If you’ve already heard of the town of Meiringen, chances are you’re a Sherlock Holmes fan.
This cutesy little town is tucked away in the eastern part of the Bernese Oberland. It is sometimes gone by the wayside for the more infamous Interlaken. But trust me when I say that you would be missing out on this secret-not-so-secret little gem.
There is a reason why Arthur Conan Doyle placed the last duel between Sherlock Holmes and Professor Moriarty in Meiringen. The backdrop of the roaring Reichenbach Falls has only left traces of their last fight. Needless to say, the storyline in “The Final Problem” has made Meiringen a hot spot for Sherlock Holmes enthusiasts.
The Sherlock Holmes Museum in Meiringen
The Sherlock Holmes Museum in Meiringen is just waiting to be visited by you, the reader. The museum was built by no other than the Sherlock Holmes Society of London, as well as by the daughter of Arthur Conan Doyle, Jean Conan Doyle.
On the 100th anniversary of Sherlock Holmes’s death in May 1991, the museum opened in the basement of the old English church in Meiringen's town center.
The Sherlock Holmes Museum narrates stories and displays artifacts, such as pieces of clothing.
There is an astounding reconstruction of the living room of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson. Look closely at the clues and you will find items from Sherlock's past adventures.
Just outside the museum, there is a lifesize bronze statue of Sherlock Holmes. Hidden on the statue and the commemorative plates are even more clues: sixty in total, one for each of the stories published by Conan Doyle.
Head to the Sherlock Lounge in Meiringen for drinks, and don't miss the delicious Sherlock Holmes fondue blend from the Molkerei Tschümperlin dairy!
No visit to Meiringen is complete without the 120-meter tall Reichenbach Falls.
It is well possible to hike from the Sherlock Holmes Museum to Willigen, then Schwendi, and finally to the location where Holmes and his arch-enemy tumbled into the gorge. From this spot, continue to Zwirgi and hop back onto the Reichenbachfall funicular to the valley.
Or you could take the Reichenbach funicular both ways. In any case, it makes perfect sense to purchase a combination ticket for the railway and the museum.
And if you still can’t get enough of our favorite private detective, this custom map pins several of the commemorative plates and Sherlock Holmes spots in Meiringen.
Walking the Aare Gorge in Meiringen
Just a skip away from the town of Meiringen is the Aare Gorge. Located in the Hasli Valley, this gorge could be the sole reason for staying in Meiringen.
The Aare Gorge was created over the course of millenniums. The River Aare has been eroding the local limestone to the point that a 1.4-km long gorge was created.
The walkway opens at 8:30 AM and closes at 5:30 or 6:30 PM, depending on the day. And for the night owls, on Fridays and Saturdays during summer, the Aare Gorge stays open from 6:30 to 10:00 PM.
During my visit, I show up first thing in the morning in order to walk the pathway into the gorge without any crowds. The gorge has two entrances, both accessible by way of the Meiringen-Innertkirchen-Bahn.
I decide to start on the east side by first walking across the suspension bridge. The signpost at the entrance states 45 minutes to walk the full path. But I take my time as I try to capture the beauty of this place with my camera.
The color of the river shimmers of different specs of blue and turquoise. The day I visit is just the kind of day I would normally spend at home. But this unique setting of clouds and light showers adds magic to this place.
Fog and mist linger between the gorge. There is the sound of the river rushing over rocks. And there is some rain sprinkling the air lightly. I am delighted and feel like I am in a Sci-Fi movie entering hollow earth...
On each end of the Aare Gorge, there is a restaurant. While I sip my coffee and marvel at the camera pictures, I come to the conclusion: I did not manage to really capture the magnitude and beauty of the Aare Gorge.
It is a place you have to see in person.