As we saw the exact waterfall and the mountains that were shown in the movie scene, we were confident that the bridge should not be far away. We tried to walk further towards the valley from lake Launen,hoping to find this epic location. In our long walk of about an hour, we came across two wooden bridges, but to our disappointment, none of them was the bridge shown in the movie. We were discussing it throughout the return journey about the very fact that with so much popularity and tourism revolving around this movie, this bridge still remains undiscovered. Even after reaching home, we continued our research, calculating all the possible locations and facts. All permutations and combinations with the words “ DDLJ wooden bridge location” on Google and Youtube gave us empty results. We were shocked to learn that this location still remains as a “Secret hidden gem” even after 25 years !!! It changed our perspective, we took it as a “treasure hunt” and we wanted to find it out and reveal the hidden gem which remained elusive for almost 25 years, to the World ! It was a determination.
We searched everywhere we could, watched the song scenes 100 times taking notes of all tiny details from the scene, did virtual walks with the google street view, looked at all perspectives with google earth, google map, google images , and even analysed historical maps from the region to find out possible changes. We coined down many wooden bridges in that area. None of them was located perfectly to conclusively say that it should be the one. We started losing hope thinking the possibility that either the bridge was a set for the movie or for some reason it got removed. Then came the idea to call one of the local restaurants to get the details. We contacted the tourism office of Gstaad, a town close to this area and also to some restaurants and guesthouses. A hotel in the region called Alpenland had a picture put on its website which appeared to be having the same perspective. It was after a call to this hotel in the town of Launen, that we concluded that there does exist a bridge which could be the one we are looking for. And to further boost our confidence this bridge was also the first one in our list that we had noted down from all our research. Having this information in hand we couldn’t actually sleep or wait until the weekend to explore and find that dreamy bridge. So we took a day off and set on to discover this location the next day.
We went first straight to Lake Launen and the plan was to admire this beautiful lake again and walk to the bridge location. Near the lake an old guy was repairing a boat. After seeing us taking many pictures, he asked us if we were making a movie. We got into a conversation and told him the story and our intense wish to find out the dreamy wooden bridge of DDLJ. We showed him the picture and at first glance he said, "of course this bridge exists" and the view from there is very beautiful. The only fact that was puzzling to him was that the path leading to the bridge is forbidden for vehicles and the only explanation is that they would have got special permission to take the Mercedes there for this shot. We couldn't control anymore and instead of walking we took a bus to reach there as soon as possible. We got down near the hotel Alpenland and continued walking in the direction of the bridge. At the start of this walkway there was a ‘No vehicle entry’ signal and hence we were sure we were on the right track based on the comments from the person whom we met at the Launen lake.
The view got better and better and we could see the waterfall in the same perspective and the mighty mountains behind it. Within 10 minutes of walk we came to the exact view as in the scene and were left speechless. Yet we haven't found the bridge. A few steps further, hidden between the trees, there was a bridge. It was a hurray moment for us. We were overflowed with joy and a strong satisfaction of having found the treasure. It really was a DDLJ moment. The only place in this World to dance for the song “ Ho gaya he ..”. But there was a twist. And there was a reason why this bridge remained hidden for so long. Also why there are no other pictures from this most epic DDLJ bridge in Switzerland. The small bushes that were in front of the wooden bridge in the movie have now all grown up to big trees. These trees have covered the bridge totally and you don't see the same view while standing on the bridge as it was in the movie.