Coming down out of the Lauterbrunnen valley, we were cruising along the highway, mostly in a long, dark tunnel. Switzerland seems to shunt lots of its traffic through the country this way. It's very efficient, but when the GPS is showing you a famous lake to the left, Rob and I get antsy to see it. So we took a detour. Helga (the GPS lady) got very concerned, but we're able to ignore her voice quite well by now. We parked in Brienz. Here is what we knew about it: it's the other lake by Interlaken; quieter thank Lake Thun; it looks like everyone oversaturates their pictures of Lake Brienz on Pinterest--crazy turquoise water.
First, we had to stick our feet in the water. This stems from our theory-in-progress about how to interact with places you visit. Rob's initial theory was that you had to eat somewhere or take a nap there to feel like you've been to a spot. Through the years we've seen students and tourists try all sorts of things to feel like they've "been there, done that": shopping, taking pictures, trying on crazy outfits, religioiusly following tour guides, seeing the whole thing through a camera lens, having a quest or contest (StrudelQuest of 2009, or Exotic Flavors of Fanta 2002 are just two examples). Changing a diaper has long worked for me. St. Florian in Austria is still reeling from the effects of my visit there with Will in 2002.
Anyway . . . this is why we stuck our feet in the water. Also, it felt great after all that hiking. But it wasn't enough. We wanted more.
So we rented a pedal boat. This place seemed to be run by three grandparents and three active grandchildren, helping out and getting underfoot in equal measure. It turned out to be just the right thing.
First, we got to see all that unreal water up close.
And we were able to check out the ritziest lakefront properties from our fine Swiss-made boat. Sun in our faces, wind at our back and cruising around the lake. It made us definitely want to return to Brienz. We're thinking a week here to play in the lake and use as a base camp for the alps.