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10 days Lake Geneva, Zermatt, Bernese Oberland


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jatinsmehta
jatinsmehta
114 posts
active member
Aug 21, 2019 - 9:03 AM

I took Swissair flight from Mumbai via Zurich, landed at Geneva airport on 10th August around 8 am, as I had already booked my 2nd class swiss travel pass(STP) for 8 days (along with family card) costing CHF 418, collected my bags & proceeded towards Lausanne by train from where I caught a bus to Olympic museum. I had just enough time to choose between Chaplin’s world & Olympic museum & I choose the latter because of my love towards sports. The entry to the museum is free along with STP. The museum is one of its kind, displaying the medals of all the Olympic events that took place till date along with life size cutouts of many eminent sports personnel. There are also few activities for kids to keep them busy & entertained, Overall a wonderful place just across the Lac Léman. Time flew by & it was time to catch boat/cruise to Chillon from Ouchy Lac. I reached at the pier, showed my STP & upgraded myself to 1st class by paying 50% of the difference. The views from the top deck is absolutely stunning with Lavaux vineyards on one side, France on the opposite & majestic mountains in front of you. Such fantastic views you cherish for your entire life, truly worth it & one of THE things to do in Switzerland. After reaching Chillon, I caught a bus & reached my hotel at Territet. Got freshened up & again took a bus to Montreux. I got down near Freddie Mercury statue & roamed around the promenade for next 2 hours. The promenade is stunningly beautiful with array of flowers, swans/ducks swimming in the lake & a mesmerizing view of Château de Chillon. I also swam a little, had dinner & an Ice-cream & called it a day.

Next day was turn to explore Lavaux. I took an early morning train to St.Saphorin which was the most recommended place to start my journey & man it stood up to its charm. The village is wonderful & I could have spent an entire day soaking up its beauty. I took a long, slow walk up the terraces towards Chexbres & back down to Rivaz. The grapes on the trees were just beginning to show up & the entire place looked magical. Lavaux was THE reason I wanted to come to Montreux & it didn’t disappoint one bit, I was spellbound, speechless & completely lost in its beauty. There are various hikes which can be done in this region & I’m sure all would be equally beautiful. Today was also the last day of Fête des Vignerons & I saw many people with colorful costumes going towards Vevey. On reaching Vevey, I saw a huge stadium probably erected just for this reason & the whole area was very elegantly decorated. I took a train to Broc-Fabrique & was excited to visit Maison Callier for my eternal love for chocolates. After knowing the history, I shopped & shopped for as many bars as much I could until I was no longer able to lift them & left the place with a heavy heart & a much heavier stomach (did I forget to mention free tasting). Next was the time to visit La Maison du Gruyère followed by Gruyères Castle. The castle was very beautiful with picturesque views of the entire town, the village was itself very pretty with lovely views. Again my STP gave me free entry to all these 3 places. I took a MOB back to Montreux. This train was very different from all the other trains & looked classy with plush interiors, not that other trains where inferior. The lake & the surrounding area looked alluring at night time & alas! it was time to bid adieu to Montreux.

My 3rd day was at Zermatt. Since I had already messaged my hotel, an electric car was waiting at the station to pick me up. The moment I came out of the station, the imposing views of Matterhorn made me dumbstruck. I had seen such views only in videos but this time it was in front of me & I wasn’t dreaming. I was completely hypnotized till I reached my hotel, kept my bags & got ready for 5 lake hike. I had already checked in the meteoblue app that the weather for next 2 days was going to be just fine. I reached the valley station, took return tickets to sunnegga & one way ticket to Blauherd which were 50% discounted with STP. The hike is about 9.5 kms & the views are just about okish when compared to Gornergrat, perhaps because of lower elevation or perhaps I found the walk a bit too much ( I could be completely wrong). At the end of the day, I took a dip in the hot water pool of my hotel absorbing in the beauty of the Matterhorn & planning for the next day.

The morning started with the sunrise views of Matterhorn from Kirchbruke, this was the highlight of my entire trip. I never knew Matterhorn looked Orange at sunrise & I was totally captivated by the look of it. I was confused between visiting Gornergrat or Klein Matterhorn, but as they say when in doubt choose both & I took peak2peak tickets which were again 50% discounted. I 1st took the Gondola to Matterhorn Glacier paradise which gave breathtaking views of Matterhorn & many other peaks just in front of me. We played in snow for some time, took a little break for lunch & than changed at Furi & Riffelberg to Gornergrat. The views from up here are bewitching & ravishing, though I had planned to get down at Rotenboden station for a Riffelsee hiking path, I didn’t do it & was contented with the views from Gornergrat. I came back to my hotel & got ready for a nice walk through the town of Zermatt. The town is very lovely & quaint & gives you that nice vibes which you can only dream off. All the chalets & hotels in the town are beautifully decorated with colorful flowers & you are never tired at looking at them & yes I did eat Fondue. I didn’t wish this time to end but If wishes were horses…… Half of my trip had ended by now.

I had a wonderful spread of breakfast & was well prepared for the long day ahead. I took a train to Interlaken Ost & than boat/ship ride to Brienzsee. Again I took the 1st class ticket & grabbed the best seat at the top deck to view the turquoise blue water of the lake. The beauty of this place completely blew me off & I didn’t move an inch from my seat. I wondered during my entire boat ride as to how can a place be so ravishing, truly fascinating. From Brienzee, I changed multiple trains to reach my hotel at Wengen & immediately left for Schilthorn (included with STP) via Stetchelberg. The weather in the mountains was again sunny for next 2 days & I wanted to make full use of it. I must say Sbb app works seamless & it’s a lifeline for tourist like us, It show numerous connections when you enter From & To places & always shows the fastest route between the two places. Once at Schilthorn, I spend next hour or so admiring the magnificent views of the Eiger, Monch & Jungfrau, had lunch at Piz Gloria, saw a nice little movie & left for Murren. Among all the places I saw, I found Murren to be the most charming & beautiful with lovely views of the Lauterbrunnen valley down below. One can’t get bored of this town, no matter where you look, you are greeted by exceptional beauty. I went back to Wengen via Grutschalp & took a dip in salt water pool to shrug off my day’s tiredness. The train from Lauterbrunnen to Wengen gives you gorgeous views of green meadows & gorgeous waterfalls of the valley particularly Staubbach falls which was on my do list the following day.

Day 6 : I purchased tickets for Wengen to Mannlichen Gondola & stood on top of it which was a thrilling experience. I have never imagined doing something like this before & the views of Wengen were mind blowing, even the majestic Staubbach falls was completely visible. The cool winds blowing on the face was an experience for lifetime. From Mannlichen, I took a 90 mins hike to Kleine Scheidegg. The sweet sound of the cowbells during the entire journey was the best part of it. The views of North face of Eiger was another highlight of this day. It looked so intimidating & glorious. On reaching Kleine Scheidegg we saw hoards of travelers going towards Jungfraujoch, luckily we didn’t include that in our plan. We took out our sandwiches purchased from COOP & ate it admiring the superb surroundings. Being an early riser, I had lot of day light hours, which meant it was still noon, time to explore some more. I purchased tickets to Grindelwad & started other train journey. On reaching the station, I roamed the streets with intentions of buying some souvenirs. I purchased few fridge magnets & cowbells, reached First cable car station & checked the timings for the last cable car, to my amaze; I had three more hours, so I quickly purchased tickets, sat in the cable car & reached First via Bort & Shreckfield. I saw many people doing adventure activities like mountain carts, first glider etc, but I gave it a skip. On reaching First, I straightaway went for cliff walk. Here I must say, the walk at certain places is too challenging particularly when someone from other direction too is coming. The views from top are fascinating with valleys, waterfalls, mountains & also some people doing Para-sailing. I took out my picnic basket, sat there for light evening meals admiring the wonderful nature’s beauty & went back to Lauterbrunnen via Zweilütschinen. I had one last thing to do which was see the Staubbach falls. This is an exclusive one perhaps highly visited/photographed & perfectly so. The charm of this falls is something which has to see it to feel it. The magic of this waterfall never ceases to amaze and the Staubbach Falls is the most famous in the middle of the town of Lauterbrunnen falling down into the picturesque valley below. The falls can be seen from all angles.

I didn’t want to leave Wengen, but as they say : All good things comes to an end. I checked out from the hotel & went to Weggis. I choose this place because of its proximity to Luzern & Rigi. The journey from Interlaken to Luzern & than to Weggis is perhaps one of the best with stunning panoramic views all around. Though Weggis is about 40 mins boat ride from Luzern, you don’t get bored of this jouney, no matter how many times you do it. On reaching Weggis, the vibes of this town, church bells & the people relaxing at the lake side completely charged me for next 2 days. Weggis was one place where I had so little expectation (perhaps because I haven’t read much about it anywhere) but it completely came out to be a trump card. If Luzern is a cake than Weggis is surely cheery on top of it. I immediately postponed going to Rigi, took out my swimming trunks & swam in the lake for next few hours, followed by lunch on the shores & visit to a church. I remembered the Luzern tourist officer suggesting me to visit Rigi for sunset & visiting in August means sunset around 9 pm. I caught the cable car & here I was at the queen of hills. You will have breathtaking view from every side of the mountain and every view is different and unique. Don't forget to take pics of the cows...it doesn't get more Swiss than that. After spending few hours we went back to our hotel just in time for the dinner. Tomorrow was our final day.

Took an early morning train to Engelberg as I wanted to avoid hoards of tourist coming later in the day. The sun was again shining brightly which meant a day full of enjoyment. Titlis has life size cutouts of two famous Bollywood personalities namely Shah Rukh Khan & Kajol & that’s the reason it’s quite popular with Indians. My son loved identifying the flags of different countries on the cable car from Engelberg to Stand. From there on a massive revolving cable car, Rotair transported us to Titlis. Once at Titlis, we straightaway went to Glacier park for snow tubing etc. Utmost care is taken to ensure safety of all the fellow travelers & it is totally fun to do all the snow related activities. My entire family enjoyed it thoroughly. After doing cliff walk, we were dead tired, had our lunch, relaxed a bit & left for Luzern. Being the last day, we wanted to make sure every minute counts. We directly went to lion monument, followed by Kapellbrücke. We did some window shopping of watches & high end fashion, bought few more souvenirs & called it a day. I would have loved to see Luzern at night, but after 9 days of frenzy, we were totally exhausted.

I must admit that sbb & meteoble app were a big boon to us & it must be used extensively to get your trip planned perfectly. The train/bus/boat connections were bang on time & we never rarely encountered delay. Except once, the train arrived on the platform mentioned on the sbb app & was due to unavoidable circumstances.

COOP & Migros sells some very nice vegetarian lunch packets, cold coffee, fruits etc which are wholesome & easily available

I can’t end this report without thanking: Steph, Arno & other myswissalps experts without which my trip wouldn’t have been possible. Thank you guys, I am forever indebted to you. Cheers!!!

ioana
ioana
67 posts
active member
Aug 21, 2019 - 10:08 AM

Hi Jatinsmehta,

That was a lovely trip report to read , good to hear you had such a great time!

I was in the Zermatt area around the same dates and there is something that is a little unclear. Was the 3rd day the 12th of august? 10th , with your early arrival and time to explore being the first , would make 12th the 3rd day. I am asking this because you said that you came to Zermatt and were greeted by the wonderful view of Matterhorn , but on the 12th we got up to a rainy day that drove us out of the area, as it was not suitable for our planned mountain trips. In the evening, coming back, we were greeted by more rain and a rock slide that closed Randa and Tasch and left us stranded outside, spending the night in St. Niklaus at the shelter provided by the authorities. The next morning it was very foggy and chilly, and, as the road was still closed, we decided not to lose the day waiting, even though we were wearing the previous day's clothes, the ones in which we slept.:) We chose to drive to the nearest valley, at Saas Grund and going up at Hohsaas, hoping the fog would clear up, which didn't happen. When finally got back to Tasch around 16:00, the peaks were covered on this valley as well. Only starting the morning of 14th the weather was clear and beautiful. I think I might have too much expectations when thinking and wishing of good weather, but it did make me feel like we were in 2 parallel Zermatts when reading:))

Last modified on Aug 21, 2019 - 11:08 AM by ioana
ioana
ioana
67 posts
active member
Aug 21, 2019 - 11:17 AM in reply to jatinsmehta

Sorry, just being ammused remembering something, when reading of you playing in the snow at Klein Matterhorn. We went there on the 14th, a beautiful sunny day and my 8 year old son, although wearing a good ski jacket, couldn't leave the panoramic terrace fast enough, throwing in the line of the day - "daddy, my spit has frozen":)))

There were however many people on the slope. We watched them from the coziness and warmness of the restaurant lounge:)

Last modified on Aug 21, 2019 - 11:20 AM by ioana
jatinsmehta
jatinsmehta
114 posts
active member
Aug 22, 2019 - 6:20 AM

Hi Ioana :

Yes, I did my 5 lake on 12th Aug & by the time I finished it, it had started to drizzle a bit & on the next day I came to know about landslide, but i had already reached Zermatt. On 13th, it was nice & sunny & i did peak2peak

Annika
Annika
7114 posts
expert &
moderator
Aug 23, 2019 - 10:53 AM in reply to jatinsmehta

Dear jatinsmehta,

Thanks so much for your extensive trip report! I'm happy to hear you fully enjoyed your stay in Switzerland. You certainly managed to see and do a whole lot in about 10 days, exploring some of the country's prettiest regions. I totally agree with you that Weggis is a very nice resort for a stay in the Lake Lucerne area. Your experiences and tips are for sure helpful to other travelers!

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