Regular visitor who is still learning

Regular visitor who is still learning

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Posts: 10. This thread is closed.
maggiehorswell
maggiehorswell
298 posts
top member
Mar 12, 2012 - 5:50 PM
Hello fellow lovers of Switzerland. Good to see the forum so busy with new visitors and their queries and seasoned travellers with their replies. I think I qualify as both as I know some of the answers and can help out but I still have some questions to ask as I plan this summer’s holiday. We are staying for 3 weeks in the excellent apartment in Thun which we found last year. We plan to revisit some favourite places but I have also been researching places we have not yet reached. I read the forum regularly as other people come up with ideas I haven’t thought of like visiting the St. Bernard Dog Museum in Martigny so thank you to the poster who mentioned that one! However while I was looking at Martigny I wondered about moving on to Chamonix – Mont Blanc as others have talked about but whenever I try to find journey times on the SSB site I get a message saying there are no scheduled journeys. I tried different times and days but no luck. Any ideas?
I was also inspired by your Valais day trips section to investigate the entry called “Centovalli” – with the new tunnel Valais and beyond is doable from Thun. If we leave Thun at 8.25 we can reach Locarno by 12.22, travelling via Brig and Domodossola. My original plan was to stay there a few hours and return by the same route. Or to vary the journey we could leave Thun at 8.36 and arrive at 12.57 via Bern, Lucerne and Bellinzona and return via Domodossola and Brig. Another return route could be via Goschenen, Andermatt and Brig as suggested on forum site. So now I have 3 routes between Thun and Locarno (all allowing us to spend the afternoon in Locarno, a place as yet unvisited by us) and I have to choose 2 from 3! ;-)We love Swiss train rides and with Swiss Pass price is not a consideration, so I wondered if experienced travellers have any advice on which routes are most scenic?
Sorry about the long post! I hope all new visitors enjoy their stay in Switzerland as much as we always do. (This will be our 13th visit!) And many thanks again to the providers of this great forum.
Maggie
AtulBhide
AtulBhide
24 posts
new member
Mar 13, 2012 - 3:12 AM
I think there is no direct connection between Martigny and Chamonix-Mont-Blanc.We have to go to Vallorcine and change the train there. You will get connecting train in 5 minutes. Every one hour there is a train.

Few months back I have seen there was a direct connection. It seems that they might have discontinued very recently.

By the way this summer it will be my 3rd visit to Switzerland.Let us hope I will also make it 13 times like you.

Atul Bhide (Pune, India)
Wandermann
Wandermann
297 posts
top member
Mar 13, 2012 - 6:39 AM
Hi Maggie,

Martigny - Chamonix-Mont Blanc:
As far as I can see the Timetable does give travel times for this journey. I just entered Martigny and Chamonix-Mont Blanc and found regular connections. Indeed, as Atul Bhide wrote, you will have to change trains in Vallorcine.
Another possibility to find connections is this link to the TRM.

Concerning your trip to Locarno: whichever route you choose, it's OK as long as you take the Centovalli train ride.
I would prefer to take the trip to Locarno via Domodossola and the Centovalli-Line and go back via Göschenen, Andermatt and Brig (OK, there are some tunnels). In my view this will be the most scenic route.
I haven't looked though at the times you will be traveling and the time you can spend in Locarno!

Enjoy your preparations!

Update: on the website of the TRM I found the following text concerning Interruptions 2012: Entre Chamonix et Vallorcine du 2 avril au 8 décembre 2012. Les trains seront supprimés sur ces tronçons. Un service de bus de remplacement sera mis en place. Les groupes seront restreints durant cette période et les vélos exclus. Merci pour votre compréhension. (I couldn't find in in English).
I hope this helps.
maggiehorswell
maggiehorswell
298 posts
top member
Mar 13, 2012 - 5:01 PM
Thank you both for your help. Entering tomorrow's date does indeed give me the train connection you mention Atui, but I was entering dates for July/August which is when we will be in Switzerland and Wandermann's research on TRM explains the response I was getting to my query! Thank you for going to so much trouble, Wandermann - I followed your link and found some interesting information (French is OK with me, by the way - I read and understand it pretty well - just don't speak it well as my accent is very poor, my German accent is much better though I am constantly having to learn new vocabulary as mine is outdated having learned at school 50 years ago!) I shall keep Mont Blanc in mind for 2013 I think when train link should be up and running again. I am sure we will return for yet another visit then as we are totally committed now to our annual trips. It looks as though Atul is begiining to feel the same!
Wandermann, thank you for your thoughts on the Locarno trip. I have checked out times on the website and if we leave Thun at 8.25 we will arrive in Locarno at 12.22. We could leave Locarno at 15.45 to return via Andermatt and be back in Thun at 20.34 or leave at 16.45 and arrive in Thun at 22.03. The second option takes longer because we have a longer wait in Brig for a connection. It is a long day but I am sure it will be worth it to visit a new place and enjoy the train rides as well. We are staying in Thun for 3 weeks so that we can alternate ambitious trips like this with one with less strenuous days like cruising on the lakes! Planning is going well, mixture of familiar and new. planning and researching is half the fun!
Doubtless I'll be back on the forum soon.
Freundliche Grüesse, Maggie
aussie
aussie
67 posts
active member
Mar 22, 2012 - 6:33 AM
Hello Maggie. This not a reply. It is a question! As you've been to Switzerland so many times(lucky you) I thought that you,d be the best person to answer my question. We're going to Lausanne this summer, and the main thing we want to do is to walk through some of the Lavaux vineyards. Where should we start from, and how do we get there.? We hope to walk about 10-12K (if it's not too steep) and then catch a train back to Lausanne. Have you done this? Hope you can help with some advice. Thanks, and regards from Australia.
maggiehorswell
maggiehorswell
298 posts
top member
Mar 22, 2012 - 10:24 AM
Hi aussie, since first discovering Switzerland in 2001 we have returned every year (wish we had found it earlier as we are now in our late 60's and not so fit!) We have not done the walk you asked about so as it sounds interesting I researched it (we might well decide to do it this summer so thank you for the idea!) I accessed the Lausanne tourism site (lausanne-tourisme.ch ) and from main home page went to "visits" where I found a link to Lavaux vineyard. There are 2 walks described in detail including where to start from. As you are staying in Lausanne (we are staying in Thun so will be going to Lausanne just for the day if we do one of the walks) you will find lots of other information on this excelent site with ideas for walks and tours so I advise you to check it out. It would appear you can download apps to your iphone if you have one as well. We did a similar walk above Lake Biel last year and thoroughly enjoyed it and it wasn't too steep so hopefully this will be similar. The 2 walks are described as downhill trails so here's hoping. I hope you enjoy your Swiss experience as much as we always do. Maggie
Wandermann
Wandermann
297 posts
top member
Mar 22, 2012 - 12:53 PM
Hi aussie,

Does the wesite of Montreux Riviera add something to the suggestions of Maggie? (Homepage - Cultur & Leisure - Lavaux-Unesco - activities and/or trekking).


And the website of Lake Geneva Region Tourist Office? (Homepage - Sports & Leisure - Hiking and Walking - etc.)?
aussie
aussie
67 posts
active member
Mar 22, 2012 - 11:21 PM
maggiehorswell said: Hi aussie, since first discovering Switzerland in 2001 we have returned every year (wish we had found it earlier as we are now in our late 60's and not so fit!) We have not done the walk you asked about so as it sounds interesting I researched it (we might well decide to do it this summer so thank you for the idea!) I accessed the Lausanne tourism site (lausanne-tourisme.ch ) and from main home page went to "visits" where I found a link to Lavaux vineyard. There are 2 walks described in detail including where to start from. As you are staying in Lausanne (we are staying in Thun so will be going to Lausanne just for the day if we do one of the walks) you will find lots of other information on this excelent site with ideas for walks and tours so I advise you to check it out. It would appear you can download apps to your iphone if you have one as well. We did a similar walk above Lake Biel last year and thoroughly enjoyed it and it wasn't too steep so hopefully this will be similar. The 2 walks are described as downhill trails so here's hoping. I hope you enjoy your Swiss experience as much as we always do. Maggie


Hello Maggie. Thank you so much for your help. I,ve been to Switzerland quite a few times now, and always love it. I envy you that you live so close. For us "down here" it's a long,tiring trip. Have you considered going to the Italian part of Switzerland via Luzern? you can go on the panoramic train or the regional one. Gorgious scenery. One of my favorite train trips in Switzerland, as the German wooden houses change to the Italian stone ones. I also think that Lugano has more to offer than Locarno, but you can hop on a chair lift from there and there is(I hope it's still there) a lovely restaurant up top with a stunning view over Lake Locarno. Enjoy your holiday whatever you do.thanks.
KaraBoo
KaraBoo
13 posts
new member
Mar 23, 2012 - 9:55 AM
Maggie, I just returned to the USA from 2 weeks in Switzerland, my third trip since September 2010, I'm crazy about it! Our favorite place has become Locarno, which we discovered quite by accident because I wanted only to ride the Centovali train. Once there, we didn't want to leave. So, we've been renting Fewo's there right on the lake. The hiking, the boating, the palm trees, the river rapids and the trains/busses are awesome, as is the food. We also use the Swiss Pass, and on our last stay, rode the Centovalli to various villages to do hikes, pretty much every day. You'll like it, I'm sure.
My primary advice is that on the Centovalli, be sure to sit on the correct side of the train. From Domodossola toward Locarno, sit on the right; from Locarno toward Domodossola, sit on the left. If you had more time, I would also recommend taking the local version of the Centovalli, not the express, as the local stops at every little station and makes the stunning views go by a bit more slowly. It will get you to Locarno a bit later, but it's worth it to me. Also, hope that you get on one of the older trains where the windows can be opened, that makes photography/videos much easier to do. Just don't stick your head out of the window, the high number of short tunnels makes that a risky proposition!

Finally, if you have time, the Swiss Pass would allow you to take the boat (ideally) or even a local bus to Ascona, it's also very lovely. Their old town sits right on the lake and is picture perfect. The Ascona/Locarno website is pretty good at detailing all there is to do in the two towns and environs. Once there, it's a quick trip via boat to Isola Brissago's botanic gardens, also a great place for lunch.

By the way, this old article first triggered thoughts of visiting Ticino for me; it's arguments still hold true all these years later. I've done everything he mentions (and more) and it has been lovely:
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/examiner/archive/1998/06/14/TRAVEL6903.dtl
Enjoy!
maggiehorswell
maggiehorswell
298 posts
top member
Mar 24, 2012 - 1:01 PM
Hello aussie and KaraBoo, thank you both for your replies.
Aussie, one of our options for returning from Locarno to Thun was indeed via Lucerne. Maybe we will have to go twice to include all possible routes.

And KaraBoo, thank you your advice about where to sit on the train! Also for your link to the newspaper article. For this year's holiday we have already booked the Thun apartment for 3 weeks but for next year may consider spending 2 weeks in Thun and 1 in Ticino to take the time to explore that area properly.
So many exciting possibilities about staying in Switzerland that you can spend many hours on the planning and researching as indeed I do.
Maggie

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