Itinerary advice 15 day Swiss Train Pass - 20 Sep

Itinerary advice 15 day Swiss Train Pass - 20 Sep

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Garnet4
Garnet4
4 posts
new member
Sep 7, 2016 - 3:38 PM

We are a couple in our late 60's traveling in Switzerland with a 15-day 2nd class Swiss Travel Pass. We would appreciate any comments, help etc with out itinerary. We will be coming to Switzerland on 20 September. We have our train tickets to Domodossola from where we understand that the STP will take over for our travel in Switzerland. From there we will travel as follows:

We love walking around the towns enjoying the environment, but would like to see the important sights.

20Sep Day 1- train travel to Zermatt

21Sep Day 2- take Gonergrat to see the Matterhorn, then take a mid afternoon train to Lausanne.

22-23 Sep Day 3 & 4- visiting relatives and Lausanne/Montreux area - hoping to see the Chateau de Chillon. Golden Pass train afternoon day 4 Montreux - Speiz.

24-28 Sep Day 5- mid Day 9 - staying near train station in Thun. Would like to make definite plans for each day, but know that we must consider the weather and be flexible!

Visit Mount Nisien - grandfather grew up in Mulenen

Would also like to go to the Jungfrau. What would be the best way to travel with STP considering our location? I have read it is good to go up one way and come down another to see more. With the STP the cost is an additional 132.75 eur per person, correct? Where do you buy this ticket?

We would like to do the hike from Männlichen to Kleine Scheidegg but we are not sure where that would fit in the schedule or if we would really have enough time.

Make a day trip to Bern

Ballenberg Open Air Museum -is entrance to this covered by the STP?

Visit castle in Thun

Woodwork Museum in Brienz

28 Sep Day 9 afternoon Golden Pass train to Lucerne

29Sep-1Oct Day 10-12 Lucerne

Walk the Chapel Bridge, visit Lion Monument

Visit Kuntsmuseum - see painting relating to my great-grandfather

Make a day trip to Zurich

Take a cruise on Lake Lucerne. We have been told that the Umersee is the best part. Does the STP cover the cost of any cruises?

1Oct Day 12 Visit Fortress Furigen then take train to Lugano

2-3Oct Day 13-14 Lugano

Visit relatives in Lugano and hope to see some sights

3Oct Take morning train from Lugano to Salzburg Where does the coverage of the STP stop? We assume we must buy an Austrian train ticket online before we start the trip. Any suggestions for the best route. We must be in Salzburg that night.

Arno
Arno
7728 posts
expert &
moderator
Sep 7, 2016 - 7:05 PM

Hello Garnet4, welcome to MySwissAlps!

Please see myswissalps.com/ swisstravelpass/ validity for what's covered in the Swiss Travel Pass. There's an extensive map and the major attractions are listed on that page as well. The Ballenberg open air museum is free. I'm not sure if you have already purchased the pass, but if not, be sure to print it at home to prevent loosing time at the border: myswissalps.com/ swisstravelpass/ price.

All about the Jungfraujoch route and tickets can be found here: myswissalps.com/ jungfraujoch.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2659 posts
expert
Sep 10, 2016 - 12:49 AM in reply to Garnet4

Hi Garnet4-

Check the schedules for opening hours at Fortress Fürigen carefully. They are quite limited.

While you are there, consider a trip up to Hammetschwand. Close by.

See attachments.

More later. You have a great itinerary.

Slowpoke

Last modified on Sep 10, 2016 - 12:53 AM by Slowpoke
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Garnet4
Garnet4
4 posts
new member
Sep 10, 2016 - 5:46 AM in reply to Slowpoke

As I understand Fortress Furigen is only open on Saturday and Sunday. Isn't that right. From 11:00 -17:00.

The pictures look great how do you get to Hammetschwand?

Garnet4
Garnet4
4 posts
new member
Sep 10, 2016 - 5:48 AM in reply to Arno

Thanks for the links! Those were helpful!

Still trying to figure out a good way to go from Lugano to Salzburg. It seems like there should be a better way than going all the way back through Zurich!! Any ideas??

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2659 posts
expert
Sep 10, 2016 - 6:54 AM in reply to Garnet4

Hi Garnet4 -

<<"As I understand Fortress Furigen is only open on Saturday and Sunday. Isn't that right. From 11:00 -17:00. ">>

Re: Fürigen-

Don't know without looking it up. Watch the spelling. The correct spelling (Fürigen) is different from "Furigen" and is pronounced very differently.

All I know is that friends have been disappointed due to misunderstanding of the hours, more than once.

www.nidwaldner-museum.ch/ausstellunge n/festung-fuerigen?toggle=festung-furigen

<""The pictures look great how do you get to Hammetschwand?">>

With difficulty. Here is a very detailed map. If you like maps, this one is rich with information via overlays.

map.geo.admin.ch/?X=205815.00&Y=672235.0 0&zoom=8&lang=en&topic =swisstopo&bgLayer=ch. swisstopo.pixelkarte-farbe&catalogNodes=145 9,1436,1430,1396,1538, 1392&layers=ch.swissto po.swisstlm3d-wanderwege

That map shows the cantonal boundary (semi-transparent red line), and hiking trails (red or yellow) , as I have turned on the overlay for hiking trails. It will orient you.

It is not easy these days to get to Hammetschwand. It used to be that you took the funicular from the lake boat landing near but just beyond Kehrsiten up to the hotels at Bürgenstock, and walked a km or two along the Felsenweg to the elevator ( die Aufzug) but the funicular is not running due to construction of new hotels and apartments. At least, it was not running last year when we went up by car from Stanstad to the parking lot to the west of the hotel site and walked in.

There is some discussion in this link:

www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/the-hammetschwand-lift

Without a car, you'll depend on public transport and have a notably longer walk. Confirm the routing with the Tourist Information office by track #1 at the main station in Luzern. That office is very helpful and very knowledgeable. They will know the status of the funicular ( almost surely closed) as well as the details of the rather complex and limited bus routing to Trogen, visible on the map to the southeast of Hammetschwand. The name of the bus stop is Obbürgen. See screen grab attached. I have expanded one of the four journeys shown.

This map is simpler to use for general information, and allows you to turn on symbols for public transport stops in the menus under Points of Interest/Traffic:

map.search.ch/?pos=672536,204608&z=64 &poi=haltestelle

Mouse over or click on a stop to get the name and brief near-time timetable, and use the name in the SBB timetable as a destination for route planning. The stop for Trogen is the last one on the line up the back side of the peninsula.

www.myswissalps.com/ti metable

That timetable will be invaluable for your rail journeys . The first page of that link gives useful instructions. The time table is complex and has detailed information within it.

The direct link is on the SBB website:

www.sbb.ch/en/home.htm l

Never forget that walking is a legitimate form of public transportation in Switzerland. ;-)

Slowpoke

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Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2659 posts
expert
Sep 10, 2016 - 7:18 AM in reply to Garnet4

Hi Garnet4-

<<"Thanks for the links! Those were helpful! Still trying to figure out a good way to go from Lugano to Salzburg. It seems like there should be a better way than going all the way back through Zurich!">>

Glad they were helpful.

Whenever you ask a question like that, your first source for an answer is the SBB timetable.

www.sbb.ch/en/home.htm l

Start with the link in this website, because it gives useful explanations and has related links:

www.myswissalps.com/ti metable

And, the Mapsearch.ch link given above, in the previous post, will orient you inside Switzerland and have useful details. For the larger map of Europe, take your pick. I tend to use Google Maps.

Once you have the timetable list for the journey(s) giving times and # of changes, open any journey's details by clicking on the "+" sign to the left of a journey. In the footnotes, you'll find "map" click on it and use the menu to reduce complexity.

On the map, you will find a link for start and destination, which gives detailed local street information at each end of the journey.

The timetable defaults to the fastest routes.

You can take a more direct route by taking the bus from Bellinzona to Chur. Please note that the timetable says you need reservations for the bus. Ask at Luzern tourist info for details if you do not understand the timetable entry

Enter "Chur" in the "via" box in the timetable.

If you can't make the timetable work for you, come back here and ask.

Slowpoke

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Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2659 posts
expert
Sep 10, 2016 - 7:41 AM in reply to Garnet4

<<"Visit Mount Nisien - grandfather grew up in Mulenen">>

Watch the spellings if you search on a map-

Niesen and Mülenen.

map.search.ch/M%C3%BCl enen?pos=620992,166432&z=16

<<"Would also like to go to the Jungfrau. What would be the best way to travel with STP considering our location? I have read it is good to go up one way and come down another to see more. ">>

Look at the map. you can go via Grindelwald or via Wengen.

<<"With the STP the cost is an additional 132.75 eur per person, correct? Where do you buy this ticket?

We would like to do the hike from Männlichen to Kleine Scheidegg but we are not sure where that would fit in the schedule or if we would really have enough time.

Make a day trip to Bern

Ballenberg Open Air Museum -is entrance to this covered by the STP?

Visit castle in Thun

Woodwork Museum in Brienz">>

Look at a map:

map.search.ch/?pos=638656,171200&z=8& poi=default

and use the timetable.

For your preferences as listed, I'd stay in Interlaken. Staying in Thun adds too much travel time for the Jungfrau region. Work the timetable. The main line trains along the lake to Interlaken are fast. Trains into the Lauterbrunnen Valley and onward are slow. You want to be close to the Jungfrauto catch the best weather...it can change quickly.

For the Männlichen Kleine Scheidegg walk, as well as the journey to Jungfrajoch, you are much better off if you stay in Wengen, Grindelwald or Lauterbrunnen. Interlaken offers a compromise.

Jobin's museum in Brienz is nice but small. They are the premier wood carvers.

Buy music boxes for any grandchildren who might like them. They have a very large selection.

The attached picture along the trail (Eiger and Tschuggen) was taken on September 20, 2009

Slowpoke

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Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2659 posts
expert
Sep 10, 2016 - 3:16 PM in reply to Garnet4

Hi Garnet4 -

Still picking up on things to comment about. Sorry that the respomses are disjointed; I've had a busy schedule in the past few days.

<<" Make a day trip to Zurich">

Skip it. There is too much to do around Luzern, and Zürich is a not a city that rewards a quick trip by a casual tourist. It is my favorite city in Switzerland, but for reasons of culture - museums, and things that require a bit of digging to appreciate.

<<" Take a cruise on Lake Lucerne. We have been told that the Umersee is the best part. Does the STP cover the cost of any cruises?">>

The STP covers the cruises. Arno's first post, on the 7th, gives the needed link.

You can upgrade to first class for a modest fee. if you take the long route over most of the lake, you'll probably want access to the better views and restaurant.

I agree with the comment about the Urnersee.

You can see some pictures of that part of the lake in these two threads:

www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/the-swiss-path-and-southern-lake-lucerne.

The first attached image shows the lake boat stops. There is easy access by train at Flüelen and Brunnen, where there is a 10 minute walk to the Bahnhof from the ship landing. Sometimes there is a bus

www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/best-way-to-visit-mt-pilatus-from-seelisberg

Here is the schedule, which is also in the timetable:

Note the seasonal time table change in September.

Lots of added information in the section at the bottom.

Also, the ship landings are available in the traffic overlay for the Mapsearch.CH map that I linked to earlier.

Spelling -

it is Spiez, not Speiz.

Spiez is pronounced as "shpeets" in ordinary German. In Swiss German, the dialects tend to split diphthongs, so you may hear " Shpee-ets."

Speiz is pronunced "Shpits" with the i as in the pronoun "I" ..."I am a tourist." Long "I" sound, as in "island."

Slowpoke

maggiehorswell
maggiehorswell
318 posts
top member
Sep 12, 2016 - 12:25 PM in reply to Garnet4

Hi there

Since most of the replies to your post concern the Lucerne leg of your trip I thought I would comment on the Thun leg as we stay in Thun every year! Most of the plans you have for that area are quicker and easier to reach from Thun than from the mountain villages – the only exception being Jungfraujoch.

You have quite a wish list but I think you can fit everything in if the weather co-operates! You say you are reaching Spiez on 23rd – are you going from there to Thun to stay that night?

You can use timetable to check trains etc. to go to Mülenen and thence to Niesen – check weather forecast as you need a clear day.

You also need clear weather for Jungfraujoch trip. If you start early you can take trains to Wengen (covered by Swiss Travel Pass) take gondola to Männlichen (discounted) do the lovely walk to Kleine Scheidegg, then train to Jungfraujoch from there (discounted) – for variety return to Interlaken via Grindelwald (discounted to Grindelwald then covered by Pass).

If weather is cloudy take full day in Ballenberg – trains from Thun to Brienz then bus – all covered by pass as is museum entrance. There is a bus timetable near entrance to museum to find times of return bus.

On another cloudy day visit Thun castle in morning then spend afternoon in Bern – only 25 mins frequent train service from Thun. (tip – there is a lovely little café on Baillitz on way from Thun castle to station called Brötli where you can have a really nice lunch).

That’s your 4 days taken care of! 2 fine day options and 2 cloudy!

You can even fit in the Brienz Wood – Carving Museum – on transfer day to Lucerne, leave in morning – take trains to Brienz, leave luggage in station, visit Museum, then resume trip from Brienz to Lucerne!

Your overall itinerary looks really good – lots of variety. I am sure you will have a great time!

Best wishes.

Maggie

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