Five enjoyable days - Alps, Bern, Lausanne, Zürich

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Adelaidean
Adelaidean
108 posts
active member
Apr 16, 2017 - 11:39 AM in reply to 2sk21

Wonderful photo of the Lauterbrunnen valley.

Thanks for sharing.

Kathie
Kathie
4 posts
new member
Apr 16, 2017 - 12:55 PM in reply to 2sk21

Thanks for the pictures. I am pleasantly surprised how leafed out it is in many of your pictures already. I will be jumping ahead in seasons as we still have a couple weeks to go before leaves pop out here in central NY. That is a real positive.

2sk21
2sk21
23 posts
new member
Apr 16, 2017 - 1:12 PM in reply to Kathie

Kathie - I was surprised as well. Despite being much further north than the New York City area where I live, the trees were in full bloom in Chur, Bern and Zürich.

Arno
Arno
11345 posts
expert &
moderator
Apr 16, 2017 - 5:46 PM in reply to 2sk21

Areas on the same latitude in Europe are generally warmer because of the Atlantic Gulf Stream. If it would stop or slow down (a theoretical possibility because of global warming), the climate would be slightly cooler here. On top of this natural phenomenon, there's unnatural global warming causing spring to start sooner than it used to. On average, of course.

Kathie
Kathie
4 posts
new member
Apr 16, 2017 - 7:10 PM in reply to Arno

Perhaps I don't need to take as many cool weather clothes as I was thinking, although it is still likely to be chilly in the Alps, isn't it?

Arno
Arno
11345 posts
expert &
moderator
Apr 17, 2017 - 8:23 AM in reply to Kathie

Hi Kathie,

It can be chilly all year round depending on the weather of the day and location (particularly altitude). You'll be fine if you can dress in thinner layers as explained on myswissalps.com/ weather. Last year around this time there was snow well below 1000 meters. Average statistics don't mean much on such days :-)

2sk21
2sk21
23 posts
new member
Apr 17, 2017 - 8:46 AM

And now there final installment in my trip report.

We woke up relatively early on Wednesday and spent some time strolling around Bern. This is an exceptionally beautiful time of the year and the flowers were in full bloom. We then checked out of the hotel and made our way to the station and caught a non-stop Intercity train to Zürich. We deposited our bags at the Hotel Montana Zürich where I had made reservations. I had picked this hotel solely based on the closeness to the station as we had to leave very early in the morning on Thursday to catch our flight. The choice of this hotel also turned out to be a bit of a mistake as I will explain later.

We then took a tram to the FIFA museum to pick up some souvenirs for some family members who are football fans. For lunch we went to the restaurant of Hotel Adler which serves Swiss specialities - recommended by the desk clerk at Hotel Montana. We had Raclette and really enjoyed it - I can recommend this restaurant highly - both the food and service were excellent.

With nothing else planned for the afternoon, we caught a tram and went to the Chinese gardens on the shore of the Zürichsee. The whole area along the lake shore is beautiful and we had an enjoyable afternoon eating ice cream and relaxing in the sun. Finally, we went to the national museum near the station and spent a couple of hours looking at the exhibits about Swiss history.

We had a minor adventure trying to mail back the Travelers WiFi device. When opening the box at arrival, I managed to damage the box a little so I needed some sticky tape to close the box for shipping. The hotel did not have any tape so we had to roam around a bit to find a store that sold this! Finally we went to the main post office and were able to buy the tape and finally post it :-)

The location of Hotel Montana is excellent but it is also very noisy. Many young backpackers seemed to congregate near this hotel late into the night and were very rowdy, making a lot of noise so it was hard to sleep. Also, considering the price, we got a very small room with very dated fixtures in the bathroom. Overall, not recommended, even though the staff were friendly.

We left the hotel the next morning at 6am and made our way back to the Airport on a train with no problem. For the return journey, I was unable to get a non-stop at a reasonable price so I was forced to return via Frankfurt on Lufthansa. Be warned that the check-in lines for Lufthansa and Swiss can be quite long but since we had come early, we did not have a problem.

It was a great trip overall and we were glad that we came to Switzerland. Definitely expensive but very good value for the money!

Removed user
Removed user
0 posts
new member
Apr 17, 2017 - 10:35 PM in reply to 2sk21

Thanks for the final instalment of your trip report!

Unfortunately, centrally located hotels can often have noise problems! Even in the small town of Meiringen, I could hear revellers one night until 5am! In this case, I think they were locals!

Alpenrose

2sk21
2sk21
23 posts
new member
Apr 26, 2017 - 8:34 AM

A small postscript. I bought an N-scale model of the Glacier Express that we rode on from Chur to Brig earlier this month . I now have it running on my model train layout - see attached photos :-)

One caveat that will annoy purists is that the scale is actually 1:150 rather than 1:160 since the Glacier Express runs on meter gauge - but it doesn't bother me!

Last modified on Apr 26, 2017 - 8:36 AM by 2sk21
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SureshSrini
SureshSrini
48 posts
active member
Apr 26, 2017 - 8:58 AM

2sk21, Lovely! If you build a model of the viaduct, and the train curving over it, that would be really so complete!

Did you visit the Transport Museum in Lucerne?

Suresh

udayaditya
udayaditya
55 posts
active member
Apr 29, 2017 - 1:43 PM

Hello 2sk21

Its a really wonderful trip report.

I want to ask you to give me a rough idea how much the take away picnic lunches from Migros will cost me

Udayaditya

2sk21
2sk21
23 posts
new member
Apr 30, 2017 - 8:41 AM in reply to SureshSrini

@SureshSrini - sadly we had no time to visit Luzern on this trip. I definitely want to come back again!

@udayaditya As it happens, I was tidying up my receipts from the trip and I saw that a typical sandwich in the Micros take away is about 7 Francs. They also have other things like pizza and salad.

udayaditya
udayaditya
55 posts
active member
Apr 30, 2017 - 4:06 PM in reply to 2sk21

Thank you for your efforts.....Are full sized pizzas within 20 chf??

Udayaditya

2sk21
2sk21
23 posts
new member
Apr 30, 2017 - 8:50 PM in reply to udayaditya

@udayaditya - they mostly seem to see pizza by the size in the micros take away although I am sure that they would be happy to sell you a full pizza. I think each slice was about 3 Francs but I have no idea how much a full pizza would cost.

AlanPrice
AlanPrice
200 posts
active member
Apr 30, 2017 - 10:55 PM

Hi,

Fantastic report! Makes me wish I was going this year. On a technical note, what sort of camera did you uae? Your photos are excellent.

Alan

2sk21
2sk21
23 posts
new member
May 1, 2017 - 12:13 PM in reply to AlanPrice

@AlanPrice Glad you liked the photos. All of the photos in the Flickr album were taken with my new iPhone 7 plus. The camera quality in phones has improved to such a degree nowadays that I have given up carrying my point-and-shoot camera.

rockoyster
rockoyster
4014 posts
expert
May 4, 2017 - 10:22 PM in reply to 2sk21

Hello 2sk21,

My wife and I will be retracing some of your steps in a couple of weeks. We both enjoyed reading your reports immensely. Thanks heaps for taking the time to provide such interesting details.

2sk21
2sk21
23 posts
new member
May 5, 2017 - 8:25 AM in reply to rockoyster

Glad you enjoyed my report and hope you have an enjoyable trip!

rockoyster
rockoyster
4014 posts
expert
May 6, 2017 - 10:00 PM in reply to 2sk21

One question if I may 2sk21. I notice from your photos of the GEX Panorama coaches that there are no overhead luggage racks. Figures, but is there room to store carry on type bags (e.g. small backpack) under or between seats? Will I be able to keep backpack close to hand rather than in some centralised luggage store?

2sk21
2sk21
23 posts
new member
May 7, 2017 - 12:01 AM

Rockoyster: Luggage space may be a bit of a problem on the Glacier Express - especially if the train is full. Thankfully, my carriage was only about 60% full but even so the luggage area was full of suitcases.

As you noticed, there are no roof level racks for smaller bags since that would interfere with the view. There is some space on the floor between the seats for the smaller bags. For larger bags, there is space at one end of each carriage. If you are likely to have a lot of luggage, you can consider sending the luggage unaccompanied on SBB to your destination . Or you might consider upgrading to first class on the Glacier Express. With fewer people in each carriage, there is likely to be more luggage room.

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