Palenque's Scenic Swiss Trains

Old May 18th, 2008, 08:26 AM
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PalenQ - I was having heart palpatations just reading!!!

I can see Guerzi and I - OMG.
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Old May 19th, 2008, 08:57 AM
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Anway back to THREE PASS BUSES IN INTERLAKEN/JUNGFRAU REGION

You can use these buses are novel ways to access or exit the Jungfrau - Interlaken - Berner Oberland region

Scenarios:

1- From Grindelwald take the Grindelwald Bus that goes via a tiny paved track up the lip of the Grindelwald amphitheater east to Grosse Shceidegg - sashaying slowly up on the terribly twisting path and then descends thru the gorgeous valley via Scharwzdalp (sp?) to Meiringen to join the buses there

2- From Grindelwald or Lauterbrunnen or points above it like Wengen, Murren by train to Interlaken-Ost then by train to Meiringen to join the buses

3- take the buses via either the Grimsel Pass route or the Susten Pass route to join the Glacier Express train route or to join the Simplon main line route to Zurich or Lugano/Milano

The Susten Pass bus goes to Goschenen first - a stop on the Zurich/Lucerne to Lugano and Milan Simplon main-line and then goes to Andermatt, a stop on the Glacier Express route to Chur/St Moritz or Brig and Zermatt

The Grimsel pass bus goes first to Oberwald, a stop on the Glacier Express route.

So these two routes make novel access or leaving ways from Interlaken-Grindelwald, etc. other than the usual way out via train via Spiez or the Brunig Pass route to Lucerne.
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Old May 19th, 2008, 01:15 PM
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SUSTEN VS GRIMSEL PASSES

Though both bus rides start out from Meiringen before diverging on different pass roads and each making rather dramatic climbs on twisting roads - where as the bush rounds a hairpin bend the driver honks with the weird goog-ga long horn to warn oncoming vehicles that a wide vehicle is going to be turning. You do have to be amazed by these drivers' skills and calm nerves.
To me though the Grimsel Pass was more dramatic, esp because the bus parks right over a large dammed up lake near the summit - on a slab overlooking the lake whilst stopping for the usual pit stop every hour or so.
So folks going from say Interlaken to Zurich or Lugano or Milano or St Moritz or Zermatt and wishing for an untraditional but to me much more thrilling route consider hopping these buses from Meiringen, only a short train ride from Interlaken-Ost.
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Old May 20th, 2008, 01:00 PM
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Keep in mind that these buses are all season - not operating in winter due to passes being blocked by snow

even one early Sep when i had planned to hop the buses and do the Three Pass Tour i showed up in Meiringen as instructed by the Interlaken post office only to find that even that early the passes were blocked for a few days due to an extra early snow storm. So check to see if passes are open in say May, early June or Sep.
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Old May 21st, 2008, 12:25 PM
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BUSES AND LUGGAGE
If not day tripping on the postal buses up and back and using them as a means of escape or landing in the Interlaken area then baggage is no problem - the buses have a large undercroft for them - there may well be a charge per bag, i can't remember but ample room for the largest of luggage.

NEXT- A POSTAL BUS RIDE FROM HELL
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Old May 22nd, 2008, 01:05 PM
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GROSSE SHEIDEGG RUNDFAHRT
Or in English the Grosse Sheidegg Rountrip (kind of love using the German word Rundfahrt - meaning of course round trip)

For folks staying in Grindelwald or Lauterbrunnen or anywhere including Interlaken this is a tremendous loop that goes by bus starts in Interlaken and treks up to Grindelwald and then climbs the sinuous small path to Grosse Scheidegg, then down via more small lanes (where autos can't go) the Rosenlaui valley via Schwarzwaldalp to Meiringen then to Brienz.

At Brienz you board a lake steamer that takes you to Interlaken-Ost station

more on this next time - a really great experience that shows you the wilds of the Jungfrau region.
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Old May 24th, 2008, 07:28 AM
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the most recent brochure i have on the Grosse Scheidegg Round trip described above gives the following prices:

CHF 87 for thoseover 16
CHF 76 for Swiss Pass holders, Swiss Cards, Half Fare Cards, BOB Regionalpass
CHF 57 kid 4-16

but check www.grindelwaldbus.ch for current fares and timetables
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Old May 25th, 2008, 08:15 AM
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One day far back in my youth i hiked from Grindelwald up to Grosse Scheidegg and then down via Schwarzwaldalp and the Rosenlaui valley to Reichenbach Falls and down to Meiringen

Though this is a great hike - esp the Rosenlaui with its famous Glacier Gorge it's very energetic, esp the steep climb to Grosse Shcheidegg - but if you take the Grindelwald Bus (which does take local fares) and then hike down the gentle enough sloping valley to Reichenbach Falls and then walk down along the falls it can be a near all day walk that is managaeable for the average fit person.
So use the bus and mix in some hiking as well. Or do it all by bus - to me the Schwarzwaldalp - Rosenlaui valley is the most gorgeous countryside in the Berner Oberland that i've seen.
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Old May 26th, 2008, 09:40 AM
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Note that the Grindelwald Bus is not covered by a Swiss Pass, being one of the few i've encountered that was not.

at least covered in full - perhaps 50% off but not sure. Not sure about BOB regional pass or half-fare cards either or Swiss Cards - will try to check
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Old May 27th, 2008, 07:55 AM
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A FANTASTIC BUT ALL DAY EXCURSION FROM INTERLAKEN/GRINDELWALD/WENGEN, ETC.

And one i took not long ago - but only for folks who love to travel on scenic buses and trains for much of the day.

Take the train to Meiringen and hop the Grimsel Pass bus to Oberwald, a stop on the Glacier Express rail line and take the regular trains that run hourly on this line to Betten, and from that station hop a very long funicular that runs in two sections to Bettermeralp - walk thru this flower-boxed chaleted pristine summer and winter resort to an aerial cableway that thrillingly swoops you up to a vista point awesomely overlooking the Aletsch Glacier - and you can see it stretch for miles all the way down from the Jungfraujoch - Europe's largest glacier i believe.

From the vista there are paths that steeply descend to the glacier itself - but just to see it from the viewing area - the glacier right down below redefines AWESOME to me.

MORE ON THIS EXCURSION NEXT
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Old May 27th, 2008, 12:27 PM
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I must say that standing on that ledge high above the huge Aletsch Glacier below was something else - could hear the glacier cracking, etc. and see the detritus it was slowly carrying down to the river at Betten - the Rhone i believe

anyway after returning to Betten i hopped on the next train to slowly descend down to Brig - just a few miles away and then hopped the train via the Lotschberg Tunnel back to Interlaken via Spiez.

As i've described before in this thread, the mainline broad-gauge route from there via the Lotschberg Tunnel route is to me one of the most gorgeous mainlines in Europe - esp when leaving Brig the train snakes up along the cliff's edge for several torturous miles and you see the broadening Rhone Valley spreading out below - kind of like flying out of Brig - then the tunnel and the fine Kandersteg Valley to Spiez and Interlaken.

Also as noted a new longer tunnel recently opened so you now go from Brig (or really neighboring Visp) in one long long tunnel all the way to Fruitigen near Spiez, missing all that wonderful scenery and thrills on the Lotschberg old route - so if you want to lessen the trip by an hour or so take the new tunnel - if not hop the old mainline - trains are frequent on either route i believe.
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Old May 28th, 2008, 08:42 AM
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For a picture of the overlook viewpoint over the Altesch Glacier right near the top of the aerial cableway station from Bettermeralp:

http://www.bettmeralp.ch/d/unescowelterbe/
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Old May 28th, 2008, 11:03 AM
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Bonjour Bob! I'm packing for France this year, but my husband informed me that he MUST return to Switzerland next year. I am planning to stay a week in the Val D'Herens hiking daily and then am considering 5 days hiking in the Aletsch area. We prefer small villages, but really don't care where we are based as long as we can get about easily via train and bus with passes. Any suggestions for a base in Aleasch?
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Old May 28th, 2008, 12:31 PM
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LLindaC - no as i am not terribly familiar with those areas but just ephermally taken trains and funiculars, etc around a bit - i too want to explore those less ballyhooed for foreign tourists areas sometime

i suggest you post that separately as well since i assume few folks are reading this but you'd get some expert input as a separate post

have a nice trip to France! Bonne Route!
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Old May 29th, 2008, 01:04 PM
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EXAMPLE USING BUSES IN OR OUT OF INTERLAKEN AREA

Here are some sample schedules of how this can easily be done

Lv Meiringen bus depot close to train station daily 9:20, ar Goschenen train station at 12:42

lv Goschenen by Gotthard line trains at 12:52 and arrive Lugano at 14:45

or lv Goschenen by Gotthard line south to Zurich - lv Goschenen at 13:05, ar Zurich 14:51

there are later buses and trains at the same time after each hour throughout the day at Goschenen

Postal bus schedules:

http://www.google.com/search?ie=UTF-...uses+schedules


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Old May 31st, 2008, 07:47 AM
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Those departing or going to Grindelwald should investigate taking the Grindelwald Bus over the Grosse Scheidegg to Meiringen to hook up with the buses to Oberwald, Goschenen and Andermatt

http://www.grindelwaldbus.ch/seiten/...g%20Sommer.htm

ex leave Grindelwald 7:50 or 8:50 ar Meiringen 9:25 and 10:25
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Old May 31st, 2008, 07:52 AM
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Pal, Did you see my post to you about Gemeinde Tageskarte? It's under another thread about the half fare card.
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Old May 31st, 2008, 07:54 AM
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No i did not and will look it up now

thanks a bunch
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Old May 31st, 2008, 09:09 AM
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Schuler- thanks for the post i have copied here:

Pal, I've seen long lines of people wanting to buy Swiss passes at the Zürich airport train station. The lines at the Zürich Hauptbahnhof seem to be shorter.

By the way, many locals don't buy half fare cards anymore. They use Gemeinde Tageskarte, available in their towns. Many Gemeindes offer 3 Tageskarte per day at prices between SFr. 28 and 41. It's a first come first serve situation and you need to reserve ahead.

I've found a website that shows places where you can reserve them on-line. None of the Gemeindes in my area are on the list, which shows that these are just a few of the places that offer these cards throughout Switzerland.

Some Gemeindes only allow local residents to buy the cards, others don't care.

http://www.tageskarte-gemeinde.ch/
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Old Jun 2nd, 2008, 07:36 AM
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PalenQ
Date: 06/02/2008, 10:12 am
Schuler wrote:

<By the way, many locals don't buy half fare cards anymore. They use Gemeinde Tageskarte, available in their towns. Many Gemeindes offer 3 Tageskarte per day at prices between SFr. 28 and 41. It's a first come first serve situation and you need to reserve ahead.>

Schuler - please elaborate on this - the site seems all in German

you talk about these Day Cards - and why folks are not buying Half-Fare Cards - these are strictly local, very local passes, i presume and thus if someone were staying all in one place it would, if they cover things in full, be better than the 1/2 Fare Card.

So i assume these TagesKartes cover everything locally in full - lifts, buses, trains, funiculars, etc.

thanks

Author: schuler
Date: 06/02/2008

The Tageskarte are for residents of each community listed. If the Tageskarten are not reserved 5 days before the valid date, non-community residents are also eligible for purchase.

The prices vary from Gemeinde to Gemeinde.

Looking through the fine print, I haven't seen anywhere that this is non valid to non-Swiss citizens.

The Tageskarte are valid for the same transport systems as the Half fare cards.

Thanks Schuler (who lives in Switzerland at least i believe and is a great resource on Swiss travel system.
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