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Germany's Black Forest and Exploring Switzerland

Germany's Black Forest and Exploring Switzerland

Old Oct 30, 2023, 11:03 am
  #31  
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Exploring Montreux

We arrived in Montreux in the early afternoon and headed straight to our hotel to check-in. After recharging in our room for a bit our first order of business was finding a late lunch so, we headed out along the waterfront in search of something to eat.



After walking for about 10 minutes we came across the Li Lo, a small caf and bar situated right on the water. They had a few tables available so we took a seat and perused the menu.



We ordered a drinks as well as some food. There was a slight mix-up with our order and another table but, eventually they got it sorted out. Food and drink in hand, we kicked back and enjoyed the view out over the lake.




Relaxed and recharged, we headed back along the waterfront towards the center of town. Both the lake and walkway were filled with people enjoying the tail end of Summer. As a wakeboarder, I especially enjoyed seeing all of the towboats in action. We certainly don't get backdrops like that in Texas!


As we neared the center of town, we heard music coming from an open air pavilion. Apparently a festival honoring Freddy Mercury was occurring during our stay.



The show at the time was open to the public and we listened to the band for a couple of minutes before continuing down the waterfront. We found a Mvenpick Ice Cream stall nearby and after grabbing a couple of cones went to sit on the beach. Once the ice cream was gone we headed back to the hotel to get ready for dinner. After changing and getting ready, we started with cocktails on the outdoor terrace of the hotel as the sun was starting to set.




With drinks finished we headed out to make our way to the restaurant. Mrs. ATX wanted fondue and found a place located up the hill away from the waterfront, Restaurant le Museum. While the name doesn't get much of an indication of the food, it had great reviews online so we made our way off the beaten path to the restaurant.




We checked in with the hostess and were immediately shown to our table. As far as I could tell, all of the tables were outside and we had a nice view of the lake below and the mountains on the horizon. While the view was nice upon our arrival, it turned in to one of the most beautiful sunsets I've ever seen. Even the restaurant staff paused to take pictures as the sky lit up bright orange. The photos below are completely unedited and taken with my iPhone.




With the light show over it was time for dinner. Mrs. ATX ordered a traditional fondue dish while I had a steak. My steak was delicious and she really enjoyed her dish, though the potatoes and cheese filled her up quickly.




After dinner, we were exhausted from a long day of travel so we returned back to the hotel for the night. Needing to catch up on some sleep, we didn't set an alarm and woke up the next morning around 10:30a. After breakfast at the hotel we headed across the street to the train station to make the short ride to Chteau de Chillon. Thanks to our public transit passes provided by the hotel, all of our rail transport around Montreux was covered.



After a quick train trip, I love the efficiency of Swiss rail, we got off and made the 5 minute walk from the station to the castle grounds along the waterfront. The weather this morning was perfect which made for an enjoyable walk.



We headed straight to the ticket booth and thankfully there was no line. We used our Montreux Card to get a discount on the tickets and headed inside the gates into the main courtyard of the castle.



There are self guided and audio tour options for exploring the castle. Mrs. ATX and I chose the self guided option and found that the path was very well marked and easy to follow. Our first stop was in the cellar of the castle that was also used as the jail. The bedrock that the castle was built upon is visible here and there are some small windows that overlook the lake allowing some light to come in.




After leaving the cellar, we wound through the chapel area before heading back outside into another courtyard space.



From there, we headed into the main residence area of the castle. The castle was expanded multiple times over the 800+ years of its existence and reflected the importance of controlling the trade route between Lake Geneva and the Rhne River valley. As impressive and important as the castle is, the bed still doesn't look like somewhere I'd want to spend the night.



The bathtub was also interesting and was essentially a big wooden barrel draped with cloth.



Though it was built as a fortress, the castle still had amazing views every time you looked out the window. No wonder the Counts of Savoy decided to summer here.




We left the main living quarters and crossed through some covered outdoor passageways a few levels up from the main courtyard. There were also some cannons situated here that guarded the castle from the road below.




Finally we ended out tour up in the keep, where many of the weapons would have been stashed. You're probably tired of pictures by now but, since this was the highest point of the castle, the views from here were even better.




Our tour complete, we headed out through the gift shop. I found the perfect book for kids that think they have it rough.



We left the castle and started walking along the waterfront back towards the train station. Since it was such a nice day, we decided to pass up the first station and keep walking along the lake back towards Montreux.



During our walk, we stumbled upon a tennis club where the Montreux Open was being played. Mrs. ATX played competitive tennis through college so we decided to pop in and see what was going on. I'm not sure if admission was free or if nobody asked to see if we had tickets but, we ended up sitting courtside for one of the matches and had lunch.




Across the highway from the tennis club was the Territet-Glion funicular station. We planned to ride the funicular up to Glion where we would connect over to the MontreuxGlionRochers-de-Naye cog railway line. There was a car waiting in the station and soon we were headed up the mountain. While the view climbing the hill was great, the glare from the car windows made it difficult to capture on camera.




In Glion we transferred over to the cog railway. Since the stations are steep and short, there are only certain stops where the full train can be loaded. Large items are loaded into an open air car connected to the front of the train for transport.



While the line goes all the way to the top of Rochers-de-Naye, we disembarked earlier in Haut de Caux. Beyond this point our Montreux Cards were only valid for a discount instead of free travel and we wanted to explore a bit instead of doing a direct turn at the top. After disembarking the train we had roughly 40 minutes before the return journey down the mountain.



There were a few homes scattered around as well as a small hotel and restaurant. We walked around the area for a bit taking in the view before heading to the restaurant to grab a snack and enjoy the weather.




We took a table on the back deck overlooking the lake. We ordered a couple of drinks and bottled waters along with a raspberry tart to share while we relaxed.




Our short time in Haut de Caux passed quickly and we soon had to head back to the station. We boarded the train and rode it all the way down to its terminus in Montreux, across from our hotel. Mrs. ATX wanted to go for a swim so we headed to the hotel to change before making our way down to the water. There was a small beach nearby and we spent about an hour or so swimming into the lake. A curious swan even decided to come and join the party.




By the time we were done swimming it was almost 7:00p. We headed back to the hotel and decompressed in the sauna before heading to our room to change and start packing. We grabbed a round of drinks from the hotel bar at 8:30 before making our way to a nearby restaurant for one final dinner in Montreux. I had my first schnitzel of the trip while Mrs. ATX had the mussels.




Our train to Zermatt wasn't scheduled to depart until 11:40a so we had a nice, relaxing morning at the hotel and grabbed breakfast in the lobby. At 11:30a we made the short walk over to the station and, with that, our time in Montreux had come to a close.

We really enjoyed the couple of days we spent here and, if given the opportunity, we wouldn't hesitate to return.

For more photos and additional trip reports, visit
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Old Oct 30, 2023, 12:45 pm
  #32  
 
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Wow at the sunset!!!!!!
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Old Oct 30, 2023, 12:51 pm
  #33  
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Originally Posted by nequine
Wow at the sunset!!!!!!
It was one of the best I've ever seen!
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Old Oct 30, 2023, 12:58 pm
  #34  
 
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I am not surprised to hear that, it looked so beautiful in your photos!
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Old Oct 30, 2023, 1:21 pm
  #35  
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Originally Posted by nequine
I am not surprised to hear that, it looked so beautiful in your photos!
Photos don't do it justice, the whole sky was a bright orange for 4-5 minutes. Even once it faded it was still better than most sunsets.

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Old Nov 3, 2023, 9:41 pm
  #36  
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Montreux to Zermatt via Swiss Federal Railways

After a few fantastic days in Montreux it was time for us to head off to our next stop, Zermatt. Thankfully today was a slower and less chaotic day than our 5 train trip from Badenweiler to Montreux.

Our train was departing from Gare de Montreux, across the street from our hotel, at 11:35a. We enjoyed a nice leisurely breakfast before grabbing our bags and heading over to the station. Our train was running a few minutes late and pulled into the station at 11:40a.



Boarding was quick and thankfully the 2nd Class cabin was relatively empty. With open seating we managed to find a pair together easily and the train remained roughly 1/3 full throughout our trip. A minute later, we were off and passed by the Chillon Castle on our way out of town.



In Villeneuve, the lake ended and we paralleled the Rhne River as we headed west. The terrain started off with a narrow valley flanked by steep cliffs before the valley opened up and gave way to flat land with the mountains off in the distance.



As we entered Sion, I was surprised to see a decent sized airport with a few private jets parked on the tarmac. The closest major airports to Zermatt are Geneva and Zurich, with the train ride between either of these to Zermatt taking around 3 hours. Sion does offer some charter services but is mainly used for military and private aviation.



Roughly an hour after leaving Montreux we were nearing Visp. The terrain had become more mountainous once again and it was here that we would switch over to the Matterhorn Gotthard Bahn railway that would make the climb up to Zermatt.



We had almost 10 minutes to change trains, which is more than enough time at most Swiss railway stations, and we found our train waiting on Track 3. Fortunately for us, we had one of the newer trainsets with cars featuring massive glass windows to allow us to take in the view. This train was also relatively empty so there was plenty of space for luggage.



The railway up to Zermatt is quite steep and parallels the Vispa River. While it is operated by traditional looking trains, there are some cog sections which would assist on some of the steeper sections. We took seats on the right side of the train which would give us the best views of the Vispa River and the valley.



We departed Visp and made an immediate left turn to start our journey up the mountain. The train crosses the river multiple times giving riders on both sides views of the riverbed below. It was hard to photograph given the glare from the windows but the views were impressive.





The train made several stops along the way serving the villages between Visp and Zermatt. Some of the stations were only by request while others were scheduled. There was one that advertised yak sightseeing and another that I assume is the Summer residence of Santa Claus.




While many of the stations are small, there is one large one along the line. Since Zermatt is car free, anyone driving up to the town must park in Tsch and board the train there. From Tsch, it was a short ride up the rest of the way to Zermatt. We even passed something I wasn't expecting in this narrow valley, a golf course.




We arrived at Zermatt station just after 2:00p and followed the station signage to the exit. There were some electric taxis and hotel shuttles available for those with lots of luggage or heading away from the center of town. Our hotel was close so we decided to walk instead.

All in all, this was a much simpler and more scenic travel experience when compared to others on this trip. I highly encourage everyone to take the train when visiting Zermatt because, you really don't have a choice!

Summary
When traveling to Zermatt at some point you're going to have to take the train, as no cars are allowed in town. While there is a small airport in Sion, it only serves a limited number of smaller flights and general aviation traffic. Most visitors would likely fly into Geneva, the closest major airport, and rent a car/take the train. With the punctuality of Swiss trains and the gorgeous views, sign me up for the train every time!
For more photos and additional trip reports, visit ATXJetsetter.com or follow along on Instagram and Twitter!
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Old Nov 6, 2023, 9:43 am
  #37  
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Review: Chalet Hotel Schnegg Zermatt

Between Montreux and Zurich we decided to take the long way and spend the night in Zermatt. We had an easy train trip up from Montreux and found ourselves headed towards the hotel just after 2:00p.

Booking
Since we only had one night in Zermatt we wanted to stay close to all of the action in the center of town. Mrs. ATX Jetsetter had a specific vision in mind and wanted to handle booking the hotel. She found the Chalet Hotel Schnegg via Google search and booked our one king Matterhorn view room directly with the hotel for around $400 per night.

Location
The Chalet Hotel Schnegg is perched high upon a hill overlooking the city. While accessing the hotel via standard roads would take roughly 20 minutes, the hotel has a passageway in town, on the banks of the river, that allows access to a tunnel. The hotel provides directions in their check-in instructions to the passageway which is clearly marked. The adjacent Hotel Alpenroyal can also be accessed via this entrance.



This long tunnel takes you to a set of elevators that will then transport you up to the hotel above. They also have a shuttle available to/from the railway station for guests that want to arrive via road.



Check-In
We entered the hotel via passageway and took the elevator up to the lobby. There was nobody waiting at reception when we arrived and we were greeted by a couple of staff members who took our Passports and provided us with some hot towels.



After verifying our documents and checking us in, the receptionist provided us with a map of the town and explained the transportation system as well as a few nearby points of interest. He handed us our keys and a bellman came to take our baggage to our room.

Room
Reception was located on the 3rd floor and we were assigned a room on the 1st floor. We took the elevator down and found our room at the end of the hallway. Upon entry we immediately noticed the natural light flooding into the room. Since the room was located on the corner, the hotel installed windows looking over the town as well as the mountains. A short hallway led from the doorway to the bedroom and had a large closet along the wall.




Past the closet, the hallway opened into the bedroom as well as the sitting area.



The "King" bed (which was two twins pushed together and is pretty standard for Europe) was flanked by nightstands and lamps mounted to the wall. A phone was also located on one of the nightstands.



Across from the bed was a desk that held the TV and a Nespresso coffee maker. A bottle of water and a selection of teas were also available.




Towards the rear of the room is a sitting area that features a loveseat, chair and a coffee table. A Matterhorn shaped chocolate was waiting on the table for us when we arrived.




At the rear of the room was a door leading to our private patio. While many of the hotel rooms feature balconies, rooms on the first floor have patios instead. Since the hotel is perched on a hill overlooking Zermatt, even the first floor rooms have great views of town and the Matterhorn. There were a couple of chairs located on the patio and we had our coffee out here in the morning.




Back in the room, the bathroom entrance was located to the left of the bed. While it was a decent size, it was somewhat dated and covered in floor to ceiling pink tile.



The bathroom had dual vanities though counterspace was limited. There was a shelf above the sink that could be used for toiletries and also had L'Occitane single use shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and a nail kit for us to use.



The shower/bathtub combo featured one of those half glass walls similar to the Grand Hotel Suisse Majestic in Montreux which I dislike as the water has a tendency to spray out depending on the angle. There was also a reusable bottle of L'Occitane shower gel mounted on the wall.



Food and Beverage
The hotel had two food and beverage outlets and we utilized both during our stay. The first was the bar located across from reception. It featured a small, cozy indoor space as well as a large deck that overlooked Zermatt below and the mountains in the distance.




We had drinks here during our stay and found them to be reasonably priced, especially given the location. The outdoor terrace had great views of the Matterhorn as well as the hotel facade, which was covered in flowers.




In addition to the bar, the hotel also had a full restaurant on-site. The restaurant was located across from the elevators on the third floor of the hotel. We didn't eat lunch or dinner here but we did visit the breakfast buffet which was set up in the restaurant each morning. Similar to the other hotels on our trip, the breakfast spread was quite extensive and included various meats, cheeses, pastries, juices, hot dishes, cereals and more. There were also complimentary sparkling wine and coffee drinks available.







Just like our room and the bar, the focal point out of the restaurant was the view of the Matterhorn.



Amenities
In addition to the restaurant and bar, the hotel also had a fitness center and a spa area. Since we only spent one night here, we didn't have a chance to use either one. Also, in the winter, the hotel offers ski and snowboard storage though that wasn't open during our stay in September.

Summary
While the room may have been a bit dated, we really enjoyed our stay at the Chalet Hotel Schnegg in Zermatt. The staff was friendly and the location was fantastic. Thanks to the tunnel access to town, you had the views that came with the elevation and the convenience of main street access to Zermatt. We would absolutely consider staying here again during our next trip to the area. Also, upon check-out, the hotel offered us a discount if we stayed at the Chalet Hotel Schnegg or any of their sister properties within the next few months. We were unable to make use of this but for those that are closer, this could be a benefit.

For more photos and additional trip reports, visit
ATXJetsetter.com or follow along on Instagram and Twitter!
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Old Nov 8, 2023, 1:40 am
  #38  
 
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Some very beautiful scenery on your journey between cities!
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Old Nov 8, 2023, 12:05 pm
  #39  
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Originally Posted by nequine
Some very beautiful scenery on your journey between cities!
Thanks nequine, if only the train windows weren't so dirty!
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Old Nov 8, 2023, 11:15 pm
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Spot on about the travels to Zermatt. We've been going every Summer (we're hikers) to Zermatt, Gstaad and St. Moritz for the past 24 years (exception COVID).
LOL on train cancellations, we've had a few cancellations and delays (Gotthard Base Tunnel) and a broken cog on the Gotthard Bahn several times. Lesson learned, always allow a buffer.
Great report.
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Old Nov 9, 2023, 9:21 am
  #41  
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Originally Posted by FragranceMarketingGuy
Spot on about the travels to Zermatt. We've been going every Summer (we're hikers) to Zermatt, Gstaad and St. Moritz for the past 24 years (exception COVID).
LOL on train cancellations, we've had a few cancellations and delays (Gotthard Base Tunnel) and a broken cog on the Gotthard Bahn several times. Lesson learned, always allow a buffer.
Great report.
Thanks FragranceMarketingGuy, very jealous that you all get to go to Zermatt every year. It's gorgeous there.
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Old Nov 10, 2023, 10:56 am
  #42  
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Exploring Zermatt

We only had 24 hours in Zermatt so, after checking in to our hotel, we headed out to explore town. Our first order of business was finding something to eat since it was almost 3:00p and we hadn't had lunch. We left the hotel via the tunnel and found ourselves on the Vispastrasse which paralleled the Vispa River.



We headed back towards the train station and the main road through the center of town, the Bahnhofstrasse, which was bustling with people thanks to the weather. The sun was shining and there was a slight breeze which made it pleasant to be outside.



The Bahnhofstrasse was lined with shops, restaurants, and hotels and we found space on the patio at the Hotel Derby Restaurant. We started with a round of local Zermatt beer while perusing the menu. I'm not sure why I even looked at the menu as I ended up going with my usual when I'm in this part of the world, schnitzel.




We had a laid back lunch and struck up a conversation with some folks at the table next to us who were in town from Massachusetts. They were part of a large group that was touring Switzerland by rail and were on their way to Lucerne after their time in Zermatt. Mrs. ATX decided she wanted to do some shopping so she left while I paid the check and caught up with her just down the street. The Bahnhofstrasse was still filled with people and we walked the length of the street, popping in and out of various shops that caught our eye.




At the end of the Bahnhofstrasse was a square flanked by the five star Grand Hotel Zermatterhof. The Matterhorn Museum is also located on this square along with a few monuments and statues.




The one that I found the most interesting was the Bronze Alphorn which points directly at the Matterhorn and is a monument to the first seven climbers to stand atop the mountain. Seven small climbers can be seen amongst the sculpture is you look closely. The sun was setting behind the statue and I was able to have some fun with it and get some decent shots. Also near the Matterhorn Museum was the Marmot fountain which was fun.




We left the square and crossed the Vispa into a more residential part of town. Here, away from the main street, was a mixture of short term rental properties as well as homes for the locals. There was very little in the way of restaurants or shops so after walking for a bit we doubled back and headed towards the center of town.




We found a bar next to the local tennis courts and stopped for a minute to relax and enjoy a local beer. Once the sun began to set, it started to cool off so we went back up to the hotel to change and get ready for dinner.



We asked the front desk for a few dinner recommendations and all three places they recommended were in close proximity along the Bahnhofstrasse. We decided to walk by them before making a decision on where to eat but first, we enjoyed a cocktail on the hotel terrace.



Down the hill the streets were still fairly busy and we strolled through town, scoping out the recommended restaurants. Ultimately we decided on Restaurant Pinte, located inside the Hotel Pollux.



The restaurant was warm and inviting and had the feel of a Swiss alpine lodge. We were shown to a booth located near the bar and perused the menu.




In what should come as a surprise to nobody that's been reading this trip report I, once again, had the schnitzel which was served with a substantial side salad. The meal was very filling and one of the better schnitzels I had on this trip. We returned to the hotel full and tired and were off to bed before 10:00p.




The next morning we awoke to a gorgeous, cloudless sky with unobstructed views of the Matterhorn. We packed our bags and left them with the front desk as we would be out and about during check-out time. They were happy to store our bags for us until we were ready to depart.




After breakfast at the hotel we headed down to the Gornergrat Bahn railway station, located across the Bahnhofstrasse from the main Zermatt railway station. The station is easy to spot and is well signed. The bright orange trains running parallel to the street are also a good indication that you're in the right place.



Trains depart roughly every 20 minutes and your ticket is valid for any train during the day. The crowds were intense and, with the queue system, it took us two trains before it was our turn. Fortunately, we were one of the first people on the train and managed to grab a pair of seats by the window.




The Gornergrat Bahn connects Zermatt to the summit of the Gornergrat. It is a rack railway for the entirety of the journey and is the second highest railway in Europe. The trip started by climbing through a few of the neighborhoods on the outskirts of Zermatt, stopping in Findelbach.



After transiting a few tunnels, and climbing steeply, the train stopped in Riffelalp which provides a transfer to the Riffelalp Resort. Fun fact, Riffelalp has a tram from the station to the resort which makes this the highest point in Europe where two distinct railways meet.



From here, we found ourselves above the tree line with unobstructed views of the surrounding mountains. There were a few stops along the way that served recreation areas for hikers during the summer.



Finally, after a 50 minute ride, we reached the summit of the Gornergrat.




From the station you had to climb roughly 100 feet to the top of the mountain which featured a hotel, gift shop and restaurant. The landscape was littered with rock piles left by prior visitors.



The views from the top of the mountain were absolutely stunning and we had 360 degree views of the Matterhorn, Gorner Glacier, and the surrounding mountains.




We spent about 30 minutes hiking around the area and even found some remaining snow from the previous winter, enough to have a snowball fight with Mrs. ATX at 10,000 feet in September. She won of course.

After our hike, we headed to the food court and gift shop at the summit to pick up some souvenirs for friends and family back home. We also grabbed a snack and sat outside to enjoy the view and the nice, cool weather. A bird decided it was interested in what we had to eat and joined us, terrorizing some tourists at the table next to us.



We spent about an hour at the summit before we caught the train back down to Zermatt. We sat on the opposite side of the car for the trip back which faced away from the Matterhorn but still had some nice views of the surrounding area.



Back in Zermatt, we headed to a bratwurst stand we spotted the day before along the Bahnhofstrasse for a quick lunch.



The bratwurst was simple and delicious and we accompanied it with another local Zermatt beer.



Full from lunch, we headed to our hotel to grab our luggage before making our way back to the Bahnhofstrasse to catch our train to Visp and onward to Zurich.

Summary
Both Mrs. ATX and I really enjoyed the time we spent in Zermatt. Though it was only 24 hours, we felt like we saw everything we needed to within the town, but you could spend days hiking and exploring the surrounding areas, which is the real attraction of this place. We would absolutely return, especially during ski season, to spend more time in this beautiful, hard to reach, place.

For more photos and additional trip reports, visit
ATXJetsetter.com or follow along on Instagram and Twitter!
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Old Nov 13, 2023, 9:06 pm
  #43  
 
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Thank you for the Zermatt review. Brings back fond memories of two ski trips back in the mid 80s.



Center of this picture is where we stayed on our trips, Hotel Gornergrat. Close to most things, except for the cable cars up Klein Matterhorn and others in that area. When we arrived the first time we were confused and a tad hungover. We approached one of the awaiting taxis and asked for a ride to our hotel. Much laughter ensued as he pointed across the street to our hotel!

After seeing your skiing trip reports I think you would enjoy Zermatt. We did the traverse to go into Italy for the day at Cervinia. Back then there was a passport control at the border! Thanks again for sharing your journeys!
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Old Nov 14, 2023, 12:09 am
  #44  
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Appreciate the blast from the past AkWxMan! After visiting both Mrs. WS93 and I want to go back and ski it. We don't have any ski trips on the books for 2023-24 but we did just book a trip to Norway and Sweden so we'll at least see snow!
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Old Nov 14, 2023, 12:18 am
  #45  
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Zermatt to Zurich via Swiss Federal Railways

Our time in Zermatt was short and after 24 hours we were back at Zermatt Bahnhof to head to our final destination, Zurich. Unlike our five train trip from Badenweiler to Montreux, this trip would be relatively painless. An hour on the Matterhorn Gotthard Bahn from Zermatt to Visp and a quick transfer to a regional train to Zurich should make for an easy travel day.

We arrived at the station at 1:20p for our 1:35p train. The train consisted of some older and newer cars and we walked down the platform and took some seats in one of the newer cars with larger windows. In true Swiss efficiency, the train departed the station right on schedule and we started our journey down the mountain to Visp.



Our ride down the mountain was just as gorgeous as our ride up. I couldn't help but marvel at the feat of engineering it took to build this railroad and the views out the window made me sad to be leaving.




The journey took about an hour but thanks to the scenery the time flew by. We arrived in Visp with 10 minutes to change trains which was more than enough time as we only had to move over a couple of platforms.



We waited on the platform for a few minutes and soon our train to Zurich was pulling into the station.



We boarded the double-decker train and headed upstairs. Though the train was fairly full in 2nd Class, we managed to find seats in the first car with enough space for our luggage. We ended up in a pod of 4 seats that were arranged in a 2-2 layout facing each other. The seats were comfortable and Mrs. WS93 was asleep a few minutes after leaving the station.



After departing Visp, I walked through a few of the train cars and headed back to the restaurant car. All of the seats were taken and there wasn't an easy way to get counter service so I continued to explore the train. There were a few sets of seats still open and they were fairly spacious for 2nd Class though they could definitely use a cleaning.



The seats on this train weren't the only thing in need of a cleaning. I took a visit to the restroom which smelled awful and could use a good scrubbing. This was especially surprising given the fact that we boarded at the second stop of the journey. The walls were covered in a panoramic photo of the Swiss countryside which was a nice touch in an otherwise unpleasant space.



Back at our seats, I passed the time alternating between looking out the window and working on this trip report. Large sections of the line between Visp and Bern are tunneled, including a long stretch through the Ltschberg Base Tunnel. When we weren't in the tunnel, the scenery was nice and we paralleled the shores of Lake Thun, passing through Spiez. Unfortunately, the windows were filthy which made it hard to get any decent pictures.



After a stop in Spiez, it was a quick ride up to Bern. We waited in the station for about 10 minutes before starting the final leg of our trip to Zurich.




The trip from Bern to Zurich was quick and we arrived at Zurich Hauptbahnhof just before 5:00p. Our train came in on one of the underground, pass through platforms and we headed up into the main hall after disembarking.



We followed the sighs towards the Bahnhofstrasse and headed off towards the hotel to begin our stay in Zurich.



Summary
While each trip we took with Swiss Federal Railways was pleasant, this one ranked towards the bottom. The dirty train coupled with the crowded cars made me happy to be in Zurich. The trains were on time and made it easy to get from Zermatt to Zurich and there's still no better way to travel around the country.

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