My dad is crazy about trains, he is always watching documentaries about train journeys on tv – most of them filmed in Switzerland. My mum is not that interested (“all these trains look the same” 😉 ), so I always told him that I’d take him on a train journey after his retirement. He retired last year, and a few weeks ago we boarded a train from Amsterdam with destination Basel! I originally wanted organize the trip all by myself, but my dad found a perfect trip in a brochure from a train-travel agency which included all the places we wanted to visit, with all hotel bookings taken care of. Easy!
Our train to Basel was delayed, but they caught up on the lost time during the journey. We traveled first class and had a compartment all to ourselves – luxury! The journey went smoothly, and before we knew it, we were in Luzern! We checked in to our hotel, then walked to the centre to see if we could catch a boat trip with our train pass. We found out that the pass was valid on all crossings, and a roundtrip was leaving in 5 minutes – perfect! It was really nice to enjoy Lake Lucerne from a boat, in beautiful sunny weather.
After 2 hours we were back in Luzern and we walked to the old town to have dinner. It’s really pretty… with the famous bridge and a lot of decorated old buildings.
After a really nice pasta meal outside, we walked back to the hotel in beautiful evening light. What a perfect first day!
The next morning we borrowed bikes from our friendly hotel, and set out to explore more of Luzern. It was a quiet Sunday morning and we stumbled upon this open-air concert near the water…
We had lots of fun people-watching!
After a while we continued cycling along the lake, until we came to the Swiss Museum of Transport. I had been there once before and was really impressed, so I thought my dad would enjoy it too. We both did, and we spent the rest of the day at the museum. It’s huge, and has lots of exhibitions on trains, boats, cars, bikes, planes… whatever you can think of really. We even got to test drive electric bicyles and an electric car (wow, so quiet!), and pretend to be a weather forecaster on tv… hey maybe I should become a weather forecaster when I grow up 😛
The next day the weather had changed to rain and low clouds. We took the Golden Pass Line to Interlaken. A lot of the trains in Switzerland have these huge windows, it’s really nice to have such an open view.
According to our itinerary, we should stay on the train until Interlaken, our destination. We decided to get out at Brienz though, and see if we could cross from there to Interlaken by boat with our train pass. It was raining heavily when we arrived, but when we came out from the supermarket where we bought lunch, it was dry and we went for a walk along the lake while waiting for our boat.
We were in luck: the next boat to depart was a steam paddler – the DS Lötschberg. With our first class tickets, we had the top part of the boat all to ourselves. It was a beautiful crossing, and the sun even came out at times. The colour of lake Brienz is truly spectacular!
My dad spent most of the time inside though, where you can look through a large hole in the floor at the steam engine in operation…
It’s so relaxed to travel by boat – we really enjoyed it. After arriving in Interlaken, we waited until the DS Lötschberg departed again, so we could get a photo from the shore 🙂
Stay tuned for part 2 of our Swiss Railway Journey: Interlaken 🙂