To the top of Europe, and back again.

Aug 25th, 2017, 03:36 PM
Join Date: Jun 2013
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That black suitcase seems like the sensible choice until you arrive at the luggage carousel to find that everyone else thought the same thing Don't know if that's what happened to you but has certainly happened to me...
sundriedtopepo is offline  
Aug 25th, 2017, 04:22 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
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"it was a lady from the airport asking [you've probably guessed by now] if I had the right case. oh dear. No, I didn't have the right case, I had the wrong one, at least the wrong case for me."

When these kind of things happen when traveling, it's always best to think, "Well, this will make the trip report more interesting."

Looking forward to following along on this one...

maitaitom is offline  
Aug 25th, 2017, 04:40 PM
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Looking forward to more of your trip report!
irishface is offline  
Aug 25th, 2017, 08:04 PM
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Been looking forward to this. Interested that you stayed at a NH Hotel. I stayed in one at Lyon airport a couple of years back and was very pleased with it.
thursdaysd is offline  
Aug 25th, 2017, 08:20 PM
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Just caught you up. A welcome diversion from hurricane-watching/waiting in Houston! Looking forward to it...
gertie3751 is offline  
Aug 25th, 2017, 08:53 PM
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Been away for awhile, Annhig, but I am here too. Looking forward to your report, as we,have not been to Switzerland in ten years, but will return next year, with grandchildren.
enzian is offline  
Aug 25th, 2017, 08:56 PM
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Dear annhig,

Oh, after a bumpy start, I'm hoping the trip became the rejuvenating respite that you both needed. I can only imagine your exhaustion, at the end of the day's travel and even while caring for DH, having to head back to the airport to exchange bags. But your attitude remained positive, yay! Looking forward to reading about your travels!

swandav2000 is online now  
Aug 26th, 2017, 01:44 AM
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bilboburgler is offline  
Aug 26th, 2017, 03:07 AM
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Oh, dear, what a start! Hope that the rest of the trip went more smoothly!

Looking forward to more - always love your sense of humor!
progol is offline  
Aug 26th, 2017, 03:21 AM
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BTW, was your phone number on the luggage tag, is that how they tracked you down? Just asking because I never bother with the tag, I guess I will now...>>

sugarmaple, I always attach a card luggage tag to each case with our name, flight no, leaving and destination airport codes, and the hotel we are heading to. Up to now though, I've never put my mobile no, so I assume that they got it through Easyjet who always ask for mobile nos. I should have asked.

In the past I've been reluctant to put my mobile no on the luggage tag, but it's going on from now on.


You must be telepathic, sundried. It was indeed the black suitcase that caused the problem even though both cases [mine, and not mine] had different coloured straps round them, and "not mine" had a pink ribbon on the handle. I still can't believe that I was so stupid, but I think that we were very lucky to be in Switzerland, and not in what might be described as a "less well organised country" [almost everywhere else].


I don't remember being particularly tired, Swandav, but I think that I was stressed and distracted. This was the first trip that we'd made since DH became ill, and he would normally have been getting the luggage whilst I looked after the hand luggage etc. Of course I've done it by myself but I was aware that he was tired and needed to get to the hotel, instead of concentrating on getting the right s..ding cases. I can say that I was mightily relieved when I actually clapped eyes on my own case, and i returned in some triumph to the hotel. Rarely has a beer tasted better.

Another point about checking luggage - DH was originally going to put his medication in his case but I persuaded him to put it in the hand luggage. I can't tell you how vindicated I felt, even though the problem was all of my own making.

This also raises another issue which is that with very few exceptions [Columbo in Sri Lanka is the only one I know about] airports do not police the removal of cases from the airport. I wonder why there is no check, not even random ones, on whether people have got the right cases?

Thank goodness all's well that ends well - now on with the trip.
annhig is offline  
Aug 26th, 2017, 04:39 AM
Join Date: Feb 2017
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I once had a fellow passenger-in-a-hurry grab my carry-on suitcase instead of his from the overhead bin. Needless to say I spotted the mistake fairly quickly, alerted the cabin crew, and I & a crew member chased through a shortcut in the airport, positioning ourselves at passport control, where I spotted the "thief" and got my bag.

Now i tie something insanely colorful to the handle of my carryon. The rare times I check my bag, I wrap bright ribbon around the handle
massimop is offline  
Aug 26th, 2017, 04:51 AM
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Now i tie something insanely colorful to the handle of my carryon. The rare times I check my bag, I wrap bright ribbon around the handle>>

Which is exactly what the owner of "not my bag" had done, massimop! IMO this simply demonstrates the degree of stress that I was under.

The defence rests, m'lud.
annhig is offline  
Aug 26th, 2017, 05:43 AM
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The Great Swiss rail pass conundrum.

I make no apology for the fact that having considered all the many options [choosing what pass or ticket to buy on the Swiss rail system must be almost as confusing as trying to understand oyster cards and paper travel passes in London] I opted for the easiest and probably most expensive one i.e. the Swiss travel pass:

However, had comfort and convenience not been our main priorities, I think that the half price card [CHF 120 per month] would have been the way to go,

or possibly the Jungfrau or Berner Oberland cards [the latter covering a larger area than the former] for the first part of our trip linked with a William Tell card [valid for Lucerne and environs] for the latter part.

[available for 3,4,5,6 days, the 5 and 6 day versions include the boats running to and from Interlaken]


I even tried to put the different options into a spreadsheet before we left, but the difficulty with that was knowing how much use we would get out of the swiss passes - basically the more you use it the more you save. A rough calculation persuaded me that at very least we would break even, and the convenience more than made up for the possibility that we might have spent less had we opted for a ½ price card and paid for each journey individually. We did have to pay extra for the cable car in Wengen [with a 50% discount] and the journey to the Jungfraujoch [25% discount]. but otherwise, all transport, including the funiculars etc in the Lucerne region, was all free.

Knowing that we would be able to find a nice quiet table on the boat with great views of the lake shore, or a corner seat for DH so he could have a nap and still have enough room for the luggage really enhanced the trip.
annhig is offline  
Aug 26th, 2017, 05:48 AM
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good call
bilboburgler is offline  
Aug 26th, 2017, 06:15 AM
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Yes, I went through that dilemma. Like you, ended up with the Swiss Travel Pass. We got one for 8 days and ran around like crazy. It more than paid for itself and the convenience was well worth it. Ferries were a joy!
gertie3751 is offline  
Aug 26th, 2017, 06:40 AM
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Thanks for the warning. I'll switch from something colorful to something sticky or uncomfortable. Might tape down the telescoping handle.
massimop is offline  
Aug 26th, 2017, 07:04 AM
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great idea massimop. or even a label - "This is not your case" in big fluorescent letters!

Ferries were a joy!>>

indeed they were, Gertie, even in the rain. On our last night there was a terrible storm in Luzern, but we'd decided to have dinner on the ferry that was offering a Jazz and Dixie night, and once we'd got on board, I think that we were warmer and drier than we'd have been if we'd been traipsing round the city looking for something to eat. We also went to Thun and back on the boat from Interlaken West in the rain; it gave DH more time to have his nap and was more restful than the train would have been and we got to see a bit of the shore if only through a glass, darkly. And of course we had drinks and food served at our table which was better than the train.

When the sun shone they were even better!
annhig is offline  
Aug 26th, 2017, 07:10 AM
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I just hopped on board!
jubilada is online now  
Aug 26th, 2017, 08:47 AM
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it's getting a bit crowded, jubi, even up here in first class, but I'm sure we'll find room for you on the virtual steamer.
annhig is offline  
Aug 26th, 2017, 09:45 AM
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Day 2.

[did I say that I wasn't going to do a day by day account? oh well, never trust a lawyer].

After a good night's sleep, a very nice cup of tea made with the tea-making facilities in the room [sadly not universal in Switzerland] we repaired to the restaurant where, as i said above, we had the best breakfast of the trip. [and the friendliest staff - we'll be staying at an NH hotel again, should circumstances allow]

Then after paying the bill [my preferred credit card worked fine] we jumped back on what was to me the excessively familiar shuttle, to be driven back to the airport to get the train to Interlaken. First stop was the SBB office [very large and spacious, with lots of counters and after being directed away from the counter that we approached, a person by a machine by the door, which we had completely ignored told us which button to press to book the correct slot - not sure what other options there were besides "buying tickets" but there must have been some as there were a number of buttons to press.

It turned out that we were next so we were directed back to the counter we'd left 30 seconds earlier and in no time at all, we had spent a very large amount of money on our Swiss passes. I say "spent"; tried to would have been closer to the mark as try as we might, the system would not accept the c/card that I had used so successfully less than an hour earlier. So credit card no 2 came out, worked a treat, and we were good to go. [i won't repeat the chaos that briefly ensued with my c/card co; the good news is that they sent me a text to tell me what they'd done, and once we sorted out the confusion, they did what I asked them to do]

From the wonderful SBB app [complete with touch screen where you simply drag a line from a picture of your starting point to your destination] i knew that there was a train to Interlaken via Bern from platform 6 at 10.30 so we were able to amble towards it, find the right part of the train from the overhead signs, load the luggage into the luggage racks, and take our seats. Once we set off, the weather wasn't great, but we could see Lake Geneva on our right and we glided swiftly through the damp Swiss countryside. When we were planning the trip, we decided to put Interlaken at the beginning of the trip partly because we wanted as few problems with our return trip as possible, so as Lucerne to Geneva doesn't require a change of trains, Lucerne went last, and Inerlaken, which does, went first. The fact that I can't remember changing trains at Bern suggests that it wasn't very difficult, but if there had been any problems, my app would have told me upon which platform we were arriving, from which we were departing, and how long we had in between. And it provides a handy map of the route as you go along!

By the time we got to Bern it was wet, and when we got off the train in Interlaken it was even wetter, but it was only a short [6 minutes according to Google earth] walk to the hotel according to the directions. "Short" turned out to be a very subjective term. TBH it had never occurred to me, when I booked the trip, that DH would have so many problems with his walking only 2 months or so later. Even when he had only the lighter case to pull, he struggled to make it half way, and we had to stop for a while under a shop awning while he recovered enough to make it the rest of the way.

Fortunately the hotel was exactly where it was supposed to be and we arrived somewhat wet some 15 mins after getting off the train. DH sat down while I checked us in, and then we were taken up in the lift to our room, which turned out to be a corner room with what would probably be great views to the mountains, if it ever stopped raining.

This is where we stayed:

As well as a decent bathroom, [bath with over bath shower, but none the worse for that] it also had tea-making facilities AND an empty fridge, which they would stock as minibar if you wanted, but we preferred to use it to keep our milk and fruit juice cool. It was on the outskirts of the residential area of Interlaken, near the Altstadt, and blessedly far removed from the main part of the town which was full of tour groups, and very different from the Interlaken we remembered from 35 years or so before, when we had taken ourselves off on a day trip as a rest from skiing when we'd been staying in Wengen. Exploring was for later however; what DH most needed was a rest, so while he had a nap I unpacked and made a cup of tea.
annhig is offline  

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