Our month in Switzerland

Jun 19th, 2019, 04:49 PM
Join Date: Mar 2010
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Aaaah Kandersteg!
Stayed there for 2 weeks at least 15 years ago!
Back then, only an open chairlift soared through the mountains to reach Oeschinensee!
Beautiful. We made the toe-killing mistake of hiking back down...
mokka4 is offline  
Jun 20th, 2019, 05:07 AM
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We too hiked up (and back down) in several feet of snow one year when the cable car was closed. Good times.
Melnq8 is offline  
Jun 20th, 2019, 07:30 AM
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Day 11: Thun (day trip to Bern)

Overcast day today, a reminder of how important it is to allow a few days in locations to plan around weather. Sunny day yesterday, so that was our mountains day. Grey and low cloud today, so opted for Bern.

Long, slow breakfast first.

Bought tickets to Bern on the SBB App (CHF 16.40 each return)

Bern seems to be a construction zone, with the cathedral tower renovation and preparation for an electric street racing event (Formula-e) on Saturday….trucks, portable toilets, stages, traffic control, film crews, the track, so a bit tricky to move around with the dodging of tour groups as well.


City skyline

Houses on the river

River surfer

Gorgeous rooftops

Terraced gardens

River Aare

Sloping streets


Houses on river

More rooftops

We just wandered, cathedral, Rathaus, river, rose garden. Very pretty city. No museums. Ate at a little sandwich store, a smoked trout open sandwich each and craft beer for him, lemon syrup drink for me. The young lady serving told us she’d been open 2 days, was a pop up business for the next 2 months. So we sat a bit longer and had coffee and cake, and wished her well in her new venture. It was quite sunny by now, Bern is certainly more attractive when the sun shines. Especially loved the tiled rooftops, turquoise river, and the city skyline view from near Rosengarten.

The construction for the event...

Electric vehicles


Trying to get a level on cobblestoned street!

Event staging

I’d have liked to visit Murten, but didn’t want to add anything more to our day. More ambitious travellers would fit it in.

Last edited by Adelaidean; Jun 20th, 2019 at 07:42 AM.
Adelaidean is offline  
Jun 20th, 2019, 07:42 AM
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LOL, you inspired me to get out of Basel for the day and I’m in Bern too! Having a glass of wine at Verdi then dinner at Krone.

WeisserTee is offline  
Jun 20th, 2019, 07:46 AM
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Cheers WeisserTee!

Mokka and Mel, I salute you, no way we’d walk up or down that hill, LOL.
Adelaidean is offline  
Jun 20th, 2019, 04:34 PM
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Adelaidean - you've reminded me that it's been ages since we did more than pass through Bern.

Looking forward to your impressions of Scuol...and perhaps some Nusstorte?

Last edited by Melnq8; Jun 20th, 2019 at 04:36 PM.
Melnq8 is offline  
Jun 20th, 2019, 10:46 PM
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Love your report and photos, thanks for sharing. We're from Brisbane and have been to lots of places in your photos, we even stayed at the same hotel in Montreaux, about 25 years ago. The tourist office booked it for us and I was amazed we got something at our meagre budget that was so nice. You are making me want to book flights to Switzerland right now! It's such a beautiful country. We travel like you too, making time for coffee and cake in the afternoon is an absolute priority I love sitting people-watching.

KayF is offline  
Jun 21st, 2019, 04:52 AM
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Day 12: Thun (day trip Sigriswil…)

Today we took bus #25 from Thun Bahnhof to Sigriswil Dorf (end of line 25 mins ride).

Some hairpin curves heading uphill from the lake, gorgeous views of lake and mountains and houses clinging to hillsides.

Walked across suspension bridge to Aeschlen (CHF 4) after chatting to the gentleman selling tickets.



The suspension bridge

Views across to Aeschlin

Views to Mt Niesen

Views back to hillside above Sigriswil

Then walked through the gorge, back to Sigriswil.

Lovely forest, and waterfalls.

Lovely forest

Forest path

Huge trees

Waterfalls in the gorge

Path through gorge

Back to Sigriswil

Bus stop, easy to work out connections

Enjoyed a pleasant lunch in this little village, sharing a soup, Rösti (dinner plate sized with 2 fried eggs and bacon...this was a meal for 1!,) and small salad, 2 beers (CHF 40).
Great value, too.

Nice to to have a quiet day after the crowds in Bern yesterday.

Thun is working out to be an excellent base, a nice town in itself, with great train, bus and boat connections.
Adelaidean is offline  
Jun 21st, 2019, 11:17 AM
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Loving both your trip report and photos! Thanks so much for taking the time to include details. I'm hoping Switzerland will be my next trip.
enewell is offline  
Jun 21st, 2019, 11:36 AM
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Fantastic photos!

Thank you so much for taking the time to write this trip report. You have given me great ideas on how to spend three weeks in Switzerland next year. We plan to spend a week in BO (revisit) and two weeks in the Upper and Lower Engadin. Looking forward to the Engadin portion on your trip. I just love your photos! Keep them coming please.
milaedg is online now  
Jun 21st, 2019, 02:38 PM
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Love your trip report - the photos are great. So envious.
marg is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2019, 10:10 AM
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Thanks for your interest.

Day 13: Thun to Scuol

Had a poor nights sleep, so many Friday night revellers, loud talking and laughing by passers by, the cobblestone road sweeper, we are not used to city noise.

We were in a hotel on Rathausplatz in Thun, so was to be expected.

Anyway, we are leaving Thun, to Brig, then GEX, then Scuol

It is 4:30 hrs to Scuol via Zurich and Landquart or nearly 7 hours on GEX (Glacier Express) ….or in our case, 8 hours….

Unfortunately, I did not read this helpful summary by ‘Hambaghale’, before I reserved seats on the GEX in 2nd class 3 months prior...


...or I would have reserved seats in 1st class (reservations open 90 days prior, but can’t buy tickets until 60 days prior), that’s when I found that the Saver Day Pass was 49 CHF for both 1st and 2nd class (- couldn’t see how to upgrade my reservations, so just went with 2nd class). Half fare in 2nd class is 80 CHF otherwise, so Saver Day Pass good value. (There were no 29 CHF Saver Day Passes when I logged on to site within hours of release)

So cost for that day came to 122 CHF: Seat reservation @ 43 CHF (!) each, plus pre ordered the plate of the day (30 CHF each), then day pass @ 49 CHF.

Timing: SBB App showed connections as Thun 8:25 to Brig 9:11 then to Chur on GEX arr 1:26 Chur to Landquart then to Scuol arr 3:30, takes 7 hours (we opted to take earlier train from Thun, as this option only gives 7 minute connection for GEX)

Anyway, the GEX was not full, and seating quite spacious, so very comfortable. However, conductor said some passengers did not board, I wonder if the short connection an issue for people with too much luggage and not realising they have to cross the road to the platform, a few minutes easily lost.

There was a lot of cloud, so very minimal peak or glacier views, but at Oberalp we marvelled at the ice on the water. It did rain as well, so photos a bit poor.

Glacier Express ride

Glacier Express ride

Not so disappointing for us (we’ve seen a lot of mountains) but the Singaporean’s alongside who only had 4 days for their entire trip would have hoped for a clear day.

Lunch was served about 12, a very good slow cooked beef, pasta and ratatouille.

Ongoing connection…. time for our smugness for taking the earlier train from Thun, to be quashed, as while we were first at the door to disembark the GEX and ran to meet our connecting train (7 min connection) we were still 20 m from it as it departed. And we were fast. The next train was 50 minutes away.

So, that added another hour to an already long day. We were tired from lack of sleep, also had an early rise, and missed a lot of scenery due to cloud and rain.

But, my frustration disappeared as we travelled through lovely landscape and increasingly sunny weather. Hubby, as always, found a passenger (and there were only 2 in our carriage!) to talk cricket to (an Indian chap, now living in Munich).

And the bus ride from Susch ( thanks ‘Ingo’ for the info about the bus exchange while train line being replaced), wow. What a ride. We passed the villages I had read so much about, Guarda, Ardez and even caught a glimpse of Tarasp Castle. A deep ravine, mountains, forests, so totally gorgeous. My kind of place. Then arrival at Scuol, not knowing where to go, a bus driver checked our map and told us to hop on, he was heading our way. And the Afida rep. waiting for us for key handover, what a delightful lady, with lots of great tips and so enthusiastic. We are only the second Australians to stay here.

Scuol looks so beautiful, loving it already. Our apartment is amazing. And the Coop is a few metres down the road, had 30 minutes before they closed, so bolted through, buying our supper and breakfast needs.

Supper on our balcony

Supper on our balcony

Lovely supper on our balcony. Salmon tartare, tomatoes, kohlrabi, cheese, carrots, red wine, fabulous bread.

Wonderful cheese!
Adelaidean is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2019, 10:22 AM
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Scuol looks so beautiful, loving it already.


I'm confused about the Saver Day Passes. We usually buy Half Fare Cards. When does it pay to buy both...long journeys? Scenic trains?
Melnq8 is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2019, 11:48 AM
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Mel, we only bought the Saver Day pass once, and that was for this journey. None of the others were over 49 CHF (apparently a small number available at 29CHF, but I never came across any). So the half fare card working out best for us.
Adelaidean is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2019, 12:00 PM
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Thanks for that Adelaidean. Do have a bite of Nusstorte and some gerstensuppe for me!
Melnq8 is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2019, 11:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Adelaidean View Post
Mel, we only bought the Saver Day pass once, and that was for this journey. None of the others were over 49 CHF (apparently a small number available at 29CHF, but I never came across any). So the half fare card working out best for us.
Saver Day Pass - a relatively recent "product" from the SBB. Goes on sale 60 days out and from then to date of travel price rises and can even be withdrawn from the market. With a HFC price starts around 29frs in 2nd, 52frs in 1st. It provides free unlimited travel to any INHABITED place in Switzerland (and on the Centovalli line in Italy and Mt Blanc Express in France too) by any means - rail, bus, boat and in some limited cases cable car (e.g. to and from Mürren). This is a wonderful invention and makes combining the HFC with SDPs for longer travel days an economic reality.

Adelaidean - glad you made the GEX OK. We always take an earlier train when connecting in Brig! Seems that one needs to take a later one when arriving in the Engadin tough. Too bad about the 1st cl. Should there be another trip - either book in 1st rightaway or if you have seats in 2nd and want to upgrade then email their contact staff. They are very helpful. Hope you continue to enjoy things and it certainly looks as though you are. (and as an aside it seems I am now over the bronchitis, finally!!)
Hambagahle is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2019, 06:04 AM
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Your photos are beautiful and really enjoying your report.
Paqngo is online now  
Jun 23rd, 2019, 06:47 AM
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Lovely lovely pictures!
nonconformist2 is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2019, 07:12 AM
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Wonderful trip report, Adelaidean! Thanks for taking the time posting pictures + text. So far it sounds like a fantastic trip. And with Grisons/Engadine portion coming now ... well, you'll have a blast, I am sure.

Btw, I like Thun very much, too. Similar to Lucerne and less touristy.

Your apartment in Scuol seems to be close to the main street. Great views from there! I stayed in an apartment for several years in the eastern part of the town (skiing with friends), and later often in an apartment on the opposite side of the valley in Vulpera. Excellent value there. Maybe you can see it from your balcony, turning your heads to the right ;-)
Ingo is online now  
Jun 23rd, 2019, 09:51 AM
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Forgot to mention...where we stayed:

https://www.e-domizil.com/vacation-h...e-switzerland/ €920 for week, inc rental and booking fee on e-domizil

This is on Stradun, the main street, between the Hotel Belvedere and the Coop. I think you may have helped me work out ideal location for us, Ingo.

Apartment was chosen based on proximity to Coop, the balcony overlooks the old town and has stupendous views, is modern, has a fire, close to bus stops, very central. Love it.

Day 14: Scuol

Late start, very quiet here, nice to sleep in.

We took the bus to Guarda cumün, which is the stop high up in the village, the little bus meeting the big one from Scuol and whisking us up those hairpin curves to Guarda.

This village is often referred to as the prettiest village in the region due to the preservation of its architectural heritage - the sgraffito painted Engadin houses and it is perched high on a hill surrounded by mountains.









We took the easy walk via Bos-cha to Ardez, another tiny Engadin village with similar architecture. A gorgeous walk, with mountains all around, flower filled meadows, forests.

Lovely views

Meadows filled with flowers

Just beautiful

Meadow flowers

Walking down into Ardez


Not thinking, of course, that Ardez would be a ghost town this lovely Sunday, and there’d be nowhere to dine. I assumed walkers would be around and at least soup and bread options. I asked an elderly resident, but she said the hotel nearby was opening for summer in July and possibly the one other option might be open...couldn’t see another soul anywhere dining on a terrace or anything. My bad. So, we snacked on my residual nuts and a chocolate bar, having just missed the bus (hourly). Nice spot to sit though.




Decided to ‘eat in’, hubby buying some pasta and chicken for dinner (Volg open Sunday, hubby happy to cook in our fab kitchen while I wandered old town below).




Adelaidean is offline  

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