Our previous visit to Switzerland was in May/June 2017. It was our first overseas trip in 25 years and was inspired by the arrival of our first grandchild who was born in Frankfurt, Germany. By the time we had made our bookings to fly from Australia to Frankfurt the family had moved to Konstanz, just over the border from Switzerland. A planned visit to Germany turned into a memorable Swiss adventure.
On that trip we never made it to the “French side”. So this time we were intent on exploring west of the Röstigraben.
But first we had some unfinished business in the Bernese Oberland.
Our first cut itinerary included stays at Bern, Zermatt, Montreux, Neuchâtel, Colmar, and Konstanz. We subsequently ditched Bern and Zermatt in favour of a week at Thun and added St Gallen and an over-nighter at Zurich at the end of the trip to cater for an early morning flight departure.
Whilst in Konstanz our son took us on great day trips to Lichtenstein, Meersburg in Germany and Bregenz in Austria.
The weather was kind. For some reason the periodic gloom and doom of early MeteoSwiss forecasts almost always improved as the prediction period shortened. Although we did have a very stormy ride on a Lake Neuchâtel ferry - but more of that later.
Despite having good wi-fi at all the places we stayed the Salt SIM again proved economical and invaluable for internet access on the move.
In addition to a 6-day Regional Pass Bernese Oberland, we had intended to buy a 15-day Swiss Travel Pass Flex but instead opted for a Swiss Half-fare Card. Concerns about having to continuously buy tickets proved groundless thanks to the SBB mobile app. Don’t leave home without it.
For the trips moving from base to base, where our plans were firm, we took advantage of Supersaver fares and made some great savings. e.g. CHF 4.20 from St Gallen to Zurich. On a couple of legs we bought 1st Class Supersaver tickets for less than the price of a class upgrade.
We could definitely be classified as “slow travellers” and enjoyed a great 5 weeks of sauntering about, enjoying the sights and soaking up the culture. You simply can’t see everything and in any event, there is always next time.
Very early on in the trip I decided that thinking in Australian dollars was just too scary given the current exchange rate. Switzerland is expensive but just looking at prices in Swiss Francs at least makes it seem tolerable. At least with a newly-acquired 28Degrees MasterCard we didn’t have to bear the foreign currency conversion charge common with the big banks. We’ll see what happens when the statement arrives. I suppose there’s always the option of re-financing our mortgage.
I now have around 2,500 photos to process and distill. As I do that in the coming weeks I’ll be reporting here and posting some photos on the places we visited. So if you are interested please subscribe to this thread for updates.
In the meantime the Reluctant Travellers Swiss Adventure Series 1 is still available as follows: