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Trip report - Switzerland and north Italy

Trip report - Switzerland and north Italy

Old May 24th, 2023, 06:23 AM
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Thank you for sharing, Adelaidean. I didn't realize Zurich was picturesque, as I always pictured otherwise. Looking forward to the ideas you provide as I've wanted to return to Switzerland.
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Old May 24th, 2023, 01:31 PM
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Oh, more Adelaideans, lol!

And fellow travellers, good to see you here.

Day 3:

leaving Zurich, travel to Stresa (Italy)

I pre purchased tickets Zurich to Brig train, then Brig - Domodossola Postbus, by selecting ‘via Simplon’. Otherwise the route planner will default to the faster train journey.
I prefer to add Postbus journeys where I can.

The train stops in Thun and Spiez in the Bernese Oberland, but it was a grey dreary day, so I’ll just show some snaps of no views…






as compared to the gorgeous weather on the ‘sunny side’ of the alps, at Visp and Brig









I was worried about the bus being full, and here it was:




the journey is less than 2 hours, a long windy road up from Brig, high over the Simplon Pass, and then down into Italy.

Really hard to get photos of any quality, with reflections, but a few to show the landscape.

























Then arrived at Domodossola to transfer to an Italian train to Stresa.
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Old May 24th, 2023, 02:22 PM
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Hi Adelaidean, another Aussie on board here! Loving your photos!

Lavandula
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Old May 24th, 2023, 02:45 PM
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I am happily following along. Wonderful pictures and so happy that you are traveling.
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Old May 24th, 2023, 09:18 PM
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The Postbus journey from Brig to Domodossola took about 2 hours, as compared to the 30 min train journey.
So worth investing a bit of time researching the many options and then allowing a bit of time on the journey so you don’t need to choose the fastest route.

Scenic journeys are so much a part of Swiss travel, and you don’t need to be on one of the big 4 train rides.
And you get a slice of local life, some hikers jumped on the bus, and a handful of school kids, we were the only ‘tourists’.

This is how the journey looks when you apply the route planner map on the App

64 CHF half fare each





Addit:
this is a brilliant blog about Postbus travel and there is English translation option, such a fun read and so many great ideas Mit dem Postauto rund um die Schweiz!.


It’s really lush and green once over the high pass and descend into the valley into Italy.

Arriving in Domodossola, we bought our tickets to Stresa for less than €5 each and bought a €1 espresso while waiting. Great coffee, happy prices, lol.

A short train ride to Stresa and our host kindly picked us up at the station as it was wet and dreary.

So much to experience in this area, it’s on a train line so very convenient, and a holiday resort kind of town with many hotels, restaurants, and lake activities.



a map just to provide some context





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Old May 24th, 2023, 09:30 PM
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Thanks for your comments, it is nice to know if this interests people, as TA questions would attest so many travellers are merely wanting to squeeze in a few big ticket / well known Swiss landmarks or journeys and hopefully it provides a different perspective.

neckervd, thanks, Macugnaga was on my ‘possibility’ list, i had been trying to find start dates for the chairlifts but I suspect we are just slightly pre season for that.
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Old May 24th, 2023, 09:47 PM
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Wonderful photos of the trip!! Gorgeous! Thank you!

I absolutely love how you are giving such excellent detail about the logistics of the trip, with maps and screeenshots to illustrate!! Such a good idea!

I am so loving this report!

s
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Old May 24th, 2023, 11:23 PM
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Hi swandav!

A bit of searching, I came across updated timetable

https://macugnaga-monterosa.com/cont...to-comprensori

looks like a possibility for this weekend.
Our friend and my cousin are now here though, so I will need to be democratic and put my suggestions to a vote.
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Old May 24th, 2023, 11:39 PM
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Adelaidean, I'm loving your detailed report and your fabulous photos! What a happy find. Thank you!
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Old May 25th, 2023, 04:35 AM
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Wonderful report, following it closely. Some of these places on our future travel wishlist, so very interesting.
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Old May 25th, 2023, 05:03 AM
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We plan to take the bus over Simplon between Brig and Domodossola as well Adelaidean, so it's nice to read about it.

We'll be spending five nights in Domodossola (didn't you have a lunch meet up with Hambaghle planned?). We're looking forward to some good eatin' and Italian prices.

Interested to hear your impressions of Stresa.
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Old May 25th, 2023, 07:20 AM
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Ade, so glad to see you are able to spend 39 nights in one of your favorite areas of the planet! I'll follow along for what I hope is the trip of dreams.

(BTW, we have a guideline of sorts: each hour in transit requires at least one night on the ground at the destination. Well done!)

Thanks for sharing.
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Old May 25th, 2023, 08:27 AM
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I love how you are traveling slowly, using public transportation, and really maximizing those views.

And I love your photos!
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Old May 25th, 2023, 12:44 PM
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Mel, we both wanted to jump off the bus at Simplon Maschihuis stop and walk to the Simplon Dorf village, so pretty.
You have a good memory…we are meeting Hambaghale for lunch next week in Domodossola.

There’s been a Louis Vuitton event on Isola Bella the last few days, so the Stresa promenade was buzzing with VIPs and security, wannabes, influencers, and cool looking young people, which we were not mistaken for.

Random Stresa shots



View from our balcony







Our local piazza









decaying villa

Day 4: Muesli and fruit in apartment, followed by our wake up espresso and bruschetta in piazza in morning, it was a very wet and grey start to day.

Met up with cousin and friend, and joined a bus group by local travel agency to Lake Orta (summer bus service not yet operational)

Drove to Omegna, then boat to little villages crisscrossing the lakes - the sky clearing, just so beautiful with forested hills surrounding lake.

Eventually arrived at Isola San Giulio, a tiny island 140x 280 m, primarily a Benedictine monastery housing 90 nuns, visited the extraordinary basilica with stunning frescoes, and walked the single tiny lane that takes 5 mins to walk the entire island along the ‘way of silence’.

Boat ride back to Orta San Giulio, a buzzing little town with its medieval piazza and alleys and busy gelaterias. Our boat ride then continued across the lake to town opposite where we met the bus again and took a different route through the hills and villages, and descended lakeside back to Stresa. It turned out to be an excellent little tour of the area.


Villages of Lake Orta


Isola San Giulio



Basilica Isola San Giulio






Laneway Isola San Giulio



Laneway Isola San Giulio










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Old May 25th, 2023, 12:49 PM
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Simplon Dorf village is actually on my to-do list, so good to know!
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Old May 25th, 2023, 12:58 PM
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Continued…

Jetty on Isola San Giulio


Village across lake











Arriving Orta San Giulio



arriving Orta San Giulio













































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Old May 25th, 2023, 01:01 PM
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Old May 25th, 2023, 11:22 PM
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Oooh, how nice! It'll be interesting if you go up the mountain!

More lovely photos! In parts it does look elegant, like those 19th C resorts, with the ornate white street lamps and grand hotels. Other places it looks so charming, with ancient architecture and inviting, cosy cobbled lanes.

Isola San Giulio looks pretty! And the landscape of the countryside is sooo lush.

What a gorgeous place to slow down in, to relax and enjoy every meal, every espresso, every alley.

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Old May 26th, 2023, 01:23 PM
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Please add my bravas, Adelaidean. My heart was totally in Italy until you shared the Switzerland shots.
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Old May 26th, 2023, 09:56 PM
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Last picture in the square, before ferry across lake and bus ride back to Stresa:

















Rocca Angera













No dinner booking, and everyone felt like pizza, so stopped at the square and had my first Aperol Spritz of the holiday and a great dinner of pizza and red wine, topping off a fabulous day.
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