Day trip to Neuchatel region - tips requested!

Day trip to Neuchatel region - tips requested!

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Lucas
Lucas
8952 posts
expert &
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Jul 13, 2018 - 8:00 AM

Hi to all our great members!

I have long overlooked the French speaking region of Switzerland and am hoping to make some amends with a day trip (sorry it is so short) to Neuchatel canton this Sunday or Monday.

Any recommendations on a town to check out? Neuchatel, Biel, Solothurn? Other?

Looking to dip my toe in the Suisse side of things and get a feel for the area. :)

Snowman
Snowman
232 posts
active member
Jul 13, 2018 - 11:22 AM in reply to Lucas

Hi Lucas,

Obviously, you know that Biel and Solothurn are not in canton Neuchâtel, and that Solothurn is not in the French-speaking region.

The most interesting town in canton Neuchâtel is, in my opinion, La Chaux-de-Fonds. Additionnally, the climate there is great, as it is located at 1000 m above sea level. The layout of La Chaux-de-Fonds is interesting, with parallel streets on a mountain slope, where buildings could be erected with large windows to provide natural light to the watchmaking manufactures. There are some architectural jewels there, and not only the early works of Le Corbusier. The tourist office provides maps and personal information, and has a little museum on the urban history of the town.

For some reasons I never got acquainted with the city of Neuchâtel. Among the smaller towns along the lake, try Gorgier or Chez-le-Bart, west towards Yverdon.

Outside canton Neuchâtel, there are nice villages along Lake Bienne, such as Ligerz or Schafis. And, further east, Olten: beyond the industrial city, it has a small old town which is a treasure of quietness, good food.

JohnYorks
JohnYorks
62 posts
active member
Jul 13, 2018 - 2:04 PM in reply to Lucas

Hi Lucas

I spent two very happy days and nights in La Chaux-de-Fonds in June, and I agree with Snowman that it's a very interesting town indeed - it has a strong industrial link with clockmaking (as does its twin town Le Locle, as usual served by an excellent rail link). Both are very close to France and even have a few direct trains over the border. I'd recommend in future a few days to explore, as the Cantons of Neuchâtel and Jura are cheek by jowl here and the scenery stunning. The area is criss-crossed with local branch lines that are full of interest - especially that to Glovelier through the most delightful hilly region.

The line that links Neuchâtel with la-Chaux-de-Fonds acts like it's a main line, but has one of those quirky reverse zigzags at Chambrelien to gain height. There's another little branch line to les Ponts de Martel from la-Chaux-de-Fonds that is wonderfully rustic and uses a single-car unit. In the UK it would have closed 60 years ago, but here it was useful and bustling, lots of locals and schoolkids. While travelling on it I had a ticket inspection from the Neuchâtel Security Patrol - I thought they were the National Guard or Customs officers! I don't think they'd ever seen an Interrail ticket before. They were somewhat bemused, but utterly charming.

La-Chaux-de-Fonds has an excellent big outdoor market on Saturdays, but I'm afraid you'll miss that!

I loved this area of Switzerland every bit as much as the tourist spots - maybe more, because it was so natural and everyday. It deserves to be better known, but please not too much! It was also a chance for me to practice my schoolboy French, slightly better than my schoolboy German. I found the French speakers in Switzerland very supportive of the effort.

John

Lucas
Lucas
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Jul 13, 2018 - 5:41 PM in reply to JohnYorks

Thanks to both of you!

I may indeed check out La Chaux-de-Fonds.

Yes, I suppose I mis-spoke there Snowman. I just meant that I was thinking to visit Neuchatel, the town, but also open to going around the canton and/or Solothurn or Biel as they are in the general area and I could stop on the way in or out if worth it. Thanks again! :) I've heard good things on Solothurn especially but nothing specific.

Snowman
Snowman
232 posts
active member
Jul 13, 2018 - 9:17 PM

Solothurn is a bit like Olten, yet more "aristocratic". Lovely old town with a beautiful baroque cathedral and other nice buildings and pedestrian area in the old town.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
5013 posts
expert
Jul 14, 2018 - 1:30 AM in reply to Lucas

Him Lucas-<"I have long overlooked the French speaking region of Switzerland and am

hoping to make some amends with a day trip (sorry it is so short) to

Neuchatel canton this Sunday or Monday.">>

Tokenism rarely produces great rewards.-)

it will not be like Berlin. For sure! ;-)

What are you specific interests?

Hiking? Museums?

The more we know about your interests, the easier it is to offer advice. ;-)

www.neuchateltourisme. ch/en/

La Tene is fascinating early history:

www.swissinfo.ch/eng/u nearthing-la-t%C3%A8ne-s-celtic-mysteries/5776464

Slowpoke

Removed user
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Jul 14, 2018 - 2:14 AM in reply to Lucas

For Solothurn, there's Adelaidean's trip report here:

www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/switzerland-and-a-bit-of-italy-in-september

Alpenrose

Last modified on Jul 14, 2018 - 2:15 AM by Removed user
Peterli
Peterli
553 posts
top member
Jul 14, 2018 - 8:22 AM in reply to Lucas

I have tried TWICE to add to this thread and TWICE nothing has happened.

Peterli
Peterli
553 posts
top member
Jul 14, 2018 - 8:24 AM

Well, that worked, so I will try again (saved it in my notebook).

Peterli
Peterli
553 posts
top member
Jul 14, 2018 - 8:24 AM

Hi Lucas,

You have no idea how annoyed I am with this system for replies. When I went to "Post this reply", absolutely nothing happened. I tried it several times, and no go ! Luckily I did a copy/paste into my notebook before canceling. So I was able to paste back here when starting anew, but guess what ? All of the links I had built into my post were lost ! So, what follows in my copy/paste.

I'm finally getting to this thread, and see that Slowpoke has already asked part of what I was going to ask. First of all (and perhaps a silly question), are you planning to come over by train or automobile ? If you are coming by train and just want to get the feel of the region, you might want to consider purchasing an Onde Verte 24 hour pass once you descend from your train at la gare de Neuchâtel or even the one at La Neuveville. This map shows the places where the pass can be purchased. Je suis navré que le site oueb est complètement en français, mais j'ai lu une fois que tu as appris quelques essentiels de français en Colombie Britannique ! Other contributors to this thread have mentioned La Chaux-de-Fonds and Le Locle and they are both interesting to visit, and very close to each other. Nearby is La Brévine, known as the coldest commune in Switzerland, but there really isn't much to see there. Just west of Le Locle is Les Brenets, right on the border with France, and the Saut-du-Doubs is nice to see. Other places outside of the city of Neuchâtel you might find of interest include Le Creux du Van, la Vue des Alpes, the villages along the Littoral to the south-west, and Le Landeron to the north-east. Did you know that Louis Chevrolet was born in Switzerland, and after living in France and then Canada, moved to the USA and founded the Chevrolet Motor Car of Michigan in 1911 ? That's why the Chevrolet logo is a stylized Swiss cross.

The problem is that there is much more to see and do than you can even begin to do in a day, especially if that single day also includes you trip from and back to Zurich. I'll get back to you on things you can do in the city of Neuchâtel, but don't forget the villages such as Ligerz (Gléresse en français) and Twann-Tüscherz along the western shore of Lake Bienne (that Slowpoke likes very much). You might want to ride the funiculaire (known as the Vinifuni) from Ligerz up to Prêles.

Now, let's see if it works this time !

Peterli
Peterli
553 posts
top member
Jul 14, 2018 - 8:25 AM

It worked, but this third time I did not include the links. THAT seems to be the problem.

Let's see if I can do them here:

Onde verte.

This map, where one can purchase the onde verte tickets.

The Vinifuni funiculaire.

Last modified on Jul 14, 2018 - 8:29 AM by Peterli
Slowpoke
Slowpoke
5013 posts
expert
Slowpoke
Slowpoke
5013 posts
expert
Jul 15, 2018 - 12:41 AM in reply to Peterli

Hi Peterli-

<<"I have tried TWICE to add to this thread and TWICE nothing has happened.">>

I just had the same problem. I was signed in.

Slowpoke

Last modified on Jul 15, 2018 - 12:48 AM by Slowpoke
May
May
39 posts
active member
Jul 15, 2018 - 5:53 AM in reply to Lucas

Hi Lucas,

Am very much looking forward to your post-trip sharing on Neuchatel. I am planning to La Chaux-de-fonds & surroundings for a day trip from Bern in 3rd week of September 2018 :)

Thanks, from May.

Lucas
Lucas
8952 posts
expert &
moderator
Jul 15, 2018 - 7:27 AM

Hi all and thanks for the replies!

It is just a day trip from Zurich unfortunately. :(

Peter - I've noticed an issue with hitting "post reply" on my laptop once in a while (though I don't often use my laptop) and it doesn't happen on my desktop (both running win10) so I'm not sure the issue. I'll pass along to Arno though. Is it just that nothing happens when you try and click "post this reply"?

That funicular at Ligerz looks like good choice. I think I'll explore Neuchatel, town, and then Ligerz before heading home.

Cheers everyone!

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
5013 posts
expert
Jul 15, 2018 - 8:17 AM in reply to Lucas

It just happened again. I posted a reply with image links- now it is not there.

Slowpoke

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
5013 posts
expert
Jul 15, 2018 - 8:24 AM in reply to Lucas

Trying again-

5 images attached.

<<"Infos

Départ de Ligerz, à travers les vignes, jusqu'à Prêles.">>

You get to cross the Röstigraben on that trip.

The church is on the Pilgerweg, whcih is the first stop for the funicular ( Halt an Verlangen). Or, you can walk up from near the town hall. One of the views of Twann was taken on the Pilgerweg.

The Kreuz in Ligerz has a good, simple kitchen. Herr Mettler, der Wirt, is an excellent cook.. Always good fish, often from the lake.

Give my greetings to Frau or Herr Mettler if you stop there.

Slowpoke

Last modified on Jul 15, 2018 - 8:29 AM by Slowpoke
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Lucas
Lucas
8952 posts
expert &
moderator
Jul 15, 2018 - 8:30 AM in reply to Slowpoke

Stranger and stranger on the image and posting issues.

Looks like a nice area there. I'll let the weather decide for me tomorrow!

If I stop by I'll say slowpoke sent me ;)

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
5013 posts
expert
Jul 15, 2018 - 8:36 AM in reply to Lucas

Use my real name, of course.

They don't know who Slowpoke is. ;-)

Arno
Arno
11184 posts
expert &
moderator
Jul 15, 2018 - 11:30 AM

Sorry guys for these issues with posting. So there were no attachments added? As I know that's an area that qualifies for improvements, which is scheduled. If you think it's caused by particular links I would appreciate it if you can e-mail those links to us: www.myswissalps.com/co ntact/email/addresses. Then I can try to reproduce the issue, and if that works I should be able to solve it.

By the way, copy and paste indeed preserves the text only, no clickable links.

Last modified on Jul 15, 2018 - 11:32 AM by Arno

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