Our final day in Grindelwald came around all too fast.
In truth, we were all somewhat “hiked out” so chose to take a day trip to Lake Thun,to visit the Schloss on Thunersee near Interlaken where we visited two “Schloss”, Schloss Spiez and Schloss Oberhofen., two magnificent medieval castles.
“Not another castle!” I could hear our husbands thinking, but as we found throughout this trip, no two castles are really the same and they all have something unique to offer.
Set amidst the rolling green vineyards at the foot of the Bernese Alps, the foundations of “Schloss Spiez” beside Thunersee date back to around AD1000.
Set up as a living museum, the castle provides an insight into daily domestic life during the different periods of castle ownership.
From portrait galleries, to a kitchen depicting how game was cooked during the 15th century, to displays of armour, the Schloss provided an interesting peek at medieval Swiss history.
The oldest part of the castle, the knight’s tower dates back to the 13th century, and today you can still see the graffiti from knights of yore carved into the stonework.
From the tower you are afforded spectacular views over the village, across the lake and to the mountains beyond and also of the exquisitely manicured gardens.
The 15th century chapel is still available for weddings and baptisms, as was unfortunately the case today so we were only able to take a brief walk around the exterior of the historic building.
Travelling further around the lake we came to “Schloss Oberhofen”, which was by now closed for lunch, giving us the perfect excuse to relax under umbrellas in the square by the lake, enjoying a meal as we watched the tourist boats sail past.
Once again, “Schloss Oberhofen” provided some unique features – the “mother in law’s room” a small ante room built out over the lake and an extensive display “at your service” which provided an interactive audio-visual of what life was like for those in service in these massive palaces.
Unusually, there was also an English option, which probably made this castle one of the more enjoyable palaces we visited during our road trip.