Planning for Switzerland?
- Submitted by: Amit, India
- Submission Date: 20th Jun 2008
Like many other travelers from different part of world visiting switzerland, I also had the apprehensions about a perfect plan to cover almost all beautiful places within small territory of swiss.
Plan was to visit Geneva (Geneve), Laussane, Interlaken, Jungfrauh, Lucerne (Luzern) and Zurich.
You can save time by downsizing your time to be spent in Geneva and Zurich. Its really not worth ignoring beautiful swiss countryside for these two cities. May be they were not that impressive since I had recently traveled Paris.
I started my journey to this beautiful land from Geneva (Geneve). Reason behind selecting this airport from my source airport (Oslo, Norway) was cheap fair camparing to Zurich. I reached there by 17th April evening (almost night). I bought my 3 days Swiss Pass from the SBB CFF FFS desk at the airport. You find this desk at any airport, railways stations.
Next morning (18th) caught early train (7 AM) from Geneva to Bern and from Bern next train to Thun. Thun railaway station is on the bank of lake. Come out of station and on right hand side you find cruises waiting for you. Here you go for life time cruise (small one) trip from Thun to Interlaken. You will be lost in this beautiful lake surrounded by beautiful swiss alps, small homes on big mountain. For the first time in life I saw so clean and green water, I felt like swimming. It goes through halting at several small stops before its final destination at Interlaken West (12PM). We had to head to Jungfrau from there but for that first you need to go to Interlaken Ost. We enquired about the next train to Interlaken Ost there.
After we reached interlaken Ost, we left our luggange in the lockers (5 CHF) at station and took complimentary ticket for Jungfrau special train. This ticket is costly one. Show your swiss pass (If you have bought it) at the ticket counter to get the discount on Jungfrau ticket. Remember that last train which leaves from interlaken is around 3 PM and the last train which leaves from Jugfrau is 4 PM with an interval of 1 hour before that. So plan for this excursion considering the time you want to spend on the top of Europe. We started from Interlaken around 2:30 and reached at top by 3:30, its one hour journey. You change train at klien Schiedogg and Grindelworld. Train goes at 40 degree angle from horizon. You feel like entering into north pole i.e. gradually the green color disappear and its all white around, awesome. If you are lucky you dont get foggy weather at top else you wont be able to see anything around there. When we arrived there, we all had minor breathing problem due to hight of the place and cold. Journey from Interlaken to Jungfrau back and forth is really indelible.
Back from Jungfrau, picking our bag we took train from Interlaken Ost to Lucerne. Train was stopped at one railways staion (spiez, dont remembr exactly) and we took bus from there to Lucerne. Two hours journey. We reached Lucerne in night and stayed there.
Next morning (19) we started exploring Luzern. What a beautiful, mindblowing, fantastic and fabulous place. I dont have words to explain it. I felt like settling down there as an illegal immigrant. The Lake side surrounded by beautiful alps and regular scenic cruises, church, city streets...wonderful. Though its small, its beautiful.
Around 3 o'clock though we didn't feel like leaving this place, we started for Zurich and reached there at 4 o'clock. Zurich is where all the world class bank and watches you get familiar with while walking down Bahnfstrasse. Also its lake side is beautiful provided its sunny. Its chocolate factory and church. but its very crowded place.
Next morning (20th) we headed for Laussane, from zurich its 2:30 hrs journey. We got bus after getting down at station to see Olympic museum and the lake. Do you believe other side of lake is France...Back to Geneve after spending 3 hours in Laussane.
In geneve, we saw flower clock, famous church, had swiss fondue, UN office and aggressive fountain at lake side. Eveing back to Oslo.
For planning your excursions, go to www.sbb.ch and according to train timings you can divide your best route. Swiss transport is best in the world, if compared to any other coutry I have visited. Trains are on time wihout 5 seconds of delay or late, remember 'swiss time'. Even the staffs are fantastic.
What I observed in swiss was when you travel through trains between major places thats when you come across so beautiful swiss countryside. No need to take paranomic trains.
Its small and beautiful country...good and friendly people, easy transport and fantastic weather. Best time to go is April - May - June.
Get ready for your life time tour.