I Want to Go To…Switzerland (info and travel checklist)

[UPDATED 15 March 2020]
First travel post is a place I’ve wanted to go since I was 12…

I have a decent list of places that I’d like to travel and, with my work, I have had the opportunity to travel a fair amount, but not nearly as much as I’d like to.

Along those lines, I am going to start writing about some of these places and what places there are to see, things to do, recommendations on places to stay…a checklist of sorts.

I plan on keeping these info checklists updated as I come across new and useful bits of info…for both myself and for you if you want to bookmark these posts. (I will also create a new navigation category where they can all be found together)

Hope you enjoy!


Switzerland

I’ve wanted to travel here since I was 12. This was probably my first ever “place I want to travel to” type place. Not sure how that came to be, but it did.

1. Google it

The natural first step right? Yup, mine too. Here’s what you get

Not a bad place to start!
Not a bad place to start!

Switzerland is a mountainous Central European country, home to numerous lakes, villages and the high peaks of the Alps. Its cities contain medieval quarters, with landmarks like capital Bern’s Zytglogge clock tower and Lucerne’s wooden chapel bridge. The country is also known for its ski resorts and hiking trails. Banking and finance are key industries, and Swiss watches and chocolate are world renowned.

2. Write down what YOU want to do

This is where the fun stuff comes in. I’m more interested in the outdoorsy attractions (Swiss Alps anyone?) so I’ll list a few of those here.

Grindelwald: Village in Switzerland

Grindelwald, a village in Switzerland’s Bernese Alps, is a popular gateway for the Jungfrau Region, with skiing in winter and hiking in summer. It’s also a base for mountain-climbing ascents up the iconic north face of Eiger Mountain. Gletscherschlucht, a glacial gorge just outside Grindelwald, features paths with interpretive signage, waterfalls and striated limestone walls.

Getting to see and hike around the Eiger would be a huge check in the box for me.

Lauterbrunnen: Village in Switzerland

Lauterbrunnen is a municipality in the Swiss Alps. It encompasses the village of Lauterbrunnen, set in a valley featuring rocky cliffs and the roaring, 300m-­high Staubbach Falls. Nearby, the glacial waters of Trümmelbach Falls gush through mountain crevices past viewing platforms. A cable car runs from Stechelberg village to Schilthorn mountain, for views over the Bernese Alps.

Ever since I first saw a picture of that valley…I knew that one day I’d see it for myself. It reminds me of Yosemite Valley but with an actual village in it. (Yosemite Village sort of counts…but only park employees live there)

Honestly, there’s so much content out there that covers hiking that can be done in Switzerland. So I’m going to put a link list below for you…and for future me.

Note on the above links: Many of them go to sites that may offer services…but I see them as pages that give me the ideas so I can set my hiking trips up for free.

The famous Glacier Express is free for Swiss Travel Pass holders. You only need to purchase a seat reservation.
The famous Glacier Express is free for Swiss Travel Pass holders. You only need to purchase a seat reservation.

3. Build Your Checklist

I don’t have to abide by checklists, but I’ve found I forget a lot less if I use them. Especially when it comes to remembering random interesting tidbits I want to look up later.

Travel

  • When will you go?
    • As much as I love the summer months, I hate crowds almost as much. My anniversary is in February and when we honeymooned over in Europe right after, we had almost no crowds anywhere because it was the off season. It was glorious and much less stress.
  • How long?
    • I’m going to assume 2 weeks for fun
    • Flights from Buffalo (close to me) are about $700 to Zurich…not bad
      • If you fly out of a big hub like NYC, you can get tickets for about $400-$500
  • Mode of Transport
    • Rental Car or Public Transport: This is a toss up depending on what you want to do. I’ve done both and most often prefer public transport. I don’t mind driving European cars on the other side of the road, but the peace of mind in just hoping on a train can’t be beat.
    • Swiss Travel Pass: This seems to be the way to go.
      • Here’s a quick bit on that from MySwissAlps.com
      • The Swiss Travel Pass is a perfect fit if:

        • you have planned a lot of traveling. You’ll save money as point to point tickets are more expensive;
        • you prefer ticketless traveling. You don’t need to buy tickets for each trip;
        • your plans are not set in stone or you want to be flexible. The Swiss Travel Pass allows spontaneous trips at no extra cost;
        • you stay 15 days or less.

Where to Go?

I already mentioned a few of the places I’d like to go…and your own list will most likely differ from mine. Here’s mine anyways:

  • Hike around the Swiss Alps (ie. the Eiger, the Matterhorn, Jungfrau, etc)
  • Ride to the Highest Railway Station in Europe
  • Grindelwald village
  • Visit/tour Bern (the capital)
  • Visit Zurich (I remember doing a paper on the International Criminal Court so if I could visit that, that would be cool)
  • Do a hut to hut hiking tour
  • (place holder for more…ha!)

This post will be updated as I come across other ideas, good websites, or places to go. I hope that this has helped and if you’ve made it this far…enjoy this gorgeous video of the classic Glacier Express.


Reader Input

15 March 2020

Not long after I posted this, I got a message over on Tumblr with some good info:

Hey there, just saw your post you wanna come to Switzerland? Here is a link to the Swiss online hiking maps(free)

I marked out a nice hut to sleep in near Grindelwald. I have to say normally February is still too snowy to plan for big hikes in the mountains. Depending on the area you should think of bringing skis! Grindelwald is a beautiful place but it’s not like you don’t meet any people there. If you want real outdoor with not seeing people Graubünden or Valais is the better choice to be in the mountains.

There is definitely no issue about driving on the wrong side of the road…it’s not England. 😉 You are right Switzerland is incredible with public transport you can get almost anywhere and you have the scenic advantage of being able to take in the sights! Also they always run on time. :p

I hope you will enjoy your trip to Switzerland when it happens, and let me know if you decide to visit Magic Woods 😉    [Note: this is a climbing spot]

Best time for hiking long hikes high up is in autumn. Then you have most options open. if you have any questions, just ask away.

Somewheresomewhen (Tumblr blog)

Thank you!!

Author: Scott

The mountains are calling, let me grab a jacket and my kids.

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