Switzerland in October 2009

Nov 14th, 2009, 10:00 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: Jun 2009
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Switzerland in October 2009

My husband (69) and I (66) spent a wonderful week in Switzerland 10/15 through 10/22. We flew Swiss Air Economy from Chicago to Zurich. The economy fare bought us as good an experience as possible - tasty food, on time flights, good entertainment system, attentive crew, but a tight squeeze nonetheless. Before leaving we made reservations for the first two nights in Luzern and the last night in Zurich, acquired Swisspass 1st class train passes, and trip insurance. We discovered that one of our credit cards had a 0% !!! foreign transaction fee so that was the card of choice. We took back up cards, one each on us, and one each hidden. For cash we used our ATM card for Swiss Francs. I did have some euros stashed away that I brought along just in case the ATM did not work at some point. I never needed them. The CHF is pretty even with the $ so it was simple to calculate prices. The train passes were wonderful providing not only train rides but boat trips and museum entries. They gave us the freedom to just stay on the train if we did not feel like getting off! We traveled from Lucerne to Interlaken with a notion to stay a day or so and then move on, but found the accomodation so pleasant and train service so good that we stayed in Interlaken and took daily train excursions. We love trains and have ridden most of the long distance trains in the US. I also grew up riding the train on a daily basis to school, and we use the train to get to Chicago from our home in Wisconsin. The Swiss trains are a treat! Frequent, well organized, and on time. Connections are easy. The views are superb! We rode down into valleys and up towards mountains; past vinyards and water; chalets and sheds, cows grazing and colorful, neat (after all we were in Switzerland) graffiti when approaching the bigger cities. We have set foot in Geneva, Basel, and Zermatt as well as Luzern and Zurich. and ascended Mt Pilatus and to the Jungfraujoch. We stayed in Best Western Hotels which were all fine. We felt so welcome in Interlaken at the Hotel Bernerhoff that we stayed five nights! The only surprise was that the airport transportation advertised at the our last stop in Zurich had been discontinued; however we were near the train station and able to take the train to the airport for our flight back to Chicago. Sadly our pass had expired so we had to buy tickets for that last train ride. If that was our only problem for the whole trip I think we have nothing to complain about! It was a wonderful time and we plan to return.
Mommcat is offline  
Nov 14th, 2009, 10:29 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
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Swiss trains rock! We've been 3 times in the last 6 years and always take trains and buses. Switzerland is magical.
LLindaC is offline  
Nov 14th, 2009, 01:21 PM
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We also stayed in Interlaken a few weeks ago...good location for daily train rides into the Alpine region...so convenient to Interlaken Ost Station....we stayed at the Goldey Swiss Hotel right smack on the Aare River...pedestrian bridge into downtown Interlaken...gorgeous promenade that ran a few miles east and west along the shores of the beautiful Aare. The views of Mts. Jungfrau, Eider and Monch from our balcony each day and evening were breathtaking. I'm in the process of edting and captioning our pix...will post in a few days. Hope you post pix also. We too were very impressed with Swiss Rail...made it so easy to get into the higher elevations. We came in from Dijon in Burgundy, then eventually train-ed from Interlaken through Spiez and Brig all the way to Venice..
We had been to various parts of the country before, but the Berner Oberland tops all others.

Happy you had such a nice experience...

stu tower (L.A.)
tower is offline  
Nov 14th, 2009, 09:21 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Hi Mommcat,

Thanks for this report, taking me back to some of my favorite parts of Switzerland! And it's so nice to hear others enjoying the trains as much as I do! Thanks for posting!

s
swandav2000 is online now  
Nov 15th, 2009, 09:15 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
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Hi Stu - See you're back from your trip. Bet is was grand.

(Sorry to highjack this forum.)

Been to the Berner Oberland too. Just such a beautiful area. And the Swiss trains rock. I definitely want to go back.
kenav is offline  
Nov 15th, 2009, 10:35 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
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As a Swiss resident, I always enjoy reading posts from people who have visited this beautiful country.

May I ask that if you post more on your trip (and I hope you do), that you build in some paragraph breaks? A large block of type like your OP is hard to read.
Passerine is offline  

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