We are a couple and kids aged 13 and 10... Returned from switzerland last week after having 6 days of unlimited fun and enjoyment !First of all my big thanks to everyone who helped me in clearing my queries for the past 3 months during my planning stages.Let me share my experience so that many first timers to switz may get some clues from my trip report! We were really lucky and blessed ...through out our trip for all the 6 days, the weather was just amazing- with clear blue sky so we visited 4 mountain tops in 4 days!
Day - 1 TRAVEL
We landed in geneva airport at 1:00 pm local time ..the immigration formalities took us just 10 mts and we headed to collect our baggages...(we need 2 swiss franc coin to get the trolleys in the airport... can't get the coins change in the duty free...there is a coin vending machine)
We had booked our stay in a chalet in Lauterbrunnen for 5 nights ...so a series of train journey in the 1st day.So it was from Geneva - Bern
-Interlaken - Lauterbrunnen .We just had some 6 - 8 mts waiting time inbetween trains..so it was a bit tuff as we were with luggages.We reached LB by 6:30 pm.
Day - 2 JUNGFRAU
We were at the LB station by 6:30 a.m.. checked with the web cams and the officials suggested us that it'll be a clear day..so we took the train to wengen. It is free with swiss pass till wengen. Bought the tickets for the round trip - WENGEN - KLEIN SCHEIDEGG - JUNGFRAU and JUNGFRAU - KLEIN SCHEIDEGG - GRINDELWALD .Cost will be 258 CHF for 2 adults (after 25 % discount ) .
We had a stroll through wengen for sometime, took photos and then boarded the train to Klein schidegg. From there we got into the "Red train" ..that took us thorugh the tunnel to the top of Europe. It was an amazing journey...what an engineering skill?? 100 years ago...unimaginable! We reached the top, took lift to the sphinx observatory ! what an amazing clear blue sky....and view of the glacier! we spent some time there. then to the ice palace and then to the snow plateau...we spent almost 3-4 hrs at the top , then took the train back to Grindelwald.
Actually we had planned to take the train from grindelwald to Schynige platte then to LB...but after seeing the cable cars to MANNLICHEN ...we wanted to try that. so we bought the tickets from the grindelwald station - 55 CHF for 2 adults ( after 50 % discount with pass) . We took Post Bus to Grund from there , cable car to Mannlichen....the views were just just mind blowing. We spent some time there, then took cable car to wengen which was just 5 mts ..too steep it was!
By 4:00 pm we reached our chalet.After some refreshment, we had a walk through the village to the near by Staubbach water falls
Day - 3 RIGI
Again we were at the station by 6:30, took train to INTERLAKEN OST , golden pass panoramic to LUCERN - at 7:04 AM ..... the glass domed 1st class was superb..( there are 2 types of 1st class ..look for the glass domed one just behind the drivers cabin)..and no words to explain about the scenic beauty thorugh out the journey,...we could not give rest to our camera or handy cam...just clicks..clicks!
Reached lucerne at 9:00 , walked through the chappel bridge, then went to board in the lucern cruise at 10:12 am ( it is just opposite to the railway station) to VITZNAU
, then train to RIGI
The view from the top was again speechless....As everyone said we were able to see the whole of switzerland from there and again it was a clear day! Spent almost 3 hrs, then train back to ARTH GOLDAU , 10 Mts walk to the station then took train to ZURICH (as zurich is very near by ) ..took tram through the city and then back to LB.Though this day was with a lot of journey...we enjoyed every bit of the day.
The round trip from LUCERN - VITZNAU - RIGI- ARTHGOLDAU was absolutely free with swiss pass.
Day -4 - SCHILTHORN
Today we were at the LB cable car station by 6:30 am...took cable car to GRUTCHALP , then train to MURREN ...vow what a beautiful village! i understood...why our experts voted for murren always! ( we have decided to stay here ..in future?!) .We bought the tickets for round trip MURREN - SCHILTHORN-STECHELBERG - cost 74 CHF for 2 adults ( after 50% discount)
Now ..the aerial cable way up to SCHILTHORN.We had to change a cable car at BIRG , then we reached the top at 8:30 am...again no words to explain the beauty...the early morning clean and cool air, bright sunny day!
We spent about 75 mts at the PIZ GLORIA , had light breakfast there...( missed indian lunch which will be available after 11:30 am itseems)..We enjoyed the rotating restaurant.
Again cable car back to MURREN, then to STECHELBERG .We had plans to visit TRUMMELBACH falls, but unfortunately it was closed for winter...so took bus to LB.
After lunch, we had half day in our hands so started for a trip to BERN.We took a break at INTERLAKEN , just strolled through the city ( as already read in TA , there was nothing so great ..just did some shopping) ..then continued to BERN.
Took bus to Bear Park , then walked back to the station , visiting the Zytogloge, parliament building on the way. Then back to LB
Day- 5 MOUNT TITLIS
Train to interlaken, then took Lucerne
train and got down at HERGISWIL
, then train toENGELBERG
.Bought tickets ..to tiltis cost - 110 CHF for 2 adults ( after 50% discount ).
We took the bus to the Engelberg cable car station, it is walkable too.Then cable car , again a change inbetween,. where we got into ROTAIR - again an unique experience...little scary too!
Reached the top, had lunch at the restaurant ( to my surprise- Superb Indian food served- dont miss the rice and chicken curry - and also a range of veg dishes )...On way back we took a break at TRUBSEE - the snow park , kids had a blast here.Came to know that in summer this would be lake, and the snow park will be at the top. Again back to engelberg - hergiswil- then Golden pass at 6:00 pm to Interlaken, then to LB.
Day - 6 MONTREUX- GENEVA
We gave our 2 big baggages to be transfered to geneva by 8:00 am (20 CHF per baggage)
Then took Golden pass to Zweissimen , then a change in train to Montreux - inbetween we got down at Gstaad for a walk, and beautiful place for photos!Again took the GOLDEN PASS CLASSIC- to Montreux. It was a classy journey..we felt like prince and princess in the golden carriages!
Visited Chillon castle the entrance to castle was free with swiss pass- we hired i pod commentary- 6 chf per person- it's worth really to know the history).With this visit, our switzerland trip almost came to an end with only Geneva left.
Train to Geneva - reached hotel. Tried to visit Jet A deu - but it was not operational that time due to technical reasons it seems. (but we viewed it after 3 days after our paris trip )
my tips for First timers :
1. I'd suggest to go for 1st class pass- it's worth the price. We found 2nd class coaches very crowded during peak time. And it has it's advantages in the panoramic coaches.
2. If passing through LB , try "BOMBAY CHICKEN PIZZA" in Hotel Oberland- it's delicious.
3. OVOMALTINE chocolates were super tasty- cheaper in coops.
4.Taste hot coffee/ hot chocolate/ wine at the mountain tops- it's an unforgettable experince.
5. We bought "SWISS COM" sim card for our I phone- available in postal depart ment - you can see yellow boards saying"DIE POST" in all the towns.. just showed passport,paid 20 Chf , 5 CHF rent per day for data package- which was very useful for checking train timings.(download SBB application in your phones)
6. Please....Visit this beautiful country on your own ..because the real charm is in planning and executing the plans. As we had nice weather , we spent most of our time on the montain tops...also we experienced snow for the 1st time, my kids had great time in playing in snow itself... but i know that there is lot of fun in small walks too ..which i experienced in Mureen and LB. so you can plan accordingly for some hikes too.
My kids wish that our next vacation will also be to switzerland !!!