Outings from Wengen without pre booking

Outings from Wengen without pre booking

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Fleurette
Fleurette
11 posts
new member
Aug 14, 2015 - 12:44 PM

Have posted previously about buying our travel card. Have now received our Swiss Transfer Ticket Combi / Half Fare Card. Thank you for the advice regarding this. We arrive in Wengen on 26th August & leave on 2nd September.

We have decided not to pre book any trips from Wengen - we shall be there for 6 days - but to buy as we need them which will depend on the weather situation. We would like to visit the Schilthorn, take a boat trip from Interlaken, & visit the Trummelbach Falls plus some more local trips ie Murren, Lauterbrunnen & Gridlewald and some easy walks. This is so we can alternate a longer day out with a more local day, we are not in the first flush of youth & would like to pace ourselves rather than dash around, this is a holiday, after all! Does this sound reasonable, especially not pre booking?

We are very much looking forward to our holiday although I am a little anxious about our journey from Zurich Airport to Wengen, four changes of train seems somewhat daunting! Perhaps someone can reassure me that all will be well!

Many thanks.

Wandermann
Wandermann
298 posts
top member
Aug 14, 2015 - 5:26 PM in reply to Fleurette

Hi Fleurette,

It's nice to read that you all "would like to pace yourselves rather than dash around". Enjoying the moments of being there is far better than reaching as many highlights as possible, I think. Apparently many people nowadays make (or have to make) other choices.

Pre booking (making reservations for) trips is not necessary and most of the time not even possible. In general reservations are only required for international trains if you enter or leave Switzerland and for most of the scenic train trips. The timetable www.myswissalps.com/ti metable will show you if reservations are required if by any chance you would like to make a ride in one of the panoramic trains.

So yes, your plans are very reasonable from my point of view.

Don't worry too much about the journey from Zürich to Wengen. At stations where you have to change trains you will notice that passengers will be very well informed about the possible connections (platform, time of departure) and nearly always you will have time enough. If in doubt just ask any official you see. If it reassures you, look at the timetable to find details of your journey beforehand.

You probably have taken a look at the section about the Bernese Oberland www.myswissalps.com/be rneseoberland. Have you made plans for the unfortunate situation where weather conditions are not what you hope for?

Enjoy your stay!

Wandermann

Last modified on Aug 14, 2015 - 5:28 PM by Wandermann
Fleurette
Fleurette
11 posts
new member
Aug 14, 2015 - 7:28 PM in reply to Wandermann

Hi Wandermann

Thank you for your reply. We have not made plans for inclement weather, probably because we are confident that we shall have beautiful weather for our stay!!

Would you have any suggestions for us, it seems that most activities are outdoor based, I don't think that I have come across anything that would suit poor weather, maybe you could guide us?

I have discovered how organised the Swiss railway system is, I have looked at the timetables for the journey from Zurich to Wengen and was amazed to see that even the platform numbers are listed so far in advance. I shall print the details for our two journeys to & from the airport & I also have the app on my phone so I think that I have covered it all.

Many thanks again

Fleurette

kim11
kim11
322 posts
top member
Aug 14, 2015 - 9:02 PM in reply to Fleurette

Hello Fleurette,

Excellent advice from Wandermann, as always.

As for train changes, it does sound scary from a distance but is very simple. In addition to knowing which track ("Gleis") you arrive on and where your next train departs from it is helpful to have yourselves and your things gathered and standing by the train exit door as the train is pulling into the station. If you stay seated until the train has stopped and then begin going about collecting your things you may find it difficult to make extremely short connections. But the good news is there is usually another train along in 20 minutes or so.

There IS one small trick you need to know about when you make the change in Interlaken headed to Lauterbrunnen. This train splits in two at a stop about halfway along. One end goes to Lauterbrunnen, the other goes to Grindelwald. Be sure to get on the right end of the train. It is clearly marked on the pavement in front of the train doors but if you have any concerns ask one of the train staff that will be standing there herding people onto the correct end! They do this all day and are very helpful

As for outings and things to do in inclement weather, you may want to download the series of PDFs here www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/tips-about-wengen-and-the-jungfrau-region-by-kim

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2657 posts
expert
Aug 14, 2015 - 9:08 PM in reply to Fleurette

<<"was amazed to see that even the platform numbers are listed so far in advance. I shall print the details for our two journeys to & from the airport & I also have the app on my phone so I think that I havecovered it all.">>

Nice, isn't it? Often the tracks for connections will be on two sides of the same platform. If you see a suspiciously short connection time, that maybe the explanation. Happens at Thun a lot.

Slowpoke

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2657 posts
expert
Aug 14, 2015 - 11:17 PM in reply to Fleurette

<<"We are very much looking forward to our holiday although I am a little anxious about our journey from Zurich Airport to Wengen, four changes oftrain seems somewhat daunting! Perhaps someone can reassure me that allwill be well!">>

If that is what it takes..."All will be well!"

To be more serious, you have already begun to learn about using the timetable. Here is an exercise that will help reassure you.

1.- Open the time table from Zürich Airport to Wengen for your appropriate time of day.

Enter the start as Zürich Airport (Flughafen) and the destination as Wengen. Since the route is the same toward the end, you could also enter Lauterbrunnen or Interlaken Ost for a destination, since they are the same from then onwards, but entering "Wengen" gets the whole trip.

Open a few later trips as well the the first four. Look at the schedules. You'll see a pattern. if you miss one train, there will be another one along in 20-30 minutes. But, you won't miss. The whole process is designed to funnel visitors to Interlaken and beyond, so they can spend money. (Only semi-joking....it is a popular destination, and traffic patterns are set up to ease the way.)

2.- While you have it open...expand the stations/stops. You'll see that one train goes to Zürich main station and onward to Bern, while another one at a similar time goes direct to Bern. If you have 4 changes, you probably have picked the route with the least changes.

You should be able to go-

ZFH- Bern- Interlaken Ost -Lauterbrunnen- Wengen.

On some trips you may have to change at Thun or Spiez, (before I.O.) but those are usually set up with same-platform trains.

If you wish t let me know your planned arrival time of day in Zürich Airport, perhaps I can make those changes clearer.

But, there are a lot of people there who will help on every platform. Believe me...they want your business. nd the same people who set up the train platforms for convenience and consistency work on these details as well. And, they all speak Engish. ;-)

Almost forgot-

At I.O the choice of tracks will be tiny. It is a small station...but there are a lot of people changing there. So, don't dawdle.

At Lauterbrunnen there are only 2-3 tracks, and a zillion signs. Very small station. Piece of Cake. There was construction there in June, which might cause you to use the underground passage between tracks. Other wise....walk cross the tracks and platforms. Change trains in 15 seconds....well, mostly. ;-). But, it is easy even if you are jet lagged.

Slowpoke

Last modified on Aug 14, 2015 - 11:51 PM by Slowpoke
Juliek
Juliek
16 posts
new member
Aug 15, 2015 - 12:52 PM in reply to Fleurette

Hi Fleurette, we are going to Wengen in September and I was interested when you mentioned the app for the trains. Excuse me being very ignorant but what app is that? Thanks, Julie

Fleurette
Fleurette
11 posts
new member
Aug 15, 2015 - 5:32 PM in reply to Juliek

Hi again

A big thank you to all you kind people who replied to my questions with your wealth of knowledge, greatly appreciated.

Kim11 - I have already downloaded your wonderful document onto my IPad & my phone, you were kind enough to send me the link, it will travel with us on our journey. Thank you for the tips about the trains, feel more at ease now. Hopefully on our return I can post to say how well we did!

Slowpoke - Thank you for your explanation of the timetables, I am sure now that we shall manage fine, having looked at the timetables again I can see the pattern you describe. You asked what time we arrive in Zurich. We leave London Heathrow at 9.30am (UK time) & are due to land in Zurich at 12.20 (Euro time)

Juliek - The app I downloaded is SBB Mobile available from the App Store for IPad/Phone or from Google Play for Android.

Fleurette

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2657 posts
expert
Aug 15, 2015 - 6:13 PM in reply to Fleurette

<<"You asked what time we arrive in Zurich. We leave London Heathrow at 9.30am (UK time) & are due to land in Zurich at 12.20 (Euro time)">>

You will miss the 1240 and 1243. Probably you'll catch the 1313 with time to spare.

The 1313 has 3 changes to reach Wengen. Bern- 6 minutes, Interlaken Ost, and Lauterbrunnen.

If you miss it, the 1340 from Zürich Airport also has 3 changes.

Bern is a big and busy station. Your tracks are close to one another. 6 minutes is OK.

At Bern, you are better off nearer the center of the train, because the pedestrian tunnel is under the middle of the platforms.

Unlike some stations where the tracks all come to an end (a terminus) where you want to be at the front of the train for speed in changing trains, the pedestrian tunnel runs under the approximate middle of the platforms at Bern.

plans.trafimage.ch/ber n?lang=de&WT.ac=textimag eteaser-trafimage-bahnhofplan#?layer=bern_innenplan&x =600142&y=199662&r=0.2 4

The Bern station map on the SBB website is more than slightly confusing. You need the map in the lower left corner - the small insert. I have tried to link to it. Let's see if it works.[added in edit - it seems to have worked.]

On the main (larger)map all you can see is the West exit with overhead walkway. It is an option, but not what you want. You want the passageway that leads right out to the main hall of the station....under the tracks.

Last modified on Aug 15, 2015 - 7:14 PM by Slowpoke
Arno
Arno
7723 posts
expert &
moderator
Aug 16, 2015 - 7:40 AM in reply to Juliek

@Juliek: links to various apps can be found on myswissalps.com/ aboutswitzerland/ practical/websites.

Last modified on Aug 16, 2015 - 7:40 AM by Arno
Fleurette
Fleurette
11 posts
new member
Aug 16, 2015 - 2:17 PM in reply to Slowpoke

Thank you, Slowpoke,

I managed to make sense of the station map with your guidance. Looking forward to next week!

Fleurette

Wandermann
Wandermann
298 posts
top member
Aug 16, 2015 - 6:49 PM in reply to Fleurette

Hi Fleurette,

You haven't got suggestions for less favourable weather conditions yet. You are right in being optmistic about what you can do during your vacation. I have spent over one year of my life in Switzerland during vacations, mostly in the Bernese Oberland, and of course there have been days with bad weather, but I have never had a vacation ruined by bad weather.

But, just in case you have to change plans, a few suggestions:

- the Trümmelbach Falls near Lauterbrunnen are a very good destination on a bad weather day (but wear proper rain clothes, it's fun!)

- the St. Beatus-Höhlen, www.beatushoehlen.ch/i ndex.php?lg=3&sec_id=1&ms=, on the north shore of Lake Thun are wonderful.

- Schloss Thun, www.schlossthun.ch/en/, very nice!

- Rosenlaui Schlucht (=Gorge), www.rosenlauischlucht. ch/en.php. The Postbus ride from Meiringen is a good, and impressive, option to reach this gorge (proper rain clothes are advisable here too)

- the Transport Museum in Luzern (Verkehrshaus) www.verkehrshaus.ch/en. Very, very interesting and nice!

- If you don't mind to travel to Zürich, I suggest the Swiss National Museum, www.nationalmuseum.ch/ e/. It is situated right across the main railway station of Zürich. We were there twice and enjoyed it very much.

Enjoy!

Wandermann

Last modified on Aug 16, 2015 - 6:56 PM by Wandermann
Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2657 posts
expert
Aug 16, 2015 - 8:12 PM in reply to Wandermann

And, I like Bern. IT is certainly nicer on a dry day, but the arcades can keep you dry and the old town is really nice to walk through. The rose garden is nicefor the view out over the city, even though the flowers are not there in the colder weather. In the summer, they are very nice, even in the rain.

www.myswissalps.com/be rn

And, its fairly close - Only 52 minutes from Interlaken Ost,

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2657 posts
expert
Aug 16, 2015 - 10:38 PM in reply to Fleurette

<<"Would you have any suggestions for us, it seems that most activitiesare outdoor based, I don't think that I have come across anything thatwould suit poor weather, maybe you could guide us?I have discovered how organised the Swiss railway system is, ">>

Fleurette -

It is always a pleasure to help someone who listens carefully and checks out the offered advice.

It took me a few years to learn this....and, you are or will be 50 or so minutes from Interlaken Ost, which makes this harder for you ( more timeconsuming.)

Nontheless, it may perhaps apply. Something to think about.

Early every morning, the TV (SF1) shows the expected weather for the regions of Switzerland, and major newspapers also make projections.

The weather can be dramatically different in various regions. With the internet, it is now quite possible to get detailed forecasts that are quite up to date.

The weather in Switzerland varies quite a bit from region to region.

It is possible to take a long day trip to parts of Switzerland from I.O. that are much longer than you might think to be practical, especially if you are motivated by clouds behind you and sun ahead of you. Another way to view it is that you are using the rail car as your umbrella. ;-) Riding the trains and watching the scenery is not an unpleasant occupation. ;-)

You know how to use the Timetable. Add this map -

map.classic.search.ch/

For example - the Rhone Valley has a very dry climate.

You can catch a train via Spiez to Brig (include a "via" of Kandersteg or Hohtenn) on a train called the "Lötschberger." If you don't pick the "via" as noted you go by the default fastest route through a fast boring new low level tunnel.

If you choose the older, upper route as suggested, you get a fantastic train ride. 1 hr 54 minutes to Brig (from I.O.), change at Spiez.

Brig is a different sort of town with history going back to the trans-alpine traffic of the Roman empire. Good bet it is sunny. A nice way to avoid the clouds and rain, if any.

The train ride once you come out of the old upper short tunnel at Goppenstein and then reach Hohtenn goes gradually down the south-facing wall of the Rhone Valley. Very scenic ride. It is the so-called BLS Südrampe. BLS is the name of the rail line. South - Ramp.

The stretch from Hohtenn to Brig has a hiking trail that parallels the train line, offering fantastic views. It would be hard to fit that in unless you had done it before and knew the terrain. (Maybe next time.).

I have done it, from Brienz.

www.myswissalps.com/hi king/hohtenn-lalden

Other day trips that would not be justified ordinarily because you do not have time to really explore the destination, become a nice break from the weather with a pleasant lunch.

I have used that process to somewhere about once on each trip to Switzerland. If all you want to do is have lunch somewhere and avoid the clouds, it is better than sitting around complaining.

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