Photography in Switzerland, travel by car or train

Photography in Switzerland, travel by car or train

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SarasotaPaul
SarasotaPaul
19 posts
new member
Mar 21, 2017 - 10:49 PM

We will be in Switzerland for 7 days. We like museums and scenery. We start in Zurich, then Lucerne, Bern and leave from Basel on a river cruise. I was planning on renting a car to afford freedom to stop to take pictures as needed. Is this a mistake? I want to see Titlis. Should we use the trains, which is all I keep reading about. I know the trains are less expensive, but the monetary difference is not that significant. Any suggestions?

Lucas
Lucas
7092 posts
expert &
moderator
Mar 22, 2017 - 6:45 AM in reply to SarasotaPaul

Hi SarasotaPaul and welcome to MySwissAlps!

You can travel by car in Switzerland, it is just usually much more convenient to travel by train to a lot of mountain destinations (often it is the only way to get there). Have a read through our 'traveling by car' information page here.

Are you talking about stopping on the side of highways and roads for pictures or stopping at small towns which the train skips by? Cars can be a hassle in this country in regards to parking costs (in towns) and fuel so keep that in mind when making your decision. I think that this country's best scenery is in/at the mountains. Nothing too exciting when you are driving down the highway :).

Lucas

Last modified on Mar 22, 2017 - 10:32 AM by Arno
SarasotaPaul
SarasotaPaul
19 posts
new member
Mar 22, 2017 - 12:25 PM

Thanks for the great info. That is not the type of info one gets in reading about the country. Will look into train passes etc.

Lucas
Lucas
7092 posts
expert &
moderator
Mar 22, 2017 - 2:44 PM in reply to SarasotaPaul

No worries!

I am also a photographer (by hobby) and find myself getting all the pics I want once I am up in the mountains or just in the towns themselves. I have driven a bit in Switzerland but the real scenery is not near the roads and I much prefer the train.

However, I must say I often rent a car when traveling outside Switzerland for the same reason you mention.

Lucas

Last modified on Mar 23, 2017 - 7:40 AM by Lucas
Slowpoke
Slowpoke
4691 posts
expert
Mar 23, 2017 - 12:02 AM in reply to SarasotaPaul

Hi Sarasota Paul -

When are you traveling? Makes a difference for the higher alpine areas.

What kind of photographs do you prefer to take?

Many of the attached cannot be taken from a road, with obvious exceptions.

Slowpoke

Last modified on Mar 23, 2017 - 12:04 AM by Slowpoke
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SarasotaPaul
SarasotaPaul
19 posts
new member
Mar 23, 2017 - 12:42 PM in reply to Slowpoke

We arrive in Zurich the AM of July 22 and leave the afternoon of July 28 from Basel. I do landscapes primarily, rarely people. After seeing your shots, I think I will probably just get a car for a day when we are in Bern and travel to see some nearby towns.

You got some really nice shots. The last shows how a stormy day provides great photo ops.

Last modified on Mar 23, 2017 - 12:44 PM by SarasotaPaul
Arno
Arno
10735 posts
expert &
moderator
Mar 23, 2017 - 1:19 PM in reply to SarasotaPaul

Do keep in mind that many scenic locations can't be reached by car (in the mountains), or it's a hassle to get there by car (within larger cities). This applies to at least half the images of Slowpoke too. If you do get a car, then study a map so you know a good spot in advance, and continue on foot or by cableway from there if needed.

Last modified on Mar 23, 2017 - 1:20 PM by Arno
Slowpoke
Slowpoke
4691 posts
expert
Mar 23, 2017 - 2:17 PM in reply to SarasotaPaul

Hi SarasotaPaul

Late July is a fine time to go to the high Alps.

If you were going in mid June, many of the higher trails would still be blocked by snow.....a rare phenomenon in Sarasota.

You'll find some good photos in the Trip Reports part of the Forum.

Alpenrose in particular has provide a nice variety of shots that capture the feeling of the regions visited.

Here is a link to some photos of the Emmental, between Bern and Luzern. A car is useful there. Publi transport is good, but the one hour gap between buses means that you need to select a few areas if you do not have a car. The hiking trail network is useful and well signposted, too.

www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/langnau-in-may

www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/langnau-in-may/page/2

I have attached a few that I have taken in the Emmental....of varying vintages and qualities.

Here is a link to a huge number of images of Switzerland:

commons.wikimedia.org/ wiki/User:WillYs_Fotow erkstatt

and, within the link, a further link to thousands of pictures:

commons.wikimedia.org/ wiki/Special:ListFiles /WillYs_Fotowerkstatt

Willy is "ein Rentner." In English, a pensioner. His hobby is photographing Switzerland. He likes buildings.

After a while his style gets annoying....all very saturated...but he covers a tremendous amount of territory

Slowpoke

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SarasotaPaul
SarasotaPaul
19 posts
new member
Mar 23, 2017 - 6:56 PM in reply to Slowpoke

You are an incredible fount of information and an invaluable resource. We do a fair amount of travel and I have never had such a wonderful forum. Trip Advisor is good, but this is fantastic as are the people that support it. Thanks so much.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
4691 posts
expert
Mar 23, 2017 - 8:23 PM in reply to SarasotaPaul

Thanks.

I like Switzerland, not just the Alps.

Some museums of note-

In Zürich -

www.rietberg.ch/en-gb/collection.aspx

A bit different -

www.musethno.uzh.ch/en /ausstellungen.html

About 700 meters from the Hauptbahnhof, on at he corner of Talstrasse and Pelikanstrasse at the Schenzengraben:

map.search.ch/Z%C3%BCr ich?pos=682921,247262&z=51 2

A bit out of the way - in Winterthur - with a diverse and powerful collection. 15 minutes walk from the station, a bit uphill at the end. An infrequent shuttle bus.

museumoskarreinhart.ch /en/oskar-reinhart/the-oskar-reinhart-collection-am-roemerholz.html

(The small cafe is nice, but even the simplest dishes seem to take a long time to prepare. Don't count on a quick lunch.)

In Luzern- The Rosengart -

www.luzern.com/en/rose ngart-collection

3 minutes from the main station. Fantastic Klees and Picassos.

Also -the small and unique Picasso museum in the old city in Luzern:

www.galenfrysinger.com /switzerland_luzern_pi casso_museum.htm

In Luzern, I highly recommend the Bourbaki Panorama, near the Lion:

www.luzern.com/en/bour baki-panorama

Slowpoke

SarasotaPaul
SarasotaPaul
19 posts
new member
Mar 23, 2017 - 11:24 PM in reply to Slowpoke

We are staying in Lucerne for 2 or 3 days. I was trying to decide between Rigi and Titlis, or stay an extra day and do both. Then go to Bern for 2 days and rent a car to see Gimmelwald and Wengen and sightsee in Bern.

Thanks again.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
4691 posts
expert
Mar 24, 2017 - 12:31 AM in reply to SarasotaPaul

<<"rent a car to see Gimmelwald and Wengen and sightsee in Bern.">>

Quick reply.

You have been reading Rick Steves.

Skip Gimmelwald.

There is nothing there except tourists wit a Rick Steve's book in their pocket.

Go to Wengen and up to Männlichen.

More later.

By the way...you can't take a car to Gimmelwald or Wengen.

I'd suggest that you shorten your stay in Luzern in order to maximize time in the Jungfrau region.

Please note that any place you stay for less than a week will have possibility of a string of bad weather days.

The Jungfrau region is not so nice when clouds obstruct your view.

Slowpoke

SarasotaPaul
SarasotaPaul
19 posts
new member
Mar 24, 2017 - 11:56 AM in reply to Slowpoke

Thanks again. As usual, your insights have been of inestimable value.

SarasotaPaul
SarasotaPaul
19 posts
new member
Mar 24, 2017 - 12:06 PM in reply to SarasotaPaul

By the way, you are 100% correct, that was from Rick Steves. Had the same effect in Spain, years ago while taking one of his described walks, with many people following his exact course, books in hand.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
4691 posts
expert
Mar 24, 2017 - 1:15 PM in reply to SarasotaPaul

There are many trails or walks of varying difficulty and "scenicness" in the region near the Jungfrau.

In my opinion, and that of many other, including Rick Steves ;-), one of the best easy walks in Switzerland and also one of the best walks without any qualifications to the word "best" is the walk from Männlichen to Kleine Scheidegg. Mr. Steves agrees with me when I say that the walk should only be done in that direction, mainly because the psychological effect of the Eiger growing over you as you make the walk is a key feature. As a plus, it is mildly down hill in that direction. A nickname for the trail is "The Grannies' Trail." However, Swiss grannies do it up hill with boots on in half the time that you or I would manage. If you walk it in the reverse direction, you will constantly stop to turn around and look, get a sore neck, and still not get the same impression.

www.myswissalps.com/hi king/maennlichen-kleinescheidegg

A few of the images I posted before are from up there.

When you get off the lift from Wengen ( my preferred route, since I like Wengen) if you turn right, you begin the walk and pass the restaurant.

Here is a little light reading about Wengen:

www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/tips-about-wengen-and-the-jungfrau-region-by-kim

If you turn left, you have a short. steep climb to the peak "Männlichen Gipfel" ( "Gipfel in this context means peak or summit) from which point the panorama shown before was taken.

I've attached some images from up there. Some may be duplicates.

If you do take a car, I recommend that you park in the garage at Lauterbrunnen. It used to be cheap, maybe 4 or 6 CHF per day, but the last time I was there for about 24 hours, they stuck me with a bill for 17CHF. They did ask how long I was staying, and directed me to a level where i don't usually park......next time I'll say "a week" and see what happens. Grindelwald is the next best option. The only other place is Stechelberg). Easy access to Schilthorn and Wengen and Jungfrau. However, from Bern, the train ride is quite pleasant.

Slowpoke

Last modified on Mar 24, 2017 - 1:19 PM by Slowpoke
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SarasotaPaul
SarasotaPaul
19 posts
new member
Mar 29, 2017 - 11:02 PM

I am so confused about which train pass to purchase. Does the Tell Central Switzerland pass work on the trains connecting Zurich to Lucerne? Lucerne to Rigi and the cable car there? We are going to stay in Lauterbrunnen and will visit Wengen and other small towns and eventually return to Basel. Is this my best option?

Arno
Arno
10735 posts
expert &
moderator
Mar 30, 2017 - 7:44 AM

Hi SarasotaPaul,

The Tell-Pass works for the Lucerne area, which does not include Basel, Zurich and Lauterbrunnen/Wengen. You'll find a map of what's included here on the Tell-Pass page.

I think the 8-day Swiss Travel Pass, or perhaps the Swiss Half Fare Card (if you don't mind buying tickets for each trip), is a better choice for you.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
4691 posts
expert
Mar 30, 2017 - 10:23 AM in reply to SarasotaPaul

Hi SarasotaPaul-

Arno mentioned two options.

I won't comment on the relative costs,but I shall say that my travel patterns work best for me using a half-fare discount card.

Buying tickets is easy with ticket machines in every station, with English available.

The work very well for inter-city travel or station to station.

The only time that I find the ticket machines confusing is when I get well down into the menus for the various specialized city passes or regional passes, some of which require understanding the "zones" around major cities such as Zürich....but, there is a zone map nearby.

And, if you make a mistake with those "local" tickets, the cost of the error is small.

For all other travel, the machines are fast and easy. And, if you wish to take a few minutes, you can go to a manned counter in the larger stations for complex inquiries.

The SBB website even has a simulated machine for practice.

www.sbb.ch/en/station-services/am-bahnhof/dhl-service-point/automatic-ticket-machine.html

and-

more general instructions if you like to use a Smart Phone, for example -

www.sbb.ch/en/travelca rds-and-tickets/buying-options.html

On the other hand, a Swiss Travel Pass pays for everything shown on the map at the link given by Arno; note that in the Jungfrau Region and on some mountain transport, it only gives discounts. So, you just get on the train or bus or lake booat and show your pass if the conductor comes by, for ordinary rail travel.

(Zürich lake boats have just added a "supplement" I think it is 10 CHF)

Slowpoke

Last modified on Mar 30, 2017 - 10:26 AM by Slowpoke
SarasotaPaul
SarasotaPaul
19 posts
new member
Mar 30, 2017 - 1:05 PM in reply to Arno

Thanks, that was very helpful. I think we will go with the half fare pass, as the Swiss travel pass for 8 days is exorbitant.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
4691 posts
expert
Mar 30, 2017 - 1:34 PM in reply to SarasotaPaul

The Swiss Travel Pass pays for itself if you do a lot of long haul trips; what often sells it is the convenience.

The half-fare - if I recall correctly - does give you a better discount on the Jungfrau lines and cable ways in the area. I think tha yu get 50% instead of 25%.

Working from memory.....

In the Jungfrau region, I always go to the ticket windows and explain my needs for trains. There is frequent service, and the lines atthe windows move quickly, so I have never had any problem doing that.

Slowpoke

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