The Reluctant Travellers’ Swiss Adventure - part 1

The Reluctant Travellers’ Swiss Adventure - part 1

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theTutor
theTutor
24 posts
new member
Jun 19, 2017 - 11:41 AM

Hi everyone and especially RockOyster.

Funny enough the toilet thread... :) But trully, nine years ago (when I was young and did'n need to pit stop so frequently) I noticed a very cool thing, especially in the Bernese Oberland, and that was the fact that two of the main bare necesities for the mankind were almost absolutely free all over the place: Toilets and drinkink water.

Lately, travelling in the Graubunden area, had to really seek for toilets (free or not), but indeed they are now mostly closed or asking for a fee (1/2 CHF or maybe less, especially at the railway stations) and a very small number of them are still free.

Now you got me scared!!! I'll be there in september, but by getting older (wiser, some may say) I'm now taking some daily-based medicine: diuretics, yay! :D So I'll need "a pocket full of change", as the wisemen from ZZ Top were saying at some point. Or, at least, spending as much time as possible on the trains...

Thanks anyway. ;-)

P.S. Nevermind the delicate bathing asparagus, but the chanterelle mushrooms in the back... Mmmm!

rockoyster
rockoyster
3908 posts
expert
Jun 20, 2017 - 6:11 AM

Part 2 of The Reluctant Travellers' Swiss Adventure now up at www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/the-reluctant-travellers-swiss-adventure-part-2

Removed user
Removed user
0 posts
new member
Jun 20, 2017 - 9:39 AM in reply to maggiehorswell

>> Alpenrose, you travel a lot on postbuses - do the long distance ones have an on-board toilet? or do you need to rely on scheduled toilet stops?

Hi Maggie,

No, none of the PostBuses have on-board toilets. The longest point-to-point route I have travelled on is the Palm Express, which is about 4 hours. There is a 20-minute break at Chiavenna station at 14:00, just over 2 hours into the trip. That is the only PostBus route I have been on that had a scheduled break.

Travelling from Saas-Fee to Domodossola took about 3 hours on two PostBuses, but when planning the trip with the timetable, I increased the standard transfer time at Brig to allow for a loo break at the Brig railway station.

The Four Passes trip (which I think you have done) took all day, but we had a break of 20-30 minutes at least every hour.

Most other PostBus trips I have done took well under 2 hours and include:

St Moritz (station) to Soglio (village) - 1 hour 40

Flüela Pass (Davos Platz station to Zernez station) - 1 hour 10

Scuol (station) to Samnaun (Post Office) - 1 hour 25

Chur (station) to Bellinzona (station) - 2 hours 20

I also did a round trip Zernez (station) > Val Müstair (monastery) > Mals (station) > Martina (village) > Scuol (station).

My main reason was to visit the Claustra Son Jon in the Val Müstair when I was staying in Scuol, and I decided to go back to Scuol via Italy and Austria :-D to see some different scenery. (It was worth it!). I spent several hours at the monastery and had a refreshment break between buses at Mals/Malles station in Italy's South Tyrol (which, as you might already know, is a German-speaking enclave in Italy).

So that was four bus sectors

Zernez to Müstair - 1 hour 07

Müstair to Mals - 25 minutes

Mals to Scuol with a short transfer in Martina - 1 hour 28

This route is described here:

www.postauto.ch/en/exc ursion-tips/zernez-mals-nauders-scuol

I hope to write about my visits to Claustra Son Jon and Samnaun at some stage!

Alpenrose

Last modified on Jun 20, 2017 - 9:42 AM by Removed user
maggiehorswell
maggiehorswell
613 posts
top member
Jun 20, 2017 - 11:34 AM

Thanks Alpenrose

In the past have not had problems but not sure how recent health issue might affect me so was just wondering about the longer bus routes. 2 hours should be absolutely fine, I think.

Maggie

BarSal
BarSal
101 posts
active member
Dec 14, 2017 - 3:54 AM in reply to maggiehorswell

Hi Maggie :-)

We start our adventure in Berlin - would you be able to share what were your five favourite things to do or see in Berlin were?

We arrive in Berlin on the 14th August 2018 - just started planning yesterday by locking in our flights (into Berlin and out of Zurich).

We are in Adelaide South Australia - I have have become interested in genealogy and have found my mother's grandparents (who met and married in Australia) were born in Germany and in Switzerland respectively and this trip is to visit their home towns and explore both countries (a little - as we only have five weeks this time!),

regards

Sally (and Barry = hence BarSal)

BarSal
BarSal
101 posts
active member
Dec 14, 2017 - 4:19 AM in reply to AlanPrice

Hi Alan

We are keen photographers and think Switzerland will be an awesome opportunity. Thoroughly agree with doing a photobook - I do one after every trip. Friends and family enjoy them and we often refer to them to remind ourselves of names or dates. We keep folders of the digital collection but rarely look at them. The books are fun and, after the first one, are very easy to do. I use Photobooksexpress - I download the software and do the book on my desktop and upload it when completed and they send back the finished product. Buy a discount voucher just before you are ready to print - buying them in advance can create pressure to finish before you are ready!

maggiehorswell
maggiehorswell
613 posts
top member
Dec 16, 2017 - 1:29 AM in reply to BarSal

Hello Sally

I have been looking through my photos from Berlin taken while we were visiting our daughter there to remind myself of what we liked so much! We visited her 5 times altogether so had plenty of opportunities to explore. We went to obvious places like the Zoo which is excellent, the Botanical Gardens - very extensive both outdoors and in greenhouses, also enjoyed walking in the Tiergarten and took a boat trip on the river one day and on another went to Wannsee where we enjoyed another boat trip! I mention all these first as you will be there in August so may want to be outdoors. If the weather is inclement then Berlin's many museums are also excellent. Just wandering around the city looking at the buildings is also great.

If you are interested in history then Spandau may be a place to visit. Also the Schloss at Charlottenburg. Our favourite place is probably Potsdam - it's a long time since we were there so I can't remember all the details but we were intrigued by a Russian village built by one of the Kaisers to help his Russian wife feel less homesick! We also went to Sans-Soucci in Potsdam a few times, visiting the palace itself and wandering through the lovely park. There is also the Neues Palais there and Cecilienhof and the Marble Palace. It would be worth buying a book about Potsdam so you can find out where everything is and choose what to visit there.

I am attaching a few pictures of obvious tourist spots and in next post some pictures from Potsdam.

We also did a fabulous trip to Berlin one Advent to visit Christmas markets but not relevant to your August visit!

Hope you find plenty of interesting places and have enjoyable experiences while there.

Best wishes Maggie

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maggiehorswell
maggiehorswell
613 posts
top member
Dec 16, 2017 - 1:32 AM in reply to BarSal

Now a few from Potsdam

Maggie

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BarSal
BarSal
101 posts
active member
Dec 16, 2017 - 5:17 AM

Thx Maggie ... very kind of you. I have copied your advice to a word doc and extracted the key text. I am Googling and adding a paragraph to each one so I can get a feel for what you are recommending. Great starting point. Its our touch town spot - I want to be fairly leisurely (we are not into hiking but can walk quite a long way) but will probably only have five days.

We have wandered from the alpine path .... tut tut ... I am really looking forward to the last two weeks of our trip (in Switzerland) and have learned so much from this forum already. Travel light, don't move around too much - find a base and do day trips - trains, cable cars, boats and walks. Sounds like heaven to me.

Once I have my rough plan I shall post a new thread to get some advice/fine tuning from the generous members of the forum.

regards

Sally

Chantal
Chantal
944 posts
top member
Dec 16, 2017 - 8:06 AM in reply to BarSal

Hi Sally,

I've a few suggestions for Berlin as well:

- Prenzlauer Berg district. For a stroll and a coffee you go to the Kastanien Allee and on Saturdays there's a lovely market on Kollwitzplatz. Don't forget to check out the surrounding area as well. It's full of quaint little shops.

- The Bergmannstrasse in the Kreuzberg district

- If you're interested in exhibitions make sure to check out if there's something going on in Martin Gropius Bau museum

- The Jewish Museum (although I read they're renovation it and half of the museum is closed)

BarSal
BarSal
101 posts
active member
Dec 20, 2017 - 7:38 AM in reply to Chantal

Thx Chantal ... I can see I am going to have to google a district map of Berlin and get my bearings. I have five weeks and have basically cut our trip into five stops (two in Switzerland) and trying to work from a base rather than skip around. Choosing accommodation is going to also be a key factor, so understanding the districts will be key. I finally mastered the arrondissements in Paris (and the Metro) and find selecting accommodation there is easy ... but this is a big learning curve. Really appreciate your help.

Removed user
Removed user
0 posts
new member
Dec 20, 2017 - 10:37 AM in reply to BarSal

>> I can see I am going to have to google a district map of Berlin and get my bearings.

This might help:

www.visitberlin.de/en/ neighbourhoods-berlin

Alpenrose

BarSal
BarSal
101 posts
active member
Dec 21, 2017 - 12:13 PM in reply to Removed user

Sensational link. Thank you!

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