2 days in Bernsee Oberland early December

2 days in Bernsee Oberland early December

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PPDubai
PPDubai
10 posts
new member
Nov 19, 2015 - 2:11 PM

Friends...! Need help!

We are a family of 3 - me, wife and 5 year old daughter. We alive in Dubai and are visiting our cousins in Winterthur, near Zurich. We land in Zurich on 1st Dec (Tuesday) evening and fly out on the night of 6th Dec (Sunday). We will be living with them, however we have 2 free days - 2nd Dec and 3rd Dec. We can leave Winterthur on 2nd Dec (Wednesday) morning and be back with our cousins on 3rd Dec (Thursday) evening.

After looking at options we have narrowed our choice to a 2 day trip to Bernsee Oberland. Following is the tentative itinerary:

Day - 1 (2nd Dec)

1. Planning to take a train from Winterthur to Lauterbrunnen on 2nd morning. Reach Lauterbrunned at around 11 am.

2. Move around Lauterbrunnen seeint the waterfalls etc.

3. Do the Mannlichen to Kleine Scheidegg HIke (weather permitting)

4. Reach Murren, check in and stay for the night.

Day 2 (3rd Dec)

1. Walk around Murren

2. Schilthorn (weather permitting)

3. Take train fromLauterbrunnen to Winterthur

Here come the questions: ;-)

1. Is the above itinerary doable? Are we missing something, being in that area?

2. Weather!!!! What if the weather takes a turn for the worse. The entire trip goes down the drain? Or something still doable?

3. Do we buy some kind of railway pass? Or the 41.3 per head/per way ticket is enought. This adds up to 165 Chf for the two adults.

4. Is there a pass for the cable cars or we need to pay for each ride?

5. Heard a lot about the Mannlichen to Kleine Scheidegg Hike. Is it doable in the first week of December?

6. Last Question - If the weather goes very bad (after checking in advance thru weather reports), what alternat trip can we have for these 2 days (2 and 3 Dec)? Montreux....Berne etc. etc.?

Thank you! All help will be appreciated.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2651 posts
expert
Nov 19, 2015 - 5:38 PM in reply to PPDubai

Hi PPDubai :

Welcome to the forum.

Here is an answer to part of your questions.

You are lucky to have that base in Winterthur. Have you checked out St. Gallen?

www.myswitzerland.com/ en-us/st-gallen-highlights.html

<<. Heard a lot about the Mannlichen to Kleine Scheidegg Hike. Is it doable in the first week of December?">> Probably not.

The additional question, can you take the cable car up from Wengen or Grindelwald?

You are between seasons, it may only run if there is good snow up top.

Check the timetable:

www.myswissalps.com/ti metable

Also-

www.jungfrau.ch/en/tou rism/destinations/klei ne-scheidegg/hiking-trails/

And, it is Bernese, not Bernsee. ;-)

Slowpoke

Last modified on Nov 19, 2015 - 5:41 PM by Slowpoke
PPDubai
PPDubai
10 posts
new member
Nov 19, 2015 - 6:12 PM in reply to Slowpoke

Thank you...so Bernese it is! :)

I checkout the the St. Gallen link. Looks interesting. Especially the Santis Cable Car.

1. I know that we are arent visiting Switzerland in Summer, but if I were to experience the rolling hills, grassy meadows and the snowy mountaintops in nice sunshine (which is why people visit Switzerland from May to Oct) at the begining of Winter (my travel dates of 2 and 3 December) which are the places would you advice? Tough one? :)

2. Is it worth going to Bernese Oberland on 2nd and 3rd December at all? I mean if its completely off for hikes and if we have to be holed up in our hotel because of the weather, then no point in going there.

Request your advice.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2651 posts
expert
Nov 19, 2015 - 6:50 PM in reply to PPDubai

<<"1. I know that we are arent visiting Switzerland in Summer, but if Iwere to experience the rolling hills, grassy meadows and the snowymountaintops in nice sunshine (which is why people visit Switzerlandfrom May to Oct) at the begining of Winter (my travel dates of 2 and 3December) which are the places would you advice? Tough one? :)2.Is it worth going to Bernese Oberland on 2nd and 3rd December at all? Imean if its completely off for hikes and if we have to be holed up inour hotel because of the weather, then no point in going there.">>

#1 -

It's a tough one because predicting sunny days at the time is a nearly impossible task.

By December, you are getting in to the central European winter weather pattern. Day after day of grey skies. In early December, during which I travel to Switzerland frequently, there are often days of sunny weather, but by January, they are less frequent.

The Swiss solve the problem by going up above roughly 2000 meters to get sunshine, usually available above the cloud deck, if there is one.

So, in the Bernese Oberland, the cograil train which runs from Wengen to Kleine Scheidegg to Grindelwald ( wit a branch to the famous and expensive Jungfraujoch) is quite likely to get you into sunshine. And, give some graet views.

Grassy meadows and rolling hills are there in the lower altitudes. But, they are not all green green with grass, they are more brown with grass, pretty much. In early December, they are unlikely to be covered with snow.

I have to run at the moment, but I'll mention some ideas later...unfortunately, have no time till next Tuesday, because i am traveling. The best I can do is point you to some posts I made in a different thread, near the end. Also some photos..

www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/first-trip-with-my-21-and-13-years-old-kids

May not be to your tastes, but there are a lot of towns and villages to visit west of Zürich and Luzern.

Arno and Annika may have some thoughts.

#2 -

I think there is enough scenery to see no matter whjatthe weather, but I'd check at the local train station and tourist information office before i spent money to ho up to Jungfraujoh;

www.myswissalps.com/wh eretogo

Work down through that link to learn more about the Jungfrau region.

Slowpoke

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2651 posts
expert
Nov 19, 2015 - 9:48 PM in reply to PPDubai

Also, please check Schilthorn..it is shut down for maintenance for a few weeks about now. Will it be open on your dates?

The timetable can help with that.

Slowpoke

Arno
Arno
7716 posts
expert &
moderator
Nov 20, 2015 - 6:22 AM in reply to PPDubai

Hi PPDubai,

If the trail is open, I would do the hike to Kleine Scheidegg first, in order to do so in the middle of the day with good day light. Then proceed to the fall and Mürren. As for a rail pass: the Swiss Half Fare Card might be your best bet. Please see here for how to make sure to pick the best pass. Note that online prices are lower (click "Price" on the pass page) and some websites physically ship it, so don't wait too long.

PPDubai
PPDubai
10 posts
new member
Nov 20, 2015 - 8:16 AM

Dear Slopoke and Arno,

Thanks a lot for your razor fast replies.

Have a few more questions:

1. In summary - what is recommened? Shall I explore Bernese Oberland if the weather forecast is good? This means, I must decide on this option by 1 Dec only after looking at the weather forecast?

2. In case of bad weather forecast, St, Gallen and the Santis Cable Car appears to be nice. Your views please?

3. Read somewhere about Berne. IN case of bad weather in both the above places - Day trip to Berne? Your views.

Regards,

Arno
Arno
7716 posts
expert &
moderator
Nov 21, 2015 - 10:51 AM in reply to PPDubai

Hi PPDubai,

1./3. I would go for it and just take the risk, but make sure to have alternative plans. You can easily do a day trip to Bern from the Bernese Oberland if the weather is bad. I recall a beautiful sunny day in the Bernese Oberland while they were predicting rain until the prior evening. You just never know in the mountains.

2. St. Gallen is certainly an option, but the Säntis is at high altitude and that's usually not the best place to be in bad weather.

Arno

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2651 posts
expert
Nov 21, 2015 - 3:24 PM in reply to PPDubai

Arno has the right answer.

Unless the weather is completely totally awful, the Jungfrau region is worth seeing at some or other altitudes.The Lauterbrunnen valley (as you know) there is a nice and scenic walk from Lauterbrunnen to Stechelberg, at about 800 meters altitude.. Wengen is at about 1600 metters. Kleine Scheidegg at roughly 2000 if I recall correctly. The weather varies a lot with altitude.

Bern is a convenient day trip. A slow walk through the old town , to the Nydegg Bruecke, and up to the scenic overlook at the Rose Garden is nice anytime of the year. There might even be few roses left, but most are gone for the winter.

The lake boats aren't bad, but it is nice to see the high mountains around the lake(s), so low clouds decrease the pleasure. Has your 5 year old ever taken a boat ride?

Schilthornbahn is closed for maintenance from 9 November through 4th December. Opens to Schilthorn Just after your dates.....

The Rhone Valley is often sunny or only partly cloudy when the Berner Oberland and the rest of Switzerland are cloudy.

Since I happen to like scenic rail travel, if I were stuck in the BO with totally awful weather, I'd take a train from Spiez up the Kandertal through Kandersteg, through the upper tunnel, and down along the southern wall of the valley to Brig.

Scenic every inch of the way.

www.loetschberger.ch/Z ug-und-Strecke/Zug/Bildergale rie-Loetschberger

Couldn't quickly find English, but there is surely something in Wiki.

The hiking trail along side/near the tracks is famous, and I have enjoyed it many times. Probably not for 5 year old, and closed in winter, but even if the trail is closed, the train ride is worth the trip to and from, to look at the scenery twice.

Brig is not a major scenic attraction, but it is still enjoyable to walk around for an hour or two, and to visit Stockalper's "palace."

So, there are "escapes" from the BO for bad weather, and one day going partway up, such as to Kleine Scheidegg is worthwhile even with imperfect visibility.

RE: St. Gall.

The Bibliothek ( library) is an amazing place, and the old town is nice to walk around.

Slowpoke

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2651 posts
expert
Nov 21, 2015 - 5:44 PM in reply to Arno

Once you get to one of the towns near the Jungfrau, stop at the tourist office and ask about weather conditions up above, and which trails are open.

You my have good luck on Maennlichen-Kleine Scheidegg, although you might ave to access it from Kleine Scheidegg and return the same way.

Slowpoke

PPDubai
PPDubai
10 posts
new member
Nov 22, 2015 - 9:28 AM

Thank you Slowpoke and Arno...

Must say, this would be the best travel advice site in the whole world. Such detailed advice and so fast...hats off to you guys :)

My cousins in Winterthhur just send me a pic on whatsapp. It has snowed there today. And when I checked the webcams in Wengen, Murren etc....all snow.... :)

So, weather is going to be the great 'risk' during my trip. I am very very exciyted about the Lauterbrunnen Valley, Murren and Wengen Area but...if I cant see anything and do even a walk...will be very dissappointed....! :(

Arno
Arno
7716 posts
expert &
moderator
Nov 22, 2015 - 10:44 AM in reply to PPDubai

Thanks for your compliments! I'm sure you'll like Switzerland! If you can post a trip report once you're back that would be great.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2651 posts
expert
Nov 22, 2015 - 4:58 PM in reply to PPDubai

<<"So, weather is going to be the great 'risk' during my trip. I am very very exciyted about the Lauterbrunnen Valley, Murren and Wengen Area but...if I cant see anything and do even a walk...will be very dissappointed....! :(:>>

Snow in the Alps in late November and early December is quite a normal event.

I looked at the web cams and agree that there is snow. It does not look like a surprising amount to me. The cograil will be running.

The question is cloudy weather. The forecast for Wengen has 3 sunny or partly sunny days in the next week. The views will be good then. Forecasts to your dates are unreliable. The snow in Lauterbrunnen does not look deep, as far as I can tell.

If you want to avoid snow, you should think about lower altitudes,such as cities on the lakes ....Zuerich, Geneva, Luzern.........

Slowpoke

PPDubai
PPDubai
10 posts
new member
Nov 22, 2015 - 5:34 PM

Thanks Slowpoke...

Have booked a hotel in Grindelwald on booking.com tried to keep it cancellable.

Hoping that weather improves.

What are your thoughts on Montreal? Also I have been to Lucerne on a day trip before in Sep. Will MT. Pilatus cable car B open? Also any hikes Round Lucerne?

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2651 posts
expert
Nov 22, 2015 - 9:25 PM in reply to PPDubai

<<"What are your thoughts on Montreal? ">>

That it is in Canada.

<<"Also I have been to Lucerne on a daytrip before in Sep. ">>

My favorite time of year.

<<"Will MT. Pilatus cable car B open? ">> Check the timetable to Pilatus Kulm.. One of the services may be shut down for maintenance....

www.myswissalps.com/ti metable

<<"Also any hikes Round Lucerne?">>

Lots. Many have significant elevation changes. What will your 5 yr. old be able to handle?

Swiss Mobility helps here:

www.wanderland.ch/en/h iking-in.html?phrase=Luzern+%28LU%29 +-+Luzern&sname=&sid=520 67

The Swiss Trail goes around the Urner See, which is the southern part of lake Lucerne). Lots of hills.

A part that you might consider is -

Lake boat to Treib, funicular to Seelisberg (or, get to Seelisberg by bus), walk the trail to Bauen, catch a boat , for instance to Brunnen or Fluelen, train to Luzern.

map.geo.admin.ch/?topic=swisstopo&lang=e n&bgLayer=ch.swisstopo .pixelkarte-farbe&layers=ch.swisst opo.zeitreihen,ch.bfs. gebaeude_wohnungs_regi ster,ch.bafu.wrz-wildruhezonen_portal,c h.swisstopo.swisstlm3d -wanderwege,ch.swisstop o.swissalti3d-reliefschattierung&lay ers_visibility=false,f alse,false,true,false& layers_timestamp=18641 231,,,,&X=202500.00&Y= 687720.00&zoom=5https: //map.geo.admin.ch/?topic=swisstopo&lang=e n&bgLayer=ch.swisstopo .pixelkarte-farbe&layers=ch.swisst opo.zeitreihen,ch.bfs. gebaeude_wohnungs_regi ster,ch.bafu.wrz-wildruhezonen_portal,c h.swisstopo.swisstlm3d -wanderwege,ch.swisstop o.swissalti3d-reliefschattierung&lay ers_visibility=false,f alse,false,true,false& layers_timestamp=18641 231,,,,&X=202500.00&Y= 687720.00&zoom=5

Just above Bauen is a 400 meter descent on an excellent trail. Easy, with steps.Carefully watch boat schedules - they are slim in the winter.

www.lakelucerne.ch/fil eadmin/lakelucerne/con tent/Dokumente_Downloa ds_PDF/01_Fahrplan-Preise/01_Fahrplan/Sai sonaler_Fahrplan/2015_ Fahplan_Winter_mit_Zei chenerkl%C3%A4hrung_A4 .pdf

English notes on page 2.

Don't forget the super playground at the Lido in Luzern, close by the lake boat stop and the Transport Museum (das Verkehrshaus)

Th so-called Hohenweg on the Rigi - starting at Rigi Kulm o r Rigistaffel, then swinging out over the fields not too far from Rigi Staffelhohe to viewpoints over the lake at Kaenzeli, then to Rigi Kaltbad, is an easy trail, good for a 5 year old, I think.

map.geo.admin.ch/?topic=swisstopo&lang=e n&bgLayer=ch.swisstopo .pixelkarte-farbe&layers=ch.swisst opo.zeitreihen,ch.bfs. gebaeude_wohnungs_regi ster,ch.bafu.wrz-wildruhezonen_portal,c h.swisstopo.swisstlm3d -wanderwege,ch.swisstop o.swissalti3d-reliefschattierung&lay ers_visibility=false,f alse,false,true,false& layers_timestamp=18641 231,,,,&X=211245.00&Y= 678335.00&zoom=8

There are different routes for going up and also for coming down= such as a cable car from Rigi Kaltbad to Weggis, 15 minute downhill walk to lake boat or bus stop for getting back to Luzern via various routes; or, cograil traindown to Vitznau - catch a boat or a bus and connect to Luzern. Bus in either directiopn to hook up with the rail network eventually. Or , train back up to Rigi Staffel from Rigi Kaltbad, then train down to Arh Goldau on the main north-south line, and connect back to Luzern.

Good bet that trail will be passable, but not a promise.

The tourist info at track #1 in Luzern main station can make suggestions and filll in details.

Slowpoke

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