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      our holidays > Journeys in SlowMotion > Switzerland > Great Swiss Lakes

Great Swiss Lakes

Journey by rail through the heart of Switzerland
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Geoff and Alison  Reading June 2018
Just back from Great Swiss Lakes trip, which we really enjoyed for the scenery. Tip before you set off - go through the travel docs, not because Inntravel get them wrong (as if!) but the SwissCard doubling as arrival and departure ticket and half price pass while there makes it seem like something is missing. We planned to travel from UK by train - it is ok if you need to but if we were to go again we would fly to Geneva. The train journey only gets really interesting once you turn off the TGV line. The Golden Pass journeys really are spectacular - in its own way the Meiringen to Lucerne trip is as terrific as Montreux to Interlaken. The Hotel Victoria in Meiringen is just the type of gem of a hotel that Inntravel are so good at finding, making the stay there a pleasure in itself and not just a pit-stop to go off elsewhere. The restaurant is first class and the half board offering thoughtfully varied across our three day stay. Lovely place, lovely food, lovely people. The excursion to the Ballenburg open air museum made a nice day out: pretty, interesting and a stunning setting. Talking to the craft demonstrators was a highlight. The James Bond reference in the walk notes for the Aare Gorge in Meiringen is spot on - the Aareschlucht Ost 'station' might be the strangest place to catch a train ever. Lucerne tip: the lakeside walk, along the north shore is in the shade of trees and on a sunny weekend afternoon had glorious views of all the activity on the lake and the mountains beyond. Also there was an ice-cream stand. Lucerne itself is in a wonderful setting, but the town is a real tourist place, in contrast to many of the Inntravel destinations. A trip on the lake is great: we went across to Burgenstock where there is a funicular up the hill with great views back across the lake. You get a trip on the funky brand new catamaran, but the resort did not seem like somewhere we wanted to hang around. Great trip all round, and a special treat for Sherlock Holmes fans.
Andrew & Pam   May 2018

About 20 normal train rides, 8 cog railway rides (5 routes, 4 summits), 5 boat trips (2 by real steam boat), 3 cable car rides, 6 buses (4 in London on the way), 2 metro rides, and a gondola trip (No, not the Venetian kind). About 130 flowers identified, with a lot of help on two super flower walks (Rigi and Pilatus). Walks optional and scenic. Hotels very comfotable, splendid breakfasts, excellent evening meals where provided. Just our kind of holiday. Thanks.

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