The ride with the historic Schynige Platte railway is a unique experience for young and old. What many do not know: halfway there is an extraordinary gourmet highlight to be discovered: the best home-made flat cakes in the Bernese Oberland, referred to as Fruchtwähe.
You will immediately feel refreshed in the small bistro of the Breitlauenen station on the Wilderswil-Schynige Platte route. With lots of love and an eye for detail, Christin Gafner has redesigned the pretty café. She sewed the plaid tablecloths herself. "It's supposed to be as homely as Grandma's," explains the Jungfrau Railways employee.
"I would never have dreamed that my cake would become so well known."
From the hospital bed to a station manager who bakes
In 2013, Christin Gafner gave up her job as a nurse and realised her dream: she became the manager of Breitlauenen station on the Schynige Platte Railway. "The enchanting train, the view of Interlaken and the sparkling turquoise lakes – this place always enchants me." The train dispatch, her main job, is still performed manually on the 19th century cogwheel railway. When she is not at the switches, Christin Gafner sells tickets and manages the station's own bistro.
Food tasters and regular customers
In addition to drinks and cheese platters, Christin Gafner wanted to offer her guests something else. "Because I am passionate about baking, I thought I would bring along a home-made pastry," remembers the mother of three. Her work colleagues, former test eaters, were enthusiastic from the first bite and passengers loved the delicious pastry. Gradually, more and more pleasure-seekers came for coffee and cake at Breitlauenen station. A regular clientèle has even developed over the years, coming just for the cake.
The recipe remains a secret
Christin Gafner will not reveal the recipe of her pasty. "For many years I've been tinkering, sampling and refining. The recipe remains my secret," says the woman from Wilderswil with a smile. The only thing she will reveal: apricots, apples, pears or plums – she only uses seasonal Swiss fruit for her fruit pastry. And the eggs for the frosting come from a train driver on the railway who keeps his own chickens.
If you arrive late, you'll miss the cake
The fabulous taste of the cake wins everyone over. But watch out, sleepyheads: On busy days, the last crumb is already swept away by lunchtime. You won't need to wait too long, however. Because the next day the cake baker goes up to Breitlauenen station with a fresh plate of her famous fruit pastries.