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Maudies Trip Report - 8 weeks in Europe

Old Jun 24th, 2007, 02:26 PM
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Heloo Maudie, I can't even imagine looking at fish much less smelling it or trying to eat it when being ill as you were. I am sorry, but you sound like a good sport and a great traveller.

Again, I am so enjoying your beautiful trip report..it is fun to travel along with you via your informative descriptions of where you went and what you did. Thank you!
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Old Jun 24th, 2007, 03:30 PM
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Maudie, I was on the Kong Harald, May 24th departure. There were two couples from Perth on that ship also. I was fully expecting you to be one of them. They also had window seats at the rear of the dining room.

As for the Norovirus, I believe they are required to follow the procedure of confining you to your room to prevent the spread. We realized that something was going on when we were not permitted to visit other ships when we were in port together. I'm so sorry that you got caught up in it.

Incidently, I thought the whale tasted like over-cooked calves liver, especially since it was cooked with onions.
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Old Jun 24th, 2007, 03:59 PM
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Thanks for your kind comments, everyone. Yes my husband also had to get confined also. The confinment was a pain in the neck and we were so over that cruise at the end of 3 days but we fully understood the reasons why it had to happen. It was the total lack of any assistance that annoys the hell out of me. We did not get anything other than our 3 meals a day that were delivered by staff dressed in full moon suits. When my hubby went to reception to tell them I was ill they noted it down and told him to get me some apple juice and sparkling mineral water and take it in small doses, he purchased that at our own expense. He went to dinner that night in the dining room and came back with some crackers for me. By the next morning I was fine just a little tired and we actually went on the excursion to the Northcape. We still did not know at the stage we were supposed to be confined, no one said anything. When we arrived back in our cabin there was a note to say we had to be confined signed by the captain. And that was the last we heard from anyone until my call to reception on the 4th day. Not good enough is it? Sorry to have a whinge but the cruise cost a lot of money and I think the management should get their act together.

I will continue my report later as I have to go to my first day back at work - ho hum!
Maudie
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Old Jun 25th, 2007, 02:05 AM
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Brienz, Switzerland – 8 days

After an easy flight through Oslo to Zurich we met up with another couple, J & G, also long term friends. Their trip coincided with ours so we decided to join up and rent a chalet first up and save a bit of money. We had purchased second class Swiss Passes, which I have to say was just fantastic for novices, just hop on and go.

Arriving at Zurich HB was quite an eye-opener but we did manage to find the right track, and carriage and following advice I received on Fodor’s traveled through the most scenic route, changing in Luzern, up and over the Brunig Pass and onto Brienz. I had printed timetables from the SBB site, it was so easy to follow and as I had been told, the timing was spot on. This was on a warm, sunny day with the bluest of skies – we thought we had arrived in Eden, we were literally hanging out the windows. I half expected Heidi to come bounding over the meadows – or Julie Andrews maybe (yeah I know wrong country but it just had that sort of feel).

We dragged our suitcases uphill to our chalet and found Irene, who lives next door, she let us in and explained everything. We had one main bedroom with a huge bed, one smaller room that had two singles (we tossed a coin – we won!), bathroom, small well equipped kitchen, table and sitting area and a wonderful balcony that looked right over Lake Brienz and what a beautiful colour that is. Irene told us we must not put our wet towels over the chair backs to dry them as it ruins the paint. “All the Americans do it” says she, well we quickly told her we were not American but as there is only 1 small towel rail in the bathroom I can understand why everyone does it. She does provide an airing rack outside but that was a bit annoying when it was raining and everything felt damp even though it was undercover. http://www.jobins.ch/ The Brienzer Rothorn train goes right past in front of he house, but was never a nuisance.

That first night we had a wonderful meal at the Steinbock Hotel of Rosti, salad and beer. The Rosti had fried bacon, onion and cheese in it topped with a fried egg – oh it was to die for and a huge serve.

The next day we came back to earth as it was raining and didn’t stop all day – we had to go to plan B. We took the train all the way to Brig and then up to Bern and had a quick look around and back to our dear little chalet. It turned out be to a fun day as we had a picnic on the train and really figured out the timetables etc so it wasn’t a waste altogether.

Still cloudy the next day so it was Ballenberg Musuem – spent ages walking around and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Caught a bus back to town then the ferry to Interlaken and a train to Thun. We were pleasantly surprised when we found the Old Town, covered bridges and the Castle. The only money we spent that day was hot choc at the museum, sandwiches for lunch from the Coop along with soup and bread for our dinner – what a bargain.

We were hanging out to get to the mountains so we were going rain, hail or shine, and shine it did. First to Trummelbach Falls, spectacular, walk up to the Schilthorn cable car station and up and up we went on 4 cable cars. We live on a flat plain so this was a real different experience for us. It was wonderfully clear so we had a great view of all the big ones. We then walked from Murren to the new cable car that took us back to Lauterbrunnen, that was so enjoyable. Had a well deserved beer and walked to the Staubach Falls for a photo.

The next day we wanted to do the walk from Mannlichen to Kleine Steidegg but it was closed as there had been fresh snow – very disappointed as this was high on my list of “must do’s”. But all was not lost and we ended up at Jungfraujoch with clear blue sky, so lucky, we even walked on the glacier and built a snowman. The worse part of the day – my camera died going up on the cog train, it wouldn’t retract the lense. I think it was suffering altitude sickness. Best part – Opfelstrudel mit Vanillesosse back at K.S.

Into Luzern the next day and straight to a camera shop and two seconds later and a bit of jiggling all was well again. Had some yummy food from the markets, walked the covered bridges – who was that idiot who set it on fire anyway – but they have done a wonderful job of restoring it. Walked to the Lion then grabbed a superb piece of cheese and onion tart to eat on the way back. Booked the Alpen Tower at Meirengen for breakfast in the morning, rested for a while then walked around to find the “Old Town” of Brienz and a dear old gentleman led us up to a street (no not the garden path) to the prettiest street in Europe – he said it is on the internet, he was so proud and he had every right to be so, it was pretty.

Had a nice breakfast (just love that Bircher Muesli) at the Tower next morning and had a reasonably clear view and a nice walk. Jagged a rail car going to Aare Gorge so we jumped on and did the fabulous walkway along the gorge, walked to Reichenbach Falls and caught a cable car to the top then the bus back into Meiringen. We decided to take the “Romantic Route” Postbus trip to Schwarzwaldalp then onto Grosse Scheidegg and Grindelwald – if you get the chance this is a great way to spend a couple of hours. And of course there was a train waiting to take us back to Interlaken.

Schynige Platte was not open so we decided to go up on the Brienzer Rothorn train, we were above the clouds but we did manage to get a glimpse of the lake. We walked back down from Planalp and took the longer walk down past the waterfall. It was very steep in parts but the thought of s Gin and Tonic on our balcony kept us going. Macaroni Cheese with Apple Sauce for a last meal in Brienz.


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Old Jun 25th, 2007, 05:16 AM
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This is great. You're writing about new things to me at least. Soooo sorry about the illness and confinement.
and I'd like to add, WOW, whatta trip!?
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Old Jun 25th, 2007, 06:30 AM
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Thank you Suzie, for your kind words. And it was WOW! Been back 5 days and we are already planning to go again......but not sure the bank account can take the pressure.

I still got the rest of Switzerland to finish off then I am done.

Maudie
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Old Jun 26th, 2007, 03:50 PM
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Vevey, Switzerland – 2 days
We caught the Golden Pass to Montreux. At no stage in our travels did we book any tickets, we didn’t feel we missed anything by not being in Panorama cars, many were reserved and filled with tour groups, in fact we enjoyed being able to open the windows at times. We caught the next train onto Vevey and walked to Hotel Des Negociants, we were quite happy with everything but there is a Brassiere downstairs and other eating places very close by so it did get quite noisy in the evenings.
http://www.hotelnegociants.ch/english/index.htm

We walked as far as we could in the Montreux direction then caught the #1 bus to the Castle of Chillon which we really enjoyed, we were too late to get a ferry so we caught the bus back again and headed to the promenade for a cold beer as it was fairly warm.
Ended a lovely day with a vegetarian lasagna and a wonderful bottle of Pinot Noir just down the road from our hotel.

Saturday morning is market time in Vevey and did we have fun filling our bag with goodies to nibble on! I even found the wonderful cheese tarts that I had read about here, which we had before breakfast (I must admit I was getting pretty tired of bread and jam by the end of our stay in Switzerland).

I had read about a “Secret Walk” that another poster put on here so that was a mission for the day. We caught a bus to Chalet St Denis, wandered around then caught another bus to the village of Les Paccots were we walked to the gorge and down to the stream by the tennis courts. It was hot by the time we walked back up so we sought out the T’Sale café that was recommended and had the most fantastic mushrooms cooked in cream and served on toast. It was so good I even took a photo of it! We caught the bus back to Chatel St Denis and the train to Lausanne where we walked down to the ferry terminal and caught a paddle streamer back to Vevey, a very pleasant way to travel. We had all the goodies from the morning market down by the lake for our dinner.

We were heading to Zermatt later so we checked the timetables and decided to take the 10.34 train to Visp so we had time for one last walk around the lake and to say farewell to this little taste of France.
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Old Jun 26th, 2007, 03:51 PM
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Zermatt, Switzerland – 2 days
At Visp we boarded the Matterhorn Gotthard train and what a wonderful trip it is, the scenery is so spectacular. At the station there was a directory board listing all the hotels and a free phone to call your hotel to come a collect you, as the town is car free. With so many hotels we soon learnt to watch out for those electric carts zipping around.

We had to decided pay extra for a room with a view of the Matterhorn, which was well worth it for us because we could look at that beautiful mountain any time we wanted. We had a good sized room with a wonderful big bathroom with a wonderful big bathtub – oh the joy! Breakfast was very nice – we even had Bircher Muesli with a berry sauce if you wished – bliss at last, but of course there was other cereals, bread, meat, cheese,homemade jams etc. We felt the hotel was in an excellent position and we had a bakery just down the road as well as an internet café and a Migros. Zermatt itself was very busy and touristy but still enjoyable.
We decided as the weather was warm and fine and we still had the afternoon ahead of us we would go up on the Gonergrat, all the while keeping our eyes peeled for Marmots. We had a fantastic trip up, how they make those cog trains work beats me, its pretty amazing how they can go up such steep inclines. We were lucky enough to see some of those furry little critters as well as a steinbock. All around us were these wonderful snow covered mountains that we just sat a stared at. DH had taken up our cooler pack, which we used to pack our lunches in but this time he filled it with fresh snow – why you ask? Well we didn’t have a fridge in our room and all the tonic we purchased was room temperature so we had to have something cold to put in our Gin & Tonics. Smart man my hubby. So there we were sitting enjoying Gin & Tonic slushies that evening on the balcony, the Matterhorn right there in front of us when a huge thunderstorm struck. Life doesn’t get much better than that.

Next day we walked about a kilometer to the cable car station and after going up and up on 4 different cars we reached the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise. As we ascended we had to start layering on the clothes, it was getting pretty cold but by the time we went up the viewing platform at the top it was freezing with an icy wind blowing. We had the same weather in Norway but this was J & G first taste and they weren’t as prepared as us – it was back to our Michelin Man days. We found it hard to breathe and had to walk slowly.
Unfortunately the weather wasn’t all that kind as the Matterhorn was shrouded in cloud and it just wasn’t moving but we did get a great view of the Breithorn opposite. We went down to the glacier tunnel, really cold now, to see the ice carvings and back for a warming hot chocolate. We decided to try the viewing platform again, just in case the cloud had moved, it hadn’t, but it started to snow tiny weeney little flakes. That may not be a big deal to some of you but it was fun for us as it never snows where we live. Four cold but happy people started on the journey back down, this time we saw a two baby deer.

We had an interesting hour at the Matterhorn Museum and came across a yummy chocolate shop, I think it was called Makur or something similar, they sell chocolate in thin sheets and just break off the amount you wish to buy – we loved the Florentine and found these shops at a couple of other places and always stocked up but we can’t bring it back into Australia as it is not pre-packaged. Sorry daughter! We also found a couple of streets not far from our hotel that had really old chalets that were kept in good condition, the age of one of them was in the 1400’s.

When we woke the next morning the top of the Matterhorn was clear but the rest was under cloud which was the exact opposite of what it had been like the whole of our stay so we did get to see all of that beautiful mountain , just not all at once. We said our farewells and headed back to Brig and boarded our train to Domodossola, Italy, this only took about ½ hour and about 99% of it was in a tunnel. From the station Domodossola was a fairly awful looking place, very run down – it was a stark contrast to Swiss towns. The two carriage Centovalli train was very nice with big panorama windows, we had to pay a supplement of 2 francs each but the entire trip was free with our passes. I think if we had an ordinary carriage we wouldn’t have had to pay anything. It was a lovely trip and fun to watch the tiny stations with the Italian flags change to Swiss flags.
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Old Jun 26th, 2007, 06:32 PM
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Enjoying your report Maudie- really interesting about the cruise, illness, being confined and all the fish.
I've often thought coastal Norway would be fascinating.
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Old Jun 27th, 2007, 01:41 AM
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Thanks Calville, it was a very interesting trip and don't let me put you off, thousands do that trip all the time and are just fine. I just had some bad luck. But hopefully my letter to them might make a small difference and they get their protocol for dealing with illness up to scratch.

Cheers
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Old Jun 27th, 2007, 04:22 PM
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Locarno, Switzerland – 2 days
It was about 26/27 degrees with high humidity when we arrived, which was a bit of a shock. It took us a little while to get our bearings but we soon found our hotel, only a very short walk and it turned out to be in a great position. The hotel was old but clean and had pleasant staff. We had requested rooms with a lake view which we got but they were very, very small – only one of us could walk around the bed at a time but we did have French doors to a small balcony, flower boxes filled with red geraniums and a cute yellow and white striped awning that looked very Mediterranean.
http://www.du-lac-locarno.ch/

First things first – a yummy gelato (well we were almost in Italy!) then we went up the Funicular to get a view of Lago Maggiore then we walked down through the gardens and church to the bottom. We were very hot so we retired to the balcony for a cold beer then took the advice of Fodor’s and ate at the Manora self service restaurant. It was fine and much cheaper than anywhere else we had seen, DH and I shared a huge plate of salad and freshly cooked pasta, we chose the ingredients and the girl cooked up the sauce for us.

During the night our friend J had taken G to the hospital with bad lower stomach pains, after 2 nights and 2 days and many tests he found out it was a kidney stone and two weeks on it still hasn’t moved and they are now in Austria. So thank goodness for travel insurance as the account was in the thousands and had to be settled before he left the hospital, so make sure you have a reasonable credit card limit too. You never know!

After sitting with G so J could go back to the hotel to shower and change (8 minutes walking from the hospital to the hotel and we discovered the lovely “Old Town” in the process) DH and I decided there was nothing more we could do so we took off to Lugano
for a look around. At the station you either have to walk down or take the funicular as it is very steep – we walked and discovered some cute little streets and squares. A wonderful aroma hit us as we wandered into a small street, it was lunch time and at a stall was this huge slab of pizza, I had to indicate how much I wanted and it was cut and paid for by weight. It was piping hot and so nice – but just then it started drizzling so we ran under a portico and devoured our treat.

I really wanted to do the Olive Walk and the walk to Morcote but after spending the morning at the hospital it had cut our time short so we decided on the Olive walk. Morcote will have to wait until next time. It was still raining when we caught the bus and we were thinking “do we or don’t we” but when we arrived at Castagnola the rain went and the sun appeared like magic and it became quite humid. We found the signs and set off on our walk to Gandria. There were plenty of signs (with olives on them so we knew we were on the right path) and several different ways to go. At times we left like we were walking through people’s gardens and all the time there was Italy just across the lake. Gandria was incredible, I could have spent hours walking around and poking my head into doors and tiny alleys. But time waits for no man and neither does the ferry so we hopped on board and headed back to Lugano. This time we took the funicular back to the station, I took a look at one of those steep streets and said forget it! A visit to the hospital and we grabbed J and took her out for a meal. G was told the stone was ready to pass but they wanted to keep him in again overnight to see if anything would happen.

Bellinzona was the plan for today after visiting G, he was waiting to finalize the paper work then he was out of there so we decided to meet up at one of the castles. We walked to the first castle that is basically in the town, although it was interesting to see and walk around we were very disappointed with the museum and had it not been free with our rail pass I would have asked for our money back. We checked our map and found a pathway beside the cathedral in the main square that led up to another castle. We went up quite a few steep sets of stairs (my thighs should be thanking me for this) until we finally made it gasping for breathe. It had a good view over the town and was pleasant enough to spend an hour wandering around, well, to tell the truth it actually was time for us to work up the stamina to walk down.

We received an sms from G & J, they were waiting for us in the square to have lunch so that was nice. At least he got to see something before we traveled on. DH & I returned to Locarno and just spend a lazy couple of hours walking along the lake and enjoying the view from our balcony. In hindsight I wish we had gone to Lugano and done the Morcote walk that day but I guess you have to leave something for next time. We were going our separate ways the following day so a parting feast was in order however it started raining so we went to the Italian restaurant next door to the hotel and had a very nice meal and some wonderful red wine.

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Old Jun 27th, 2007, 04:33 PM
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Pontresina, Switzerland – 3 days

Still raining the following day, we said our goodbyes and headed to the station trying to keep our cases as dry as possible. Both couples were heading to Lugano but at different times. DH and I were catching the bus to Tirano and then taking the Bernina route to Pontresina. G & J were going through Milan to Venice, Rome, Austria and up through Germany to Frankfurt before flying home.

I had my heart set on catching the postbus trip called the Palm Express but can you believe it we were one day early. It did the first run of the season St Moritz-Lugano on the day I wanted to go the other way and the following day it did the reverse. On the postbus site it says the bus starts on June 15 so I just assumed one would go each way but that’s not the case. Twice when I enquired at railway stations I was given incorrect information about it. Oh well there is just another reason to go back.

The bus was only half full so we were able to sit towards the rear and spread out. The scenery around Lago di Lugano and Lago di Como was very pleasant and quite nail biting at times as the bus squeezed between buildings and along tiny roads that only seemed big enough for one car let alone and bus and a car to pass each other. I did my best to watch out for George Clooney but I have to admit I failed to catch a glimpse. After that we found the scenery at times quite boring through Italy, on our left were mountains with old buildings and lots of vineyards but the right side was factories etc, I actually fell asleep and that was the first time on our trip that I had done so on public transport as I never wanted to miss anything.

When we arrived at Tirano we had about 40 minutes before a train left so I sat at the station with the luggage and DH went off and found us some lunch. We caught the regular train and it was just great as we were in an empty carriage so we could put the windows down and jump from side to side – depending on which had the best view. We went around our first “pigtail” and I got some great photo’s. Then the rain started and blocked a fair bit of the view which was disappointing. It was still raining when we reached Pontresina and thankfully we found a taxi right outside the station.

Our hotel, at first glance appeared to be old world charm and the receptionist even refers to us by name, nice touch. We had booked a B/C category room at the Hotel Engadinerhof which meant partly refurbished with a 60’s style bathroom that had been improved with new paintwork, hairdryer and mirror cupboard.
http://www.engadinerhof.com/
Our room was very nice with new drapes, carpets and built in wooden furniture and even smelled a tiny bit of fresh paint so it was lovely and clean. When we decided to stay at Pontresina I spent quite a bit of time finding a hotel within our budget and one that had some English on their website and this hotel fell within those needs. We opted for ½ board the first night as it was still raining and at 25CHF per person for a 3 course meal we thought it good value. We did at times find it difficult with menu’s and notice boards/information sheets as we couldn’t read any of it but the ladies in reception were very helpful and we had a good laugh about it. The hotel was mainly filled with older German holiday makers and at times we were the only English speaking people around. We had a bit of a laugh to ourselves and referred to it as Kellerman’s from Dirty Dancing fame. We would stay there again though and they had a wonderful breakfast. But do be aware at Pontresina it is an uphill walk to get to the main part of town where most of the hotels are, though it didn’t bother us at and the hotel van took us back when we left.

We woke the next morning to stunning clear blue sky with a lovely view over the rooftops to the snow covered mountains. We caught the train to St Moritz and had a walk around the lake and town before heading off to Preda. St Moritz was very pretty and DH commented that the view of the lake was like a picture that he had on the lid of his coloured pencils when he was in school.

We walked from Preda along an historic rail track to Bergun, it took us about 2 ½ hours with some stops to just take in the scenery and we waited for a train at one of the viaducts so we could sit underneath. We had rushing streams, cows with big bells, cow poo, fields full of wildflowers, little wooden bridges and those wonderful stone viaducts, this was the Switzerland we had come to see. We waited for a train to Filisur and walked to the Landwasser Viaduct where we met a lovely young lady from the USA and exchanged travel stories and took photo’s. I sent up my mini tripod and got some great pictures of the trains going over the viaduct – we felt like ants standing under it. We all walked back to the station and shared chocolate and cold water. We said goodbye at Bergun and we stayed on until Samedan and changed to Pontresina. Half board again that night as we were too tired to go hunting for food.

Next morning we headed up to Guarda and with the usual Swiss precision there was a postbus waiting when the train arrived to take us up the zig zag road to the village. It was similar to our trip out of Lugano – how the driver managed to fit that bus between some of the buildings is beyond me. This was such a pretty place, we walked around with our mouths open almost. It was like being taken back in time, we could have spent hours there and wish we had had more time. But we wanted to do the walk – Guarda to Ardez which was glorious, Heidi country, just us and the butterflies and perfect weather. It is one of the things we did that sticks in our minds and reminds us of what a beautiful country Switzerland is.

Back at Pontresina we had a well deserved cold beer then decided to go on the Ospizio Bernina – Alp Grum walk. As I said at the beginning of this long report we didn’t really enjoy it and felt is was rather dreary compared to our walk earlier in the day. But the view from Alp Grum was truly spectacular. We wished we had just got off the train there and had something to eat in the restaurant then caught another train back – oh well never mind it was another experience. On our way back to our hotel we purchased some nut cake from the Hotel Albris that I had read about on here. And let me tell you it was divine.
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Old Jul 2nd, 2007, 05:36 PM
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Zurich , Switzerland – 2 days
Our final breakfast before heading to Zurich, our wonderful eight weeks is soon coming to an end and we have to get our minds around going home. We are not really big city people so we decided to prolong our journey to Zurich by going the long way. That is, we caught the train back to Poschiavo to see all the things we missed in the rain. We dragged our luggage into the town square and sat for a time with a coffee. Back at the station we caught the next train to Pontresina, changed at Samedan for the amazing ride over the Landwasser Viaduct that we had stood under. I still find it hard to understand how you can be looking down a valley on one side, go into a tunnel and when you come out the valley is on the opposite side, amazing train ride that one. Changed again at Chur and slowly the countryside gave way to the city – we wished we could turn around and go back.

Our first stop in Zurich was at the information office at the train station to get a map and some ferry timetables then off to find our hotel. The Hotel Arlette which I booked through Zuerich.com was easy to find and once the lovely girl at reception showed us a short cut we were one street from the river and two from the station so location was brilliant. It is only a small hotel, old, clean and basic with a small breakfast room but it suited us just fine, we also had a fridge and air-conditioning of sorts.

Our next stop was to a supermarket and there is a big Coop diagonally opposite the station as well as others in the shopping area below the station. We then had a nice picnic in the park by the Limmat River. We were quite amazed at how unkempt the park was seeing as there appears to be very few “green spaces” in the city and how people who were picnicking like ourselves just walked off and left their rubbish. We window shopped along the Bahnhofstrasse and I was most disappointed to see the Sprungli shop and café closed for renovation – how could they do this! I had come all the way from Australia to have a coffee in the café and they go and close it – all I got was a photo of myself with a very sad face by the “closed for renovation” sign. We walked to the end and then back up the other side of the river to our hotel.

Our last full day of our holiday in Europe and we were woken by a 6.30am phone call from our daughter stating she needed to get glasses (it was her lunch hour) – oh the joys of being a parent. So after sorting out Medibank etc we were off to the information office again to plan our day – Rheinfalls then ferry down to Stein Am Rhein – well the queue was snaking out the door so I quick look at our handful of booklets and maps and plan “B” was a ferry ride to Rapperswil on a ferry that was leaving in 10 minutes from the Burkliplatz. We ran all the way and just make it but we did discover the lovely little walkway along the opposite side of the river in our rush.

It was very warm but beautiful on the lake and Rapperswil was a delight (thank you Fodor’s) of tiny streets, old buildings, cafes and when we headed up to the church in the centre of town we had the most amazing view over the town, lake and to the Alps. We also found a wonderful rose garden to wander in. After a gelato we went to the station to try and get a connection to Schaffhausen but we had to go back through Zurich then wait for another train which used up some of our precious time and we realized we wouldn’t be able to see the falls and take the ferry trip. As we had seen the beautiful painted houses in Guarda and decided to see the falls. When we arrived it was very hot – over 30 degrees Celsius and 90% humidity – we get much hotter days in Perth but it is a dry heat so we had to slow down and take our time. There was a supermarket at the bus stop so we purchased bread, cheese, tomatoes and more water and walked to the falls. We felt like we were dripping the same amount of water as what was going over the falls but after finding a nice big shady tree we sat down for a picnic before walking over the bridge to the other side and a nice cold beer or two before looking around. The amount of water rushing over the falls is quite staggering and only wished that we had some of it at home. Some parts of Australia are badly affected by drought and we all have had to learn to live with water restrictions in our homes and gardens.

We left on a hot sticky ride to Winterthur and thankfully our connection to Zurich HB was wonderfully air-conditioned and we felt almost human again. We shopped for chocolate to take home and another couple of cold beers then it was back to our room for a well earned shower. Our last outing was a pleasant trip down the river form the Landsmusuem (which is just near our hotel) into the lake and back again. All of our travels today were free with our Swiss Pass, one trip to the airport tomorrow and we could pension it off.

We had a good flight to Singapore on one of the brand new planes apart from the crying baby in the seat in front of us who prevented us from sleeping for the entire 12 hours but we did catch up on all the new movies. A spot of duty free shopping and the last leg of 5 hours went in no time as we managed to doze. The kids had done a fairly good job of keeping the house clean and tidy – it was great to see them and good to be home but on the plane we had already started planning the next trip.

Again thank you to very one who contributes here – we saw and did things that don’t appear in travels books. All those valuable little pieces of information made us feel confident travelers. To PALQ, your knowledge of Swiss trains is amazing, you gave us so many choices and ideas, so for that and your generosity in sharing, I thank you.





Maudie is offline  
Old Dec 29th, 2007, 05:26 AM
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Maudie,

I saw your mention of this in another post today. Thanks for taking the time to write such a great report.
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Old Dec 29th, 2007, 03:09 PM
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Thank you so much Hopscotch, hope it can be helpful to someone.
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Old Jun 1st, 2013, 04:54 PM
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Maudie - I know this is a log time after your trip but I have just discovered it.
A very enjoyable read.

We will be in Switzerland in September and I had thought to purchase 1st class passes mainly for the Bernina Express trip. But now I am reconsidering. So you did not prebook any seats on your trips?
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Old Jul 17th, 2013, 03:22 AM
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Hi Aussie, sorry, just noticed your question. No we did not pre book any seats at all. Didn't take any of the fancy trains, just regional ones but they run on the same tracks and funnily enough the scenery is the same too! We didn't do any first class travel, 2nd was just fine with us. All very clean and we loved being able to take wine and food aboard for a picnic.

Hope you have a great time, it's such a beautiful country.
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Old Jul 20th, 2013, 09:35 AM
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Just reading this much later. What a great trip and a great report. Thanks for taking the time to post it. Loved your comments on the flowers as I am a gardener (assume you must be, too). Most pictures I take on trips feature flowers!
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