Discovering the delightful Aare Gorge
Whilst exploring the town of Meiringen in the Bernese Oberland region, I managed to come across the Aare Gorge (Aareschlucht in German). The gorge is a section of the River Aare that carves through a limestone ridge and just had to be explored. Catching the train from Meiringen and watching the world go by (for a short time), I got off at Aareschlucht Ost (Aare Gorge east station) as less visitors get off here (as the train does stop off at Aareschlucht West station and most tourists get off there before the train goes through the mountain before arriving at the east station, 1.6km further along). The east train station is located inside a mountain so when the train comes to an halt, passengers have to wait for a huge steel door to open to walk through to get out of the mountain.
The view once outside, one word, mind-blowing. Walking across the bridge which goes over the Aare, looking right and I got my first view of the river going through the gorge. The fast flowing blue-creamy water rushes through this beautiful landscape, making a heck of noise in the process. To the left I could tell we were in a valley with mountains overlooking. Impressive and beautifully stunning is probably the best way to describe this scene.
It was a short walk up the hillside and along a road to the eastern entrance of the gorge (all signposted) where there is a small ticket office, gift shop, toilets and cafe area. Once all that is done, it’s time to hit the gorge. Walking along wooden walkways on the southern side of the river, it was amazing just walking through this gorge, seeing the water flow by. It took 10,000 years for this gorge to be created via the result of glaciation (which started from the Ice Age) where the water from the melting glaciers eroded a narrow and deep chasm through the limestone. Now (the present day), all this glaciation has seen a one mile (1.6km) gorge with cliffs up to fifty meters height (165ft) on either side.
The walk itself takes around forty minutes but I am pretty sure I was there longer as I kept stopping either to take photos or just taking in the surroundings. The Aare Gorge is truly a magical place to visit and would highly recommend it to anyone. Also to mention that visitors who come here to also visit the Reichenbach Falls. This waterfall is the famous setting where author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle used as the setting of the murder of Sherlock Holmes by Professor Moriarty.