Rent a car in Burgdorf for 1 day? Problem finding.

Rent a car in Burgdorf for 1 day? Problem finding.

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ldorland
ldorland
26 posts
active member
Jul 19, 2016 - 10:44 PM

Hello,

We are a family of five - parents and 3 adult children. I am looking for a 5-passenger vehicle us to drive around the area of Ruegsau. We have only one night and one day to spend there (Aug. 12 evening to Aug. 13 evening). My Reist and Friedli ancestors came to Nebraska, USA from that area in 1854. This is our first visit.

I found only one company (Selvam Transport) in Burgdorf to contact who had a van, but the language barrier seems too much.

The price quoted was 120 swiss francs/day. Then they added 60 each way to bring the car to the train Burgdorf station and pick up. And 380 more for something he called "Caution". Obviously this was getting way too expensive.

What is Caution? Is it refundable? Are there taxis available that we could take to pick up a car? Any other companies?

Thanks very much,

Liz D

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2659 posts
expert
Jul 20, 2016 - 1:24 AM in reply to ldorland

Hi Liz-

Nice to have you with us on My Swiss Alps. The Emmental is not the Alps, but is sure is nice country.

While I am thinking about ways to deal with your question, possibly asking some Swiss friends, you may find these posts of interest.

www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/langnau-in-may

There are quite a few pictures of the area aound Rüegsau.

Why do you plant to spend only such a short time in a beautiful part of Switzerland?

If your family roots are Anabaptist, there are other places in the area that may be of interest.

Schloss Trachselwald, in the attached image, was a site of persecution of the Anabaptists. See attached panorama.

Haslebach is near Sumiswald, if you know about Haslebach.

Slowpoke

Last modified on Jul 20, 2016 - 1:45 AM by Slowpoke
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ldorland
ldorland
26 posts
active member
Jul 20, 2016 - 2:35 AM in reply to Slowpoke

Thank you Slowpoke. We are mainly traveling by train, but in order to see more of Emmental in one day, a car seems to be necessary.

I am looking at renting a car in Bern if Burgdorf doesn't work out. We could return it there the next evening on our way to Thun. We arrive in Switzerland in the late afternoon of Aug. 12 after a 7-8 hour train trip from Maastricht, Netherlands and are booked for the night in the hills above Ruegsau. We most certainly will visit Trachselwald on our driving tour! On Aug. 13 we are booked in Thun.

I wish we could spend more time in Emmental, but we have only six days in Switzerland in total. My husband and I were in the Alps in the summer of 1972. We had been married for just one year. We were backpacking around Europa with a 2 month student rail pass. The kids have never been in Switzerland, and we promised to take them also to some of the beautiful places we saw back then in the Alps.

I don't know if our Reist ancestors are descended from the famous Anabaptist Hans Reist, but it would be very interesting to find out! My great grandfather Christian Reist was most likely born abt 1827 near Ruegsau, but exactly where is not known to us at this time. He married Katharina Hug and they came to the USA in 1854. An Oberli family, plus three single men (Parlii, Leuenberger, & Scheidegger) traveled with them. My Friedli ancestors were from Lützelflüh. Our area of southeast Nebraska attracted many Swiss immigrant families around that time. The Nebraska Territory had just opened up for settlement, and our families were some of the first to claim land.

Anyhow, thanks for any advice you can provide on car rentals or how to find where families lived long, long ago!

Liz, Bob, Larissa, Sam and Ashlee

P.S. Thanks for the beautiful picture!

Last modified on Jul 20, 2016 - 3:11 AM by ldorland
Annika
Annika
4424 posts
expert &
moderator
Jul 20, 2016 - 6:03 AM

Hi Liz,

The rental company was probably talking about a Kaution, a deposit. You'd normally get that back after dropping off the car undamaged. But of course there needs to be a rental contract explaining this in writing, so you'll be sure.

ldorland
ldorland
26 posts
active member
Jul 20, 2016 - 6:50 AM in reply to Annika

Ah! That makes sense. The Caution/Kaution deposit was a large amount (3x the rental fee) so we were worried. Whether we can sort out the details given the language barrier remains to be seen. If they can give us a link to an online contract then google translate might work. Thanks much.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2659 posts
expert
Jul 21, 2016 - 12:51 AM in reply to ldorland

Hi Liz-

I've got some feedback from my Swiss friends, but details will have to wait bit, as I'm on the roaf for a day or two.

The "Caution" is a refundable deposit.

If rent from a name brand, for example Avis (whom I use) or other such, they don't charge a deposit.

The cost (less deposit) quoted were not out of line for Switzerland.

My friend in Heimiswil is checking a bit further.

Apparently, you only saw one picture. PLEASE look at the link I provided about Langnau. You'll leaarn something a out Leuenbergers.

Slowpoke

ldorland
ldorland
26 posts
active member
Jul 21, 2016 - 3:26 AM in reply to Slowpoke

Thanks Slowpoke. In fact I did look at the link. I typed "picture" when I meant "pictures." The Leuenberger execution in the castle - fascinating!

I'm very keen on taking the kids to see *real* cheese being made. Ideas? Our family lore says that Catharina Reist was a cheesemaker in Switzerland and also in Nebraska when they first moved there.

We are looking forward to the trip I booked a Bern car as a backup, but if we can get the Burgdorf one to work out, I will cancel.

Last modified on Jul 21, 2016 - 3:28 AM by ldorland
Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2659 posts
expert
Jul 21, 2016 - 10:33 PM in reply to ldorland

Hi Liz-

I thought that the Schaukäserei in Affoltern was shown in the pictures in the linked thread above about Langnau.

Look at the April 16th post.

Eat there; watch cheese being made, as shown in the link.

About 4 km above Rüegsau; the bus goes up that route.

map.search.ch/?pos=623344,210144&z=32

Leuenberger was executed in Bern; other Anabaptists had their harassment in Trachselwald.

Slowpoke

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2659 posts
expert
Jul 21, 2016 - 10:58 PM in reply to ldorland

<<"The price quoted was 120 swiss francs/day. Then they added 60 each way to bring the car to the train Burgdorf station and pick up. ">>

They are less than I km from the Bahnhof. 20 minutes walk, at most. Probably less.

See map-

map.search.ch/Selvam-Mietauto-GmbH,Burgdorf,Bernstr. 63a?pos=614564,211640&z=12 8

Slowpoke

ldorland
ldorland
26 posts
active member
Jul 22, 2016 - 2:43 AM in reply to Slowpoke

Thanks again Slowpoke. I'll dig deeper into the link you posted earlier for more Emmental tips.

I've had several emails with that Burgdorf car company since filling out their request form online. The website says you can pick up at a restaurant that is very near the train station. But after I asked them about the "Caution", they emailed back and said this was getting too complicated. Part of the problem might be our Friday evening arrival and Saturday evening drop-off. Not sure. I sent another email yesterday trying to clarify, but no answer yet. Fingers crossed.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2659 posts
expert
Jul 22, 2016 - 7:04 AM in reply to ldorland

Hi Liz -

I detect all the signs of their not wanting to deal with you, as you note. I'm guessing a very small operation.

Saturdays add problems for drop off if no one is there to inspect the car when it comes in.

I started to look for rental locations in Bern with "big name" companies. I'd expect good bus or tram service in Bern that could get you quickly to such a place, and they will be much more used to dealing with tourists.

Is there a company that one of you rents with regularly in the USA?

There is a car rental service like ZIPcar run by the SBB (railroad). I've see their cars at Burgdorf main station. They are usually small cars, so I don't know about whether they can deal with your need for something larger.

www.sbb.ch/en/station-services/car-bike/hire-or-borrow/hire-car.html

In any case, if you need luggage space for 5 adults, you are running into a more difficult (expensive) situation, and a major brand is much more likely to be ready to deal with that. You can easily leave luggage at major stations (left luggage office,not open very late, or lockers.)

I'd look for Avis, Hertz, Sixt, and a couple of others that I'll remember tomorrow, almost certainly in Bern.

I use bus service in Bern frequently, and could help you understand that.

Will you be jet lagged on that day? If it is your arrival day, you are adding to your difficulties.

More over the weekend, after I am back home.

Slowpoke

ldorland
ldorland
26 posts
active member
Jul 22, 2016 - 8:34 AM in reply to Slowpoke

Hi Slowpoke -- yes, I think you are right. We are too much trouble for the Burgdorf folks. I made a backup reservation online with Sixt in Bern yesterday. The 5 passenger SUV can be picked up not too far from the railroad station. It's about 50% more expensive than what (I thought) the Burgdorf rental would be. But I may have underestimated the Burgdorf price. It's not a huge problem, and it will give us a short look at Bern if we have time for dinner before driving to Rüegsau for the night. We will drive around Emmental all the next day, and then drop the car in Bern and take the train to our hotel in Thun.

It will not be our first day (no jet lag), but we will have an 8 hour train ride to get to Bern from Maastricht, Netherlands. We will be in the Netherlands for a week before we get to Switzerland (spouse has a scientific conference in Maastricht). A lot of details to work out!

Last modified on Jul 22, 2016 - 8:36 AM by ldorland
Arno
Arno
7728 posts
expert &
moderator
Jul 22, 2016 - 1:16 PM in reply to ldorland

Theoretically you could take the route Maastricht - Liège - Luxembourg - Mulhouse - Basel - Bern. I did the leg to Luxembourg quite a few years ago and remember it as pretty scenic. Not as scenic as the Swiss Alps, but better than the high speed main lines across Germany. It won't be quicker.

ldorland
ldorland
26 posts
active member
Jul 22, 2016 - 5:06 PM in reply to Arno

Hi Arno. I wondered about the Luxemborg route. If it isn't too much longer in travel time we may do that. Thx

Arno
Arno
7728 posts
expert &
moderator
Jul 22, 2016 - 5:53 PM in reply to ldorland

Hi Liz,

You can find traveling times in the timetable. I think that route will be 9-10 hours.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2659 posts
expert
Jul 23, 2016 - 6:19 PM in reply to ldorland

Hi Liz-

Back home after a bit of strenuous travel, and catching up.

Some of my comments will come in bits and pieces, but here is a start.

I'd make sure to have a good map when you drive around the Emmental, even if your rental has GPS.

I'd pick up a Michelin #552 Swiss West, which at 1:200,000 has sufficient detail for your drive. It extends to the Bernese Oberland ( Jungfrau region). The #551 Swiss North is an alternative.

However, if you want more detail, and I certainly find it useful when driving in the countryside, one or more of the topographic maps from the Swiss Land Office at 1:50,000 give really excellent detail of smaller back roads. For example, one of those shows the road from which i took that panorama of Trachselwald, while the 1:200,000 Michelin does not.

The topographic maps come in many varieties, including those that show marked hiking trails (die Wanderkarte.)

The 1:50,000 maps that would be useful are inevitably split into sections that require you to buy more than one for almost anything you want to see. And, they are not cheap. However, they are wotrks of art, for anyone who is a fan of maps.

You would most likely want or need #243 Bern, # 244 Escholzmat, #233 Solothurn and # 234 Willisau.

Rüegsau and Lützelflüh are in the lower right corner of #233 Solothurn, and Trachselwald in the lower left corner of #234 Willisau.

Those maps run about 20-25 USD in the "T" versions with trails marked in red (such as #233T Solothurn), which are the ones I have. It think that they are a bit cheaper in the plain versions. The plain 1:50,000 have brown covers.

in any region of Switzeralnd, you can usually find these maps at convenience stores (Kiosk, Aperto, etc.)

The major soucre in Bern is a block from the main station at the bookstore "Stauffacher" but they have a a small branch in the pedestrian tunnel used to connect between tracks in Bern Main Station. They have those maps, and probably the Micheins. If no Michelin's, Kummerly and Frey are an acceptable alternative.

<<"Stauffacher - im Hauptbahnhof

Hauptbahnhof, Untergeschoss, bei den Perronaufgängen

Bern, Bern, 3011

Switzerland

031 313 63 63; infostauffacher.ch

Type: Bookstore — Not set

Web site: www.stauffacher.ch

Description: Öffnungszeiten:

Montag - Samstag 7 - 22 Uhr

Sonntag 9 - 22 Uhr">>

Typically, the maps from the rental car companies do not have the detail that you will want and need on your drive even with a GPS.

Slowpoke

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2659 posts
expert
Jul 23, 2016 - 7:09 PM in reply to ldorland

The Sixt rental location in Bern is a couple of kilometers from the Bahnhof; tram/bus stops noted below.

Depending on your logistical arrangements, particularly, where your hotel in Bern is, you could take a bus, tram or taxi. Swiss taxis are quite expensive by US standards, but the convenience may be worth it.

Even an SUV rental in Switzerland quite possibly, even likely, will not have room for luggage for 5 people staying for a week. Assuming that you do not get to Bern from Maastricht after 1900, and if I were doing it myself, my strong preference would be to drop my heavy luggage at the Left Luggage Office in Bern Main station :

www.sbb.ch/en/station-services/am-bahnhof/railway-stations/bahnhof-finden.posid.7000.html,

or else hope for luggage lockers ( available pretty much around the clock; heavily used in August.).

I 'd carry a small bag with one night's essentials to my hotel and to the Sixt in the AM. Personally, I'd use public transport. but I am familiar with it. Your hotel might have advice, or you may not need transport if you are staying near the main station.

Many Swiss hotels are not air conditioned.

Then, when leaving Bern no later than 1900 on the way to Thun, I'd pick up my bags. The storage can easily cost 10 CHF per bag, not cheap, but maneuvering around Bern with luggage is no fun.

The alternative of three of taxi rides would probably be cheaper than left luggage fees for 5 people, but not for two people..

It is possible to ship your luggage to Thun ahead of you, but the constraint would be pick up time (open hours of the luggage office in the evening are not late) at Thun. For a fee, they have fast services and can even deliver to your hotel, but it could get rather expensive.

The SBB web site explains all the luggage services.

I'd definitely not plan to get around Bern any more than absolutel necessary in your rental. All major Swiss cities are doing their best to make auto traffic inconvenient, and provide excellent public transport.

The neat square city grid with numbered streets that you find in Omaha does not exist in most Swiss cities. Certainly, not in Bern.

Ir has been several years since i rented from Sixt. They used to be significantly more expensive tan renting from Avis. I have locked in on Avis to get the better service that they give to a preferred customer, so I really don't check costs anymore.

The Avis location is about 500 meters closer to the main station than Sixt, in the same part of the city, and is directly on a major route ( Rte 10) to the southern Emmental. There is not much difference in getting to Avis or Sixt from the station, with Sixt being a bit further, but I don't know where your hotel is.

www.bern.com/en/travel -planning/arrival-transport/transportati on

has a link to a PDF of the us routes

mapsearch.CH can be set to show bus/tram stops.

Bus stop or tram stop Sulgenau is 100 metes from the Avis location. Sixt is a similar distance from bus/tram stops Schönegg and Wander. All three stops are on line #9.

Stop Sulgenau and Wander are also on line #19.

Slowpoke

ldorland
ldorland
26 posts
active member
Jul 23, 2016 - 7:22 PM in reply to Slowpoke

Hi Slowpoke - I love maps. Will definitely have a look. I used google maps in satellite and little "guy" map view to check out some of the routes virtually. Beautiful country!

Surprise! After my last post, the Burgdorf car folks emailed again about the car rental. I'm still confused about the total cost, but I sent them a response with further questions. I also changed my backup car reservation to the Enterprise location next to the Bahnhoff in Berne. The problem with that is we can't return the car later than 4 PM on Saturday the 13th. I was hoping for 6 PM to extend the day in Emmental. *stress*

I assume we will be able to buy our Bernese Oberland Rail Passes at the Bern Banhoff on Saturday afternoon. Since the pass doesn't cover Burgdorf, I don't think we can buy them there.

I got an email from a distant Reist relative who travelled to Ruesgau and Summisvald back in 2002. She learned that the family probably lived on a farm called "Wildenbach". On google maps I saw a road and stream just north of Ruesgau also named Wildenbach. A short road leads east from there to a large farmhouse. Is there someone I could I contact by email to learn the history of that place?

Thanks for your excellent feedback.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2659 posts
expert
Jul 23, 2016 - 7:24 PM in reply to ldorland

<<"But I may have underestimated the Burgdorf price. It's not a huge problem, and it will give us a short look at Bern if we have time for dinner before driving to Rüegsau for the night.">>

Ooops. I missed that comment. Are you sure that you can pick up a rental car at the time you arrive in Bern?

Sixt closes at 6PM, and Avis at 6:30 PM.

Consoder leaving heavy luggae at the station, depending on your departure time for Thun the next day.

Although both have key drops, the close at noon or 1230 on Saturday.

In my previous post, I assumed you would be stayng in Bern, so much of that is not relevant....unless you arrive too late to get your car.

However, if you do plan to drive to the Emmental on the evening of your arrival in Bern,sightseeing in Bern by car is almost certainly not a reasonable option. What time of day will you arrive in Bern?

The nicest parts...the old city.... are best accessed on foot, and driving around Bern is not the same thing as driving around Omaha, or, for that matter, around Papillion where I have relatives.

If you do go to the Emmental in the evening of your arrival, which is reasoanble provided that you pick up you can pick up your SUV in time, I'd stay in Affoltern, not Rüegsau. Or, maybe in Lützelfluh

Slowpoke

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2659 posts
expert
Jul 23, 2016 - 7:26 PM in reply to ldorland

Hi Liz-

some of our posts are crossing in the mail.

I'll pick up on the last one before answering about Wildenbach.

More in a few minutes.

please read the earlier posts, because they may be relevant for deaing with liggae and a rental vehicle, even if not in Bern.

Slowpoke

Last modified on Jul 23, 2016 - 7:28 PM by Slowpoke

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