This year was anything but ordinary. And even though a lot of things have turned upside down, I believe you were able to find some pleasant moments in this endless marathon of covid-measures. We are nearing the finishing line of this crazy year I decided not to let myself or the children take the magic of the coming Christmas. And even though the Christmas markets may be canceled, in some places we can enjoy the magical winter atmosphere and soak up the Advent spirit in idyllic and unique scenery without having a cup of mulled wine in hand. And such a place where you can enjoy the atmosphere is definitely my favorite city of Thun and the nearby Heiligenschweindi with the Christmas trail “Weihnachtsweg”.
I wrote about Heiligenschweindi on the blog quite recently – about a month ago we went on a hike to Niesenbänkli (in the article you will find a description of how to get to Heiligenschwendi). And then I wrote to you that I definitely wanted to return to Heiligenschwendi because of the Weihnachtsweg – the Christmas trail. And as you know, when I set a goal, I definitely want to meet it, so we headed to Heiligenschwendi again last weekend. To our great surprise, it seemed like the whole region headed here on Sunday at 5 pm! I thought that on Sunday, all the Swiss would be preparing for a new working week in the cozy warmth of their homes, and there would be no one on the Weihnachtsweg. Well, I was wrong. But the crowds were quite scattered over on the one-kilometer round trail. Although not so much. Our boys were more attracted to a real snowball fight than an Advent message and a Christmas story, so I was constantly worried about which of the visitors would be hit by a snowball.
Well, back to the Weihnachtsweg: According to the website of the local tourist office, the Weihnachtsweg in Heiligenschwendi has a tradition of more than a decade and has attracted thousands of visitors over the years. The Weinachtsweg is open daily from the 1st Advent until 6 January. The lanterns are lit daily from 17:00 to 22:30.
You can find the map here.
The route starts at the tennis court in the center of Heiligenschwendi, then runs along the main road in the direction of the REHA rehabilitation center on Gründerahorn, and then clockwise around Winterberg back to Gründerplatz. The classic Christmas story is told in five stops. The first is directly in Heiligenschwendi near the tourist information center, the other four in the forest.
A nice surprise is that the stop labels are also in English. Otherwise, due to anti-coronavirus measures, only one family is allowed at a time for each stop, others have to queue and keep the 2-meter distance. The entire Weihnachtsweg route is not suitable for prams and wheelchairs. For the section of the route that leads through the forest (and which is very dimly lit by small lanterns), I definitely recommend good footwear (ideally some kind of non-slip) and maybe Nordic walking sticks as support (it really slipped in one section and there was nothing to hold on to). In the end, don’t forget to contribute something to the money box for those who dedicate their efforts and their free time to preparing the Weinhnachtsweg.
I have written many times about Thun and its surroundings on the blog. I was here in almost all seasons, even last year at this time, at the beginning of December, when the Christmas tree was already decorated on the Rathausplatz. And even though it was freezing, it was still a sunny morning and one certainly did not enjoy all the lights that give the city center a beautiful festive and relaxing atmosphere just in the evening.
It will be a little quieter on the blog in the coming weeks. I think my fingers constantly running on the keyboard also need a break. I wish you all a beautiful Christmas full of well-being, which can be enjoyed in these times. Thank you so much for the favor you have given to my blog, and I look forward to seeing you in the new year! 🙂