Hello Arno,Annika ,
Thanks to MySwiss Alps ,we had a near flawless vacation in Switzerland. The site is excellent as it gives real time information.I followed all your forums/threads/reports which helped me plan and execute our vacation sitting in Chennai India. . A Very Very Big Thank You .....
27/05/2016 - We took the TGV (10.20am) from Gare de Lyon to Basel and the 14.10pm connection from Basel to Luzern . We did not opt for Swizz pass on that day as we had planned not to travel much but to walk around only.
On reaching Luzern Bahnhof we went up the SBB office located on the 1st floor. We took our 3 days Swizz travel pass. My 13yr old son got to travel free with the Swizz family card. We wanted to pay by CHF and hence did not opt to buy it from india. We payed through currency card in CHF. SBB officers are extremely helpful, patient and work with us to get the best passes. The cards were printed and handed over to us in a nice plastic pouch and validated for use too (28/06 - 30/6)
We had taken an apartment in zihlmattweg 44 luzern . We took a bus No 20 to our stop. Tickets 2.50 CHF/per person got from SBB office.
28/05/2016 - We were told by SBB office too that Jungfrau was good and planned for that . Took the Golden pass 10.10 am train from Luzen . It went through exciting lakes and landscpape. & reached Interlaken at 11.50 am. Free with Swizz pass. We headed to SBB office at Interlaken and checked if the weather was ok up Jungfrau. It was confirmed that it was good and hence we took the round trip tickets for 3 adult tickets (Me,Hubby,16yr old son) and my 2nd son 13 years old traveled free. It was 133 CHF each with Swizz pass. .We went up thro Lauterbrunnen and came down through Grindelwald. The sights are breathtaking.Cameras and cellphones were constantly busy . The last leg from Kleine Scheidegg to Jungfrau was superb . We had an excellent train driver who asked us to take our time to look at the views at all the view points like Eismeer. Jungfrau was clear and the my boys had a field day on the skies. (10 CHF for unlimited rides on Ski ). We literally had to drag the boys off the mountain slopes. Non stop fun .The rope line was also excellent. We played to our hearts content. Took max photos and it was really worth the journey time.
The small cafeteria on the top serves hot Masala chai and it was wonderful. We did take pictures with the post box and Lindt shop and headed back to Luzern via Grindelwald.
29/05/2016. Since we were tired from Jungfrau activity, we wanted to take it lightly today. Hence went to Mt.Rigi. Mt. Rigi is fully covered with Swizz pass. So no tickets. We took a beautiful boat to Vitznau. Got down and took the cog wheel up to Rigi Kulm. Mt.Rigi played hide and seek. When we went up we could see everything clearly . As we were taking pictures we could see clouds coming in and closing on us. Everything became invisible. We enjoyed that and waited. It cleared again. More pictures and back. This time we got down at Rigi Katbald and took the cable car down to Weggis. The cable car ride was excellent. It was a short walk from the Cable car station to Ship station. We strolled through Weggis and then took a boat back to Luzern.
30/05/2016 -It was planned for Mt. Titilis. Took the morning train to Engelberg from Luzern. Free with STP. At Engelberg we took 3 tickets up to Mt.Titilis (44CHF). Cable car ride was cool. The landscape was wonderful and we were marveling at the amount of engineering that went into it. Each cable car has a country flag painted. Very cool. The cable car gives you complete solitude and family time even in the sea of people. Rotair took us up the mountain from Stand. We did all snow activities. Cliff walk, Ice flyer and literally rolled in snow. We enjoyed snow flurries too. The restaurant serves up Indian /Chinese food too and hence had a good lunch. Finally we said Bye to Titlis and came back to Luzern. We had time and hence walked around Luzern to see the Dying Lion and back to Pier 1 for our sunset cruise. It was a 2.5 hr cruise from Luzern to Beckenried and back. It was free with STP. There is also a Indian Dinner cruise for interested people (at 60 CHF). The entire experience was beautiful as Lake Luzern is magnificent with Mountains on all sides and at night it was splendid with all lights on.
31/05/2016 - Checked out of our apartment. Roamed around Luzern and then took a direct train to Zurich airport (12.10 pm). We had booked at Hotel Allegra which was near airport at Kloten. Since one way fare was 22CHF and cheaper that pass, we opted for that . We spent our time in Zurich airport, Zurich HB and Kloten .
01/06/2016- Took the Zurich card (all zones) for 26 CHF and 1 junior card for 22 CHF from SBB office at Kloten. All swizz platforms have ticket vending machines which accept currency cards too. We took a train from Kloten to Winterthur and from Winterthur to Schloss Laufen am Rheinfall. Beauty is to get down at the railway station and get down the falls. How cool. We took our 5 CHF entrance and went down the adventure train to look at all the vantage point. We also took the boat to the falls. Magnificent right in the middle of a major city.
Back from Rhine falls we went to Bahnhofstrasse in Zurich's main downtown street. Wonderful window shopping. Had a coffee/fries at McDonalds near Globus . Took the tram to Bürkliplatz. From there to Bus No 165 to Schooren and got down in Chocolate heaven. The Lindt factory smells like chocolate heaven. We tasted and purchased and happily returned back to Bürkliplatz to take our 2.5 hr boat cruise on Lake Zurich to Rapperswil. There is a small castle. From there we took a direct train to Kloten to our hotel.
02/06/2016- Our hotel provided a free shuttle and hence took our 7 .10am British Airways back to Chennai with loads of memories.
Couple of Observations :
SBB network works like swizz clocks. Trains do start at times like 13.01 . Understood that 1 min is most important as we will miss or get our connection. Train, Bus and Ship stations are all at the same place. So easily accessible.
All stations have SBB offices to give route explanations neatly printed, Can get currency exchanged and also provide locker facility for luggage..
All stations have COOP and MIGROS which stock all staples. COOP at Luzern Bahnhof provides cooked Basmati with one vegetable, which can be packed weighed and billed.
Switch on your Wifi at all stations,keep your SBB app handy and off you go to any location.
We did London, Paris, Swizz this vacation. Next time planned to do only Switzerland.
A Big Thank you once again Arno and Annika !!!.