Mar 2, 2018 - 9:40 AM
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Another trip report, this time for the Blausee and Brig from Zurich (spent one night in Blausee).
It was an easy trip from Zurich, we had one train change in Bern and another in Frutigen (change to a bus). Total trip was about 2hrs 10min. I bought a standard ticket for the trip out from Zurich (around 35chf) and used a Saver Day Pass to get home the next day; which I pre-bought with my Halbtax (a Swiss Half Fare Card works as well) for 29chf. This allowed us to travel home via Kandersteg and Brig.
The bus stop (Blausee BE) is directly in front of the Blausee visitor centre (and parking lot if you drive) and a very good Pizzeria is there as well. We arrived around 13:00 and had lunch at the Pizzeria before heading to the hotel.
There is a charge of between 5chf – 8CHF (winter is cheaper) to enter the nature park which you need to do to see the lake. Guests of the Blausee Hotel get in the park for free (check in at the visitor center).
It is a very small, beautiful lake and worth a stop if you are in the area. The hotel is a nice 3-star option with great service. The spa and restaurant were nice as well.
The Blausee Park itself is fairly large and you can go for leisurely hikes if you wish around the area. The lake can be walked around completely in about 10 minutes (plus time needed for pictures). There is also a fish farm on-site with tours available and a glass-bottom boat can take you on the lake (it wasn’t operating when we were there).
On a day trip I think maybe 1 hour is enough time to enjoy the lake (unless you want to go on a longer hike). It is well worth a stop at the hotel for a meal or coffee/drink while you are there. You can also buy access to the Spa if so inclined.
We took the bus from Blausee BE on to Kandersteg (about a 15-minute trip). We went from almost no snow at Blausee to quite a bit of snow up in Kandersteg (about 400 meters higher in elevation). The bus driver did not know what a Saver Day Pass was unfortunately, but after trying to explain to him what it is (in German) he finally just accepted it. :)
Drivers have a very large laminated sheet with a list of all acceptable tickets/passes and the Saver Day Pass wasn’t on it. I will email SBB to inform them of the issue. Train personnel on all trains and stations accepted it without question.
We had a 40 minute wait in Kandersteg so we briefly wandered the town. We then took the train on to Brig (very scenic trip along the Rhone Valley). We also saw the car train being loaded up there as well. They are incredibly long trains!
We arrived in Brig at about 12 noon (1h 45 min trip from Blausee but with 45 minutes in Kandersteg). It is faster back track to Spiez but not as scenic!
In Brig we visited the very impressive Stockalper Palace and wondered the town before having a cheap Kebap (7CHF!) and then enjoyed a coffee on the main town square (5 minutes from the train station. It was -2 degrees but sunny).
At about 14:00 we caught an express train back to Zurich (direct and only 2 hours 10 minutes).
This train had a new (to me) restaurant car that was exceptionally nice. All wood panels and counters, very spacious
The seats in this carriage (2nd floor above the restaurant) were so nice (wide and even adjustable) I couldn't believe it was 2nd class. I asked 2 other travelers and train personal to ensure I wasn’t in 1st class!
The other train carriages were standard seats so the nice ones were only in the restaurant car carriage. It was the IC8 to Romanshorn…not sure how many trains have these restaurants cars and seats.
But I will know always get on trains at the restaurant carriage to see if I find these seats again!
***Guests at the Blausee also receive a Guest Card for reductions at nearby facilities and cable cars***
If you don't have a rail pass a few discounts to note are:
- 20% off the Niesen Funicular
- 20% off Stockhorn
- 10% off Luftseilbahn Sunnbuel & Gondelbahn Oeschinensee (cable cars)
- 10% off the Brig Thermal bath (Thermalbad BrigerBad)
- and a few small discounts at other nearby hotels (their pools or billiards etc)