Tuesday, November 21, 2006

A Trip To Heaven....

Well..... This was gonna be my first leave at work in last 8 months - and I am sure I made best out'ta it!
It was a 3 day trip to Switzerland.
I hope this travelogue will help you plan your itinerary, especially if you are planning a similar - 3/4 day trip.
[For others... I think, this will be a bit boring :)]
Click here to see some of the snaps of the trip....

Day 1:
Left from UK by easyJet flight @7.35am GMT. Reached Geneva @ about 10.30am Swiss-time (9.30am GMT)
Bought a "4-day Swiss Youth Pass" from Geneva airport. You can use any train or bus in whole of Swiss for 4 days using this pass. (It comes to around CHF 190 if you are below 26) (At some places you have to buy tickets but you get discount if you have this swiss pass - one such place is Jungfrau)
Went to Geneva main station from Geneva airport by train.
I had two bags with me - one, my laptp bag and second, bag with my cloths and all. I forgot my bag of cloths in the this train during this journey from airport to main station. Remembered after about 15 mins but it was too late! What a start of the trip....!!! :-)
I contacted infomration desk at railway station and they informed me how to report lost baggage via internet. (Haven't found it yet)
At Geneva, we went to UN Office which is about 15 mins from station. (Tram no. 13 or 15 from station)

Geneva to Interlaken:
At about 12.30pm, We took train from Geneva to Montreux.
We reached Montreux @ 1.39pm and at 1.45pm, took Golden Pass Line from Montreux to Zweisimmen. It was about 2 hr journey.
From Zweisimmen, we took Golden Pass Panoramic train to Interlaken.

The whole path from Montreux to Zweisimmen to Intelaken Ost is a scenic journey, especially lush-green landscapes and natural beauty.

Day 2:
We had our first night stay at FunnyFarm, Interlaken. (Booked through www.HostelWorld.com)
A decent hotel for about £25 per double-room.
We reached 'Interlaken Ost' at about 5pm. Spent some time at Co-Op (dept. store) near railway station. Especially I was interested in buying some sweater or some warm cloths as I lost my thermal wears in my bag. But could not find anything useful.
Hotel was about 15 mins walk from station. Had our dinner at McDonalds and slept at about 8pm. I was feeling very sleepy as I slept hardly 2 hrs previous night. Moreover, we had to leave early morning next day.
In winter, it is must to start your day early as it gets dark by 4pm.

Interlaken - Jungfraujoch:
We took 7.20am train to the peak Jungfraujoch, the top most point of Alps and also the whole of Europe. And while going up, we took the route Interlaken-Lauterbrunnen-Wengen-Kleine Scheidegg-Jungfrau and on return took another route Jungfrau-Kleine Scheidegg-Grindelwald-Interlaken.
Jungfrau was simply awesome but we heard that there was another peak called Schilthorn which is much better than Jungfrau(!!!). However, we couldn't go there as it was closed at that time.
If you are planning a trip to this place and if Schilthorn is open, I would suggest you to take the route Interlaken-Kleine Scheidegg-Grindelwald-Jungfrau to go up.
You need to go to Murren to go to Schilthorn; so while coming back, you can take Jungfrau-Kleine Scheidegg-Wengen-Lauterbrunnen route. From Lauterbrunnen you can go to Murren and from Murren (via cablecar) you can go to Schilthorn. And can come back via Schilthorn-Murren-Lauterbrunnen-Interlaken route.
It's about 2.30 hr scenic journey from Interlaken to Jungfrau. Also you will end up spending some 3 hrs or more on the top. So overall, Jungfrau is about 8 to 9 hr journey. If you plan Schilthorn, it should be additional 3-4 hrs I guess..... But it's all worth! :)

Also, you need to buy a ticket for the journey from Interlaken to Jungfrau(or Schilthorn or any other peak there). It's some CHF 80 ticket (after 50% discount on your swiss-pass) which covers trains to all the peaks from Interlaken.
And yeah, Do not miss Ice palace at Jungfrau :)

We left Interlaken at about 3.30pm/4pm and travelled to Lucern, again by Golden Pass train. It's about 1 hr scenic journey.
Lucern was like a posh city. (I found it even better than Zurich.) We had our booking at Hotel Alpha - again, booked through HostelWorld.com. This was relatively better hotel for almost same rate as funny-farm.
That day we had Foundue - a Swiss item - in Dinner. Off different types of Fondues, we had Cheese Fondue and chocolate Fondue (dessert foundue). I guess being in Swiss, foundue is a must have. Not that it was extra-ordinary in taste (it was good, for a change), but I liked the ambience of the restaurant, the way foundue is served and the way it is eaten.

Day 3:
Lucern - Mt. Pilatus:
Next day (Monday) morning, we left at about 8am, knowing that Cablecar to Pilatus starts only at 8.30am
From Lucern railway station, we went to Kriens by local bus (about 10 mins). Kriens is the stop in Lucern from where Cablecar for Mt Pilatus starts.
The cablecar from Kriens to Frakmuntegg takes about 30 mins and from another cablecar Frakmuntegg to Pilatus-Kulm takes about 5 mins.
There is one more route to reach Pilatus-Kulm, via Alpnachstad. You can go to Alpnachstad via lake-cruise and from there to Pilatus-Kulm via cablecar; but again, at that time this route was closed.
We spent about 3 hours on Pilatus-Kulm and came back via same route.

Again, tickets for the cablecar, which came about CHF 40 (after 50% discount on Swiss-pass), are not totaly covered in Swiss-pass.

We came back to Lucern at about 1pm and headed for Zurich but I think you can plan to stay some more time in Lucern. Mt Titlis is said to be better than Pilatus but, that too, was closed at the time we went. (However, we didn't have enough time to cover two peaks at Lucern.) If you have enough time, there is one more peak in Lucern called Mt Rigi that you can visit.

It's about 2 hr journey from Lucern to Zurich. We reached Zurich at about 3.30pm and roamed around for a couple of hours for shopping.
We had flight at 7.30pm from Zurich to London.

...And that was the end of a great trip but I am certain that I will not let go any opportunity to visit this place again.

Luv olweiz,


Anonymous said...

Kewl Trip dude..can u gimme idea about tempareture? digit in minus..

Sarang said...

Jungfrau was -5 and Pilatus was -2.
But it was only cold on the peak and i didnt find it unbearable... Especially in the city area it was normal.

Neel Arurkar said...

sahi ghum raha hai dude..hopefully tujhe bag ab tak wapas mili hogi...