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LHR T5 to ZRH then on to Wengen

LHR T5 to ZRH then on to Wengen

Old Mar 18, 10, 9:28 am
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LHR T5 to ZRH then on to Wengen

ZURICH / WENGEN TRIP REPORT

March 14-17 2010

This was to be an unusual trip for my wife, Rosy and me. Rosy was flying to Warsaw to give midwifery advice to her eldest daughter, soon to give birth to her first child. I took the opportunity to travel on the Swiss Railway System. I took the 15.40 BA flight to Zurich. We encountered a problem at Bag drop, as Rosy wasn’t allowed to do this until 14.15, when we arrived at 12.45, with the aim of having a leisurely lunch in Wetherspoons. I managed to persuade a kind agent in the Club area to check her in early, so enjoy a lunch we did, though the Pimms was much better than the food.



Then we tried the new First Suite, hopefully ready for our next booked flight to MIA, in late October.

New F Suite

I only just made the flight due to mistakenly taking the shuttle to Zone B, then having to travel as a connecting passenger, returning through security! If you ever do this, take the lift back up, not the escalator, and then you can return to the departure lounge. The flight was very comfortable and I enjoyed a brandy and coke and a bag of mixed nuts. The Mail on Sunday was available to all.

Aircraft on stand

The arrival process was very smooth and I quickly found my bag (trolleys are freely available) and set out to look for the free shuttle to the Holiday Inn Express Rumlang, about 5km from the airport. The bus stops at Hotel bus stop 1 and runs half-hourly on the quarter hour. Holiday Inn Bus Stop at ZRH journey to the hotel takes about 10 mins. On arrival, I noticed a McDonald’s restaurant, adjacent to the Park Inn, about 5 mins walk from the Holiday Inn. The hotel has very clean, comfortable rooms. Mine had a King Bed and a sofa, desk and chair.



Bathroom

Rooms are air conditioned and have a flat screen tv with many English channels.
The bathroom is large, well lit and has a power shower.

Rumlang suburban train station is also about 5 mins walk away, with trains to Zurich taking about 20 mins and leaving half-hourly at 09 & 39. They leave from Platform 4. Here

The Holiday Inn has a 24 hour snack bar and free breakfast from 04.00. The free shuttle to Zurich city centre starts at 10.00. The airport shuttle departs at 00 & 30 past the hour, first one at 05.00. Last shuttle to the hotel is at 23.15.

Monday, 15 March 2010

Breakfast was pretty good, with juice, various hot drinks and water to drink. There was hot and cold food, with cereals, yoghurt, cheese, meat, croissants and pastries, toast and jam, boiled eggs (difficult to tell whether hard or soft!) and fresh fruit.

I quickly checked out and took the S5 train from Rumlang to Zurich. This was easy but train was packed with commuters. S5 Commuter Train

I just managed to catch the next rain to Lucerne, which gave me the chance to do an hour’s sightseeing in snow showers, at Lucerne. Photos can be found here


Next I took the Golden Train From Lucerne to Interlaken Ost. This was slow, at times, as it had to utilise rack and cogs to climb steep gradients.
Golden Train


There were some great views...

Brienzesee

On arrival at Interlaken Ost there was a quick change to the Lauterbrunnen Train

A view of Lauterbrunnen

Wonderful View

Then to the Wengen train


Here are some trains at Wengen
For you train buffs

My hotel (Baren) was a short downhill walk, which unfortunately means uphill on the return! Here are a couple of views from my balcony



After settling in to my room, I took a photo of Hotel Alpenrose, where my parents stayed in 1982. Apparently it hasn’t changed much from the outside.

Then to the tourist office to plan the next day’s activities, to include, hiking, sledging and more mountain railways. A day pass costs CH.59, plus CH.10 for the toboggan hire.

Now I needed some exercise so I decided on the 3 hour trudge through snow and ice around the Wengen mountainside. Some pictures






Then I returned to my hotel for a beer and some delicacies from the local Bakerei.

Then the continuation of the trip report, downloading of photos, etc, before an excellent dinner (half board supplement CH.20), of green salad, cheese fondue and fresh fruit salad. Another beer and continuation of report, with more slips of the typing fingers (thank heaven for spell check!).



Tuesday 16 March 2010

I had trouble sleeping due to room being too hot. I tried opening the balcony door, but outside temperature really cold so worried about waking up freezing!

Breakfast didn’t start until 08.00 (sneaked in at 07.50), which meant a delay getting to cable car, which also started at 08.00. A decent breakfast with pretty much the same selection as the Holiday Inn Express, Rumlang, which disappointed me slightly as my mum had always spoken highly of Swiss Muesli, which wasn’t available. There was a note on the table forbidding the removal of food, as very good packed lunches were bookable!

I decided to make use of my day’s lift pass for CH.59 and took the cable car to Manlichen.



On the way up I saw some mountain goats, similar to this one.

It was pretty snowy for most of the morning, so probably a good place to be was in a train.


Later, at Kleine Scheidegg it was a little clearer.



I then took a toboggan from Kleine Scheidegg to Grund, which was a bruising experience.


I passed the train several times and sometimes wished I was on it!


I stopped off here for a Yagertee.

I could and probably should have taken the train from Brandegg to Grund, but I took the more risky toboggan.

Lovely views of Grindlewald.



Eventually I made it to Grindlewald.

I then returned by the train to Kleine Scheidegg, before tobogganing back to Wengen. Where it was like a Spring afternoon.

Tomorrow, I leave before breakfast in order to reach Zurich for the 13.20 flight to LHR. To meet my lovely wife, Rosy, who is landing from WAW, also at 14.15.

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

I am very tired this morning, after another restless night. I have to keep balcony door open, to keep temperature reasonable, which is an incredible waste of fuel and a security risk, as four other rooms have access to the balcony!

A small packed lunch awaited me, as I missed breakfast. I did a hour walk around the village on a cold crisp morning. The skiers should have a great day.

I took an earlier train via Berne, to Zurich Airport and checked in easily.

I paid CH.35 to access the Panorama lounge, where I was able to have sandwiches, Lindt chocolates, fruit juice and coffee, as well as free Wi-Fi, an excellent deal, as a small bottle of water was 3.50 in the shop!

The return flight was very comfortable and the plane was virtually empty, but when I completed OLCI there were very few seats showing as unoccupied, but when the doors closed, I moved to an exit seat, of which all were vacant. The crew were very friendly and none that I spoke with seemed too keen on the strike. I was surprised that tomato juice is no longer available so enjoyed water, which exploded all over my crotch and a bag of nuts. We were ready for take-off 20 minutes early, but after a tour of Kent, we landed 20 minutes late! My wife awaited me in the baggage hall. Both flights were due at the same time.

Please feel free to pm me with any questions.

Last edited by botham; Mar 19, 10 at 2:57 am Reason: Some pictures not showing!
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Old Mar 18, 10, 9:37 am
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Terrific photos. Thanks for the report.
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Old Mar 18, 10, 4:43 pm
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Don't you just love those double decker Swiss mainline trains. I remember regularly using them between Zurich and Berne and upstairs was a load of sofas where one could relax in style with suitable little round tables. Please note UK rail companies!
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Old Mar 18, 10, 5:51 pm
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Originally Posted by OPebble View Post
Don't you just love those double decker Swiss mainline trains. I remember regularly using them between Zurich and Berne and upstairs was a load of sofas where one could relax in style with suitable little round tables. Please note UK rail companies!
The return journey from Berne to Zurich was the least interesting, but the views are so much better from the top deck and yes, those sofas are a great idea.
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Old Mar 18, 10, 6:10 pm
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Wonderful TR!!
I love Swiss trains. That is a well-run system.

Superb photos!
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Old Mar 18, 10, 7:33 pm
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Nice to see it in the snow. You're lucky it was not too cloudy obscuring the mountain peaks.

Nice pics.
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Old Mar 19, 10, 2:46 am
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Originally Posted by tkey75 View Post
Nice to see it in the snow. You're lucky it was not too cloudy obscuring the mountain peaks.

Nice pics.
The day I went tobogganing started with blizzards and heavy snow. When I left the cable car at Manlichen, I could see very little and went off the hardly visible track, down about ten feet into deep snow, which filled my boots and every other available space. Fortunately, the weather cleared after a few hours, which was far more pleasant. We don't get much snow in Dorset, so I was delighted to see so much.
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Old Mar 19, 10, 11:01 am
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Yes,the Swiss double deck trains are great arent they?.Lauterbrunnen station has changed dramatically since i first went in 1983.Then it was a single open island platform----now it looks like Clapham Junction!.Never get tired of revisiting the area though----quintessential 'Chocolate Box' Switzerland.

Last edited by handsomestpete; Mar 19, 10 at 2:22 pm
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Old Mar 19, 10, 11:24 am
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Originally Posted by handsomestpete View Post
Yes,the swiss double deck trains are great arent they?.Lauterbrunnen station has changed dramatically since i first went in 1983.Then it was a single open island platform----now it looks like Clapham Junction!.Never get tired of revisiting the area though----quintesential 'Chocolate Box' Switzerland.
I can only think of one negative aspect - the cost. We Brit's definitely need the to get stronger. I love going to Austria (slightly cheaper than Switzerland), but holidays now cost 30% more than they did 2 years ago.
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Old Mar 19, 10, 11:56 am
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Originally Posted by botham View Post
I can only think of one negative aspect - the cost. We Brit's definitely need the to get stronger. I love going to Austria (slightly cheaper than Switzerland), but holidays now cost 30% more than they did 2 years ago.
Absolutely!!!.I always say to myself "well,sod the fact that 3 courses plus G&T and some good local wine is going to cost 80 quid in this gemutlich mountain restaurant----per person----lets do it"!!.A bit painful though.

Last edited by handsomestpete; Mar 30, 10 at 10:26 am
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Old Mar 19, 10, 2:59 pm
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Originally Posted by botham View Post
I can only think of one negative aspect - the cost.
One thing you can do next time you'll be riding various Swiss trains is to buy a Halbtax (half-fare card) which costs, I believe, 99SFr for a month. It gets you half fare on the trains, *and* discounts on a lot of other things. I had bought one when I was in Switzerland in '09, because I knew I'd be riding the trains a lot, but quickly learned to ask for a discount on practically everything with it. Cable-car up Pilatus? Yep. Bus ride up Bussalp? Yep. Boat around Lake Zurich? You got it.

Great photos btw! I have wonderful memories of my own visit to Grindelwald, both the town itself and the train to get to-and-from, and your TR brought them back.
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Old Mar 19, 10, 4:34 pm
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Originally Posted by shaggy_mutt View Post
One thing you can do next time you'll be riding various Swiss trains is to buy a Halbtax (half-fare card) which costs, I believe, 99SFr for a month. It gets you half fare on the trains, *and* discounts on a lot of other things. I had bought one when I was in Switzerland in '09, because I knew I'd be riding the trains a lot, but quickly learned to ask for a discount on practically everything with it. Cable-car up Pilatus? Yep. Bus ride up Bussalp? Yep. Boat around Lake Zurich? You got it.

Great photos btw! I have wonderful memories of my own visit to Grindelwald, both the town itself and the train to get to-and-from, and your TR brought them back.
Most of my train travel was accomplished with the Swiss Transfer ticket, which enables the purchaser to travel between their point of entry and their resort. I was able to travel outward via the scenic route from Lucerne and back on the faster route via Berne. By staying in Wengen, the Interlaken to Wengen route was included. The Swiss pass is also excellent value if travelling much, over a longer period.
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Old Mar 19, 10, 5:10 pm
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Great Photos - Thanks for posting.

Regards Larry.
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Old Mar 20, 10, 2:39 am
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Originally Posted by larrywilmot747 View Post
Great Photos - Thanks for posting.

Regards Larry.
I agree. It was great TR and I'm glad that he is so enjoyable for flying to ZRH. I will be on the next flight out on Apr 11-20. I will try to go on the Alps Mountains. I know the weather condition will be warmer during the days. I haven't skiing on the mountains yet. I'm sure it will be so enjoyable for me & my brother will be there. He will teach me how I can skiing on Alps. I remember where I took a few couple shot from my plane is takeoff from ZRH.

I will try go to Alps to get on 10,000 feets high. It will be very higher by above of the ground levels. I am never been on the mountains in Switzerland yet. I will have more extra carefully out there. I don't want to be too risks to get injured at all. I will keep aware of me & my brother will take care of it. I will try to take lots of those pictures.

However, i will have to keep eyeing on the ice. I won't falling on the ice with my legs will not to being hurt at all. I will have to be more careful out there. In the particular that I am never see the snow for all of those years. I will have more extra cautions out there. So beside, it won't have any issued problems on the streets or anywhere on Alps near Switzerland & Italy.
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Old Mar 20, 10, 11:21 am
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Fantastic TR, thanks for sharing!
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