Lake Thun: both easy to…

Thunersee nature reserves

The Swiss MOT

The Swiss are reknowned for their efficiency and I’m used to the smoothness of dealing with officialdom here. The extent of the efficiency surprised me a little this morning, though, when for the first time since I’ve lived here, I had to take my car to the testing centre. The “Amtliche Fahrzeugprüfung” is akin to the British Ministry of Transport…

The Swiss MOT

Thunersee (Lake Thun), Switzerland

Lake Thun (German: Thunersee) is an Alpine lake in the Bernese Oberland in Switzerland. It takes its name from the city of Thun, on its north western shore. The lake is fed by water from Lake Brienz to the south east, which lies 6 metres higher than Lake Thun, and various streams in the Oberland, including the Kander. Lake Thun…

Thunersee (Lake Thun), Switzerland

Selve Areal, Thun, Switzerland

We were in Thun this past weekend, with a couple of friends from Zürich who’d come down for a day of “strobism” (the art of non-studio-based photography using portable flash units for illumination). As well as locations in Spiez and Gwatt, we sneaked into the dilapidated Selve area in Thun, where old factories, once converted to clubs and…

Selve Areal, Thun, Switzerland