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Switzerland lift-your-spirits Trip

This forum is wonderful. I so appreciate the help and advice I glean from all of you. My husband has had Covid-19 and has recovered.....and we have had to cancel a wonderful trip to the Dordogne area in France this month. We are having some time at home to think about our blessings, that he has recovered and survived, and want to look toward a wonderful trip to Switzerland in the fall, God willing that this chaos is over by then....we can all hope and dream! Anyway.....it keeps us busy planning and dreaming during this quarantine. We have been to Switzerland twice but think of it for us as a place to completely relax....and are setting our hopes to return there in September. We are looking at one of the train rides through the country and it sounds like the Bernina Express is the best for us to pursue. Anyone else done this? We are thinking of flying into Zurich, buying a Swiss pass and planning our visit and hikes around day train trips through the country. We would also like to base for a few days in Lauterbrunnen as we have a hotel there that we love to stay in on the main drag through town. Any ideas from any of you would be so appreciated. The Golden Pass and William Tell seem to include northern Italy and that is not in our original plan of staying in Switzerland......Thank you again!

Posted by
34 posts

Anything in Switzerland is a treat. From hiking near gimmelwald to eating chocolates in Zurich. Your plan sounds ok. It’s worth getting your hands on the Rick steves Switzerland or lonely planet Switzerland book if you don’t have them... you can get them digitally. That’ll help... and gives you something to do nowadays.

Murren, wengen, gimmelwald are all nice in addition to Lauterbrunnen proper. Northern Italy particularly lake como and Italian alps are great as well. Lots of easy and not so easy hikes all around.

But it’s really, really hard to give advice about planning anything now. Everything could change by September.

I have a trip planned there in September as well... it’s just hard to tell what’s going to be happening...

Maybe everything will be fine and I hope it is... and maybe we will be able to watch the cows parade through Lauterbrunnen in September.

I hope so.

Posted by
49 posts

In the months before the pandemic I tried all four of the main scenic rail trips in Switzerland (using the branded trains where possible, but also some regional trains, as this was off-season). I felt that the "Scenic Rail Journeys" chapter of Rick's Switzerland guidebook provided an apt comparison of the four routes, and accurate advice for an enjoyable ride on each.

I bought the ninth edition of Rick's guide in Apple Books (formerly iBooks) format. The maps are serviceable, but I'd recommend using a comprehensive Swiss railway map for your planning. I did enjoy having the guide on my cell phone so that I could peek at it before boarding and occasionally en route.

I'm glad that you are considering a pass. Particularly if you follow the suggestion of riding ordinary regional trains instead instead of the branded trains, you will love the freedom of being able to get on and off wherever and whenever you like with no need to think about tickets. (Passes work with most of the branded trains, too, but you'll often need to purchase reservations and pay supplements.)

If you have the financial means, an unlimited rail pass such as the "Swiss Travel Pass" or a Eurail Global Pass (in case you do venture beyond Switzerland) is better than a "SwissPass" with a "travelcard" (which provides a percentage discount on train tickets but still involves a ticket for each journey). Also, first class is worth the extra money on these popular train routes.

Posted by
669 posts

Jane, so happy to hear good news! So you husband had the virus, but you didn't? To what do you owe your good health? Again, it's a relief to read good news.
Safe travels!

Posted by
49 posts

One thing I forgot to mention is that if you will be in Zurich for a time, and if you are open to one scenic train trip outside Switzerland, the Transalpin through the Arlberg Pass in Austria originates at Zurich HB at 08:40 every morning and carries a first class panorama car.

This complements the Swiss scenic train routes and can serve as a one-day "vacation from your vacation". It's much less crowded, and the Austrian Railways provide impeccable at-seat food service in first class, with breakfast, lunch and dinner if you wish. The menu includes some traditional Austrian options, along with local wines and spirits. The scenery doesn't rival that of the Swiss scenic routes, but the food service beats what's provided on the branded Swiss trains, hands-down.

Posted by
447 posts

I too have a Sep tour booked for Switzerland and sooooooo hoping it happens otherwise will have to rebook for 2021. Our tour includes the Glacier Express but only from St Moritz to Andermatt.

If you want to get the RS guide, wait til next month when the 2020 version - hard copy and kindle is released.

Posted by
4501 posts

Jane,

Thanks for sharing the good news about your husband’s recovery from covid-19.

Like Pat (unthread), I’m also intrigued...

How did you escape from not getting infected with the virus?

Switzerland is on my bucket list so I’ll be following this thread, thanks!

Posted by
407 posts

Thank you for all of your help! For those of you curious about the virus I will tell you that I have probably had the virus along with my husband......though any symptoms I had were very different than my husband’s and would not be tested because I was considered asymptomatic. He had severe nausea and had to go to the ER for 2 IV’s to get him through.....I have not had the fever or nausea but a couple of days of headaches and loss of taste and smell. I am on Day 6 of my quarantine.....and getting lots done around my home. I will say that we are all writing the book on this and learning new things about it everyday. We are people of faith and prayer and I know God has seen us through this.

Posted by
4501 posts

Jane,

Thanks for sharing your experience with the virus, it’s been very helpful.

I’d read that Covid-19 may present with GI symptoms (nausea, vomiting & diarrhea) but this information doesn’t seem to be widely publicized as much as the most common symptoms (fever, dry cough and shortness of breath)

Wishing you and your husband a complete recovery.

Thanks again!