Camping through Switzerland trip report

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Slowpoke
Slowpoke
6480 posts
expert
Aug 13, 2018 - 9:52 AM in reply to Debra

<<"I also wanted to mention having the Swiss travel pass (flex for me this time as I was in Switzerland more than 15 days) ">>

Did you find the restriction on the number of days you could use it to be a problem?

<<"I didn’t stress out over how much I saved or not, the freedom to get off the bus or train whilst traveling and saw an interesting town and change plans on a moments notice was invaluable to me and exceeded any extra cost the pass might have been,">>

Everyone has a budget, and makes trade-offs. And traveling in Switzerland can be expensive. Since I can afford the trade off, and consider my time in Switzerland to be worth a lot for doing the things that I want to do, I don't concentrate on the exact costs of transport passes. I have developed a pattern which works for me, and simply use it.

With my travels, which involve visiting various parts of the country, staying a few nights at a familiar inn or in the region at a few familiar inns in towns that are within the general region, I have settled on renting car for the middle section of my trips. They always start with and end with a few days in Zürich....cultural stuff and friends....and in between I rent a car, and drive to a location, with enough clean clothes in the trunk ( boot) so that I don't have to hunt up a rare laundromat. The car than sits mostly unused while I use local or long range public transport.

Country bus service to trailheads used to be better, but now, having a car to get to and from trailheads is more convenient. Fewer buses, more people use cars.

I carry a one year half-fare card ( a so-called Halb Tax or Halb Abo). They were only available until recently to people with a Swiss address ( a friend's address was workable). Now, they seem to be available to anyone.

Slowpoke

Debra
Debra
155 posts
active member
Aug 13, 2018 - 11:00 AM in reply to Lucas

Yeah it was an awesome hike, very steep up; the trail information doesn’t include the extra walking steeply uphill from the Randa train station to the start of the actual trail which would put it at 999 meters ascent and descent. The bridge is pretty cool to walk over but the adventure is of course getting there. It certainly is a workout! No scree or anything just steep and of course easy to follow as there is only one path up.

Debra
Debra
155 posts
active member
Aug 13, 2018 - 11:11 AM in reply to Slowpoke

No there were a few times I knew I wouldn’t be riding a train that I didn’t use the pass for, once in lauterbrunnen for the lift up to the first stop to Murren then I forgot which cable I took back but it was only 19 chf total and another time in engelberg I got a courtesy pass from the campground and got the same discount for the lift so I didn’t use it and the third time was the train to and from Randa. I did have to think about it a bit but I figured the few bucks it would cost extra if I made a “wrong” decision was the cost of traveling. I didn’t go on the priciest “attractions” like Titlis or anything. Considered Schilthorn but I remembered all the posts about people stressing out about getting reservations and wait times I decided it wasn’t worth the hassle plus I found more interesting walks to take, last year I took the trail from Birg down to Murren it was a good walk but tricky footing in some spots.

Debra
Debra
155 posts
active member
Aug 13, 2018 - 11:16 AM in reply to Slowpoke

When figuring if I should use my pass I looked at how much the SBB app said a fare would be and if it was under the price per day for the cost of the pass (in my case $35/day) then I would consider not using the pass but the most I spent out of pocket so to speak was 28chf for the Randa trip.

Debra
Debra
155 posts
active member
Aug 13, 2018 - 6:44 PM

So since the forecast was for rain today and tonight and I hate a wet tent especially having to pack a wet tent and send on a 10 hour flight I kept a hotel reservation which I had till 2 days ago to cancel if needed. Thank goodness because it did pour in Luzern today! I checked in early to Zurich hotel and went over to see the Rhine falls.

oh my gosh this was quite an experience! Initially it looked like the biggest tourist trap I’ve seen in Switzerland, and I looked for a way to view the falls without paying anything but not so. So, I forked over 5 chf and thought what the heck I had to do something with this leftover Swiss money. Let me tell ya, with each viewing platform it just got better and better; at the lowest you’re practically in the water and getting sprayed. It was the most amazing waterfall experience I have seen. Initially I thought I would want to go on the boat, but after looking at how close it came and how it rocked with the power of the water, the recent close to home sinking of the duck boat came to mind and no way was I going on one of those! It was a powerful and amazing to witness these falls.

After returning to Luzern and having an overpriced meal to spend more of my leftover chf, I saw a river boat and decided to use my Swiss travel pass to take a 30 minute ride before the rain came. It was choppy on the lake but the river part was smooth and I got a Venetian feeling haha. Very cool.

After all the walking I’ve done this trip I would have to say to those who look to ride a scenic train for hours and hours to view the beauty of Switzerland to go out on a trail that you wouldn’t ordinarily do. Just to walk 15 minutes, take your time, feel the rocks under your feet and listen to the birds and the insects and feel the wind on your face. You won’t regret it.

Last modified on Aug 13, 2018 - 6:48 PM by Debra
Slowpoke
Slowpoke
6480 posts
expert
Aug 13, 2018 - 7:09 PM

<<"would put it at 999 meters ascent and descent.">>

<<"just to walk 15 minutes, take your time, feel the rocks under your feet and listen to the birds and the insects and feel the wind on your face. You won’t regret it.">>

I'd regret 999 meters. ;-)

Some of my Swiss colleagues used to say that a day wasn't complete unless they climbed 1,000 meters.

I listened politely. ;-)

Slowpoke

Arno
Arno
13854 posts
expert &
moderator
Aug 13, 2018 - 7:51 PM in reply to Debra

Good to hear about your Rhine Fall trip. The more rain, the more impressive they get eventually :)

Arno
Arno
13854 posts
expert &
moderator
Aug 13, 2018 - 7:56 PM in reply to Slowpoke

A yes, that reminds me of the time we were feeling proud to survive hiking on a rocky trail, only to be passed by a Swiss guy running around with a mountain bike on his neck as if he was doing his afternoon walk with the dog.

Last modified on Aug 13, 2018 - 7:57 PM by Arno
Slowpoke
Slowpoke
6480 posts
expert
Aug 13, 2018 - 9:09 PM in reply to Arno

<<"passed by a Swiss guy running around with a mountain bike on his neck as if he was doing his afternoon walk with the dog.">>One of our favorite trails was the walk from Brienzer Rothorn to Schönbuel, then 2 stages of lift down to Lungern.

TThe lifts don't run the fulll distance any more, so I don't do that walk. One way is enough. To go out and return would be a problem, because I slow down a lot at that altitude. Part of it is a ridge walk, and the views are terrific, both toward Luzern and toward the Jungfrau Massif.

One Sunday morning two of us were walking along, pleased that we had our boots on, especially for one stretch that is always in shade, and we paused to catch our breath halfway up along one of the ascents.

Coming towards us and passing us was a fast moving elderly Swiss couple, dressed in their Sunday-go-to-meetin' clothes. He had on a suit and tie, and leather dress shoes. She was nicely dressed; don't remember details. At that time the lifts up from Lungern were running, so I suppose that is how they got there.

Another recollection is the first time I took the train up to Rigi-Kulm, on an early trip to Switzerland. As we climbed the last stretch from Rigi-Staffel, we saw a group of hikers coming up steadily up the trail , at a good pace. They might have come from the lift at Seebodenalp or the trail from Schwendi. A group of nuns in their habits, wearimg hiking boots. That taught us a lot about Switzerland. ;-)

Slowpoke

Debra
Debra
155 posts
active member
Aug 13, 2018 - 10:24 PM in reply to Slowpoke

Yes I have been “showed up” pretty good by many elderly Swiss folks moving at a much faster pace than I, probably every hike. Even the long haul from engelberg to Altdorf I felt like I was the granny. The fitness of the Swiss people amazes me. And I also use the lifts whenever possible, my motto is never to walk under one that is running.

Last modified on Aug 13, 2018 - 10:25 PM by Debra
Debra
Debra
155 posts
active member
Aug 19, 2018 - 9:49 PM

Since my return to the states I’ve been asked a lot why I travelled all the way to Switzerland to hike in the mountains when there are beautiful mountains here. I tell them these things:

ease of transportation to and from trailheads. You don’t have to worry about getting back to your camp at the end of a hike, there’s always a train or bus not too far get you back.

No worries about food or water; you don’t have to mail drop a cache of food, there’s always somewhere to resupply both and you don’t have to filter the water.

No permits required, no need for trip approval or assignment of camps.

No snakes, mountain lions, or bears; from the Glacier National Park summer hiking guide: “if a bear starts to eat you, fight back any way you can”.

Lucas
Lucas
10496 posts
top member
Aug 20, 2018 - 6:18 AM in reply to Debra

Hi Debra!

Great points! You do have to be on the lookout for some wild Marmots here though ;)

Debra
Debra
155 posts
active member
Aug 22, 2018 - 3:12 PM

Randa suspension bridge

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Debra
Debra
155 posts
active member
Aug 22, 2018 - 3:14 PM

Gornergrat trail under Matterhorn

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Debra
Debra
155 posts
active member
Aug 22, 2018 - 3:15 PM

easy Furenalp trail with company

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Debra
Debra
155 posts
active member
Aug 22, 2018 - 3:16 PM

An unsafe snow bridge crossing over a deep running stream on the trail from Engelberg to Altdorf

Last modified on Aug 22, 2018 - 3:20 PM by Debra
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Debra
Debra
155 posts
active member
Aug 22, 2018 - 3:17 PM

Steep but easy Stoos Ridge trail looking back toward the Klinginstock lift

Last modified on Aug 22, 2018 - 3:18 PM by Debra
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Debra
Debra
155 posts
active member
Aug 22, 2018 - 3:34 PM

What's with the creepy figueres? I found these characters on Monte San Salvatore and also in front of a house on Rigi

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Debra
Debra
155 posts
active member
Aug 22, 2018 - 3:36 PM

Lake Uri from the Swiss path Seelisburg to Fluelen and boat cruise

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Debra
Debra
155 posts
active member
Aug 22, 2018 - 3:36 PM

Zurich at night

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