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Switzerland's Iconic Postal Buses...A Whole Different Switzerland!

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Apr 22nd, 2014, 10:29 AM
  #1
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Switzerland's Iconic Postal Buses...A Whole Different Switzerland!

Anyone who had driven or taken buses up and over the Alps instead of tunneling below them will know how awesome some of Switzerland's Alpine passes are. And though I've driven over some main passes I would much rather leave the driving to the bus driver so I can fully appreciate the awesomely spectacular scenes going up and over the high Alps.

In this thread I will relay some of my experiences with several such bus rides over typically sinuous hairpin-turning two-lane roads looping up and over the summits - such as the famous Simplon Pass road, the Susten, Grimsel and Furka passes (which all can be done in one day by postal bus from Meiringen on the Three Passes bus excursion - not a guided tour but involving a couple of buses where you loop up and over three passes and end up back in Meiringen (near Interlaken).

So for something different from trains and cable cars seek out Switzerland's iconic postal buses - the constant tooting of their unique sounding horns on hairpin turn after hairpin turn will forever ring in your mind.

In future posts I will detail the bus rides I've taken and invite others to share their experiences as well.

Next up the Three Passes Bus Loop from Meiringen!
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Apr 22nd, 2014, 11:03 AM
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I actually found some mountain roads even more spectacular than most passes. Think Samnaun, for example.
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Apr 23rd, 2014, 04:22 PM
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We used post buses quite a bit on our December trip to the Engadine; yes indeed, there were some spectacular bus rides, Samnaun in particular.
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Apr 24th, 2014, 04:06 AM
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Swiss bus lines on hairpin roads:
Cevio - Cimalmotto
Lugano - Arosio - Breno - Miglieglia
Melano - Arogno - Pugerna
Campo Blenio - Pian Geirett
Campo Blenio - Luzzone
Faido - Calpiogna - Molare - Predelp
Chandolin sur Saviese - Sanetsch Pass cableway (to Gsteig/Gstaad) station
Sierre/Siders - Saint Luc cablecar station
Sion - Arbaz - Anzere gondola station
Riggisberg - Gurnigel - Schwefelberg Bad
Wasen im Emmental - Luederenalp - Langnau
Einsiedeln - Oberiberg - Ibergeregg - Schwyz
Fluelen boat's pier - Klausesnpass - Linthal
plus the already mentioned Grimsel, Susten, Furka, Novena
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Apr 25th, 2014, 01:10 PM
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Some background on the iconic Swiss postal buses:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PostBus_Switzerland
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Apr 25th, 2014, 01:50 PM
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Can't wait to hear about this. Been to Switzerland 3 times and have yet to take a Postal Buses. Want to go back, of course, and will now be interested in doing this. Can't wait to hear more from you.
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Apr 29th, 2014, 07:23 PM
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Pal, how could you not mention the beautiful sounding horns the buses have.
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Apr 29th, 2014, 09:12 PM
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Looking forward to hearing about this. We'll be in Switzerland in the fall.
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Apr 30th, 2014, 09:14 AM
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Ronkala:
Palen wrote: " the constant tooting of their unique sounding horns on hairpin turn after hairpin turn will forever ring in your mind"
BTW: the sounding horn melody was composed by Gioachino Rossini (Opera William Tell).
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Apr 30th, 2014, 10:08 AM
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Yup those unique-sounding horns and unique looking too - now the icon of the Postal Bus System - on every bus they run it seems.

For info on routes, etc check the official site:

https://www.postbus.ch/

For folks using a Swiss Pass or Half-Fare Card these are valid IME on nearly all post buses with at least one notable exception - the Grindelwald Bus that runs over Grosse Scheidegg - was told that one was not covered. But nearly all other ones are.
At least in the Interlaken area post buses running on the famous Three Pass day excursion - done on your own by public bus - you needed with a Swiss Pass an Alpine ticket - a few years ago a 10 CHF (Swiss franc) supplement - and I assume on other alpine routes I took as well but can't recall.

There is plenty of room for luggage under the bus - for more on Swiss postal buses check www.swisstravelsystem.com - for more on Swiss Passes, Half-Fare Cards, Swiss Cards, Swiss Transfer tickets, etc. check these informative sources: www.budgeteuropetravel.com; www.ricksteves.com and www.seat61.com.

Some buses need reservations and you can IME either make these at train stations if the bus serves the train station - and most seem to fan out from stations, picking up where trains can't go or at, of course, the post office - or by phone I believe. Anyway all that info should be on the official site.

Buses I have ridden usually stop every hour or so for pit stops - usually in a unique scenic place.

So next up the Three Pass Buses from Meiringen over three passes, ending up back in Meiringen - a short train ride from Interlaken-Ost.
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May 1st, 2014, 08:47 AM
  #11
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http://www.interlaken.ch/en/offers-a...ps-passes.html

Details on the Three (or 4) Pass bus tour from Interlaken/Meiringen and back!
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May 1st, 2014, 10:18 AM
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The Grindelwald - Grosse Scheidegg - Schwarzwaldalp bus is NOT a Post bus.

The most tricky bus lines in Swiwtzerland are:

Martigny - Bourg St-Pierre - Bourg St-Bernard - Aosta:
same reductions as Post buses ONLY in local buses up to Bourg St-Bernard
Aosta bound buses: Swiss Pass valid up to Aosta; half fare card valid ONLY if you buy the ticket at a SWISS railway station counter, kids from 1 to 16 years of age pay full fare, even for the Swiss leg and even if their parents have a Swiss Pass with Swiss Family Card.

Zernez - Livigno - Bernina - Pontresina:
Swiss Pass, Half Fare Card, Family Card, NOT valid.
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May 1st, 2014, 12:58 PM
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The Grindelwald - Grosse Scheidegg - Schwarzwaldalp bus is NOT a Post bus.>

that explains why the Swiss Pass is not valid on it - thanks - I guess that's why they call it the Grindelwald Bus?

Thanks for the info - invaluable details from a Swiss resident!
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May 2nd, 2014, 09:28 AM
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If you want to see a Swiss Post Bus on it's usual itinerary, have a look at the picure at the bottom right hand corner of http://www.carona-tourism.ch/en/caro...na-ticino.html
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May 2nd, 2014, 12:33 PM
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neckervd - OK, now, that's scary!
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May 3rd, 2014, 09:14 AM
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Three Passes Tour - 1- starting in Meiringen (if coming from Interlaken or Grindelwald) going up the Susten Pass to Wassen then to Goschenen - stopping at the train station before heading up to Andermatt

2- Andermatt via Furkha Pass to Oberhofen

3- Furkha to Meiringen via Grimsel Pass

All three passes feature tortuously twisting serpentine roads at points and each has a photo op stop near the summits.

Variations - at Goschenen you can catch trains that go via Lake Lucerne to Lucerne

at Andermatt you can hop on the Glacier Express trains to Chur/St Moritz or Brig and Zermatt

From Meiringen you can take a post bus to Schwazrwaldalp and then the Grindelwald Bus to Grindelwald (Schwarzwaldalp-Grindelwald bus as noted above no discounts with Swiss Passes.)

The cost of the Three Pass Bus tour costs CHF 105 - with a Swiss Pass the fare is 100% covered by you pay a CHF 15 Alpine Ticket supplement. But this is one day on a Swiss Pass where you can realize a lot of value so if a flexipass use one of your 100% covered travel days.


http://www.postbus.ch/pag-startseite...bot-detail.htm

https://www.google.com/search?q=thre...=1600&bih=1075
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May 3rd, 2014, 10:02 AM
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That's a very scenic trip, have driven all of these, but on different days/trips. I'd love to incorporate the Furka steam train!

Spelling, Pal! It's Furka pass. It's Oberwald and not Oberhofen (if at all, Oberwald would be a detour - the Grimsel pass road starts in Gletsch.)
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May 5th, 2014, 10:14 AM
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Ingo - thanks for the corrections. I got mixzed uo on Oberwald from what I did with the bus - took it to Andermatt then the train to Oberwald and on to Brig so got mixed up.

Again thanks.
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May 8th, 2014, 06:18 AM
  #19
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THE SIMPLON PASS POSTAL BUS ROUTE

Next up is one of the very sweetest postal bus rides I have taken - up and over the Simplon Pass - if going to Italy and you have time instead of taking the long LONG train tunnel under the Simplon Pass you take from Brig a postal bus all the way up and over to Domodossola, Italy where you can rejoin the main train line to Italy or take trains quickly back to Brig via the tunnel:

http://www.postbus.ch/pag-startseite...bot-detail.htm
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May 8th, 2014, 07:18 AM
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Keep 'em coming!
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