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Swiss trip report/photos 1 of 3 - Sept 3-17


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kshingleton
kshingleton
17 posts
new member
Sep 25, 2018 - 1:16 AM

Trip report 1 of 2 - Luzern area - Sept 3-7, 2018

Photos: www.amazon.com/photos/ share/NtIG7TqKMDGdkbKn 8otMQJrxcc64CXpnjMuEMU TdBip

Luzern – maybe the most picturesque town in Switzerland – stayed in Hotel Des Alpes and had a balcony room that overlooked the river – what a great view. Luzern is a great base for exploring the mountains in the area:

Photo tips: of course the classic views are from the main bridge looking back toward town, but for a great view overlooking the city, walk up to the northwest end of town and climb the tower for a great photo op.

General recommendation: get out early! – we prefer to get up early and catch the first train/lift up to where we’re going – we do this for 3 reasons: 1. We love the cool crisp quiet mountain mornings; 2. The weather is usually better early and tends to cloud over later; and 3. Many times we’ve had the mountain to ourselves before the crowds get there. It makes all the difference in the world in some places. I know that people complain about crowds at some of the mountain sites, but getting there early can really help.

Swiss Travel Pass – the 15-day pass was a no-brainer for us, as you’ll see how much we traveled around. The flexibility and freedom was well worth it for us.

Apps – SBB and MeteoSwiss are indispensable apps to find your way on the trains and for tracking the weather – don’t count on the Weather Channel or US-based apps – Meteo Swiss is what we’ve found to be most accurate. Also using webcams.travel is helpful as well to check the views up top before you commit.

Disclaimer on recommendations: Mountain recommendations are very subjective and greatly influenced by weather and how much haze there is so take them with a grain of salt – e.g. last time we went to Rigi is was spectacularly clear and one of our favorite views of the whole trip, but this time, it was hazy and a little cloudy, so it wouldn’t have made our top 5…

Stoos/Fronalpstock – Fronalpstock was on our wish list so we took advantage of the first sunny morning to take an early train to Schwyz and the bus to the Stoosbahn – get in the bottom/left car for the best views. The photo/video ops aren’t that great on the way up so just enjoy the ride and the amazing engineering and save your photos till the top. We walked through the cool town of Stoos to the chairlift to Fronalpstock. We caught the first chairlift up and had the place to ourselves for a little while before the crowds came. What a spectacular view – one of our favorite views of the week (better than Pilatus, and maybe even Rigi, though similar – Titlis is just different, so hard to compare.) I’d put Fronalpstock near the top of our Luzern-area list (see the drone video/photos). Don’t miss it. If you want a hike you can hike to/from Klingenstock from here – but either way, you can hike along the ridge for a while and just turn around when you want to. Nice little self-service restaurant as well – really surprised Fronalpstock is not mentioned more often.

Rigi – after spending the morning at Fronalpstock, we came back down through Stoos/Schwyz and took the train to Arth-Goldau and took the Blue cogwheel train up to Rigi-Kulm. It started to cloud up a bit, so it wasn’t as spectacular as the last time we were here, but still great views. Took a great easy hike down to Rigi-Kaltbad – great views of the lakes. Ate at the Hotel Alpina in Kaltbad (great rosti) which was conveniently across from the cable car down to Weggis and the boat back to Luzern. Quite a day – the Swiss Travel Pass is already paying for itself.

Titlis/Trubsee – I list Trubsee along with Titlis because I think it would be a big mistake to just go up and down from Titlis without stopping off at Trubsee and exploring a bit. First things first, the journey itself from Luzern is great – the train ride the Engelberg (cool town) is very scenic, and then the cable cars to Trubsee and then Titlis – the journey is half the fun. So first Titlis – again, get there early and be on the first cable car to Trubsee, and then switch to the rotating cable car to Titlis – as long as you are by a window, you’ll have a great view. At the top, go outside and walk up the snow straight up to the Cliff Walk – you may just have it to yourself like we did for a few minutes. Cool views and experience. Titlis reminded us a bit of the views on Mont Blanc, and (spoiler alert) we liked it better than Jungfraujoch. Photo tips: lots of great photo ops and iPhone panorama options – one cool shot is to have someone in your party stand on the bridge and if you get down low to the ground you can take a photo with the bridge higher than the mountains, which is a really cool shot.

Trubsee – Definitely save time to stop at Trubsee on the way down – cool lake scene (especially if the winds are calm) – nice self-service restaurant on the far side of the lake near the Jochpass lift (Restaurant Alpstubli). For more cool views, walk over to the chairlift to Jochpass (covered by Titlis ticket) and then another chairlift to Engstlensee (also covered), which on a calm day is about as picturesque a lake as you’ll find (see the drone video/photos). You can walk down to the lake easily (or even on to Melchsee-Frutt if you want), and then head back to Jochpass/Trubsee and Engelberg (explore a bit) and back to Luzern. Photo tips: if the winds are still, the lake reflection shots are spectacular.

Pilatus – the weather was iffy, but decided to go ahead and go up to Pilatus via the popular Alpnachstad-Pilatus-Kriens route. On a clear day, I expect the views would be great – but on a mostly cloudy day, it’s still cool, but not spectacular. The journey to/from was fun, but save this one for a sunny day. Either way, this is below Fronalpstock, Titlis and Rigi on our list.

Zug – we hopped over to Zug for the afternoon and ate at one of the restaurants on the lake – cool old town to explore and beautiful lake on a clear day. We like the Luzern-Zug-ArthGoldau-RigiKulm/Kaltbad-Weggis-Luzern journey in either direction.

Photos: www.amazon.com/photos/ share/NtIG7TqKMDGdkbKn 8otMQJrxcc64CXpnjMuEMU TdBip

Part 2 & the Lauterbrunnen Valley area

Jdelchau2
Jdelchau2
43 posts
active member
Sep 25, 2018 - 6:32 AM

Wonderful info and picture postcard photo's Perfect thankyou,

Jacqui in Australia

Lucas
Lucas
10495 posts
top member
Sep 25, 2018 - 7:29 AM in reply to kshingleton

Hi kshingleton,

Thanks for the report and tips! Very useful. :)

Some great photos too - really nice!

Arno
Arno
15667 posts
expert &
moderator
Sep 25, 2018 - 8:08 AM

I've heard people say that in Switzerland you just have to point and shoot, and every image will automatically be beautiful. But for the quality images you're sharing here you have to be a well above average photographer. Absolutely wonderful, well done.

Jdelchau2
Jdelchau2
43 posts
active member
Sep 25, 2018 - 8:24 AM in reply to Arno

Agree with you Arno. After many trips to Switzerland and hundreds of photo's the best ones I have are postcards😊

These could easily be postcards or a souvenir book.

Jacqui

Mary
Mary
12 posts
new member
Sep 25, 2018 - 8:39 AM in reply to Jdelchau2

Thank you so much for your sharing. My husband and I have planned for the same dates to Switzerland for 2019.

Ladynole35
Ladynole35
18 posts
new member
Sep 25, 2018 - 11:21 AM in reply to kshingleton

Thank you so much.

We leave for our first visit to Switzerland in two weeks so reading everyones trip reports has been invaluable. Can't wait for your next installment as the bulk of our time will be in Wengen.

Melanie

PS: your pictures are amazing! What camera did you use?

Last modified on Sep 25, 2018 - 11:24 AM by Ladynole35
Emie
Emie
19 posts
new member
Sep 25, 2018 - 1:32 PM

Wow! Stunning photos! Really appreciate the details of your travels. We will be in Switzerland at the end of October and are still planning where we want to visit from our base in Lucerne. Very helpful info!

Pickergal
Pickergal
87 posts
active member
Sep 25, 2018 - 1:42 PM

Hi Kshingleton,

I, like everyone else here, enjoyed your spectacular pictures! They really are wonderful! You have talked me into adding Stoos to our next trip! Thank you for a fantastic trip report. Really looking forward to the next installment.

Michelle

kshingleton
kshingleton
17 posts
new member
Sep 25, 2018 - 7:23 PM

Thanks everyone for the kind replies. The photos are a mix of DSLR photos (Canon 80D), Drone video stills (Mavic Pro) and even some iPhone panorama shots... great weather always helps!

traveljet
traveljet
133 posts
active member
Sep 30, 2018 - 6:37 AM in reply to kshingleton

Wow! Thanks for sharing the trip report and fantastic shots.

kochmius
kochmius
2 posts
new member
Oct 22, 2018 - 7:03 PM in reply to kshingleton

Your trip report has really been an asset! My last day in Lucerne is tomorrow and I'm having a tough time finding the view you suggested for the awesome shot of the bridge you posted...

"Luzern – maybe the most picturesque town in Switzerland – stayed in Hotel Des Alpes and had a balcony room that overlooked the river"

Can you send more specific directions? Which tower? I went up all the towers on the wall and didn't see this view. Thanks, Mike

kshingleton
kshingleton
17 posts
new member
Oct 25, 2018 - 8:13 PM in reply to kochmius

Mike-- I know this is probably too late now, but below is the Google Maps link to the tower I was referring to for the shot overlooking the town...

goo.gl/maps/XNwXmTv5JB R2

kochmius
kochmius
2 posts
new member
Oct 25, 2018 - 10:44 PM in reply to kshingleton

Thanks for the link...We are back in the USA, but I managed to figure out the tower before I left...I originally couldn't find it because I started from the other side of the wall and was blocked from the Männliturm tower from the upper level of the wall...when I figured out that you had to go back down, around the outside of the wall, then back up the Männliturm I found it! You were correct what a great view ..Also thank you for the trip report...It was my blueprint for the entire trip to Lucerne...I especially thank you for the Stoos recommendation. We had awesome weather (almost as good as yours) and the views from Fronalpstock were unreal. Many thanks!

Mike

kshingleton
kshingleton
17 posts
new member
Oct 26, 2018 - 5:01 PM in reply to kochmius

So glad you had a great trip! And agree that Fronalpstock was one of our favorites!

Maverick
Maverick
27 posts
active member
Oct 28, 2018 - 9:57 PM

hi,

if the term 'spellbound' had a material description, its your photographs.

My trip begins after 10 days from now and your report was really helpful.I will add stoos to my plan now. as i will be travelling in 2nd week november...i just have to hope that luck is on my side as far as weather is concerned!

Thanks for a helpful report.

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