Glad you have come to the Forum. Lots of information here if you spend some time with the menus and links.
For a first time visitor, we prefer Luzern ( local German spelling) to Zürich. Once you have been to Switzerland a few dozen times, you will find Zürich rewarding. On the other hand, if you have specific things planned in Zürich that you know about already- then, go for it. And, they are close together by frequent trains. Check out Lucerne under the following link:
Scroll down for Luzern (Lucerne) and Zürich, and others.
Good train service to the Zürich airport from Luzern. Look here, as Lucas suggested:
Learn to use the timetable. It will be invaluable.
If you combine it with a map:
you can figure out how to visit your choices, how long it will take, and possible routings. If you zoom in a lot, you will see train lines.
This may interest you:
www.myswissalps.com/ac tivities/scenictrips/t rain
Use it with the map.
"We are quite worried that we will spend a lot of time on traveling."
"We are more interested in scenic train rides, thus might be getting the 8 days Swiss pass."
....Of course, if you decide to take scenic trains, you will spend a lot of time traveling.
Not sure how you can reconcile those contradictory perspectives. I'd suggest that you pick your towns, and then we can help you see what train routes are most scenic. Lucas had a good suggestion.
Coming from Canada as you are, you will not be surprised to learn that it is at the tail end of Winter at high altitudes when you are there. What that means is that, in the high altitude ski resorts, they don't have good snow, and a lot of tourist stuff (services) is taking a break before the Summer season begins in mid to late June.
Not all are shut down. Just don't be surprised that a lot of restaurants and hotels are closed near the Jungfrau or in Zermatt.
At lower altitudes, Spring is is certainly evident, but, not yet in full force.
I have planned my own hiking trip for late May, but will only visit the lower altitude regions... Luzern, but also the Emmental, and other less touristed regions such as the Bielersee. I'll look at the Alps from a distance. See attached.
The panorama of Trachselwald was shot on April 15th, more or less, a couple of years ago. It is at about 700 meters altitude. The weather in Switzerland had been very unusual. There was warm dry spell...unheard of in April...for about a week, and I was lucky enough to be there. Very pleasant, but certainly not normal.
The trees are flowering, but the leaves have not yet come out. The grass is only greening up in the lowest places. Lots of snow on the Alps. This link will be useful. Check the link with the calendar showing.
I 'll go into the Alps in September.