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Switzerland

Swiss scenery

Getting there
16 August, 2006

Our planning started in May 2006, when we got the knowledge that bulk of SAS Eurobonus points are about to expire. So we had three days to decide about the destination in Europe – that’s how much points was available for bonus points for two people. Scotland and Switzerland were the favorites and finally we chose Switzerland for five days.

Now it was a question where in Switzerland. We wanted to see the beauty of Alps, so after some reading and consulting with friends, our plan was to rent a car, stay somewhere in Jungfrau region in Bernese Oberland and do some mountain trekking there. In addition to that we wanted to visit Zermatt (to see Matterhorn) and go to Lac Léman near Montreaux.

I have been reading and posting for some time in Lonely Planet travel forum.
I thought it would be good idea to ask the advice there, because there are about 340 thousand members all over the World and surely somebody has had similar trips. After some feedback one member of the forum wrote us:

“Unless you really want to travel around a lot, you won't need to rent a car, public transport in Switzerland works a dream. If your interest is nature, I would also recommend that you stay in the Berner Oberland area. There's plenty to see and do for 5 days.”

Today I would say this was just excellent advice!

We were a bit skeptical about traveling by train, as we also had a nine-month old baby with us. But it turned out very easy and yes, Swiss public transportation is the best of the world. And also, you can get information about prices and schedules easily from Swiss Rail
web page.
Grindelwald train, Swiss Alps
In addition to transportation, another question was where to stay. I made several searches in Switzerland Bed&Breakfast web page. Our experience showed that second half of June is already quite late for finding B&B in August. The best options were already fully booked. We decided that if we go by train, then we should stay in one of the car-free villages. Again our final decision was supported by Lonely Planet Switzerland guidebook (June 2006) and opinions from travel forum – we found a room in Hotel Bären in Wengen.

So, on Wednesday, 16 August, we were packed and ready for adventure. At first we had to take two flights – from Tallinn to Copenhagen and then from Copenhagen to Zurich. Everything went very well – our baby is just as a born to travel, he behaved very pleasantly during flights. Until … the baggage claim, we got the trolley, but our suitcase just was not there. From Lost and Found we got the promise that hopefully our suitcase will arrive in Wengen during next day. An overnight kit and cash compensation was given also in order to buy necessary goods for that night.

We went to Rail Travel office and bought the Half Fare Cards (99SFR per person) and train ticket to Wengen (with half-fare card 38.80SFR per person). The railway is just one floor below of the Airport - you can go there in five minutes from airport baggage claim. We had two connections – in Interlaken and in Lauterbrunnen, this is the minimum from Zurich Airport to go to Wengen.

We arrived in Wengen at 9PM. We saw snowy mountains on the way, but in Wengen it was dark already. So we had to wait for the scenery until next morning.