After leaving Interlarken on Monday we headed for Aareschlucht which translates to the Aar Gorge. The Aar Gorge is a section of the river Aar that carves through a limestone ridge near the town of Meiringen. The gorge is an indirect product of glaciation; 10,000 years ago, just as the Ice Age was coming to an end, torrential runoff water from melting glaciers eroded a deep, narrow chasm through the limestone barrier. Although barely one mile long, this passage is bordered by sheer cliffs up to 165 feet (50 m) high on either side. At the bottom of this steep drop the river is only a few metres wide.
The gorge has been opened to the public since 1889, by building walking paths along the Gorge. Before then, the only way was to go through the dangerous river torrent, which provided fables by travellers, who claimed to see large snakes and monsters. Since then, the gorge is a popular tourist attraction for many visitors who like natural beauty and are attracted by the nearby Reichenbach Falls, which Sir Arthur Conan Doyle selected as the proper set for Sherlock Holmes’ murder by Professor Moriarty.
The paths through the gorge are linked to two stations on the Meiringen-Innertkirchen railway. At the western end of the gorge is Aareschlucht West station, whilst the underground Aareschlucht Ost station links opens directly through a door into the gorge.
Because there had been a lot of rain in the days preceding our visit the river was flowing very fast and the small waterfalls were quite impressive. We walked from the Meiringen end to Aareschluucht Ost where we caught the train back.