3 week trip to Switzerland

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SureshSrini
SureshSrini
48 posts
active member
Dec 12, 2016 - 8:43 AM in reply to Arno

Thanks again, Slowpoke & Arno.

Couple more places of interest : i have no details, but just putting it out there so, someone who is interested in these may explore further - two areas very different from the rest that people might usually see in the country.

CERN, European Organization for Nuclear Research. Located on the Franco-Swiss border, it’s : the world’s biggest particle physics laboratory, doing cutting edge work on fundamental physics.

If you are interested in questions such as Where did the Universe come from, the Higgs Boson particle, and such, this is the place for you. They host exhibitions and tours free of charge. home.cern/.

They have built large accelerators – one of them, the LHC, is a 27km long machine in an underground tunnel – in which particles are accelerated to high speeds, speeds close to the speed of light ( light can travel around the earth in the blink of an eye.....7 times!)

The website says “Founded in 1954, CERN was one of the first European collaborations, uniting countries that had been fighting against one another during the Second World War” How lovely is that!

United Nations Projects : I am very sketchy on this. Location : Geneva. I understand that there are places, where you can actually observe the UN in action - discussions that folks are having, and which you could be a witness to, from a certain observation platform.

Thanks!

SureshSrini
SureshSrini
48 posts
active member
Jan 4, 2017 - 7:42 AM

Tips for travelers from India. This is about my experiences regards Visa and Travel agents, which should help you.

VISA

To get your visa, don't go thru a travel agent. They will charge you a lot of money for a process that you can easily do yourself.

The application details are available in the website of vfsglobal - they handle the processing for many countries. The list of docs required are clearly spelt out, and they have a call center who will clarify details if you have any questions. There were only 2 aspects that were unclear :

1. The submission requires photo of certain specs which wasn't clearly specified. I can’t remember what it was, but they have the service of taking your mug shot as per specs, at the application center (at least in B’lore they do so)

2. They were unclear, actually misleading, about the requirement of a ‘booking reservation that’s not actually a ticket’. In the end I took a chance and booked a confirmed ticket, and submitted that for the visa app.

TRAVEL AGENTS

At www.myswissalps.com/sw isstravelpass/price there’s a reference to www.raileurope.co.in, which in turn gives you a list of agents you can buy tickets and excursions from. I tried (or rather was forced to try) 3 of those.

· I went thru www.swisstours.com. Poor service - despite giving them 3 chances, they did poor work.

· So tried Thomas Cook. I had already bought the SwissTravelPass thro Swisstours, and the flight tickets online. So only had the excursions to buy. They weren’t interested – the business was too small, I was told! And their escalation / governance mechanisms, non-existent.

· I shifted to Traveltours – and these guys were ok.

But really, none of these guys make the mark. If it wasn’t for the Internet, and folks like Arno & Annika, we’d get so little for the precious time & money that we spend. Doing it ourselves, with these resources, is always the best bet

PRICES

I looked up the site referred above, www.raileurope.co.in, to buy the Glacier Pass reservation, and found the price was much higher than the CHF33 its otherwise supposed to be. When I asked them, they had no idea why. So do look around for the best prices – it pays!

Thanks……Suresh

Arno
Arno
11357 posts
expert &
moderator
Jan 4, 2017 - 9:43 AM in reply to SureshSrini

Thanks for the additional tips Suresh! One note on the Swiss Travel Pass purchase: you can buy it directly from www.raileurope.co.in or any of the other websites linked on our page. In many cases it works well to buy directly from the Swiss Railways at www.swissrailways.com/ en, but prices and exchange rates vary, so there can be better alternatives any time. I'm not sure how you ended up on SwissTours, but there is no need to go through them for travel passes. Attraction tickets can be purchased on the spot or online through the websites we link to from our various attraction pages. Anyway, I'm glad it worked out for you in the end!

Last modified on May 17, 2018 - 11:42 AM by Arno
SureshSrini
SureshSrini
48 posts
active member
Jan 4, 2017 - 3:29 PM in reply to Arno

Arno,

i clicked on a Swisstours ad in (i think) SBB's website, which took me to their website. Their price was the same as SwissRail, but they also had a good promotion then.

But given their service levels, i lost half of it ! I had asked them - how long is your promotion, just so i didn't miss it. But they didn't give me the correct date. So by the time i went to buy it, the old offer had ended.

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