Aug 29, 2015 - 5:42 PM
As promised my final report on this year's Swiss adventure
If you have read my previous post you will be aware of the health problems I have had which had a major effect on our plans but nevertheless we had a great holiday. To pick up from where I left off in my last report, Mike really enjoyed his solo trips to Ballenberg and Windisch. Ballenberg is a great experience if you find the weather is not suitable for mountain excursions - we have visited it several times over the years as there is so much to see and you never feel as if you have seen everything. Entrance fees are covered by the Swiss Travel Pass too.
Mike also enjoyed his visit to Windisch - we both used to be teachers of Classics and find that the Swiss are really good at showing off their Roman sites - everything is displayed in an interesting and informative fashion.
The following day I was feeling quite well rested so we embarked on a trip which would not require too much energy on my part! We went by train to Meiringen from where we took the postbus up to Grosse Scheidegg - we love the postbus routes as they wend their way up those narrow, steep, winding roads, sounding their horns to warn other motorists they are coming! Those drivers are so skilful. We had lunch in Grosse Scheidegg before taking the Grindelwald Bus down to Grindelwald where we enjoyed ice cream before taking the trains back to Thun.
The next day we went on a long excursion involving 4 trains in each direction! Thun to Bern, Bern to Zurich, Zurich to Chur and finally Chur to Arosa. It's a long trip but we feel it is worth it because Arosa is well worth a visit. We took the gondola ride up to Weisshorn where the views are fantastic. It is so peaceful and quiet compared with Schilthorn for example but we think the views are just as good. The restaurant at the top is superb, far better than most mountaintop restaurants in our opinion. The only slight problem was that being not yet fully fit I did feel the effects of the altitude when we first got to the top but it was only temporary and didn't spoil the day. We were a bit concerned that the trains between Chur and Arosa were running late all day with long hold-ups en route which wasn't too much of a problem on the outward trip but coming back our connection time in Chur was cut short so we just made it to the train to Zurich. We certainly recommend Arosa and Weisshorn as a great day out if you are staying close enough to get there.The next two days of our stay the weather was very hot again so I didn't want to risk getting overheated again and rested up though Mike went off to wander round Wilderswil for the afternoon one day.
So to sum up - our holiday despite all the problems was as ever a great experience - the Swiss Travel Pass was good value even though we didn't do all the trips we hoped to do and we were glad we took 1st class as we spent quite a bit of time enjoying the less crowded upper decks on boats. We have nothing but high praise for the staff at the hospital in Thun and our hosts were very kind to us as they always are - even bringing me a bunch of flowers to cheer me up!
We have already booked next year's holiday! We are doing things slightly differently next year to celebrate our Golden Wedding Anniversary! I have booked a room in a hotel in St. Moritz right by the lake for our first week then we will take the Glacier Express to Brig and train on to Thun to stay in the holiday apartment for 3 weeks. We haven't been to the Graubünden area since our first Swiss visit in 2001 so are looking forward to that very much. Nearer to the time I may have questions for you as we don't know that area as well as we do the places within reach of Thun!
Our thanks as ever to the forum, especially to Arno and Annika for all the useful links and good advice. Best wishes to all