Itinerary for recent trip to Switzerland

Itinerary for recent trip to Switzerland

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aussie
aussie
67 posts
active member
Sep 11, 2015 - 12:18 PM

To all the moderators who gave my son and me such a lot of help with our recent holiday in Switzerland. It was terrific, and I would like to share with you some of the things that we particularly liked, and in doing so, perhaps give other readers of the forum some ideas for their own holiday. Please edit it as you wish.

On our first full day in Zurich, we caught a train to Neuhausen, and from there did a very easy and scenic walk to the Rhine Falls. Once we got there, it was "Wow" all day. I have never seen such a volume of water, and there were lots of places to get even a better view than the last one. A must to visit.

Then on to Interlaken Ost for 5 nights. We've been there several times but this time saw a mixture of favorite things seen before and some new ones.. Some of the things we most enjoyed were a exciting trip on the Rothorn Bahn. This took about an hour and was a amazing fete-of engineering. The thick mist covered the view from the top but after a coffee we took the train coming down. Much quicker coming down, and soon we could see the gorgeous Brienz lake ahead in full sunshine.

We also took a train up from Interlaken West to Harder Kulm. It was a beautiful day, and the view from the top was lovely.

Because we were having such great weather, we went to one of our favorite places in Switzerland, Murren, and after a nice walk, went up the Schilthorn. Very exciting trip up the mountain and again a great view. It was an experience to have a meal in a revolving restaurant! My son loves the James Bond films and enjoyed the museum there and the explanation how the film was made.

Back to Brienz on the ferry to have a walk along my favorite lake! We visited the wooden carving shop which is well worth a visit, and we bought a bought another little cow to join the one we already had.

Then off to Luzern. We have never been there and not had rain.! Sure enough, as soon as we got there, it started. Never the less, we went by train to Engelberg, and as the rain had stopped and the mist seemed to be lifting, went by a most exciting array of cable cars etc. to Mt. Titilis. Very cold, but an experience not to be missed. Unfortunately it rained most of the 3 days that we were in Luzern and so couldn't go to Rigi Kulm, but we still had a good look at this beautiful part of Switzerland. On our last day, we had booked a tour on the William tell express from Luzern to Lugano. Because of the bad weather, we couldn't enjoy this trip as much as we had hoped.

We had 5 nights in Lugano where we had never been before, and it turned out to be one of our very favorite parts of Switzerland. We went to see Swiss Miniature by ferry to Melide. Again, a trip not to be missed! We also went to Locarno and visited the Church from the top (can you help me with the name of this Church?). One of the most interesting Churches that I've seen. We then finished our holiday in Switzerland with a tour that I would recommend to everyone. We took a Bernina Express bus from Lugano to Tirano in Italy., A, wonderful view of the Swiss and Italian lakes, and from there, we, took the Bernina express train to Chur. Magical scenery the entire 4 hours. In all, the trip took about 6 hours, and if one had a very limited time in Switzerland, this would be the trip to make because you'll see so much of Switzerland's scenery. The lakes, the mountains, the forests, and the lovely countryside. Don't miss this tour

I'm sorry if this is too long. Please cut out the parts you feel I needn't have included. We've been to Switzerland many times, always tell each other that we needn't go again, but the beauty to the country always draws us back!.

y.

Annika
Annika
4417 posts
expert &
moderator
Sep 11, 2015 - 2:09 PM

Hello aussie!

Thanks for your clear and enthusiastic trip report. It's very valuable to other forum visitors, and we're happy to hear you had such a nice holiday in Switzerland. Unfortunately you had back luck with weather in Lucerne. Still, you seem to have enjoyed this region, as well as the other parts of the country you visited.

Yes, the Lugano region is nice too. It's not quite as well-known to tourists as e.g. the Bernese Oberland and Lake Lucerne, but it's certainly attractive, especially to those who appreciate the Mediterranean-like atmosphere. Could the Madonna del Sasso be the church you visited?

You're right, the Bernina Express is an impressive journey across very diverse landscapes in just a couple of hours. Good to know you loved it!

If you decide to return to Switzerland once more, please feel welcome to our forum for further advice.

aussie
aussie
67 posts
active member
Sep 11, 2015 - 10:39 PM in reply to Annika

Yes, Annika, you were right with the name of the Church (Madonna Del Sasso. A most unusual Church, well worth visiting. Actually, our tour on the Bernina Express lasted a lot longer than 2 hours. It took from 10am to about 13.00 to get from Lugano to Torino, then an hour's stop for lunch then on the Bernina express train from 14.00 hours until 18.00. Thanks for the info.

Removed user
Removed user
0 posts
new member
Sep 12, 2015 - 6:45 PM in reply to aussie

Hi Aussie,

This was a wonderful summary of your trip. One question: did you need a car or did you do all travel with public transportation?

Thanks!

aussie
aussie
67 posts
active member
Sep 12, 2015 - 10:44 PM in reply to Removed user

Hello Sue. Yes we had a 15 day Swiss travel pass. Now and again though, we had to pay a supplement which was a bit of a shock!. We still got good use of our passes though, but it does pay to have a credit card handy.

Removed user
Removed user
0 posts
new member
Sep 12, 2015 - 11:04 PM in reply to aussie

Thank you Aussie for your quick response! Planning a family trip to Switzerland for next year and I'm in charge of the arrangements. Trying to figure out the transportation issue is a daunting task.

aussie
aussie
67 posts
active member
Sep 13, 2015 - 4:14 AM in reply to Removed user

Hi Sue. I wonder if you live in Australia? Anyway, we've always used a Swiss travel card for our holidays in Switzerland and on the whole, got great value from them. Just be aware that it doesn't always cover everything, but certainly gives you a discount. The information bureaus at most main railways are always most helpful as are our wonderful moderators on the forum. The transport in Switzerland is great and you can get to everything using it. Just be on time.,If a train seems to be leaving a few seconds late, your watch will be slow!

Removed user
Removed user
0 posts
new member
Sep 13, 2015 - 5:16 AM

Hi Aussie . . . no, I'm not in Australia. I live in Seattle, Washington USA. I've been reading up on all of the travel passes and trying to figure out which is best. Some of my family will also be traveling to other countries before and after our Switzerland visit, which makes it more complicated, but we, or shall I say, I have lots of time to decide which is best for all of us. I have Swiss travel books as well and am reading those for ideas. I'm familiar with the timely trains as I've visited France several times. I try to make sure my watch is a few minutes ahead of time so I won't miss my train! Of course, getting myself to the train on time is one thing, corralling our group, which includes 5 kids, will be a challenge!

maggiehorswell
maggiehorswell
318 posts
top member
Sep 13, 2015 - 3:14 PM

Hello Aussie

I enjoyed reading your report - glad you enjoyed your trip so much.

Shame about the rain in Lucerne! Our rainy place is Bern! It always seems to rain when we go there!

We share your enthusiasm for the Brienzer Rothornbahn and have been several times now. Have you ever tried the alternative route to the top via Sorenberg and the gondola ride?

I was particularly interested to read about the Bernina Express trip you did. We usually spend all our holiday staying in Thun and travelling around from there, but next year will spend the first week in St. Moritz and are considering taking the B.E. train to Tirano then the bus to Lugano. It will be a long day as we will then have to get back to St. Moritz by train but it sounds as though it will be well worth it. We really enjoy travelling in Switzerland and are as fond of the buses as the trains as you get a different perspective from a bus.

The Swiss Travel Pass certainly saves a lot of money and we always make the most of ours. Now we are in our seventies we tend to travel more than we hike!

We are already making our plans for next year. Like you we nix favourite places with new experiences. If you liked the views from Schilthorn you would like Weisshorn above Arosa - 360 degree views, much quieter and peaceful and while the restaurant doesn't revolve the food is about the best we have had anywhere in Switzerland! They even made us some take-away sandwiches to eat on our long trip back to Thun.

Hope it won't be too long before you can return for another holiday!

Best wishes

Maggie

aussie
aussie
67 posts
active member
Sep 14, 2015 - 11:47 AM in reply to maggiehorswell

Hello Maggie. Thanks for the suggestions you made for other things to see if we visit Switzerland again. At the moment, I don't think that I ever want to see the inside of a plane again! You're so lucky living just a few hour's away.. Even with a 2 day stop over in Singapore on the way home, it's an ordeal .Like you, being in my 70's now (late 70'!) I do a lot more traveling now whereas a few years ago, I would have done a lot more hiking.About the only thing I don't like about Switzerland and probably other European countries as well, is the big gap between the platform and the inside of the train. Sometimes, 3 or more narrow steps. I have to go side ways clinging on to the hand rails and luckily I travel with a fit son who can cope with our luggage. We try to take as little as we can, but with such a long way to travel, we usually stay away about 6-7 weeks so do need a fair amount of luggage. Of course, as I age, I don't get stronger either! Enjoy your trip next year, and even though you'll have a long day doing the Bernina express, I'm sure that you'll enjoy every minute of it.

aussie
aussie
67 posts
active member
Sep 14, 2015 - 12:06 PM in reply to Removed user

Hi Sue. Your replies come so quickly, that I thought you might be a fellow Aussie! Yes, I think that you'll have quite a challenge with 5 kids. There are loads of things in Switzerland that would appeal to kids. Getting up to Mt Titilis would be one of them because there is quite a lot of walking in the snow or ice, a bit scary for me and oh so cold, but the kids would love it. If you're in Lugano the Swiss miniature will keep them (and you) entertained for ages. It was incredible , so many things you see in Switzerland reduced to little life like models. The interesting buildings, the train net work, the little cable cars going up the mountains the ferries etc. Also, from a cable car in the gorgeous town of Grindelwald you can go to a place where they have great go carts. The kids (and maybe you!) will have a great time. Lots to see, and I'm sure that our great moderators will have lots of other info for you. Travel light. The trains tend to have quite a few steps going from the platforms into the train. I hope that you have some strong boys or men with you to help! All the best. I'm sure that you'll have a great time. Switzerland is truly beautiful.

Removed user
Removed user
0 posts
new member
Sep 14, 2015 - 4:02 PM

Hi Aussie. . . I have lots of time to respond as I'm retired! Thank you so much for all the helpful hints for kids activities. My grandkids are ages 6 through 14, three oldest are boys and they're very helpful. Also will have my son and son-in-law along so lots of help with luggage and other heavy things. My daughter, daughter-in-law and I will let them do the lifting! We are all looking forward to our trip, the first to Switzerland for us and one with special meaning as my father's side of the family was from Bern. Maybe we'll find some long-lost relatives :)

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