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SWITZERLAND REPRISE -- 2009
Part 1:
Zurich - Interlaken - Montreux - Lake Geneva 

In the 14 years between my first trip to Switzerland and this one, in 2009, some changes were noticeable. The trains are more modern and more numerous, English speakers are more common, and tourism is a bigger business. The country is still clean, safe, and positively beautiful. The trains still meet the planes, the buses meet the trains, and the ferry boats meet the buses - on time and for a fair price. The rest of the world should take note.

This trip was run by LGB Tours and guided by the owners, John Rogers and his family. Centered around Interlaken, jt covered a lot of new ground for me, but I extended the tour for a week to repeat the Bernina and Arosa trips I had taken in 1995, at a more leisurely pace. Sonja took more than 600 photos and the tour guide provide another 1200; a few of them are shown on this page to serve as memory-aids to a fabulous trip.

This page covers Zurich - Interlaken - Montreux - Lake Geneva. See also   Part 2   Part 3   Part 4  
 

ZURICH TO INTERLAKEN
We flew Calgary - Frankfort - Zurich, met our group for dinner, and caught up on sleep. After an overnight in Zurich, we set out for Zurich HauptBahnhof on a commuter train from the airport to downtown. Here we wandered a few streets admiring the architecture and the streetcars before boarding the ICE, traveling  via Bern to Interlaken. We stayed at Hotel Krebs for a week. From here we radiated out and back on a series of one day excursions. On our first day, we explored Interlaken on foot,  watched trains speed through the downtown streets, rode the funicular, and hiked along the river walkways.

 
Zurich HauptBahnhof - Modern Electrics

 
Zurich HauptBahnhof - Modern Electrics and a Diesel Shunter

SNCF - fastest train in the world 574.8 km/hr {357 mph)

 
Zurich BahnhofStrasse - Streetcars

 
En Route to Interlaken

 
At Interlaken


UK Bentley Car Club also stayed at Hotel Krebs, in transit through Interlaken. Spectacular autos!

We rode the funicular to the top of Harder Kulm for a picnic lunch and the views across Interlaken and the Jungfrau.  You can also hike the route, up or down.

                
 

SOME LOCAL TRAINS

 

 

 

INTERLAKEN to Montreux
The "Golden Pass Line” counts as one of the spectacular railways of Switzerland.
From Interlaken, the Bern-Lötschberg-Simplon (BLS) runs on standard gauge to Zweisimmen, where the line meets the Montreux-Berner Oberland-Bahn (MOB), which brought us in modern panoramic cars to Montreux at Lake Geneva, the Swiss Riviera. Montreux is in the French speaking region of Switzerland and is the vacation home of numerous film and rock stars. Because of the mild climate, unique Mediterranean scenery has developed with palm trees and cypresses around the lake.
 

We changed trains at Zweisimmen because of the change in gauge, but this is about to be overcome. By 2015, the panoramic cars will have wheelsets that can change gauge and car height to suit the portion of the road they are running on. Sounds complicated but it is cheaper than rebuilding the rugged lines and all the stations. A prototype car was under test in spring of 2010.
 

 

 
 Bern-Lötschberg-Simplon (BLS) Railway scenes

 
Montreux-Berner Oberland Bahn (MOB) scenes    


 
Leaving Interlaken Ost

 
Golden Pass locomotives


On the Golden Pass and  Lake Geneva cruise to the Chillon Castle

     
Chillon Castle and Montreux on Lake Geneva

See also   Part 2   Part 3   Part 4