Trip report - Switzerland In March - Beautiful !

Trip report - Switzerland In March - Beautiful !

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pranathi11
pranathi11
16 posts
new member
Apr 7, 2012 - 12:32 PM
We are a couple and kids aged 13 and 10... Returned from switzerland last week after having 6 days of unlimited fun and enjoyment !First of all my big thanks to everyone who helped me in clearing my queries for the past 3 months during my planning stages.Let me share my experience so that many first timers to switz may get some clues from my trip report! We were really lucky and blessed ...through out our trip for all the 6 days, the weather was just amazing- with clear blue sky so we visited 4 mountain tops in 4 days!
Day - 1 TRAVEL
We landed in geneva airport at 1:00 pm local time ..the immigration formalities took us just 10 mts and we headed to collect our baggages...(we need 2 swiss franc coin to get the trolleys in the airport... can't get the coins change in the duty free...there is a coin vending machine)
We had booked our stay in a chalet in Lauterbrunnen for 5 nights ...so a series of train journey in the 1st day.So it was from Geneva - Bern -Interlaken - Lauterbrunnen .We just had some 6 - 8 mts waiting time inbetween trains..so it was a bit tuff as we were with luggages.We reached LB by 6:30 pm.
Day - 2 JUNGFRAU
We were at the LB station by 6:30 a.m.. checked with the web cams and the officials suggested us that it'll be a clear day..so we took the train to wengen. It is free with swiss pass till wengen. Bought the tickets for the round trip - WENGEN - KLEIN SCHEIDEGG - JUNGFRAU and JUNGFRAU - KLEIN SCHEIDEGG - GRINDELWALD .Cost will be 258 CHF for 2 adults (after 25 % discount ) .
We had a stroll through wengen for sometime, took photos and then boarded the train to Klein schidegg. From there we got into the "Red train" ..that took us thorugh the tunnel to the top of Europe. It was an amazing journey...what an engineering skill?? 100 years ago...unimaginable! We reached the top, took lift to the sphinx observatory ! what an amazing clear blue sky....and view of the glacier! we spent some time there. then to the ice palace and then to the snow plateau...we spent almost 3-4 hrs at the top , then took the train back to Grindelwald.
Actually we had planned to take the train from grindelwald to Schynige platte then to LB...but after seeing the cable cars to MANNLICHEN ...we wanted to try that. so we bought the tickets from the grindelwald station - 55 CHF for 2 adults ( after 50 % discount with pass) . We took Post Bus to Grund from there , cable car to Mannlichen....the views were just just mind blowing. We spent some time there, then took cable car to wengen which was just 5 mts ..too steep it was!
By 4:00 pm we reached our chalet.After some refreshment, we had a walk through the village to the near by Staubbach water falls
Day - 3 RIGI
Again we were at the station by 6:30, took train to INTERLAKEN OST , golden pass panoramic to LUCERN - at 7:04 AM ..... the glass domed 1st class was superb..( there are 2 types of 1st class ..look for the glass domed one just behind the drivers cabin)..and no words to explain about the scenic beauty thorugh out the journey,...we could not give rest to our camera or handy cam...just clicks..clicks!
Reached lucerne at 9:00 , walked through the chappel bridge, then went to board in the lucern cruise at 10:12 am ( it is just opposite to the railway station) to VITZNAU , then train to RIGI
The view from the top was again speechless....As everyone said we were able to see the whole of switzerland from there and again it was a clear day! Spent almost 3 hrs, then train back to ARTH GOLDAU , 10 Mts walk to the station then took train to ZURICH (as zurich is very near by ) ..took tram through the city and then back to LB.Though this day was with a lot of journey...we enjoyed every bit of the day.
The round trip from LUCERN - VITZNAU - RIGI- ARTHGOLDAU was absolutely free with swiss pass.
Day -4 - SCHILTHORN
Today we were at the LB cable car station by 6:30 am...took cable car to GRUTCHALP , then train to MURREN ...vow what a beautiful village! i understood...why our experts voted for murren always! ( we have decided to stay here ..in future?!) .We bought the tickets for round trip MURREN - SCHILTHORN-STECHELBERG - cost 74 CHF for 2 adults ( after 50% discount)
Now ..the aerial cable way up to SCHILTHORN.We had to change a cable car at BIRG , then we reached the top at 8:30 am...again no words to explain the beauty...the early morning clean and cool air, bright sunny day!
We spent about 75 mts at the PIZ GLORIA , had light breakfast there...( missed indian lunch which will be available after 11:30 am itseems)..We enjoyed the rotating restaurant.
Again cable car back to MURREN, then to STECHELBERG .We had plans to visit TRUMMELBACH falls, but unfortunately it was closed for winter...so took bus to LB.
After lunch, we had half day in our hands so started for a trip to BERN.We took a break at INTERLAKEN , just strolled through the city ( as already read in TA , there was nothing so great ..just did some shopping) ..then continued to BERN.
Took bus to Bear Park , then walked back to the station , visiting the Zytogloge, parliament building on the way. Then back to LB
Day- 5 MOUNT TITLIS
Train to interlaken, then took Lucerne train and got down at HERGISWIL , then train toENGELBERG .Bought tickets ..to tiltis cost - 110 CHF for 2 adults ( after 50% discount ).
We took the bus to the Engelberg cable car station, it is walkable too.Then cable car , again a change inbetween,. where we got into ROTAIR - again an unique experience...little scary too!
Reached the top, had lunch at the restaurant ( to my surprise- Superb Indian food served- dont miss the rice and chicken curry - and also a range of veg dishes )...On way back we took a break at TRUBSEE - the snow park , kids had a blast here.Came to know that in summer this would be lake, and the snow park will be at the top. Again back to engelberg - hergiswil- then Golden pass at 6:00 pm to Interlaken, then to LB.
Day - 6 MONTREUX- GENEVA
We gave our 2 big baggages to be transfered to geneva by 8:00 am (20 CHF per baggage)
Then took Golden pass to Zweissimen , then a change in train to Montreux - inbetween we got down at Gstaad for a walk, and beautiful place for photos!Again took the GOLDEN PASS CLASSIC- to Montreux. It was a classy journey..we felt like prince and princess in the golden carriages!
Visited Chillon castle the entrance to castle was free with swiss pass- we hired i pod commentary- 6 chf per person- it's worth really to know the history).With this visit, our switzerland trip almost came to an end with only Geneva left.
Train to Geneva - reached hotel. Tried to visit Jet A deu - but it was not operational that time due to technical reasons it seems. (but we viewed it after 3 days after our paris trip )
my tips for First timers :

1. I'd suggest to go for 1st class pass- it's worth the price. We found 2nd class coaches very crowded during peak time. And it has it's advantages in the panoramic coaches.
2. If passing through LB , try "BOMBAY CHICKEN PIZZA" in Hotel Oberland- it's delicious.
3. OVOMALTINE chocolates were super tasty- cheaper in coops.
4.Taste hot coffee/ hot chocolate/ wine at the mountain tops- it's an unforgettable experince.
5. We bought "SWISS COM" sim card for our I phone- available in postal depart ment - you can see yellow boards saying"DIE POST" in all the towns.. just showed passport,paid 20 Chf , 5 CHF rent per day for data package- which was very useful for checking train timings.(download SBB application in your phones)
6. Please....Visit this beautiful country on your own ..because the real charm is in planning and executing the plans. As we had nice weather , we spent most of our time on the montain tops...also we experienced snow for the 1st time, my kids had great time in playing in snow itself... but i know that there is lot of fun in small walks too ..which i experienced in Mureen and LB. so you can plan accordingly for some hikes too.
My kids wish that our next vacation will also be to switzerland !!!
.
anoopdaga
anoopdaga
8 posts
new member
Apr 8, 2012 - 5:44 AM
Hi pranithi,

Thanks a lot for narrating your experience . In fact i was looking out for a briefing on trip to switzerland.Your experience indeed has definitely enriched my knowledge about the country.since quite some time i have been trying to get the exact cost of travelling to Juangfrau while holding swiss pass and your input about the cost has really helped me take a decision pending since long.

Pranithi ,our travel agent has kept the trip to Juangfrau as optional & is offering to take us from Lautterbrunen for Euro 140 per person inclusive of lunch on top. What is your opinion ? Should we take this tour or should we go on our own since we are already have the swiss flexi pass for the entire family .Are children absolutely free on this train ?
There are few more queries which if your are fine ,i would like to take your advise .
you can kindly send me your reply on my mail id j.r.andcompany@gmail.com

thanks once again for your input &bye for now
Annika
Annika
4355 posts
expert &
moderator
Apr 8, 2012 - 11:33 AM
Thank you so much for sharing your experiences and tips, pranathi! That's very valuable information for all visitors. I'm glad you enjoyed your stay in Switzerland and that the forum was able to help you out in your preparations. You certainly managed to make the most out of your itinerary! It's an addictive country, isn't it :-)?
Olga
Olga
460 posts
top member
Apr 8, 2012 - 12:01 PM
Hello Pranathi,

Although I know Switzerland from many vacations, I felt like walking there again while reading your experiences. I'm glad you and your family enjoyed the trip so much. And I completely agree with what you say about first class travelling. It's really great, a bit more luxurous and there are always nice places to sit.
And of course your children are right - and they have great taste too :-) !
Wandermann
Wandermann
297 posts
top member
Apr 8, 2012 - 1:41 PM
Hi Pranathi,

Always nice to read about the holiday adventures of fellow travelers. So, thank you for your trip report!

What a good idea to add your personal tips, I hope others will follow to do so.

I agree with you that a first class Swiss Pass is the most convenient way of traveling. Of course, it will cost you a bit more, but you get so much in return!
A good tip tip about the Swiss Com SIM card. This is helpful to me and maybe to many others!

Thanks again,
pranathi11
pranathi11
16 posts
new member
Apr 9, 2012 - 4:35 AM
Hi Arno , Olga, Wandermann !
Thankyou all for your positive feed back.
Yeah this forum really helped a lot in our initial planning.Really we had a great time in switzerland.Also due to clear and sunny days, we were able to make the most of each day during our stay there.Of course, it's really an addictive country! We'd definitley come back again and do Bernina ,Glacier express, Zermatt, Glacier 3000 etc.. also would like to experience green meadows, grazing of cows...switzerland summer !!
gyellin
gyellin
21 posts
new member
Apr 9, 2012 - 12:21 PM
Hi Pranathi: Thank you for this wonderful description of your trip; it was enjoyable to read and I think it will help in regards to an upcoming trip to Lauterbrunnen in September that my wife and I are planning. We too will be landing in Geneva Airport and taking the trains to LB. By the way, can you tell me, from the airport, where do you get the train to Bern, and do you have to take a bus or metro train to get from the airport to the train station needed for the Geneva to Bern leg of the journey. Thanks in advance Pranathi, and again I appreciate your trip notes. Gary
aussie
aussie
67 posts
active member
Apr 9, 2012 - 9:04 PM
Hi Pranathi,
I you for your trip report!

What a good idea to add your personal tips, I hope others will follow to do so.

I agree with you that a first class Swiss Pass is the most convenient way of traveling. Of course, it will cost you a bit more, but you get so much in return!
A good tip tip about the Swiss Com SIM card. This is helpful to me and maybe to many others!

Thanks again,

Thank you so much for relating your experiences during your recent trip to beautiful Switzerland. I've been there quite a few times but always find new things to see. I think that you were very lucky to have had such clear weather . We haven't always been so lucky. We are going to Luzern in August this year, the main reason being that I want to show my son Mt' Titilis. I did this trip some years ago and yes, it was an exciting trip. I can't remember though, whether it was worth the expense(the scenery once one gets to the top). I think that you might have enjoyed Rigi more. Would I be right? If you had to choose, which one would you recommend? Thank you so much.Irene
pranathi11
pranathi11
16 posts
new member
Apr 11, 2012 - 3:25 AM
Hi GYELLIN,
Thanks and happy to know you enjoyed my trip report .
It's very easy to get to the geneva airport station....dont have to exit the building at all.After picking your luggage, exit the doors, take your left ---there ll be boards showing "train station" ...so no worries.

On your way you can find SBB office, where you can buy swiss pass or validate if you have bought already....then proceed for 2-3 mts and you can take the lift to go down to the station.
Have a great time.
pranathi11
pranathi11
16 posts
new member
Apr 11, 2012 - 3:30 AM
Hi aussie,
Thanks .And it's nice to hear how lucky we have been ..to experience such beautiful weather through out our stay.
Mt .Tilis , rigi both were different. We enjoyed both very much as we experienced snow for the first time.Titlis was fun for kids with "snow park" .
But again i think it depends on the season ....of the year too.Because during our visit, rigi also was covered with beautiful snow ...and we had stunning views of switzerland...which again in august must be different with greenary and meadows.
Have a great time once again in the beautiful country!

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