Beatus Cave

(Sorry Andy, this should have been included under the heading Caves of Seer and Beatus in the last newsletter.)

This holiday was in Interlaken in 1967, in Switzerland; a wonderful place to ramble. Trains and cable cars go to the tops of mountains and then you can walk down, or along ridges to the next cable car station. One train track had platforms underground, with a window in the north face of the Eiger, the Eiger with a final stop at 11 thousand feet. Needless to say this area had limestone and a cave — the Beatus system.

Beatus is approached by boat, the road from the lake to the cave is “stuck” onto the cliff with concrete ribs. The road is more impressive when walking on it as the drop is enough for plenty of vertigo, but the crowd of tourists and kids around you make you appear unconscious of this. Except, that is, when you notice how long the odd stone or sandwich thrown takes to fall into the lake. Beatus Cave lies high above the lake with an impressive river flowing out of its entrance. There are spectacular waterfalls falling in cascades for several hundred feet to the road, with a final drop to the lake, all surrounded by woodland.

The trip into the cave follows a similar pattern, a longish passage 8ft. - 15ft. high along a river passage with cascades, gradually rising for 300ft. over three quarters of the cave. Some bits of the cave were along dry oxbows followed by staircases past cascades. Finally the cave ends in a stream passage about the same as Easegill or Kingsdale Master Cave, but with much more water.

Outside was a caving museum complete with a person in a wetsuit and SRT! This museum was quite good with spectacular photos and surveys of Swiss caves and equipment through the ages. Return to Interlaken was made by walking along via a wood and - through an active shooting range protected by an eight foot earth ramp - appearing safe, but when you hear loud blasts and whistling bullets you soon decide to crawl across!
A holiday in Switzerland with the family is not too bad but do:

a) Travel partly by rail to gain free travel by train (for children?) and half fare for adults. (Trains travel everywhere and work like clockwork.)

b) Buy food from supermarkets.

c) Buy your souvenir gifts from Morecambe and Blackpool.

Andy Walsh.

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