Train from Chiusi to Lauterbrunnen

Jan 5th, 2011, 07:50 AM
  #21  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 77,007
I would be curious as to what RE S Afrika would charge for the same Swiss Pass.

and thanks for the thanks!
PalenQ is offline  
Jan 6th, 2011, 08:52 AM
  #22  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 61
Hi PalenQ, Kybourbon and Everybody,

The Swiss Railpasses cost exactly the same as everywhere else, in fact the amounts were mailed to me in €, and are exactly the same as on the SBB website. Of course it must be converted into South African Rands at the relevant exchange rate.

It seems that, if I buy the passes in South Africa through the RE website (managed by a local travel agency) and pay with a CC and in Rands, there are no charges. But if I buy it with my SA CC in Switzerland, the CC company will charge anything between 1% and 3% fee for converting it from Swiss Franks to Rands. This is how I understand it as explained by my Card company. Does it make sense?
Duvies is offline  
Jan 6th, 2011, 10:50 AM
  #23  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 32,523
Yes, that makes sense. I noticed earlier that buying directly from the Swiss on swisstravelsystem.com there is a mailing fee. I think it was 30chf (probably different for South Africa). As long as the price is the same from all three, you may as well purchase in South Africa and avoid any mailing fees/credit card fees.

>>>the CC company will charge anything between 1% and 3% fee for converting it from Swiss Franks to Rands. This is how I understand it as explained by my Card company.<<<

Your credit card company should not be so vague. They should know exactly what % they are charging you (it's probably buried in the fine print on the card's website), not give you a range. I'm sure you plan to use your credit card and ATM cards while traveling. You need to know their fees so you can avoid using the ones with higher fees.
kybourbon is online now  
Jan 7th, 2011, 05:20 AM
  #24  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 61
Hi KB, I will most certainly get the correct percentage as soon as possible.

To conclude; I will buy my Swiss Rail Pass in South Africa before I go and I will in all propability leave from Florence and not Chiusi. Of course I will have to spend time working out the connections, but I still have a bit of time before i leave in June. Thanks for all the advice; I will most certainly re-post if I am unsure of anything.
Duvies is offline  
Jan 8th, 2011, 08:26 AM
  #25  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 77,007
You need to know their fees so you can avoid using the ones with higher fees.>

great advise and one I always do - sometimes it is better for me to use an ATM card and sometimes a credit card (for purchases NEVER to get cash advances at predatory interest rates) - for years my ATM was better but now my credit card is better - things change and like kywhiskey says all credit cards have different fees - but they should have one set fee for foreign transactions - and beward any transaction fees - like my ATM has a $5 per withdrawal fee from foreign ATMs - thus when i use it to get cash out I do the max - if I did $25 I would have the same $5 transaction fee...
PalenQ is offline  
Jan 12th, 2011, 07:03 AM
  #26  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 77,007
and I will in all propability leave from Florence and not Chiusi.>

Good move IMO - the regional and IC trains from Chiusi can be really slow and not so comofortable (though some of the old IC train cars, especially in first class can be pretty nice and usually are sparsely full. But leaving from Florence makes it a shorter ride anyway - if Florence was not in your trip plan then spend a few days there before hopping the train to Switzerland.
PalenQ is offline  
Jan 13th, 2011, 10:38 AM
  #27  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 77,007
About buying a Swiss Pass - you may not want to buy one until shortly befor leaving - and giving enough time, etc to get it if mailed, etc. because in the past few years there have been unnanounced specials on Swiss Passes pop up thru Raileurope - TMK the sole purveyor of Swiss Passes outside Switzerland (though many agents sell them from RailEurope as a wholesaler) - sometimes you get an extra day or free trips to mountain tops not normally covered. Hopefull I did not rpeat something I said in this long thread!
PalenQ is offline  
Jan 13th, 2011, 10:07 PM
  #28  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 61
PalenQ, thanks for the advice on the Swiss Pass. We will watch out for specials on the RE site. Fortunately my sister stays close to their South African offices and will pick it up once we paid for it.

We will be staying on an Agriturismo near Pienza for a seven days, and will have to drive through to Florence on the day we leave for Switzerland. Florence (and CT and the AC!) will have to wait for a next time.

And if you did repeat anything, it would only be because it is very important!
Duvies is offline  
Jan 14th, 2011, 08:42 AM
  #29  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 77,007
Thanks duvies - be very careful about where you drive in Florence - there have been scores of Fodor posts about folks receiving tickets after they arrive home for entering forbidden for private vehicle areas in the city center - learn what signs to look for that indicate these areas are off-limits for private cars - cameras take pix of license plates to ticket the scufflaws - your car rental company should know what these signs look like - that said many tourists do not realize they are breaking the law!

Have a nice trip!
PalenQ is offline  
Jan 15th, 2011, 07:22 AM
  #30  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 77,007
duvies - there is a current thread about someone getting such a ticket in Florence - check it out!

Cheers
PalenQ is offline  
Jan 15th, 2011, 07:37 AM
  #31  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 32,523
>>>the regional and IC trains from Chiusi can be really slow and not so comofortable (though some of the old IC train cars, especially in first class can be pretty nice and usually are sparsely full<<<

No, in my recent experience, these trains have been upgraded so an R train really won't be uncomfortable at all. The trains on the Rome/Florence route are upgraded to IC so even if you buy a ticket for an R train, you will actually be on an IC train that was surplus and rehabbed.

http://slowtalk.com/groupee/forums/a...m/791008880001
kybourbon is online now  
Jan 16th, 2011, 09:39 AM
  #32  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 77,007
comfort level as opposed to the Eurostar type trains is lower IMO - maybe not on this route but I have been recently on R trains that had metal seats, etc.
PalenQ is offline  
Jan 17th, 2011, 08:08 AM
  #33  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 61
Thanks, I have picked up thread.

The only reason I want to drop off at Florence airport, is because I will be taking a risk dropping it off in Chiusi before their opening time and without inspection. I do not want to take that chance. From Florence AP, I will have to get some kind of public transport to the train station. That is another post which I will do later.
Duvies is offline  
Jan 17th, 2011, 09:58 AM
  #34  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 77,007
The Florence Airport (not the main internartional airport at Pisa) is only a few miles from the main Florence train station (Santa Maria Novella) and public buses go all the time but the distance is so short even a cab won't break the bank and should save lots of time and hassle of hauling luggage.
PalenQ is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 08:10 PM.