It took a while to get out of the hangover and write a trip report. It was indeed a great help following this forum and getting guidance from everyone. This was my second trip to Switzerland.. the first one was 8 yrs back without family for a conference to Zurich ( as part of a group) had managed to visit Titlis & Junfraujoch then.. and ever since then wanted to come back to this heaven on earth with family.. and this was the moment..
Before getting into the details here are some quick facts..
The three most convenient assets I think we had were Swiss Travel Pass, Traveler’s wifi and SBB mobile app.. it’s really worth the extra money..(since we were family with young kids didn’t resort to try too much budgeting)
We were family of 2 adults and 2 kids aged 11 and 5. Traveled from 6th to 11 th September.
Had got Swiss travel pass from SBB official website for 8 days.. ( after calculation whether we should take for 4 days and buy point to point tickets for 2 days .. it was seen that getting travel pass for 8 days was cheaper) We had booked traveler’s wifi also. Since we had rented an apartment, we cooked our food and all days we had packed lunch.. saved lot of time and money..
Day 1. Sep 6
Landed in Zurich from Abu dhabi at 0645.. after getting bags, went to service center and got the wifi device.. it’s fully charged when u receive.. We kept our large bags in the supervised baggage counter.. right beside the service center.. (the lockers were not large enough for them) The train station is few floors below the service center..
First trip was to Rhine falls.. By 0800 we got train to Neuhausen and from there another one to Schlosslaufen am Rheinfall. Had our breakfast en route in train. Reached there at 0845.. It was a nice sunny morning (too sunny I would say that we decided not to take the round trip walk as mentioned in the forum) The train station was a nice little deserted one.. followed the directions for glass lift and reached the top.. There was literally no one there.. got our tickets and visited the historama and then went down to the viewing platforms. Even though you can view the falls from other side free, the view from platforms is worth the small ticket charge.. you are so close to the falls and get the thundering feel. Later went down to boat house. There are different types of boat tours. We took one which go across the falls and then 2 rounds which go right below the falls.. didn’t go to the small rock in the middle.. we had the whole boat to ourselves.. The boat tour ended at the originating point ( you can as well get out at the neuhausen side and make round trip walk) walked back to Schloss Laufen station.. took train back to Zurich Airport station through Winterthur. Reached there around 1130.. (did the Rhinefall trip in just under 4 hrs from airport) We took our bags, had lunch there and set out to our base Lungern.. at 1247. Changed trains in Luzern and boarded the Luzern Interlaken Express.. (this train was our most important train for the next 5 days) We reached our destination Lungern at 1451hrs..
Our base Lungern.. Well.. words are not enough to describe this lovely town in the Canton of Obwalden. It was much more beautiful than we thought and saw from the web-images. Set on the banks of Lake Lungernersee’s emerald green waters, this cute little town is surrounded by beautiful mountains and is almost midway between Luzern and Interlaken. Also remember reading somewhere that it lies in the geographic center of Switzerland.. We were delighted to see that this little heaven was going to be our home for the next 5 nights in Switzerland.. Our apartment Wohnung Rot was right on the bank of lake (we had booked through Agoda and Interhomes) and was a beautiful one with all the necessities. After settling down we went for a stroll along the lakeside.. the forecast was showers and it rained .. but we had our umbrellas and were ok.. (it never rained for the next 5 days)
Day2 Sep 7
Initial plan was to do Titlis and Jungfraujoch but weather forecast was clouds& showers .. so decided to move to Lake Thun region
The Luzern Interlaken Express runs only every hour in both directions. So we had to be on time.. it was a real uphill walk to Lungern Bahnhof for 20 minutes..
0752 train to Interlaken.. From there we took Bus no21 towards Thun and reached St Beatus caves by 0930.
Beatus can be reached by boat also from Interlaken. But better avoid that as you have to do a significant uphill walk from boat station to reach the road and then have to cover some
distance to reach the caves. The bus will drop you right below the entrance.. still it requires an uphill walk.. Beatus caves will take around 2 hours if you go till the end and come back.. the entrance ticket involves a small Museum also.. no discounts for STP.. After visiting the caves, we took boat towards Thun.. while going from Beatus it’s easy to go to boat station, but it involves some 20 mts walk.. Boating in Lake Thun was one of the best experiences we had during our trip.. such magnificent sceneries all around. We had our lunch in the boat.. got down at Oberhofen castle by around 1400 hrs. The castle museum is covered in STP.. There was also a nice botanical park surrounding it.. spend some time there. Plan was to cover Schloss Thun or Hunegg but we decided to take another boat journey back to Interlaken and got into the 1603 boat (the same one by which we came) and got to Interlaken West by 1800 hrs.. a short train trip to Interlaken Ost and then back to Lungern by 1900 hrs.. There was still enough daylight. So went around the town.... there was hardly anyone in the streets..the only volg store closes by 1900 hrs. Went to visit the Lungern church.. which in itself is very beautiful standing on a small hill.
Day 3 Sep 8
The weather forecasts were excellent for the mountain peaks.. and it was rightly so. Set out for Mt Titlis. By 0805 we got the Luzern Interlaken Express towards Luzern. Changed to Engelberg Express from Luzern (which was crowded.. and the first one we saw like that.. but we were early enough so that got seats) Reached Engelberg trainstation by around 10am .. We bought the Titlis tickets from trainstation.. It’s a good option.. there may be more queue at Talstation. Right outside the station the free shuttle bus was waiting which took us to Titlis Talstation. By 1100 we reached Mt Titlis. The weather was nice with clear skies. Children played in the snow. Visited glacier cave, did the cliff walk. My son wanted to go for IceFlyer. So we bought tickets from the chair lift station.. the snow park was closed for some construction. After spending sometime at the top by 1230 returned.. there was some time left for the next train. Had some snacks from the bistro at Talstation and went back by the shuttle bus ( it was very sunny and hot to walk back to train station)
Reached Luzern by 1500 hrs . Visited transport museum. Also went for Lindt chocolate Adventure ( which is little overpriced; and not discounted by STP) Children were little tired after Titlis, but still enjoyed the Museum visit. Got back to Luzern by boat ... Got some provisions from Migros and headed back to Lungern.
Day 4 Sep 9
Another great day for mountains as per forecast. Decided to go to Jungfraujoch. 0752 train towards Interlaken Ost. 15 mts time for transfer at Interlaken was enough to buy tickets for Jungfraujoch. There are enough ticket counters.. The round trip ticket is from Wengen -Klein Scheidegg -Jungfraujoch- Kleine Scheidegg- Grindelwald .. you can take whichever route you want (adult fare 137.4 chf with STP .. children travel free with Swiss Family Card) We went and came back through Lauterbrunnen Wengen route. Didn’t take seat reservations.. but had no problem with getting seats. Reached the Top by 1105. Visited all the attractions as per the signed trail.. plenty of time in snow park.. Very clear views .. we had our lunch there.. and it was a nice experience eating outdoors in the snow.. we were also able to find few relaxing chairs in the snow to have our lunch..
We got back to Lauterbrunnen by 1343 train from Jungfraujoch. From there took the bus 141 to Stechelberg and got to Trümmelbach falls by 1545.
Trümmelbach was a unique experience. Very nice walk from the bus stop to the entrance.. green meadows and surrounding hills give an awesome view. They accept only cash at the ticket counter. The gentleman in front of me had only card with him.. . but the lady at the ticket counter was so kind to let him enter!
We went by a steep funicular to chute 5. From there up by walk to visit chutes 6 to 10 and later came down to visit others.. 10 falls inside the mountain made accessible by lift and stairs! You have to be very careful with small kids here.. You can also have views of the Lauterbrunnen valley and Staubach falls from here.. There is a nice small restaurant at the bus stop from where we had ice creams and some snacks.. Returned by same bus 141 to Lauterbrunnen and from there to Lungern via Interlaken ost.
Day 5 Sep 10
The final day of sightseeing and indeed a memorable one!
Started our day with a round trip to Mt Rigi.
As usual after our morning ‘climb’ to Lungern Bahnhof got the 0805 train to Luzern. From Luzern we got into boat along the beautiful Luzern lake to Vitznau. The city of Luzern and the magnificent hills surrounding the lake with swans and birds was a beautiful treat to the eye. It was a nice and sunny morning. It took half an hour for the Rigi train to reach the summit from Vitznau. Nice views all around..But Children were getting bored.. we took the same train back and stepped out at Rigi Kaltbad. There is a children’s playground few minutes from the village square. It’s not well maintained.. but has nice views of lake Luzern and is located just beneath the cableway. We spend some time there and also bought some souvenirs.
A sudden plan was made to visit Hergiswil Glass factory. took the aerial cableway to Weggis. The walk to Weggis bus station takes around 15 mts downhill.. had to do it really fast as the bus to Kussnacht am Rigi was about to arrive in 15 mts.. reached there just in time.. but bus was late by 3 minutes (one of the rare instances we saw the public transport was late!) We reached just in time for the Voralpen express from Kussnacht am Rigi to Luzern. After a short ride from Luzern reached Glassi Hergiswil. The glass museum and glass works is free with STP. You need buy tickets only to enter the glass labyrinth.. which is a maze. There is a restaurant and children’s playground by the side of the lake. Spend an hour and headed back to Lungern..
Now the climax .. Thanks to Slowpoke for suggesting the Turren cableway. We had planned to do that on last day.. By the time we reached the Lungern-Turren cable car station (this was very near to our apartment) it was 1645hrs.. The lady at the counter informed that last cable car was at 1700 (on holidays it is till 1800 hrs every 20 mts) .But that’s it.. no return car from Turren! (That also comes down at 1700!) We had some plans to hike back from Turren. When we asked about this the staff looked at the young kids and informed that it may take 2.5 to 3 hours..and may not be advisable.. Finally, we decided to take the risk.. Got into the gondola..(the Turren cable car is 50% discounted with STP) The ride to Turren just takes under 10 mts.. Awesome views of Lungern lake and surrounding hills.. When we reached the top the elderly gentleman in the station ( no one else there) was waiting for us.. “So , you are going to walk back?” He asked.. He clearly gave instructions regarding the hiking options.. there is a motorable road or mountain trail.. we asked how difficult the mountain trail is? He told it may be difficult with kids.. or you can start with mountain trail and if difficult there are connections to road.. We decided to try the mountain path.. it was 5pm.. no other hikers.. bright sun was there and the sunset was around 8 pm .. but as we got into the alpine forests’ steep trail the light was less and for sometime we had our hearts in mouth.. especially because kids were there..finally after around an hour of descent through the forest we came to an intersection with the road.. and decided to continue on road.. it took around 3 hours hike to get back to our apartment in Lungern.. but that was an amazing experience.. through woods, meadows .. and by the side of Dundelbach falls.. Undoubtedly one of the best part of our trip...
Day 6 Sep 11
Had an early departure from our base to Zurich Airport.. for our flight at 1130.. flew back with lot of nice memories..
Thanks again for all the suggestions.. longing to return soon .. still a lot to see in this amazing country..
Trying to attach some pics.. not sure of quality due to restricted file sizes ..
happy to answer any queries regarding our experiences..