Hi Arno and Annika!
We are very grateful to you guys for your valuable advice, this forum and the Swiss hospitality and brilliant transport network which made our vacation in the beautiful Switzerland a truly memorable one! Sending our trip report which might be of some help to others!
Day-1 Reached Geneva by TGV Lyria from Paris. We had taken seats on the upper deck and enjoyed the beautiful landscape but there is more of more beautiful landscape when you are travelling in Switzerland! We put our luggage in the lockers in Geneve Cornavin Station which was conveniently located next to the SBB office near the Migros Store. Three suitcases of size 60cmx40cmx20cm apprx fit in a big locker which cost 10Chf and the strolley bags in the smaller locker which costs 8chf for 6 hours, I guess. Because when we returned after 7 hours, we needed to pay an extra charge. We took a One day travelcard and same for the kids and that was the most reasonable option available! We took a bus to Appia and took the guided tour of the United Nations which was really impressive. Since it was a Saturday and no conferences going on, we could see all the conference room and human rights hall, etc.. We then visited the International Red Cross Museum which was quite good and then took a bus to the lake to see the Jet dAu and took a boat back to Paquis from where we walked to the station. Later we took a train to Lausanne where we checked in the hotel Victoria for the night and the next.
Day-2 Hotel Victoria is conveniently located and has a very good connectivity. The plus point was it had air conditioning which is absent in most hotels in Switzerland. We wouldn't need any but this year around the temperature was as high as 34 degree C! We visited the Chocolate factory in Broc and Cheese factory in Gruyere. Also visited Gruyere village which was very cute! Then took a train to Montreux. We took a boat to Chateau de Chillon and returned to Lausanne Ouchy by boat by 6:30pm. Lausanne Ouchy is a very lively place from where we took metro back to our hotel. It was a long day but kids enjoyed the factory visits and the boat ride back with amazing views of Lavaux and people enjoying at the beaches of Montreux, Vevey, etc. was very relaxing!
Day-3 We took a train/bus to Chexbres village and had thought of hiking through the vineyards to St. Saphorin. We should have carried a map! It was an easy trail but we got lost and ultimately cut through the vineyards to reach the next village Rivaz. But it was fun! We had to wait a long time at the station for the next train back to Lausanne. That made our visit to the Olympic Museum a short one because we had to check out of hotel for Montreux. The museum is brilliant and one can spend a couple of hours with kids! From Montreux we took the Golden Pass Panaromic which is truly awesome. The day before we had reached Montreux from Gruyere and that was part of this really scenic tour! This train was in the opposite direction and great ride too! Later in the evening checked in Swiss inn Apartment in Interlaken West which is a very nice place to stay and also had air conditioning!
Day-4 This day was planned for Zermatt and it was awesome! Loved the train ride to Zermatt and then on to Gornergrat amidst the glaciers. It wasn't cold, didn't need any jackets. We trekked from Rotenboden to Riffelberg by the Riffelsee lake, breathtaking! Here, I would like to mention that we missed a connecting train from Visp to Zermatt due to late arrival of the train from Interlaken West on our onward journey and similarly missed the connecting train to Brig to catch the Lotschberger Express on our return journey!Reached Interlaken west station at 6:30pm. It is an amazing place by the river with a beautiful view of snow caps and a warm feeling about it! The Migros opposite the station closes early but we were just in time to buy some groceries as we could cook in the apartment! Later in the evening clouds gathered and it rained a lot making it quite cool.
Day-5 We had planned this day for the Jungfrau but looking at the television broadcasts of all the peaks around the Interlaken, we decided to visit the Lauterbrunnen. We saw the Staubach Falls on way to the Trummelbach Falls from the bus. There were few other waterfalls running down on either sides of the valley adding to the beauty of the green valley and so did the clouds hiding the heights of the mountains beyond! After that, we took a bus to Stechelberg and a cable to Murren. We hiked through the small village to reach the station and back to Lauterbrunnen by train. Meanwhile, the clouds had cleared and television showed a clear Jungfrau. So we bought tickets to the roof of Europe. It was an amazing journey with spectacular views and the experience in the snow at the top was awesome! We got three hours and returned to Grindelwald by the last train which leaves Jungfrau at 6:30pm.
Day-6 We decided to take rest on this day and explore Interlaken and do some shopping! We realised that souvenir shopping is cheaper in Interlaken West as compared to other places. The store Denner had lot of discounts and offers on swiss chocolates but we kept the chocolates for the last day lest they melt and lose shape! We went by the Thun lake and had dinner in Neuhaus which is a beautiful lakeside hotel.
Day-7 Started for Lucerne by the Panoramic train enjoying the beautiful lakes and valleys pass by! After checking in our hotel, took a boatride to Alpnachstaad and then the steepest cogwheel train to Pilatus and return to Krien by cable car. Halfway, the kids enjoyed the thrilling toboggan run! On return to Lucerne, visited the Lion Monument. Our hotel had a beautiful view of the Kappelbruck bridge on the river Rheus and we enjoyed Swiss specialities for dinner on its riverside cafe!
Day-8 This day was planned for the Mount Titlis. By noon, we left Engelberg after which we visited the Hergiswil Glasi. Kids blew their own glass balls and enjoyed the labyrinth. We then visited the transport museum. We had an hour and a half, yet had to hurry up with the interesting and interactive exhibits! Wish we had some more time! While returning to our hotel walked through the foot bridge. The whole place had a very soothing effect after a long day!
Day-9 Reached Zurich and checked in early at Movenpick Airport hotel. We then left to visit Zurich by the lake. Being architects, we did not want to miss the Le Corbusier Centre which was an exceptional masterpiece to have seen! Kids wanted to see the Rhine falls and we loved the spectacular falls! This was our last day of tour! Apart from the first day at Geneva, the rest was covered by the 8 day Swiss Family Card.
We could plan the whole tour so well because of the amazing website sbb.ch as also this particular forum and return with great memories of the Swiss sojourn!