Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Hiking in Switzerland: Of Waterfalls and Sherlock Holmes in Meiringen

This post is long overdue. It's already been more than a year since Boyfriend and I went hiking together here in Switzerland. But with so much going on in between, it definitely feels more like a lifetime than a year ago. Before I moved to Dublin last year in June, Boyfriend and I decided to make a daytrip to somewhere new for both of us in Switzerland. And inspired by the newest Sherlock Holmes films starring Robert Downey Jr as Mr Holmes and Jude Law as Dr Watson, we set off to follow Sherlock's last steps in Switzerland and investigate the site of his mysterious disappearance, the Reichenbach Falls.

Our quest took us to the otherwise uneventful village of Meiringen. Tucked among some of the highest peaks in Switzerland, Meiringen is a very tranquil town and if it wasn't for Sherlock Holmes and Professor Moriarty's inconclusive adventure here, the number of tourists around would be nearing zero. Its main attraction is a tiny museum dedicated to Mr Holmes and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle located in the basement of a small church. The museum has a replica of Doyle's studio and that's the most interesting thing about it.

We started our day taking the Reichenbachfall funicular, more a train than a funicular which drives from Meiringen to a balcony where you can already admire the infamous waterfall. From there we  continued on foot, hiking through a green path surrounded by tall ancient trees that took us closer to the falls. We enjoyed beautiful views of the waterfall from several points along the way and reached the (fictitious) point from where Sherlock Holmes and Professor Moriarty jumped into the unknown. We carried on our hike downhill to finish at our starting point and then rested for a while in quiet Meiringen.

If you have seen the film Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, you've probably been impressed by the mighty waterfalls that witness Holmes and Moriarty's last game. And have also been in awe of the magnificent location of the castle chosen for that fateful meeting of ambassadors. Well, sadly that place isn't in Switzerland and the real falls are a far cry from the beautiful cinema depiction. I don't know what they were like in the 19th century but if Sherlock Holmes and Professor Moriarty were to take that final step together today, chances are that none of them would have survived.

Have you ever been to the Bernese Overland part of Switzerland? Been following Sherlock Holmes footsteps elsewhere? Or any other literary touristy trip?

Have a lovely Tuesday!

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