Yesterday we left the hotel early and boarded our train. It was a spectacular journey. We were served our lunch of chicken stroganoff and apple pie at our seats as we tootled along. David is not enjoying being served chicken all the time so somehow managed to get himself a salad and a frozen yoghurt.
We changed trains a few times which was no problem since our luggage had gone separately. We went through a 15km tunnel through the mountains. Building that would have been interesting! David was impressed.
When we arrived in Interlaken, we walked the 500m to our hotel and then organised ourselves for the three nights here before going down to dinner at 8. The tomato soup starter was better than Heinz Big Red and it was followed by a piece of pork served with mashed potato and green beans. We didn’t wait for dessert as we were too tired. We were all weary but all we’d done all day was sit on the train. It was a long 10 hour day!
I was very distressed last night to learn that I wouldn’t be able to go on today’s excursion- the train to Jungfraujoch, Europe’s highest railway station as there are no toilets on the train. Our tickets meant that we all had to travel as a group. There were two changes of train and toilets on the station but each stop was only five minutes. So that situation was unsuitable for me. David decided to stay with me in Interlaken. A few others also decided not to go.
Last night we cancelled our lovely five days in Montreux on Lake Geneva which also upset me but we are way too tired to manage our luggage on the three little trains we would need to use to get there. There’s no luggage storage areas on the train. We tried to organise a transfer by car but it would have been well over$1000 to get to Montreux and back to Zurich to fly home. Instead we have booked a place in Bern from the 22nd to explore there for five days. There’s just one train and then one to get to Zurich so we think we will be able to manage.
This morning was wash day so after a very leisurely breakfast, we set off to the laundromat which I’d found. Google Maps sent us astray ( it wasn’t my fault at all) and after a few hours of waiting around, the washing was done and we followed Apple Maps back to the hotel
I definitely think it’s time for a rest before we go to buy our train tickets for the last part of our travels.
Today we took it very easy. Slept in until after seven, enjoyed a relaxed breakfast with time to ask the chef to make me an omelet and then came back to the room to read the paper.
Before lunch we had a relaxed stroll around the town. There was still some snow lingering on the mountain tops but by mid afternoon it was all gone as the sun shone brightly. Many places were closed until the winter season on the first of December. A few were open but we just window shopped.
Prices here are very expensive but we enjoyed both our lunch sitting outside in the sunshine and dinner in the restaurant across from the hotel at Hauser. There are some pretty views from town and here are a few.
We had a great day yesterday. We’ve been so lucky with the weather. I hoped we’d see snow and we did! The sun shone brightly as well! What more could you ask?
The Bernina Express is a very comfortable tourist train and we just had to walk down the hill in light snow to catch it. On the way we were given a glass of Swiss bubbly , a miniature replica of the train filled with Swiss chocolates and a poppa of iced tea. The journey takes about 2hrs and 45 minutes and ends in Tirano in Italy where we had three hours to fill.
We did some shopping as we needed to replace my travel bag which had broken and David’s bubble coat which had sprung a leak. We managed to do that before the shops closed for their afternoon siesta. Then we had some difficulty finding a cafe which was open but when we did we enjoyed our lunch of pizza and ravioli. I had to have a gelato as you can’t go to Italy and not have a gelato. It was so creamy.
Our return train was just an ordinary train and not so luxurious but it was OK. The train before ours broke down so the unfortunate passengers had to come onto our train and stand for the remaining hour of the journey. We felt for them but were very relieved that our train hadn’t broken down. They were French people on a four day travel through the Alps so I had fun trying to understand their chatter but, of course, they spoke much too quickly for me.
The scenery was stunning and I took heaps of pictures. Here’s just a few of them:
We had dinner in our hotel, Schweizerhof. We’ve had to choose early each day what we would like for dinner, usually pork or chicken, pork or fish but last night we could have goulash which was very popular. The hotel is very nice but there are a couple of ‘different’ things about it. You have to pay for the tea or coffee you make in your room with the kettle or coffee machine provided. Both are 4.5 Swiss franks or about six Aussie dollars. In every bathroom there are a set of scales. We all agreed that we are on holidays so we do not intend to weigh ourselves. Interesting!
Today, Sunday is a free day. You can ride a fenicular or a chairlift or go hiking etc but we are going to take it easy. Tomorrow we are off to Interlaken, our next stop, but our luggage is going separately. Thank goodness.
Yesterday morning we could have had a guided tour of the Innsbruck Old Town but since David had done so much walking and I had wandered the Old Town already, we decided to give it a miss and leisurely pack up ready to move to St Moritz.
The move was a debacle. We all had to get our luggage down and then Sara organised us into taxis with our luggage. It was Chaos! Why couldn’t a bus pick us up and take us to the station? Then we had to get all of us and our luggage into a carriage. More Chaos! There wasn’t enough luggage storage. The others helped us a lot so we were ok. After a couple of hours, we arrived at Sargans where Sara had managed to organise a vehicle to take our luggage. There was no lift so we had to push our luggage up two steep slopes to the vehicle but it was such a relief to be rid of it. We had to change trains again at Chur.
We travelled through absolutely stunning countryside. This is what we came for – to travel through the Swiss mountains on a train. Everyone agreed over dinner. They came for this – not for huge walking expeditions. Here’s some pics to enjoy:
Before arriving in St Moritz, we travelled through very steep mountains. It was amazing and is a UNESCO World Heritage Railway. My photos out of the train window don’t seem to do it justice. When we arrived here, we walked across the road, through a building onto three long steep elevators which brought us up to the town and our Hotel Schweizerhof which is lovely. We had time to unpack and shower before a delicious dinner in the hotel. We’re here for three nights. It’s a bit cool here: it’s 3.8 degrees now at 6:30am.
Today we ride the Bernini Express to Tirano in Italy. Really looking forward to that!