A Family Swiss Vacation 11-19 June 2014

A Family Swiss Vacation 11-19 June 2014

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dolphinsiah
dolphinsiah
5 posts
new member
Jun 24, 2014 - 11:40 AM
We have just completed our Fantastic Free and Easy Family Vacation.
After months of preparing this vacation , we were pleased that everything worked out well.
We have gathered all information about the lovely Alps , nice big blue lakes and the efficient Swiss transport

Day 1 -11 June 2014 Paris-Basel –Interlaken Ost
Due to the National Train Strike in Paris., arrived Basel late evening before 9pm. But we managed to arrive in Basel ( Paris /Switzerland Border) in one piece. The train was jammed packed. I was surprised that there were 2 Custom Officers randomly checking passports around 8pm. I like this- it makes me feel safe.( Recent reports pickpockets are on the rise in Swiss stations).
Lucky the train tickets counter was still open. Getting the Swiss Half Pass was quick after showing all our Passports. The Ticket Officer spoke very Good English.
We reached Interlaken Ost around 11pm. Check In to our room was fast as the Reception has no problem in retrieving our Bookings.

Day 2 -12 June 2014 –Zermatt-Matterhorn
Woke Up around 7am after a good night sleep .We felt relieved that we have arrived in Switzerland after last night of jammed packed train ride from Paris.
After breakfast , we decided to visit Zermatt after checking the weather at the Hotel Reception.
The Ticket Office in Interlaken Ost is very efficient. Press a Q Ticket number and I was served within less than 10 minutes. Tickets Officer spoke good English who even printed out the train stop-arrival-departure) details in handy paper pocket size. They even advise me which Train Platform to go and the time for the train to depart.
So off we went to find our train. We have bought the 2nd Class tickets. But the seats are comfortable with wide window screens. Toilets are very clean too.
Our first Swiss Train ride, we were so captivated by the beautiful scenery along our way to Zermatt. Lakes/Waterfall/Alps and neat lovely Cottages, just like pictures in the Postcards.
We reached Zermatt almost 2pm and was told by the Tourist Office that we did not have much time left if we were going up Matterhorn.
So we did a brisk walk to Matterhorn Station trying not to stop for any photos .
The Gondola Ride to Matterhorn was amazing . We were lucky , the weather was perfect-no fog and no huge tourist groups. In fact it was snowing, my 2 Girls were so happy.
We stayed at Matterhorn until the Gondola Operator came to tell us it was time to go down- last trip down.
When we touched based , we took a slow walk around Zermatt taking pictures of the nice cottages, wild flowers.
Going back to Interlaken Ost was easy as Zermatt train station is small.

Day 3 13 June 2014 Jungfrau
We bought Jungfrau VIP 3 days train ticket. We left for Jungfrau around 7-8 am-we requested for Breakfast take way last nite.
The train connections up to Jungfrau from Interlaken Ost are easy. Even you do not have any information on hand there are officers around the Connection Platforms helping the tourists to find the right train.
We were early and lucky , the weather was perfect with No Fog and No Huge Tourist Crowds again.
The ride up this 3466 metres Alps is magnificent. Just cannot stop praising the Swiss Team and Engineers for doing such a great job.
After taking lots of pictures of the Glacier and Snow plateaus we had a Good and Warm lunch in a Sit in Café .

Day 4 14 June 2014 Grindelwald –First
The beautiful scenery surrounded Grindelwald –First is so beautiful. It will stay in my memory forever. Admiring the distance snow Alps , cannot help envying Switzerland is such a lucky country.
We were lucky to board a bus going to the Grindelwald mountains after coming down from First.
The Bus ride showed us another side of the Alps-different from taking Gondola/train rides.
The Bus brought us nearer to the mountains.

Day 5- 15 June 2014 Schynige Platte/Murren/Trummelbach Falls
The final day of using the VIP Jungfrau tickets. Went up Schynige Platte did not stay too long as it was rather foggy. But managed to walk around viewing flowers in the garden. Information stated that on a clear day we can experience stunning views of distance Alps and the Lakes. Pity it was a foggy morning.
Next went to Murren for a stroll and a nice lunch. Murren village is blooming with wild flowers, very warm and sweet.
Our last stop Trummelbach Falls.
The Swiss is so Brilliant , they made an elevator so that tourists are able to enjoy the magnificent water rush within the mountain.

Day 6 -16 June 2014 Interlaken /Jetboating
Did an exciting Jetboating ride around Lake Brienz . The ride took us to and fro within Lake Brienz.
We were told that Lake Brienz water is too clean,that is why there are only 4 types of fishes are able to breed in it.
Went up Harder Klum for lunch and to have an overview of Interlaken above sea level.
Saw a lot of people doing Paragliding.

Day 7- 17 June 2014 Lucerne –River Cruise to Mt Rigi
Took a River Cruise from Lucerne to Mt Rigi –Queen of Mountains.
A mountain surrounded with green pasture and wild flowers.
A stroll in the old site of Lucerne gave us a feeling of going back to history , especially when walking across the Chapel Bridge.

Day 8- 18 June 2014 Bern
Went to Switzerlaken Capital Bern for a brief visit. Bern is filled with Shops , a good place for tourists to shop.

Day 9- 19 June 2014 (Departure Day)
Took the first train 5.20am from Interlaken to Zurich for our Flight Back Home
Did not know that Swiss Carriage has Quite Zone, embarrassed myself for talking and eating freely like at home. Quickly Switched to another Carriage to continue our take away breakfast.
Lastly , I would like to comment on the all the Train Conductors who went around every carriage to check tickets.
It make me feel safe!

Zurich Airport –Check In ,Security and Custom Clearance is efficient. There were Queues but it moved fast. Shops were filled with Chocolates for tourists who wanted to do last minute shopping.

Our Family Impression of Switzerland . A Beautiful and Efficient Country worth to visit again and again.


Last modified on Jun 24, 2014 - 11:45 AM by dolphinsiah
Arno
Arno
7340 posts
expert &
moderator
Jun 25, 2014 - 6:35 AM

Hi dolphinsiah,

Thanks a lot for taking the time to post your trip report! It's good to hear that you liked the train system so much. Indeed there are quiet zones in some trains, which can be very convenient but also unexpected if you're not used to it ;-) This, and more practical tips about traveling by train in Switzerland can be found here.

I wondered how you liked Interlaken as a base town for your day trips? Did it meet up with your expectations?

I hope you have a chance to indeed visit Switzerland again!

Olga
Olga
460 posts
top member
Jun 25, 2014 - 7:37 AM

Hello dolphinsiah,

I really enjoyed reading your trip report, you made great trips! It makes me want to go to Switzerland again (which will probably happen next year). Thank you very much for taking the time to share your experiences!

Olga

dolphinsiah
dolphinsiah
5 posts
new member
Jun 25, 2014 - 9:33 AM

Thank you Arno & Olga, for your kind comments.

We chose Interlaken Ost as our holiday base because travelling to most attractions takes less than 3 hours . Interlaken Ost is much quieter compare to Interlaken West. If I am not wrong there were no traffic lights in Interlaken Ost except the gantries will be activated when a train is passing through.

I come from a country where every streets are filled with traffic lights.

So to visit a country with no heavy traffic is so relaxing and wonderful.

I have a suggestion to Swiss Tourist Board , they should bottled the fresh air of the Alps for sale.

I know Japan Mt Fuji air is canned for sale in Japan.

So remember during your visit to the beautiful Swiss Alps , breathe hard to absorb all the fresh crisp air.

Happy Planning!

Arno
Arno
7340 posts
expert &
moderator
Jun 26, 2014 - 9:48 AM

Hi dolphinsiah,

That's interesting, as many Swiss people would qualify Interlaken as a busy town. I guess it all depends on what you're used to. Indeed West is much busier than Ost. And indeed, Interlaken is a great base to get around easy as there are very good train connections.

I'm sure some people would buy bottled Swiss air ;-)

Thanks again!

dolphinsiah
dolphinsiah
5 posts
new member
Jun 27, 2014 - 6:16 AM

Sharing my homemade video clip of our trip to Grindelwald - First. All pictures taken with normal smartphone. No expensive devices use , no photo edit too.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Du2rnSA0smY

Arno
Arno
7340 posts
expert &
moderator
Jun 27, 2014 - 9:13 AM

It is really nice to see how you spend that day, thanks for sharing the video with us! It looks like a wonderful day trip. The song "Top of the World" you picked is a good one for a video like this :-)

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