Trip report late August to mid-October 2016

Trip report late August to mid-October 2016

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Posts: 17
Alpenrose666
Alpenrose666
1378 posts
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Nov 3, 2016 - 12:25 PM

Hi to everyone,

I’ve recently returned from a wonderful trip to Switzerland that lasted almost 7 weeks from late August to mid-October. I was able to experience the lovely late summer-early autumn weather as well as some chilly and snowy days towards the end. There were a few rainy days as well, and a number of days when the mountain tops were in the clouds, but by and large the weather didn’t force too many changes of plan. I did, however, have to abandon my hiking plans due to knee problems, but will hopefully be able to make up for that on a future trip.

My trip was to take 48 days, and I knew I would end up making unplanned trips as well as planned ones. After changing my mind several times about what combination of passes to use, I eventually decided to bite the bullet and buy three 15-day Swiss Travel Passes (2nd class), which I ordered in advance and printed at home. Although expensive, I’m glad I made this choice, as it meant I didn’t have to think twice about going wherever I wanted to over the whole 45 days, and it was much easier to budget. For the 3 days not covered by the Swiss Travel Passes, I decided to buy a 3-day Tell-Pass to use for 3 of my 4 days in Luzern.

I landed in Zürich on a Sunday morning. I had ordered the Tell-Pass in advance for pick-up from Zürich Airport (the cheapest delivery option). This went smoothly. I had been sent a voucher by email, plus instructions and a diagram to help me find the Airport Information Service Centre, where I was to present the voucher to collect the pass. Luckily I didn’t have to wait too long in the queue. I presented the voucher and they retrieved my pass immediately. The pass came in a plastic wallet, together with a map showing where it was valid. That wallet was also perfect for keeping my Swiss Travel Passes in during the rest of the trip, and I will keep it for future trips. My Tell-Pass was valid from Zug, so I also bought a ticket (in the SBB Mobile app) from the airport to Zug before setting out for Luzern. (You need to register online and provide credit card details before you can use this feature. Then you input your user name and password each time you want to buy a ticket in the app, but can opt to make purchases under CHF 40 without logging in.)

At Luzern, I was able to check in early to my hotel in the Altstadt (Old Town). After a 24-hour flight, I wanted to take it easy on the first day, so a 3-hour cruise on the Vierwaldstättersee (Lake Lucerne) from Luzern/Lucerne to Flüelen was ideal, and free with the Tell-Pass.

It was a warm sunny Sunday at the end of August, so locals and tourists were out in force. At many locations along the lake, people were enjoying a dip in the lake, or sunning themselves on the shore, and the lakeside restaurants were well patronised. The mountains and lake were looking their best in the sunshine. After strolling for a while by the lake in Flüelen in the late-afternoon sunshine, and eating an ice-cream, I caught the train back to Luzern.

My bases for the 7 weeks were as follows:

Luzern: 4 days

Wengen: 6 days

Meiringen: 7 days

Saas-Fee: 7 days

Locarno: 7 days

St. Moritz: 7 days

Scuol: 7 days

Zurich: 1 full day before a morning flight home the following day.

Due to the length of my trip, I won’t do a day-by-day trip report, but (as I have time) I will select some of my favourite places to report on. In the next few posts, I will cover some of my town-to-town transfers.

I have attached some photos from my cruise on the Vierwaldstättersee.

Alpenrose

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Alpenrose666
Alpenrose666
1378 posts
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Nov 3, 2016 - 12:54 PM

Luzern to Interlaken Ost

From Luzern I took the Luzern-Interlaken Express over the Brünig Pass to Brienz. I entered the train through a door designated for wheelchair access, so had step-free boarding with my suitcase. The train was fairly crowded, and I had to settle for a seat on the “wrong” side of the train for the best views. However, I stood at the door from time to time to take some photos.

At Brienz I transferred to a boat to Interlaken Ost. (Thanks to Arno, whose suggestion to someone else gave me this idea!) This was a very easy transfer with luggage, as the wharf is adjacent to the station at Brienz, and there is level access to the wharf from the station, including crossing the railway tracks. Boarding the boat with luggage was also easy.

While waiting for the boat at Brienz, I had time for some lunch. I bought a Bratwurst and a drink from the wharf kiosk, and enjoyed it sitting in the shade of the trees on the wharf, looking out over the turquoise water of the Brienzersee (Lake Brienz) with its surrounding mountains. (By the way, to use the ladies’ toilets at Brienz railway station, you need a ½ Franken coin.)

The boat I caught from Brienz to Interlaken Ost was a lovely old steamship, the Lötschberg, originally built in 1914. It wasn’t too crowded, and I was able to find a good seat on the open-air foredeck, with room for my suitcase, despite the fact that everyone else also wanted to sit outside to enjoy the sunshine and views. There was plenty of shade under sailcloth on the foredeck for those who wanted to avoid sitting in the sun. Many of the other passengers seemed to be German-speaking Swiss, and there was also a French-speaking group enjoying champagne and snacks!

At Interlaken Ost, it is a very short walk from the wharf to Interlaken Ost railway station, and at the station entrance, there is a ramp on the right-hand side as an alternative to the stairs straight ahead of you. That certainly makes things easier with a suitcase!

I have attached some photos taken between Luzern and Brienz, and some of the Brienzersee cruise.

Alpenrose

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Alpenrose666
Alpenrose666
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Nov 3, 2016 - 1:06 PM

Wengen to Meiringen and Brienzer Rothorn

At Wengen, two trains headed for Lauterbrunnen pulled into the station at the same time. One was reserved for groups, the other was a normal train. This was certainly a great idea, because my train to Lauterbrunnen was very crowded as it was. My carriage was packed to the rafters, with lots of people and their luggage, a large dog and some people transporting goods on a flatbed trolley! Many people had to stand, but I managed to get a seat. Boarding the train at Wengen, there was only one step up from the platform, and at Lauterbrunnen boarding/alighting is level with the platform.

It didn’t take long to get to Meiringen, and along the way between Interlaken Ost and Meiringen, I chatted to four fellow-Australians seated on the other side of the aisle. Something I noticed on this trip, which was also the case on most other train trips that I made, was how polite and friendly the conductors are, often making small-talk with the passengers as they make their way through the carriages checking tickets. On arrival at Meiringen, I dropped off my luggage at my hotel and went back to Brienz, just a short hop from Meiringen. From Brienz, I took a trip up to the Brienzer Rothorn. A lovely sunny day added to the pleasure of this wonderful trip, the scenery on the way up and down being every bit as enjoyable as the far-reaching views from the top. For lunch on the Brienzer Rothorn, I tried the traditional dish “Älpler Makkaroni”, followed by a decadent ice-cream sundae concoction!

I have attached some photos from the Brienzer Rothorn.

Alpenrose

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Alpenrose666
Alpenrose666
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Nov 3, 2016 - 1:19 PM

Meiringen to Saas-Fee

To get to Saas-Fee from Meiringen, I took the train from Meiringen to Brig, with changes at Interlaken Ost and Spiez, then a PostAuto bus from Brig to Saas-Fee.

The first leg by train was from Meiringen to Interlaken Ost. During my stay at Meiringen over the preceding 7 days, I had travelled on this sector a few times, and it had always been quite crowded, regardless of time of day. (This was in early September.) On the day I was leaving for Saas-Fee, the SBB Mobile app didn’t indicate how crowded this particular train was expected to be, but there were quite a lot of people waiting at Meiringen to board. So as I was waiting on the platform at Meiringen, I decided to purchase a Klassenwechsel (class upgrade) to enable me to travel first class to Interlaken Ost. This was quickly and easily accomplished using the SBB Mobile app, and turned out to be a good decision, because 2nd class was in fact crowded, but I easily got a seat and space for my suitcase in 1st class. (Thanks to Arno, from whom I learned about this option!)

At Interlaken Ost the train for Spiez was already in the station and was practically empty at that stage, so I just boarded and travelled in 2nd class.

At Spiez however, things were different. This train, travelling on the Lötschberger scenic route to Brig via Kandersteg, was already crowded, with standing room only in 2nd class. So I whipped out my phone and bought a Klassenwechsel for the Spiez-Brig sector, another good choice! By the time the train left Spiez, there was standing room only in first class as well, but I already had my seat! A lot of people had left the train by the time we were about half-way to Brig though.

The Lötschberger train originates in Bern, and is split at Spiez. The front section of the train goes to Brig, the rear section to Zweisimmen, so you need to make sure you board the correct part of the train. This also applies if you are boarding at Bern, or anywhere between there and Spiez. This sort of situation is denoted in the SBB timetable with the letters “FL”, which indicates “1 train-2 destinations: please check the destination displays”, or in German “1 Zug-2 Ziele: bitte Anschriften beachten”. The destination is displayed on the side of each carriage.

The scenery between Spiez and Brig is magnificent, with imposing mountains and traditional houses, especially in Kandersteg. Further south, the towns below in the valley are larger, with more modern buildings and industry. The best views alternate between left and right, but trackside trees and bushes often make it difficult to take good photos, and in places the mountains are so close and so high they are hard to capture in a photo!

The PostAuto bus to Saas-Fee leaves from outside the railway station in Brig, adjacent to the “extra” platforms from which the Glacier Express leaves. These extra platforms are just across the road from the main station building. There is no shelter at the bus stop, but you could shelter under the Glacier Express platform roof in case of rain. At the bus stop, bus-sized spaces are marked out on the road in yellow paint, and each is numbered. A departure board shows from which numbered section of the road your bus will leave. Luggage on PostAuto buses is loaded into a luggage compartment underneath the bus. Most people load their own luggage, but the driver will assist anyone who needs help with this.

The bus was not too crowded until we left Visp and travelled into the Saastal (Saas Valley), where it filled up quickly, with people getting on and off regularly along the way. The trip through the Saastal is superb, with best views on the left when travelling in the direction of Saas-Fee. The valley is steep and narrow, with the bus travelling high along one side of the valley, and lots of picturesque villages with traditional houses to be seen below or perched halfway up the mountains on the other side of the valley. From Visp to Saas-Grund, the bus climbs 900 metres. The winding road has many tight bends and a few avalanche galleries. On several occasions we met other buses or trucks on tight bends. You have to admire the skill of the bus drivers as they negotiate such tight bends safely. They sound the distinctive PostBus horn to warn oncoming traffic of the approach of the bus around a blind or tight corner, where the bus will need to use most of the road to get around the corner. On one occasion, an oncoming truck had to back out of an avalanche gallery on a bend to let the bus through: the PostBuses have right-of-way! During the final 10 minutes of the trip, the bus climbs another 250 metres in altitude from Saas-Grund up to Saas-Fee, making this last stretch a great way to end such a wonderful bus trip!

Saas-Fee bus terminal has an indoor waiting room and luggage lockers costing CHF 5,00. The lockers accept CHF 1, 2 and 5 coins.

Some photos of the PostAuto bus stop at Brig, and the Saastal, are attached.

Alpenrose

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Alpenrose666
Alpenrose666
1378 posts
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Nov 3, 2016 - 1:36 PM

Saas-Fee to Locarno

I left Saas-Fee on a grey and cloudy morning on the PostAuto bus to Brig, from where I travelled (again by PostAuto bus), over the Simplon Pass to Domodossola. (Thanks to Maggie for this tip!) At Domodossola I transferred to the Centovalli Railway to continue to Locarno.

The trip through the Saastal from Saas-Fee to Brig was again wonderful. While waiting for the bus at Brig, I got talking to a fellow passenger, who had come into Brig for a dental appointment. He was born in the tiny village of Simplon Dorf and had lived there all his life, at least 80 years I would guess.

Leaving Brig, the best views are on the left, but switchbacks mean you get the same views on the right-hand side higher up the pass. In general, I think the best views are mostly on the right. The mountain scenery is superb, and shortly after the bus stop called Schallberg (16 minutes into the trip), the striking Ganter Bridge, with its curved approaches, comes into view in the distance on the right hand side. This is apparently the longest spanning bridge in Switzerland, and a couple of minutes later the bus travels across it. There was quite a bit of construction in progress on the Simplon Pass road, and we were in a traffic jam for a while at one stage. Near the summit of the pass is a giant stone eagle, apparently a World War II memorial. Descending the pass on the other side, there was quite a bit of low cloud, but not enough to completely obscure the views. The village of Simplon Dorf is picturesque, and there were some interesting stone buildings built into hillsides. About 20 minutes later, we crossed the Italian border just after Gondo, where we were travelling through a gorge, and within another 40 minutes or so we pulled in to the bus station at Domodossola. It is opposite the railway station, but a little further along the road from the main station entrance.

After crossing the road and walking a short distance, and before reaching the main entrance, I saw the sign for “Centovalli-Locarno” pointing down a set of stairs, as the platform is underground. Luckily I found a nearby lift, as I didn’t fancy carrying my suitcase down all those stairs!

So from Domodossola my journey continued on the Centovalli Railway. The trip to Locarno was a lovely journey of under 2 hours through forested hills and valleys, with picturesque villages in the distance, each with its own church, and occasional views into gorges with fast-flowing streams. I had done this trip some years ago in winter, when the forests were mostly greyish and bare. It was lovely to see how green the forests were this time round! I was seated on the left, but I think the best views were probably on the right. The train was fairly full, and I needed room for my suitcase, so I didn’t have the opportunity to change seats. The particular train I was on had panoramic windows, so the conductor collected a small supplementary fee of CHF 1,50 (or you can also pay 1,50 Euro if preferred). This fee isn’t charged on the trains without panoramic windows.

The stops weren’t announced on this train, so I had to pay attention to where I was towards the end, as I wanted to get out at Sant’ Antonio, one stop before Locarno main station, and it was “Fermata a richiesta” (request stop). You have to push the button near the exit door if you want the train to stop. I moved to the exit door just after we left the preceding station, and thought I had pushed the button for the next stop, but when the conductor came along shortly afterwards he asked me if I was getting out, and when I said I was, he pushed the button again. At that point I noticed a sign that said passengers were not allowed to travel in the train standing up, so that is probably why the conductor questioned me.

Below are some photos of the Simplon Pass.

Alpenrose

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Alpenrose666
Alpenrose666
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Nov 3, 2016 - 1:51 PM

Locarno to St. Moritz

I wanted to travel to St. Moritz on the Palm Express bus, so first I had to travel from Locarno to Lugano, from where the Palm Express leaves.

First of all, I caught a bus from my accommodation to Locarno main station, only a few stops. Getting my suitcase onto the bus was easy, as it was a low-floor bus, as were all the buses I saw in Locarno. (Buses in Locarno are free with the Swiss Travel Pass, and drivers do not expect you to show your pass as you board.) The train trip to Lugano was an easy short one, with a change at Giubiasco. Between Giubiasco and Lugano, police were walking through the train doing what appeared to be random ID checks.

Lugano main station has a major construction project underway at present, but it wasn’t too hard to find my way around, and one of the lifts from the subway up to street level was still operating, allowing me to avoid the temporary wooden stairs. (By the way, the funicular from the railway station down to the city centre is out of operation at present, due to the construction works, and has been replaced by a shuttle bus, called the FuniBus.)

Reservations are compulsory on the Palm Express, and I had made mine online before I left home. A couple boarding the bus in front of me thought they had a reservation, but it turned out all they had was a ticket. However, as the bus was not full, the driver added their names to the list of passengers and they were able to travel without the reservation. That must have been a great relief to them, given there is only one Palm Express service per day!

Just past Gandria we crossed the border into Italy. The border was patrolled, but we were not stopped or checked. Coming into Menaggio was quite amazing – a long descent with switchbacks and lovely views over sunny but hazy Lake Como. There was one particularly tight corner in town – a hairpin bend in fact, where the bus had to do a 3-point turn to get around the corner. It was either that or another corner that was controlled by traffic lights, enabling only one lane of traffic at a time to negotiate the corner. The built-up area was more or less continuous all the way along Lake Como from Menaggio. At another tight bend in a town along the lake, we encountered a cement truck, and it was amazing to see how the bus driver managed to get the bus around the corner in spite of this!

We had a 20-minute break in Chiavenna, where the bus stopped at the railway station. There wasn’t much on offer by way of food in the station café, so it would be a good idea to bring your own lunch if travelling on the Palm Express, as there is not really enough time to go looking for an alternative! Not long after Chiavenna, we crossed the border into Switzerland again.

The real highlight of this trip for me was the ascent up the forested Maloja Pass, which involved one amazing hairpin bend after the other, climbing all the way, with great views back to the Bregaglia Valley below. (The views are even better travelling in the opposite direction, as you see the valley before you.) After reaching the village of Maloja at the top of the pass, it is not long before the first of the Engadin lakes, the Silsersee (Lake Sils), comes suddenly into view, and then the bus travels through the village of Sils Maria. I was so impressed by the Maloja Pass and the pretty village of Sils Maria, that I decided I would have to come back there while I was staying in St Moritz, for a walk around Sils Maria and a trip down the Maloja Pass.

Here are some photos of the Maloja Pass, Silsersee and Bregaglia Valley plus a couple taken somewhere between Maloja and St Moritz.

Alpenrose

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Annika
Annika
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Nov 3, 2016 - 3:36 PM

Welcome back Alpenrose!

First of all, thank you so much for your wonderful trip report and the attached pictures. It's great that you're willing to share such a detailed description of your stay in Switzerland, and certainly helpful to other travelers planning for their holidays. A 45 day stay is truly amazing. Although I understand that it's a tough decision having to buy three 15 day Swiss Travel Pass, I still think it's been the best option for a trip such as yours, with so many town transfers and so many other side trips. Glad to hear weather was fine on most occasions. I assume you got to experience the transition from late summer to early autumn, right? That must have been quite special.

I really enjoyed reading about your scenic trips that are a bit off the beaten track, especially the Centovalli railway and the Palm Express up to St. Moritz. Both are beautiful indeed and I too experienced just how impressive the climb up to Maloja is. Did you indeed return to this special spot during your stay in St. Moritz?

maggiehorswell
maggiehorswell
495 posts
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Nov 4, 2016 - 1:11 AM in reply to Annika

Hi Alpenrose

I thoroughly enjoyed reading about your trip - so thank you for all the details of your travels.

Your descriptions evoked memories of doing a lot of those journeys ourselves and your photographs are brilliant. Photos are a great way of re-living experiences aren't they. I spend many a happy hour trawling through all mine!

The Palm Express ride was of particular interest to me as I hope we can do it next year in the opposite direction from St. Moritz to Lugano. We also liked Majola and Sils-Maria - there was a craft fair on in Sils the day we visited which was a lucky chance!

I'm glad you enjoyed the Simplon Pass ride - makes me think it's time we did that one again ourselves. Your posts on here are always very helpful for other travellers so glad one of my tips was useful for you in return.

I agree about the convenience of the Swiss Travel Pass even though we now have to buy consecutive ones for longer stays.

So glad you had such a great time and thanks again for sharing your photos.

Best wishes

Maggie

Alpenrose666
Alpenrose666
1378 posts
top member
Nov 5, 2016 - 6:00 AM in reply to Annika

>> I assume you got to experience the transition from late summer to early autumn, right? That must have been quite special.

Hi Annika,

Yes, it was mostly quite hot in Luzern and the Berner Oberland in late August and early to mid-September, and was even warm at higher altitudes, such as on the Schilthorn. Then a few weeks later in the Engadin the autumn colour changes were noticeably getting underway.

>> I too experienced just how impressive the climb up to Maloja is. Did you indeed return to this special spot during your stay in St. Moritz?

Yes, I did! I made a day trip to Soglio from St Moritz, which involved a return trip through the Maloja Pass again, and I also found time to go back to Sils Maria one afternoon to wander around, including enjoying coffee and Engadinertorte at the Grond Bäckerei Café there!

I have attached some photos of Sils Maria, and will include Soglio, which I absolutely loved, in one of my trip reports.

Alpenrose

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Alpenrose666
Alpenrose666
1378 posts
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Nov 5, 2016 - 6:08 AM in reply to maggiehorswell

>> I thoroughly enjoyed reading about your trip - so thank you for all the details of your travels.

Hi Maggie, I'm glad you enjoyed it!

>> Your descriptions evoked memories of doing a lot of those journeys ourselves and your photographs are brilliant. Photos are a great way of re-living experiences aren't they. I spend many a happy hour trawling through all mine!

Thanks for your kind words about my photos! They certainly are a wonderful way of re-living experiences - they bring them back so vividly. I put mine on my computer screensaver too.

>> The Palm Express ride was of particular interest to me as I hope we can do it next year in the opposite direction from St. Moritz to Lugano. We also liked Majola and Sils-Maria - there was a craft fair on in Sils the day we visited which was a lucky chance!

I'm sure you will enjoy the Palm Express ride, and I think St. Moritz to Lugano is the best direction for views down the Maloja Pass and into the Bregaglia Valley. It's always nice to happen upon a craft market too. There was one on the lakeside in Ascona when I was in Locarno, and I bought a very unusual necklace there.

Alpenrose

Annika
Annika
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Nov 5, 2016 - 9:49 AM in reply to Alpenrose666

Good to hear you were able to visit Soglio and Sils-Maria. It's a beautiful area indeed. You've included some very nice pictures once again!

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
4038 posts
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Nov 21, 2016 - 8:12 AM in reply to Alpenrose666

Hi Alpenrose -

Thanks very much for your excellent trip report.

I've not had time to review it completely until now. The pictures are technically excellent, and do an exemplary job of providing an evocative image of travel in Switzerland. They go well beyond the images of the standard tourist attractions, showing the kinds of subjects and details that illustrate the pleasures of finding out the way that the travel system (and the country) works and looks. For example, the clouds in Val Bregalia, the road in the Maloja, the architecture in Sils Maria.....

Your commentary on details - such as the skill of the Post Bus drivers, how you were able to get your pass at Zürich airport, the details of the Lötscberger train sections, whether or not the bus drivers ask to see the passengers travel passes, those stairs at Domodossola ( I did not discover the elevator), how you dealt with your suitcase, the low floor buses, the supplement fee on the Centovalli line - and others that make Swiss travel travel interesting, easy, and usually a pleasure (except for those stairs, which are actually in Italy, however) - brings back my memories of my first discoveries of how Switzerland works and looks.

Your photos also capture those kinds of impressions. They capture your experiences and take me to the Switzerland beyond the surface layer of the major tourist sites that we usually see in photos.

I am often asked "Why Switzerland?" by my friends and acquaintances. Your trip report will be a "go to" resource to help answer that question. You may be aware that Professor Jonathan Steinberg has written a book titled "Why Switzerland?" It is a valuable exploration of the Swiss society and culture, drawing on history to show how Switzerland has become a unique democracy. In a less formal way, your report illustrates some of the aspects of how things actually look and feel in the various regions.

I note that you have not yet commented on Scuol and surroundings. I hope that you will have a chance to add some commentary and photos of the Lower Engadine.

This link explains some of the hidden gems of that region.

www.nytimes.com/2010/0 5/09/travel/09next.htm l

The region is a favorite of ours, and we have gone back many times. We often stay in Guarda. The unique architecture of the Engadine, especially in the Lower Engadine, and the intense sunlight allow some nice photos, too. I've attached one or two from Scuol and Guarda, to add to yours from Sil-Maria at the other end of the valley. I hope you will be able to add some of your own from Scuol; I think that you have a good eye.

Thanks for that insightful report. For me, and others I'm sure, the result is worth the substantial and thoughtful effort that you put into it.

Slowpoke

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Alpenrose666
Alpenrose666
1378 posts
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Nov 22, 2016 - 11:43 AM in reply to Slowpoke

Hi Slowpoke,

Many thanks for your kind words about my trip reports and photos!

>> Your commentary on details ... brings back my memories of my first discoveries of how Switzerland works and looks.

I'm glad you enjoyed that aspect of it! One of the many wonderful things about the MySwissAlps website is the amount of practical detail it has. Having that information in advance really makes such a difference to the travel experience in my opinion. I hope in a small way to contribute to that, by including some details in my reports that might be useful and/or interesting to others.

On that note, I must thank you for the tip you gave someone else about the "Santuario" stop on the Madonna del Sasso funicular. That stop is not really noticeable from the Sanctuary, and without your tip, I would have just climbed back up to the top again when it was time to leave. As I had knee problems on this trip, that would have been something of an ordeal, so knowing about that lower station was a godsend!

>> You may be aware that Professor Jonathan Steinberg has written a book titled "Why Switzerland?"

I hadn't heard of that book, but I think I will put it on my reading list.

>> I note that you have not yet commented on Scuol and surroundings. I hope that you will have a chance to add some commentary and photos of the Lower Engadine.

Yes, I will certainly write about Scuol and some of the places I went to from there, including Guarda. I absolutely loved Scuol and the surrounding area, and will definitely go back there on a future trip.

I recognise where most of your photos in Scuol and Guarda were taken! I have a few of the Solsass Fountain in Scuol as well, but it was in deep shade, and the houses were in bright sunlight, so I had problems with the exposure. My best-exposed photo of it was taken from a different angle, where the contrasts were not so stark, but the background is not quite as attractive.

Thanks again for your kind words! I hope to have time next weekend to write another report.

Alpenrose

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
4038 posts
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Nov 22, 2016 - 3:58 PM in reply to Alpenrose666

<<" On that note, I must thank you for the tip you gave someone else about the "Santuario" stop on the Madonna del Sasso funicular. That stop is not really noticeable from the Sanctuary, and without your tip, I would have just climbed back up to the top again when it was time to leave. As I had knee problems on this trip, that would have been something of an ordeal, so knowing about that lower station was a godsend!">>

Hi Alpenrose -

I was glad that I discovered it a few years ago. I did not like the climb back up, even with my knees in good condition. Glad it helped. My knees have become troublesome, so I'll also use it on my next visit. Although, downhill is also troublesome.

>> You may be aware that Professor Jonathan Steinberg has written a book titled "Why Switzerland?"

I hadn't heard of that book, but I think I will put it on my reading list.">>

You'll learn a lot about why Switzerland is the way it is.

I have read the first and second editions. The 3rd edition is just out and I am reading it in spare moments. Professor Steinberg gave a lecture on the subject at the October meeting of the Swiss American Historical Society in Washington, DC. I watched by live video feed.

www.amazon.com/Why-Switzerland-Jonathan-Steinberg/dp/052170955 5/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=14 79829687&sr=1-1&keywords=why+switzer land

>> I note that you have not yet commented on Scuol and surroundings. I hope that you will have a chance to add some commentary and photos of the Lower Engadine.

<<"Yes, I will certainly write about Scuol and some of the places I went to from there, including Guarda. I absolutely loved Scuol and the surrounding area, and will definitely go back there on a future trip.

I recognise where most of your photos in Scuol and Guarda were taken! I have a few of the Solsass Fountain in Scuol as well, but it was in deep shade, and the houses were in bright sunlight, so I had problems with the exposure. My best-exposed photo of it was taken from a different angle, where the contrasts were not so stark, but the background is not quite as attractive.">>

Adobe Photoshop and a camera that takes high bit RAW files can pull up details from the shadows for 2 or 3 stops. I am sure that I did that for the Scuol photos. The hard light makes wonderful contrasts, but sometimes does a bit too much .

Did you have a chance to get to Sur En across the river from Ardez or Bos Cha? All my photos from there are on film, and I have not scanned them yet.

map.search.ch/?pos=809250,183177&z=51 2

<<"Thanks again for your kind words! I hope to have time next weekend to write another report.">>

You are quite welcome. I look forward eagerly to your further reports.

Slowpoke

Alpenrose666
Alpenrose666
1378 posts
top member
Dec 3, 2016 - 8:05 AM in reply to Slowpoke

>> Did you have a chance to get to Sur En across the river from Ardez or Bos Cha?

Not this time unfortunately.

However, on the way over to Zürich in the plane, I watched a new Swiss children's film based on the book "Schellen-Ursli" by Selina Chönz. Although the story is set in Guarda, apparently they filmed it in Sur En, as Guarda was too busy. Most of the publicity photos were taken in Guarda though.

The scenery of course is magnificent. The Engadiner houses looked totally genuine, but due to filming requirements, some of them were just façades.

There is a trailer here:

http://www.schellen-ursli.com/

Alpenrose

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
4038 posts
expert
Dec 3, 2016 - 8:44 AM in reply to Alpenrose666

Thanks for the link. Very effective.

Slowpoke

ChrisSass
ChrisSass
23 posts
new member
Aug 11, 2017 - 9:35 AM in reply to Alpenrose666

Great post , some great pointers and ideas but will need a lot more time to read

it through.

Your Photos are really good.

Last modified on Aug 11, 2017 - 9:38 AM by ChrisSass

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