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Published: July 14th 2017
Old building in the Ballenberg setting
Shows the smoke house at the front and other set back from pastures still farmed
I had hoped to have combined today's blog with yesterdays but we saw so much that it warranted a separate blog. The day started with rain showers in the mountains and a forecast for possible showers out of them so the Open Air Museum seemed to be a good choice where we could be outside or inside.
Down in the town today was the early start for the Eiger Ultra Trail. This is an amazing race. The Ultra race is 101km and goes up to First, down to Bort, up to and over the pass to the Faulhorn, down to Burglauenen, up to Mannlichen, over to the Eiger Glacier, to Pfinstegg and down to Grindelwald. Wow, this is seriously hard. There are other races but this is the most challenging. The village centre has been transformed into Race Headquarters with sales and a results area. There is a big festive feeling to it. I got a 5F visor hat and Brendan a 5F shirt. Bargains. The event is not anticipated to finish until Sunday.
The travel involved a train Interlaken Ost, to Brienz and then a bus to Ballenburg Museum above the main valley down towards Meirengen. We had
This sawmill was run by a water wheel and fast moving upright saw cutting through a large tree trunk.
been there many years ago but like many things, we have found they have added to and improved the facilities. The bus takes you to Ballenberg East or West depending on where you want to start. Amazingly we found our Swiss Pass paid for this visit and once again we had a cheap day, courtesy of the Swiss Pass. Our only expense was to have a coffee and to buy a few groceries for dinner.
The other thing I should note about travel today is how each transport type connected perfectly. Coming home we hopped on the bus that arrived in Brienz as the train arrived. In Interlaken Ost we arrived again within minutes of the train to Grindelwald to depart. On arrival in Grindelwald the bus to Stutz (where we are living) was 3 minutes away. Perfect. Why do we love this country? Because it works and doesn't frustrate the hell out of you waiting for connections.
Back to Ballenburg. It is a 66ha facility showing buildings and lifestyles of different parts of rural Switzerland from the past. The oldest buildings seemed to date back to 1500s through to 1800s showing the different styles of buildings from
Family at Ballenberg Open Air Museum
This rather grand house was just inside the main gates and was for an influential businessman. Everything was timber and we were impressed by the various patterns in the parquet floors as well as the carved furniture.
various cantons as well as their crafts and their lifestyles within their homes. We saw crafts such as saw milling, milling, saddlery, rope making, wood carving, forging, wood working, cold smoking salamis, lace making, spinning, weaving, sewing, and so much more when the technology of today was not available. Outside the buildings were many farm animals that kids could interact with by just looking or touching and cuddling like, chooks, ducks, goats, sheep, cows, doves, rabbits, pigs, turkeys, horses, Add to that various crops and gardens as well as the forest and pasture setting, it was a great way to spend a day.
Back in Grindelwald, the razz-ma-tazz was still going on for the race so we skipped that and headed back to the chalet for dinner. Another good day in Switzerland.
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