Jun 29, 2010 - 6:03 PM
Thank you, Arno. That's indeed what happened. Your info has been invaluable to me!
I returned yesterday. I had the best time. The Bernese Oberland is picture-perfect, like entering a fantasy world of beauty, only it's for real.
Swiss trains are a dream come true too. The Half Fare card (which I ended up purchasing with no problem at the Geneva airport train station)turned out a lot more comfortable for me than I had anticipated, because I'm such an obsessive organizer that, on the first morning, I just handed my itinerary print-out to the wonderfully nice assistant at the Tourist Office and she gave me all the tickets I needed according to my itinerary, so I never had to wait in line to purchase tickets during my stay. She even took the initiative to sell me tickets via different ways, so I'd get varying landscapes instead of riding twice the same route!
Another wet dream: when you arrive in Switzerland, wherever you are, you go into the nearest train station, however small, and say "take all this luggage from me, I don't want to see it again till X day at Y time in Z place", the whole transaction takes about half a minute, and then your luggage appears, waiting for you when you arrive at the designated city and place at the designated time. They were even so nice as to call the Zurich Airport train station from the Interlaken one, to tell them not to lock my luggage for the night because I was arriving later than the luggage storage room would be open. So they opened the storage room especially for me when I arrived. I did a lot of shopping, so twice I went to the train station and sent off heavy baggage to wait for me at Zurich airport. This means your first and last train days are part of the tourism fun, because you're actually traveling with no bags. If you consider how much you save on taxis, how grateful your back is, and how much you enjoy, the price is nothing.
In short, the Swiss travel system is proof of how effective humans can be if they put their minds to it.