Switzerland 1st July 2015

Discussion in 'International Transport' started by Paul.S, 27 May 2015.

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  1. Paul.S

    Paul.S Member

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    I'm heading to Switzerland in July. I begin by travelling by car with friends to Folkestone and on the Eurotunnel into Calais. I'm then dropped off and board a morning train to Gare Du Nord.

    I've been given around 6 hours to wander around Paris before I need to get my train to Interlaken from Gare Du Lyon. This journey will be 1st class. The cost? just over £100! Pretty good I thought :)

    Does anyone else travel in this way very often? Or for holidays? Just wondered what sort of service I can expect on either train. How are us brits regarded on these services?

    I will be travelling alone so if there is anyone out there who happens to be doing the same journey as me i'd be happy to chat over a coffee!
     
  2. davetheguard

    davetheguard Member

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    I used to quite regularly have holidays in Switzerland in the 80's and 90's; although it has become extremely expensive now due to the strength of the Swiss Franc. So much so, I wonder if it is actually harming the Swiss tourism industry?

    Although I have flown in/out of both Geneva & Zurich airports, I've always found it much more fun to travel to & from the U.K. by train. Pre-tunnel my preferred route was from London Liverpool St. via the night boat (with a cabin) from Harwich to Hoek van Holland, and then via Cologne and alongside the Rhine down to Basel and Interlaken.

    My fastest journey was by catching the first train of the day from Interlaken to Bern and then a TGV to Paris. After the Metro to Gare du Nord, I took a boat train to Boulogne and hovercraft to Dover. Then it was no-stop on a slam door EMU to London. I think it worked out at about 13 hours.

    Now, of course, it is much faster, and the train is a serious option for many more people.

    As for what you can expect on the two TGV's, have you tried looking at the Man in Seat 61's website? Very helpful advice, well illustrated with pictures and in some case videos of the journey.

    Have a good time time in Interlaken: it is any ideal place to base yourself for touring round the Bernese Oberland by train. And if you find yourself getting a bit full with all that Raclette and Feldschlossen beer, I can recommend a really great walk, in fact my favourite walk anywhere; the scenery is absolutely fantastic:

    1. Take the metre gauge train from Interlaken Ost to Lauterbrunnen (make sure you're in the correct half of the train as it splits en route at Zweiluetschinnen).
    2. Cross the road from the station to take the cable car up the mountainside to a ledge at Gruetschalp.
    3. Take the very well walked and signed path to Muerren for lunch. The path is wide, well maintained, mainly level, and you'll get a couple of views of the railway that runs between Gruetschalp and Muerren too. The views across to the snow covered peaks of the Eiger, Moench, and Jungfrau are incredible.
    4. Return by using the train to Gruetschalp and then as outward. Or alternatively, take the cable car from Muerren down to the valley bottom ("Tal" station in German) and the bus from the valley cable car station back to Lauterbrunnen for the train back to Interlaken.

    Give my respects to the bar at the Hotel Splendid........!
     
  3. 30907

    30907 Established Member

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    What he says.

    http://www.tgv-lyria.com/en/travelling/on-board/first-class-services

    Paris-Interlaken gets you lounge access at Gare de Lyon and an on board meal, which I guess is similar to Eurostar so not very substantial.

    Calais-Paris is 1st class in the traditional sense: 50% more space but no freebies.

    Not sure what you mean about Brits, but trying a few words of French is usually appreciated in France.
     
    Last edited: 27 May 2015
  4. Gerald Fiennes

    Gerald Fiennes Member

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    On Lyria you will get a snack, with tea, coffee and soft drinks plus free German and French newspapers. I don't think you get Lounge Access at Gare de Lyon, however: you need to be a frequent flyer though. It's a pretty good trip, past the vineyards in the Burgundy region, large forests around Besancon, a few miles running on right whilst in Alsace, then through Basel to Switzerland, including a trip on Switzerland's very own high speed line between Olten and Berne.
     
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