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Travelling to the Swiss Alps in Sept 2019

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Slowpoke
Slowpoke
6931 posts
expert
Jan 8, 2019 - 6:36 PM in reply to swiss11

Hi Swiss11

<<"1. Whenever you have time, kindly let me know the inns at 2 places, that are centrally located, that I could stay at for about 3 nights each to be able to visit Luzern, Wengen and Zematt during the day and return to these inns in the evening.">>

I've started to work on that , and having a slow start.

The inns that I usually stay at are all within a fracrion of an hour of some kindof decsnt sized city, but they don't match your particular cities very well....some might, but would require perhaps too much time for travel.

So, I have decided to start as if i were looking for a place in my usual fashion, rather than recall one's that I have stayed at.

And. central places between all three are unlkely to work, due to distances,but maybe I can come up with something mid-way between 2 of your destinations. If not, I'll offer whatever I can come up with that would be good for one of your choices. I'm working with the SBB timetable:

www.sbb.ch/en/

and mapsearch.ch

map.search.ch/

and Google Maps.

In that regard, I've thought first about Luzern and Wengen.

The fastest route between Luzern and Wengen is by the rather scenic Luzern-Interlaken Express, which follows part of the Golden Pass Routes

One hour and 49 minutes to Interlaken Ost, then additional mountain trains into the Lauterbrunnen Valle and up to Wengen, for a total of 2 hours 43 minutes.

Halfway time to Wengen - approximately - is at Brienz or Meringen, which are both close to Interlaken Ost.

Here is some information at Brienz:

www.myswissalps.com/br ienz/hotels

We use to stay routinely at the Weisses Kreuz. Terrific location. Fantastic kitchen. But, Frau Meyer could not cover the costs, and ended up selling the hotel. A couple of Austrians bought it, and a lot of the locals started hanging out elsewhere. They tried to run it cheaply, and failed. About 4 or 5 years ago a local innkeeper picked it up, and I waited a year to try it out. He had done a lot of fixing up, still had more to do, the locals were back in the restaurant, and I judged that it was adequate to good. They have some kind of cheaper BnB deal....in the less desirable rooms with out the lake view .I'd stay there again. But, I wouldn't seek it out to stay. I'd definitely eat on the terrace, watching the lake and mountains, the trains and the lake boats

Meiringen -

A place that I would seek out to stay is the Hotel Victoria in Meiringen. Not cheap. I'd go for the food. With the food, I'd have enough wine that I would only ride the train or sleep in one of the hotel rooms afterward.

www.victoria-meiringen.ch/en.html

The website does not give a room count, but I'm guessing about 10 rooms. Herr Anderegg is a magnificent chef. The rooms were all renovated when he maybe 10 years ago. Close to the train station.

There are a lot of places to stay in Meiringen; you might find something cheaper and adequate by searching yourself.

Sachseln -

At the other end of the journey, much nearer Luzern, I'm thinking about Sachseln.

Sachseln to Luzern is 20 to 30 minutes by train , 3 trains per hour. Tomorrow I'll be visiting a friend here in the US who lives in Sachseln about 8 months of the year. I'll ask him for ideas

I'm thinking he might recommend das Gasthaus Engel.

www.engel-sachseln.ch/en/

Good kitchen, well -run, close to tgthe station.

More later.

Slowpoke

swiss11
swiss11
59 posts
active member
Jan 9, 2019 - 4:57 AM in reply to Slowpoke

Hi Slowpoke

Thank you so much for your suggestions about the inns. I found the hotels in Meiringen a bit on the dearer side but Gasthaus Engel in Sachseln is within my budget and seemed so welcoming. I'd definitely go for it.

At the same time, the destinations that I initially mentioned are not set in stone. I'm happy to visit the places that you recommend so long as they are scenic and connect me to nature or the community life. I'm not ticking any boxes by visiting the most sort after tourist destinations by posting photos of my visit to these places on facebook. I just want to have a good, relaxing holiday along with experiencing the local community and its cuisine. Would be grateful if you could suggest such places.

Once again, thank you so much for ALL your effort and time.

Monica

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
6931 posts
expert
Jan 12, 2019 - 9:38 AM in reply to swiss11

Hi Monica -

Still working on it.

I checked with my friend who lives in Sachseln.

He definitely recommends the Gasthaus Engel.

Should it workout, he would be pleased to meet you for a cup of coffee. An American expat, he is on this forum periodically, and has many years of living and traveling in Switzerland under his belt.

I'll note that, although there are frequent train connections to Luzern, trips over the Brunig to Meiringen, and then Interlaken and thence to Wengen only run once per hour in either direction. Thus, it is a bit of a stretch for Wengen. And, just to Interlaken is 1 hour and 27 minutes.

So, for Wengen, or the Bernese Oberland, I'm thinking that the quite special experience of being at or near that town, in the region close to the Jungfrau , might be worth a more careful look. It is more expensive than some areas, because the experience is worth it, for many.

www.myswissalps.com/be rneseoberland

especially -

www.myswissalps.com/ju ngfrauregion

Here are some places to consider -

"Youth Hostels" have "Senior Memberships." Everything that I know about them says they are clean, neat, and offer good quality. Dormitory rooms are, of course, the norm., but many have some sort of more private accommodations.

There are several in the Interlaken/ Jungfrau region. There is one in Grindelwald.

This link from Switzerland Tourism has a complete list:

www.myswitzerland.com/ en-us/swiss-hostels.html

Also,

www.youthhostel.ch/en/ hostels/

Possibilities are Interlaken....more useful as a travel base than as a village or scenic location ....Could be a base for Zermatt and Bern9contingency for cloudy weather).

Hasliberg - in the Engi section close to the cableway station for a quick connection to Meiringen, every half hour 7 minutes trip PLUS a 15 minute walk to the train station at Meiringen.

Grindelwald - in the region, not as charming, more commercial than Wengen, more spread out.

Iseltwald. on the lake

Gimmelwald...on the cableway above Stechelberg

Lauterbrunnen. Good base for Wengen, not too bad for getting out of the valley to Interlaken

A couple of other ideas -not sure about budget.

1.- Hotel Stechelberg

The website is slow to load:

hotelstechelberg.tcnet .ch/?lang=en

I tried to stay there on my last trip, in September 2018, but they were booked when I needed a room...right around the time of the marathon. Somewhere around the 9th/10th. Watch out for that, the area is very very full.

Kim speaks highly of it in this encyclopedic reference to the area:

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

2.- Hotel Bellevue, Wengen-

Very well run, carefully managed for cost, good value for money if you can snag one of their packages including a dinner.

If you go to their website now, you'll note that the item on the home page "offers" (Package offers) is a dead link. And, the prices are ski season prices. In September, you'll see lower costs.Offers will appear for September later this year. I've stayed there twice recently.

Here is my cost last September, including a very nice dinner with a generous salad bar and, of course,breakfast, just after the marathon:

<<"Thank you for your emails. With pleasure we add a night and confirm a single room from 9th to 11th September 2018.

From Sunday, 9th September (arrival) to Tuesday, 11th September 2018 (departure) for 2 nights

1 single room with south-facing balcony and a breathtaking view (shower or bath, toilet, hairdryer, phone, radio, safe, without TV) at the rate of CHF 154.-- per room/night

including the extensive buffet breakfast, 5-course dinner, use of jacuzzi, our personal service and all taxes.">>

Fantastic views, 10 minutes walk from the heart of the village. A very Swiss experience, not not quite so personal as an inn. Still, family run, with a distinct personal impact of the management.

More later for Zermatt. Based on you last post, I'm beginning to think about places that are not on the usual tourist routes... such as the Emmental. All though they are very different, Zermatt and the Jungfrau region are both high Alpine experiences.

Slowpoke

Last modified on Jan 12, 2019 - 9:45 AM by Lucas
Slowpoke
Slowpoke
6931 posts
expert
Jan 13, 2019 - 11:00 PM in reply to swiss11

Hi Monica-

Thinking about Zermatt.

A possible place to stay half way between Zermatt and Wengen...just over 2 hours in each direction.... is Kandersteg. It is sort of the midpoint of the rail transit of the Alps, and both sides of the mountain range have nice rail journeys. There is a new tunnel underneath which lacks scenery of interest, so specify Kandersteg as a "via" point if you are going from Interlaken or Spiez to Zermatt via the older upper route.

I think that 2 + hours to either destination might be a bit far for a midway point for each of Zermatt and Wengen. However, Kandersteg has a batch of inns and hotels, and some nice places to visit above the valley. There is one special place, whose name escapes me at the moment. Maybe Allmenalp, but there are lots of fans of the area on the forum, and someone will correct me, if I have gotten the wrong name.

www.myswissalps.com/hi king/allmenalp-usserueschene-kandersteg

This thread has some information about the area and travel:

www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/zermatt-to-wengen-via-kandersteg-thun-train

Hotels/inns:

www.kandersteg.ch/en/s /all-hotels

I checked only one of them - the Alpina has single rooms for 85CHF.

This part of their website has some nice places listed

It is about 500-600 meters from the station, and on the way to the Oeschinensee.

map.search.ch/?q=Hotel+Alpina,+Kander steg,+Aeussere+Dorfstr .+92&near=617956,14919 4&pos=619716,150056&z= 128

Slowpoke

Last modified on Jan 13, 2019 - 11:36 PM by Slowpoke
swiss11
swiss11
59 posts
active member
Jan 14, 2019 - 9:15 PM in reply to Lucas

Thanks Lucas for your feedback on the travel pass. I was personally thinking of going ahead with the 8 day Swiss Travel pass but on reading Kim's posts, that Slowpoke had attached, it seemed she was more in favour of the Swiss Half Fare Card so I'm a bit confused.

rockoyster
rockoyster
7870 posts
expert
Jan 14, 2019 - 9:21 PM in reply to swiss11

Which pass works best depends on each person’s planned itinerary. There is no one-size fits all.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
6931 posts
expert
Jan 14, 2019 - 9:44 PM in reply to swiss11

Hi Monica -

If you are not traveling long distances, and due to the discount structure variations on the transportation in the Jungfrau Region, the half-fare card might work out to be a better deal of the two for that region. A lot of the mountain transport is not free, only discounted, with the STP, and the half-fare card tends to give a better discount in those cases.

But, once you start traveling around Switzerland, the longer trips add up in cost...even with the half-fare card....and so the "no-cost per trip" STP becomes a better deal. In general, that is.

Kim concentrates on the Jungfrau region.

Slowpoke

swiss11
swiss11
59 posts
active member
Jan 14, 2019 - 9:56 PM in reply to Slowpoke

Hi Slowpoke

I have just no words to express my gratitude for all your guidance. Thank you so much!

I have been going through each of your attached links and I feel staying at Gasthaus Engel in Sachseln would be a good option for the first two days which will give me the opportunity to go sight seeing around Luzern. It'll be an honour to meet your friend for a cup of coffee there. Interestingly, when i went to Japan i made some good friends in Nagoya and then two of them came to visit me and stayed with me in Melbourne for a fortnight in October. I'm an Indian- Australian and a teacher by profession.

I was absolutely blown away by Kim's post, I could visualise myself being on a trip with her. I would love to stay for the next two days in Wengen in Hotel Bellevue. I'm not much of a hiker but would be delighted to do the family trips that Kim suggested. Do you think 2 days would be sufficient to be in Wengen?

For the last two days of my trip, I could stay in Kandersteg. I checked all the hotels, Alpina is completed booked for those days, though there were others which were quite reasonably priced. I was quite touched by the owner of Hotel Spycher who had shared his hobbies of knitting and renovating, along with some samples of his knitting on the website. Oh, it'd be a dream come true to be living in a place like Kandersteg, knitting, cooking and meeting people from all over the world!

However, i wanted to seek your advice for the last 2 days - would you recommend staying and doing the activities in Kandersteg and then taking a train back to Zurich to fly out to Athens or would you recommend staying in a village inn close to Zermatt and then taking a train to Zurich from there?

Also, would Zurich be the right destination to fly to Athens or would be better to fly out from some other city? I still haven't got my tickets booked so am quite flexible.

Thank you for your suggestion about the Swiss Travel pass, makes more sense. Also, you had attached a link about an Aussie's visit to Wengen and Zermatt, that was so meticulous. Good on him for doing it! Would you recommend working so minutely on my travel plans? Somehow, wouldn't be able to do it, being in a school all my life, either as a student or a teacher, i just want to take it easy and ask the locals or the inns I stay in to suggest places, time tables and cruise through each moment.

Monica

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
6931 posts
expert
Jan 14, 2019 - 10:24 PM in reply to swiss11

<<"Somehow, wouldn't be able to do it, being in a school all my life, either as a student or a teacher, i just want to take it easy and ask the locals or the inns I stay in to suggest places, time tables and cruise through each moment.">>

How are you on jet-lag?

I plan my first two days carefully, because I find making decisions to be difficult when I am jet-lagged.

Also, as I think you may be learning, there is such a high density of potentially interesting places, reachable by train ( at no added cost with the STP) that making choices while there can easily turn into a time-consuming process.

I'm giving some more thought to your other specific questions.

More later.

And- I keep thinking about your comment:

<<"At the same time, the destinations that I initially mentioned are not set in stone. I'm happy to visit the places that you recommend so long as they are scenic and connect me to nature or the community life. I'm not ticking any boxes by visiting the most sort after tourist destinations by posting photos of my visit to these places on facebook. I just want to have a good, relaxing holiday along with experiencing the local community and its cuisine. Would be grateful if you could suggest such places.">>

That leads me to the Emmental. In turn, that leads to finding a place between Luzern and the Emmental to stay.

The Show-Dairy in Affoltern goes a long way toward the goals in your comment. So does the inn at Sumiswald........

www.emmentaler-schaukaeserei.ch/en/

www.google.com/search?q=show+dairy+in+Affolt ern&client=firefox-b-1-ab&tbm=isch&tbo=u&sour ce=univ&sa=X&ved=2ahUK EwjJgK2Wpu7fAhWJm-AKHTm4AI4QsAR6BAgBEAE& biw=2144&bih=1033

On the other hand, going to Switzerland and missing the Alps would be a sin. The most wonderful and striking tourist destination in Switzerland, in my opinion, is the region near the Jungfrau. Of course, Wengen is in the heart of that region; is that enough?

I'm not going to press that point until I can figure out whether there is a way to combine Luzern and the Emmental or Wengen and the Emmental that makes sense. Then, I could lay out an option for you to consider.

However, fitting together the pieces to add more "community" is complicated, so I'm still mulling that over. May not work.

Would you consider eliminating Zermatt, if you get enough high Alps near the Jungfrau?

Slowpoke

PS -I don't know for sure about which airport, but I'd suspect Zürich is the best bet. I think of Basel as a place for shorter, intra-Europe flights, and Geneva as having fewer international/transcontinental flights than Zürich. You can check that your self.

swiss11
swiss11
59 posts
active member
Jan 15, 2019 - 5:35 AM in reply to Slowpoke

Hi Slowpoke

Melbourne to Zurich will be over 24 hrs of flight and I will definitely be jet lagged so I agree with you that I'd need to plan and also to be able to cover as many places as possible. My idea of being a princess never really works out, have to cover the hard yards all the time!

I loved your idea of visiting the Showdairy in Affoltern, it could just become the highlight of my trip and living in Sumiswald inn would be ideal since they are so close to each other. I'm an excellent cook and given the opportunity, wouldn't mind cooking Indian curries for the locals!

Experiencing Jungfrau would be enough for me, I don't have to travel to Zermatt and can definitely eliminate it. Any of those combinations (Luzern and the Emmental or Wengen and the Emmental) sound good to me.

Look forward to your thoughts and options.

Monica

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
6931 posts
expert
Jan 15, 2019 - 10:10 AM in reply to swiss11

Hi Monica -

An added complication is that most inns take at least one and often two days when their restaurant is closed and their hotel is open. A common pattern is to stay open for the evening meal on Sunday, and close the restaurant on Monday and Tuesday. However, a lesser number stay open to cover that gap, then close the restaurant in the middle of the week. Depending on the inn and the living arrangements of the owner, there is often someone around on the "off" days. On such days, at a place where the owner is there, they will set a breakfast buffet (larger inns) or serve you a breakfast. In those cases, some inn keepers have some time to chat a bit. Others are not even there. At the Bären Sumswald, Frau Hiltbrunner often covers the breakfasts on the "off" days of Monday and Tuesday. In their case, there is another inn practically next door whose kitchen is open when the one at the Bären is closed. That one Restaurant zum Kreuz, also has traditionally had a Swiss kitchen.

www.kreuz-sumiswald.ch/

and

www.google.com/search?q=Kreuz+sumiswald&clie nt=firefox-b-1-ab&tbm=isch&tbo=u&sour ce=univ&sa=X&ved=2ahUK Ewjqzrmgxe_fAhWrnOAKHW 7yD8MQsAR6BAgFEAE&biw= 2144&bih=1033

Both are large enough that they have substantial kitchen staff, and so you probably would not be able to cook. At some smaller places, often in more remote areas, it is not unheard of for a guest who has suitable skills to cook, but I don't think it would be possible at any of the places we are discussing.

Hotels in areas like Wengen or Luzern have all facilities open every day of the week.

The Gasthaus Engel Sachseln posts somewhat different hours in German or in English, and still different on their lunch menu for January. Then, the restaurant seems to be open on Mondays, at least for lunch. That menu definitely includes local specialties.

We can clear that up of course, especially since I have a local contact, but at least in September, I'll trust the German version until the discrepancy between the various listings is resolved.. Hotel open every day; restaurant closed on Sunday and Monday. Since you arrive on a Monday, and will be jet lagged, that could be a problem. An option might be to stay there at the end of your trip, but the opening hours pattern at the restaurants of any of the inns always has to to be considered.

In the Emmental, I have gotten used to having a car, but use the buses and trains routinely. So, I'm thinking about what things in the Emmental besides the Show Dairy (die Schaukäserei) and possibly the Bären Suniswald...which is a proud and famous inn... would match your interests and your timing, via the public transport system. As an example, near Sumiswald, I took the attached pictures, but you need a car to get up onto the ridge where I shot them, as well as a very clear day, so that would not be an option.

I added a couple of other pictures relevant to the region. The one of the Kreuz Sumiswald is old, and it is difficult to get a good angle, but you can see the very old characteristic Emmental Inn facade and roof line. The one "from our hotel room in Affoltern" was taken from the Landgasthof Sunne, now unfortunately converted into apartments, which are not for rent. The view from the show dairy can be similar on a clear day.

Still trying to piece the parts of the puzzle together.

Slowpoke

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swiss11
swiss11
59 posts
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Jan 15, 2019 - 12:05 PM in reply to Slowpoke

Hi Slowpoke

You are not only thoughtful but an amazing photographer as well!

I didn't have even the slightest inkling that the inns could be closed on certain days, just assumed that they would be open on all days, so never really checked their opening hours. Thank you for being so attentive in highlighting the minutest of details to me.

You've definitely got an eye for photography. Loved the attached photos, thanks for sharing them.

Feel blessed for all the support and guidance.

Monica

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
6931 posts
expert
Jan 16, 2019 - 6:43 PM in reply to swiss11

Hi Monica -

Here is where I am and how I would do it if I were doing it myself, without a car. There are problems with it, and so I am still trying to solve them. I'll note them at the end.

The four constraints or issues that are affecting my planning are as follows:

1.- Serious jet lag upon arrival, and possibly for the next day or even two

2.- The need to be at some airport at a time that gets you a flight to Athens for a 1230 flight on the 15th.

The sooner you can pin down that flight from Switzerland, the better we can think about the 14th. A quick check suggests that you'll have to fly on the 14th. For example, a flight from Zürich at 1655 arrive 2230 via Munich. I'l assume that you have to be at the airport at 1455. Dirct flights are avaialble, and are more expensive

3.- In any rural region, the villages are usually too far apart for walking. The local transport works well, but tends to run once per hour. So, for example in the Emmental, the problem is how to put together the pieces to maximize enjoying the towns/villages/ local attractions while minimizing travel time.

4.- Opening hours of restaurants at inns... so called " die Rühetage" or "rest days." The owner is often the chef, and they need some time off or time for shopping. managing, organizing, etc.

What I would do if I were making the trip:

With those constraints, even with jet lag, I'd stay 2 nights in Sachseln, realizing that that the Gasthaus would be open for a room, but probably not for dinner on Monday night. ( I'm checking).

I'd transfer to Wengen, and stay there for two nights.

On the 13th, I'd catch a train/bus to Affoltern, have lunch at the show dairy, take the bus to Sumiswald, walk around the area a bit -hopefully run up to Trachselwald, and stay at the Bären for one night.

14th - take public transport to the airport. Fly to Athens

Here are some details, including what I think could be a problem with that. You may judge how important these issues are :

1.- For you, on your first trip, I would not recommend dealing with jet lag, getting your room at the Gasthaus Engel because I don't jknow there check in time when someone will definitely be there, and finding dinner nearby. The Kreuz, up the road about 200 meters says that their restaurant is open every day, but it adds one more complexity. It is not as charming as the Engel. Lots of pilgrimage visitors to Flüeli-Ranft stay at the Kreuz.

www.kreuz-sachseln.ch/cmsfiles/d okumente/Kreuz_Wissens wertes_englisch.pdf

Since you have plenty of time to get to Sachseln, even with a walk around Luzern, that might all work out, unless jet lag interferes.

If it is too much for your relaxed travel aims, I'd think about staying in Luzern, aty higher cost.

2.- The train from Sachseln over the Brunig to Interlaken ( Change for Lauterbrunnen/Wengwn) runs once per hour. You will be about 5 minutes walk ( downhill), from the hotel to the station. Trains are at 0628, 0728, 0828,etc. and take an hour and 1/2 approx. as far as Interlaken Ost, plus a 44 minute ride to Wengen ( every half-hour). I'd have no trouble catching the early train....would jet lag still be an issue for you? How early would the Engel provide breakfast?

3.- On the morning of the 13th, I 'd leave Wengen at 0903, arrive Affoltern, Dorf ( near the show dairy) at 1214, have lunch, walk around the village abit, and catch a bus to Sumiswald Ost at 1414 ( or later- twice per hour) for a 24 minute ride to Sumiswald ( change at Affoltern Weier station) . Walk 150 level meters to the Bären, check in; walk around the village till dinner. If the schedules work, I'd take the bus from Sumiswald, Post to Trachselwald, the nice village shown in that Panorama and poke around there. ( After a mid day hiatus, there is at least hourly service back and forth between Sumiswald and Trachselwald). The trip takes about 4 minutes.

There is no longer an inn in Affoltern i. E.

If you include Trachselwald, you get a nice sample of small village Emmental.

I don't know where you would leave your luggage while at the dairy. Possibly, you could go first to the inn in Sumiswald, then to Affoltern at some modest cost in time available for Trachselwald. I'd check the bus schedules. And ask the dairy by e-mail.

If you do not include Trachselwald, there are other places that would give you more of that exposure, but they would be hard to combine with the show dairy. Trubschachen and Trub, pehaps with a stay in Langnau might work).

However, the Bären is a very special place...it is one of the few large traditional Emmental Inns still surviving ...a long history, and well- integrated with the community. One of Switzerland's special authors and philosophers, Jeremias Gotthelf, hung out there to collect characters for his stories about the region, for example. The rooms are very nice.

Morning of the 14th, take the bus and train to Zürich Flughafen. There are many choices; some would take you through Bern, other through Zürich. Possibly , you could stop and look a round, but that might be pushing it.

Your reactions to this 5 night plan?

Slowpoke

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swiss11
swiss11
59 posts
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Jan 17, 2019 - 6:29 AM in reply to Slowpoke

Hi Slowpoke

A HUGE thank you once again for your planning and in slowly clearing all the cobwebs to materialise this trip.

Couple of things:

1. I'm thinking of flying out of Melbourne on 7th Sept so that I could reach Zurich on the 8th. My biggest hurdle at the moment is that we have a summer break here and I am unable to reach my Area Manager to get my leave approved for 7th as I take a 4-hours (9am-1pm) Language class every Saturday. Or, the other option is that I could look into a flight that leaves Melbourne late in the evening on the 7th. Still working on it.

2. I have my leave approved for two weeks (9th Sept- 23rd Sept). I could spend all that time in Switzerland itself and needn't travel to Athens to attend the holidays at www.skyros.com/ but would that be too much time in Switzerland? The idea of Switzerland and Athens was to have a holiday that combined both pleasure and personal development. Still pondering over it.

3. Irrespective of whether i land in Zurich on the 8th or 9th Sept, I would like to travel to Gasthaus Engel that night. So far as getting my dinner for that night is concerned, I could always go and eat at Kreuz but it doesn't bother me much, i have done it very tough in life, completed my 17 years of education in boarding / residential schools. I'm quite flexible, could also just grab something to eat from the Zurich airport.

4. Would there be any storage facilities for the luggage on Affoltern station so that I could visit the dairy or else you recommended that I go to the Baren to drop the luggage. Would that be too much waste of time if there are only 2 buses running every hour? I'm unable to get my head around it since there'd be so much to cover on that day. Both, Trubschachen and Trub, look amazing.

Monica

Arno
Arno
14122 posts
expert &
moderator
Jan 17, 2019 - 10:00 AM in reply to swiss11

Hi Monica,

Regarding your second question: how to divide your time is a personal preference. All I can say is that, for me, it's hard to have too much time in Switzerland. I could spend a year there and not do the same thing twice :-) See here for activity ideas please: www.myswissalps.com/ac tivities.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
6931 posts
expert
Jan 17, 2019 - 2:53 PM in reply to swiss11

Hi Monica -

<<"I'm quite flexible, could also just grab something to eat from the Zurich airport.">>

There are plenty of options to take away sandwiches and other edibles, in all of the large train stations., as well as the Zürich airport. However, a significant part of the reason for staying at the Engel is its excellent kitchen with traditional Swiss dishes.

I have written an e-mail to the Engel to ask about their schedule in September. If I don't hear from them, I'll find another way to contact them

<<"4. Would there be any storage facilities for the luggage on Affoltern station so that I could visit the dairy or else you recommended that I go to the Baren to drop the luggage. Would that be too much waste of time if there are only 2 buses running every hour? I'm unable to get my head around it since there'd be so much to cover on that day. Both, Trubschachen and Trub, look amazing.">>

Afflortern-Weir is now just a bus stop, since the circum-Emmental train line was cut back a few years ago. I'll spend a few minutes on the logistics in the region, because there are possible options. There are two ways to get to the Show Dairy for you. On one, Sumiswald could be an intermediate stop. I confirmed that the train still runs to Sumiswald, and I'll check to see if there is any storage capability. [I checked- there is:

www.sbb.ch/en/station-services/railway-stations/further-stations/station.8272. sumiswald-gruenen.html

Since there may be some time available on the morning of the 14th, your departure plans for Greece are important. However, I like to leave extra time to avoid problems on departure day.

You might see what you can figure out by looking at this map, and the SBB website and timetable for information about Sumiswald.

map.search.ch/?pos=626560,210848&z=32 &poi=haltestelle,zug

www.myswissalps.com/ti metable

Also, it might work to go to Wengen first. What is your arrival time on the 9th? (The 8th would work, too). Wengen would have more flexibility for accommodation on the first days of your time in Switzerland. Disadavantage - further from Zürich airport. First day travel would be longer, which is why I did not suggest it at first. However, that route is heavily traveled ans no rural buses or back-country trains would be needed. Travel flow would be Airport - Wengen- Emmental - Luzern/Sachseln - airport.

Check the timetable for that option.

www.myswissalps.com/ti metable

[I took a quick look at the timetable. I think that could work well. You should check out the timings]

Slowpoke

Gunzel
Gunzel
240 posts
active member
Jan 17, 2019 - 7:31 PM

A fascinating thread! Especially for reading by another Aussie!

Demonstrates the resources available on this sight. Informative links and knowledgeable contributors.

I agree with Arno about the concept of staying in fewer places for longer periods.

I also agree with others who've said that planning is half the fun. As always, prior planning prevents poor performance!

I've done direct flights from Australia many times and don't recall any problems. If you arrive mid/late morning (as many (most) connections from Australia do) you should be fine. "Go for it" on the arrival day and resist any temptation to have a "nanny nap". Aim for a relatively early night and plan something the following morning that doesn't require a down to the minute schedule. You should be fine.

But you'll probably experience some jet lag after you return home.

I'm sure others on here will join me in saying we look forward to hearing more of your plans and, later, how it all went!

Enjoy your travels!

Gunzel (aka Paul in Melbourne [Australia])

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
6931 posts
expert
Jan 18, 2019 - 1:12 AM in reply to swiss11

<<" I'm unable to get my head around it since there'd be so much to cover on that day. Both, Trubschachen and Trub, look amazing.">>

You can't do it all...especially in 5 days. Perhaps you should return to Switzerland when you have more time to experience the variety within the less-touristed regions.

Slowpoke

swiss11
swiss11
59 posts
active member
Jan 18, 2019 - 4:33 AM in reply to Slowpoke

Hi Slowpoke

Feel blessed to be a part of this forum and for your guidance. I also feel empowered and in bliss to be giving my dreams a reality, a year and a half, after legally ending an immensely abusive 21 years of married life and more so as I use a public forum to be an open book!

I agree with Arno that "it's hard to have too much time in Switzerland", no wonder I wanted to spend more time here but after giving it a serious thought, I have decided to go ahead with Greece. It'll be a nice contrast, more social and a completely different experience.

As per your guidance, this is how my trip would look like:

1. 8th / 9th - 11th Sept Arrive in Zurich, (most likely on 8th). Upon arrival to head to Wengen (Zurich Flughafen- Bern-Spiez-InterlakenOst - Lauterburnnen - Wengen) (to follow kim's guidance pg6 Part 2) - should take about 3 hours. I've emailed to Hotel Bellevue, Wengen to inquire about the room availability for those dates. I'd prefer to do the Leuterbrunnen to Stechelberg hike as mentioned on Kim's document on Pg 19 Part 2. Could also tick the box from Leuterbrunnen to Wilderswil. Would you recommend Schynige Platte to First? Could these be done in one day? If so, then I could also leave on the 10th instead of 11th.

2. 11th Sept - 12th Sept Arrive in Emmental - Is this the route I will take? (Wengen- Leuterbrunnen - Interlaken Ost- Thun- Hasel-Ruegsan - Sumiswald -Grunen) I could leave at 8.03 to arrive at 10.39 to drop my luggage here. There's a train then at 10.44 from Sumiswald-Grunen to Afflotern i.E Dorf (i don't think I will be able to catch this train since I would have to deposit my luggage) There's a bus 483 at 11.15 from Sumiswald-Grunen Bahnof for Affoltern -Weir -Bahnof, followed by a bus 471 to Affoltern, Dorf. Are Sumiswald-Grunen and Sumiswald-Grunen Bahnof the same? Also, half the day is gone to reach Dairy? Would I have the time after the dairy to visit Trubschachen and Trub? Would you advise that I spend one less night at Wengen and arrive in Emmental on 10th rather than the 11th Sept?

3. 12th Sept - 14th Sept - Arrive at Sachseln. Take a bus 483 from Sumiswald- Grunen Bahnhof at 815 for Huttwil, change to a train here at 843 - Luzern- arrive Sachseln at 1027. Would you recommend that I leave my luggage on the Luzern station to go and visit Mt. Titlis or would it better to leave the luggage at the Inn in Sachseln? In order to visit Mt Titlis, I'd need to take a train to Engelberg, right? Would also like to visit the Lake Lucerne but that could be the next day on 13th. I'd prefer to fly out on 14th. They have some arrangements for us in at the Dorian Inn in Athens for the 14th Night for some £80

Looks like it's taking some shape.

Monica

swiss11
swiss11
59 posts
active member
Jan 18, 2019 - 7:07 AM in reply to Gunzel

Hi Paul

Thank you for your best wishes and for cheering me on! I was quite impressed by your detailed planning for the trip.

Would love to share my experience about this trip.

Take care.

Monica

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