Wednesday, 19 August 2020

Swiss Railway Adventure - Photo Diary

I can't believe almost 10 months have passed since my trip to breathtaking Switzerland! Time seems to be passing in an odd way and has little meaning at the moment whilst we're observing the lock down.

I've been having a little sulk about all the travel plans for 2020 that have been put on hold. Thinking of my friends who have had to postpone weddings, those who have been in the final stages of pregnancy in lock down and everything going on in the world now puts things into perspective. This extra time at home has given me food for thought and I've been pondering over the things I'm grateful for and all the wonderful trips I've been lucky enough to go on with my husband have to be at the top of the list.

I'm not going to blabber on too much in this post because I think the photos speak for themselves. Most of these were taken on a broken old iPhone without any skill and Switzerland still looks stunning. I can't quite believe I was really there surrounded by the mighty Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau.

lauterbrunnen

alpine cow









Jungfrau bahn




cable car

Swiss rosti





lake thun



Stay

We stayed in such a stylish and well appointed apartment during our trip to Switzerland. Maria, our host had decorated the place beautifully and even left us a selection of Swiss treats to enjoy on our first evening. It was the perfect size for me, my husband and dog for our week long stay. You can find the listing here.
The apartment was located a short walk from Wilderswil railway station and we could see the historic Schynige Platte Railway pass us by from the balcony. A railway lovers dream for two railway workers like myself and my husband.
 

Getting around

Train travel is the best way to take in everything that Switzerland has to offer. The sedate pace, the views, the ease and punctuality of Swiss railways all combine to make it the obvious way to explore.

If you’re planning any Swiss travel, particularly if you are planning to travel Switzerland by train, you most likely have come across the Swiss Travel Pass.  The Swiss Travel Pass is an all-inclusive  pass which gives access to the Swiss rail system but also entry to museums and travel on some ferries and cable cars too.

Whilst the price of the pass is expensive, once you add up the price of individual Swiss rail tickets, plus the entry to a few museums you soon make your money back and even start to save. For me the mass meant that you don’t have to worry about making bookings, carrying around multiple train tickets and even being concerned with missing a train - because you can simply catch the next one!


See


I'm sure we only scratched the surface of all the things to do in Jungfrau and the surrounding areas during our trip so I may miss out some 'must see' destinations but here are my holiday highlights:

Jungfraujoch

Jungfraujoch, Europe’s highest railway station was a must see for me. This train ride takes you from Interlaken all the way to 11,000 feet above sea level. You can choose to go via Lauterbrunnen or Grindelwald.

A journey to the Jungfraujoch is incredibly popular bit it’s certainly not cheap. When combining some of the best views of the Alps with taking a ride on a modern-day marvel of engineering, this is one train ride worthy of a spot on your bucket list and worth the ticket price.

Route: Lauterbrunnen – Wengen – Kleine Scheidegg– Jungfrau or Interlaken – Zweilütschinen – Grindelwald – Kleine Scheidegg – Jungrfrau.
Duration: Roughly 2 hours one way
Don’t miss: The towns you pass through. They’re so picturesque – so leave time to stop in Wengen or Grindelwald.

Gelmerbahn Funicular

With an incline of 106% this is one of the steepest funiculars in Europe. 

The Gelmerbahn runs daily from 21st May – 25. Oct. It runs roughly every 25 minutes starting at 9.00. The last ride up is 15.48 (16:36 in Jul/Aug) and the last ride down is at 16.00 (16:48 in Jul/Aug).

After a ride with spectacular views you're greeted by Gelmersee, a man-made reservoir with beautifully bluw water. The Gelmer funicular is how the workers got up the mountain to create the reservoir back in the 20's. 

Lake Thun Cruise

Lake Thun is one of most picturesque destinations for a boat cruise that you can experience. I really enjoyed the leisurely trip  from Interlaken to Spiez, taking in the views of the Bernese Oberland on clear blue waters. Spiez Castle is surrounded by vineyards in what is said to be the prettiest bay in Europe.


There are so many more cable cars and trains journeys we took and to be honest, they were all spectacular. You won't be disappointed by any of them. I recommend heading to this site for a full breakdown of all the things to see and do.

Eat

Switzerland can be a tad expensive so we prepared our breakfasts and evening meals at the apartment to both save costs and rest after really long days out exploring. We did treat ourselves to come lovely cakes and coffees whilst out but the standout meal for us was at the Swiss restaurant Weidstübl in Lauterbrunnen. They had a varied choice of traditional dishes like rosti, fondue and sausages and the surroundings were very quaint and cosy. We ate in the outdoor seating area (heated) and our dog Coco was very welcome there.


Until next time, Switzerland!


Gemma
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