Monday, October 22

Swiss Rail Pass Trip

Switzlerand by rail is totally AWESOME! Even with kids, and I had my doubts! Ryan found a Fall 2-for-1 deal on where kids ride free. Can't do much better than that and the fall foliage was breathtaking! Now that I've spent the entire day sifting through pictures taken among four different camera devices, hopefully I can get the job done here!

We did this trip over the Columbus Day weekend. Here's our ambitious itinerary:

Day 1 - Basel down to the Glacier Express to make our way to Zermatt at the base of the Matterhorn.

Day 2 - Cable Car up to the Matterhorn to hike with the kids and then explore Zermatt below.

Day 3 - Regional train up to Interlaken to enjoy the Jungfrau valley town of Lauterbrunnen with all it's beautiful cliffside waterfalls.

Day 4 - Golden Pass Scenic train to Lake Geneva's town of Montreux to walk a couple miles to the medieval Ch√Ęteau de Chillon. Long day but we made it home around midnight.

We parked the car at the last train stop in Germany before Basel so we wouldn't have to buy the Swiss vignette. We missed the train by a mere minute and had to improvise by taking a bus and street tram to Basel with the help of some very nice Germans who ran with us to the station.

The high speed train we boarded in Basel ended up having a family train which we came to find out meant there was a little playground inside! Best thing ever with little kids!

We traveled pretty light and I just prayed no one would have an accident! The boys each carried their own clothes for the trip in their backpacks while Morgan carried all our card games and a stash of emergency toys. She wanted to have her backpack to feel like one of the big kids. We also had one large rolling duffel, Ryan's backpack, a food bag, and the stroller. Our plan was to stay at places that served breakfast and tide the kids over with bakery bread or pretzels and stuff from the food bag. Then we ate dinner somewhere, Switzerland is wicked expensive! It all ended up working out great and I would do it again in a heartbeat!

We arrived in Zermatt at 7:30pm, starving for a real meal. And we all know how well sitting in a restaurant at 8pm with four little starving, exhausted angels is, right? Right!

We couldn't see the Matterhorn until morning. It was great waking up the next morning and watching the sun start creeping down the mountain and into the valley. It really is an impressive sight! 

Ryan had created quite the air of anticipation for the kids by having us watch Disney's 1959 "Third Man on the Mountain" the night before we left on this trip. I'd never heard of it and got a kick out of seeing much of the cast of "Swiss Family Robinson" again. Good show!