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Zermatt, Zurich, St. Moritz and Glacier Express

Zermatt, Zurich, St. Moritz and Glacier Express

Old Feb 5th, 2001, 05:35 PM
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Zermatt, Zurich, St. Moritz and Glacier Express

I will be travelling to Switzerland this summer. I have heard a lot about the Glacier Express from Zermatt to St. Moritz and I am really thinking of pursuing that route. Does anyone have any ideas or suggestions on places to stay or things to do in St. Moritz, Zermatt or Zurich that wouldn't be too outragiously expensive? Any suggestions on places to stay would be helpful too. Thanks!
Old Feb 5th, 2001, 07:36 PM
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Do you realise that on the Glacier Express, it is not necessary to make the whole journey from Zermatt to St.Moritz if you don't wish to. For example you could skip Zermatt and join the train Brig, or leave it at Chur instead of St.Moritz and so on. This would largely depend on your total itinerary.
I have'nt been to Zermatt, but I have read about it both in guide books and on this forum, and it appears to be worth an overnight stay at least, as you can take a smaller funicular train further up the mountain to Gornegrat for excellent views of the Matterhorn, which people have recommended.
I have been to St.Moritz and, frankly it did nothing for me. It is a very glossy ski resort, or apres ski resort, which is of course out of season in Summer. There is a smaller town nearby Pontresina, which offers tranquillity and walking if you prefer this.
There is another scenic train, which is far better than the Glacier Express, called the Bernina Express, which runs from Chur and/or St.Moritz to Tirano,in Italy, from where you can catch a connecting train to Lake Como and Ballagio, returning to Switzerland via Como and Lugano the next day.
A couple of years ago I caught the Glacier Express at Brig to Chur, for an overnight, and then the Bernina to Tirano and Bellagio for a late lunch the next day, then a lake cruise from there to Como for the second night. It was a wonderful trip, but the Bernina Express and the Lake Como cruise were much more enjoyable than the Glacier Express itself, although it was good.
From Tirano, there is also a connecting bus directly back to Lugano, but you need to book ahead for this I think. I did the train trips simply by booking the night before.
Hope this helps.
Old Feb 6th, 2001, 06:26 AM
Bob Brown
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Zermatt is in the heart of the most dramatic peaks of the Alps. But to see them well requires some effort, so a good deal of what you do depends on how physically fit you are. Some of the hikes to the more dramatic views are quite demanding. If you are not into pulse pounding, the trip to the end station on the Gornergrat line gives incredible views of Monte Rosa and the huge glacier that flows from it. Also, you get spectacular views of the other peaks, including the Matterhorn. You can also ride the cable line up to the Little Matterhorn. On a clear day, you feel like you can see forever. A word of caution, however, the Little Matterhorn is exposed to the winds and the temperature up there can be quite below that of Zermatt.

Do not underestimate the views to the east either. The Mischabel Range separates the Zermatt valley from that of Saas Fee and the other "Saases". (Belin, Grund, Almagel, Tomaten)
The highest mountain totally within Switzerland, The Dom, is in that gigantic ridge. If you get over to Saas Fee, you will be overwhelmed by the Mischabel chain which rises some 9,000 feet almost vertically above the village.

As for the Glacier Express, I suggest you trace the line and see where it goes. You can get a detailed list of the stations at which it stops by consulting the Swiss Rail web site. Of course you will need a good map, the the Michelin map of Switzerland will do admirably. Much of the route is deep in valleys and tunnels. Having ridden trains in Switzerland through the mountains I can make one observation: if you want to see the peaks, and be where you can overlook the valleys, rent a car and drive over some of the passes. That way you will be up where you can see, not down in a hole where you look up from the bottom of a funnel.
For example, last summer we drove over the Grimsel, Furka, and Susten Passes, plus some others.
The so-called Three Pass Drive is one of the most incredible excursions through high mountain scenery you will ever take on paved roads. The views over the valleys, which you cannot get from a train, are awesome. And the close up views of the peaks are unforgettable.
Well, those are my experiences and what I have enjoyed.
Old Feb 11th, 2001, 08:38 AM
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I agree with Tony, that the Bernina Express (St. Moritz/Pontresina - Tirano)is more scenic than the Glacier Express. I think you'll see more in these 2 hours than in the 7 or 8 hours on the Glacier Express. On both lines there are not only so called express trains but also regular trains, at least every two hours. (www.rail.ch)
I recommend to buy a 1 month half fare card for your trip. Costs 90 SFr. A one way ticket Zermatt-St. Moritz costs already 139.-. This card is available at every railway station. The Swiss Pass may be an option, but doesn't cover the part from Zermatt to Disentis (Glacier Express).
If you need furter informations you can email me (I live in Switzerland)
Old Feb 11th, 2001, 01:17 PM
richard j vicek
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Good afternoon, Katie
Have used these hotels a number of times
over the years have been very satisified
with accomodations and service.
St. Moritz - the Steffani (2)
Zermatt - Monte Rosa (1)
Zermatt - Schweizerhof (4)
Zurich - Kindli (8)
Found St. Moritz much more quieter than
Zermatt, however Zermatt kinda dies on
Sunday. Richard of La Grange Park, Il..
Old Feb 11th, 2001, 02:24 PM
celia Lynn
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I made the Glacier Express run and it was a very cloudy day(this was the end of April) and couldn't see anything! I saw the countryside, but not the mountains....was very disappointed. Stayed in Zermott overnight and then St. Moritz to Austria. The trains had stopped due to an avalanche, and it took three buses to get to Innsbruck. Can't do anything about the weather, and it was big bucks down the drain. Oh, well....maybe next time!
Old Feb 11th, 2001, 03:34 PM
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I'd also like to suggest getting off somewhere other than St. Moritz. I have stayed in Arosa and liked that, look also into Davos in addition to Pontresina as mentioned. In Arosa try the Panarosa hotel, the most recently built and a good sports type hotel right next to the big ski slope. (dramatic view from the dining room)

In Zermatt, I also stayed and liked at least one of the hotels mentioned, Monte Rosa. Food was good. For something to do there, it's quite touristy but most people say despite that they don't mind too much. By all means visit the cemetery there to view all of the monuments to the climbers.
Old Feb 11th, 2001, 04:20 PM
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Message: Mathias

We will be travelling in Switzerland this summer, too. Some years back we bought a three week half fare railroad card which entitled us to discounts on postal busses and lake steamers as well as one day of free travel on the entire rail system. Is this offer available for this year?
Thank you for your help!
Anita - a Basler Bebbi

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