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Glacier Express possible ?

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Croydon
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Glacier Express possible ?

Hi fellow TA's. I need your expert advice please.

In August 2014 we are planning to stay in Wengen for 10 days.We will also be using Swiss Passes I think, as the idea of just getting on a train or boat sounds good to me ....My first question is about the Glacier Express Brig to Chur ..or reverse. Is it a possibility that we may do this trip from our base in Wengen ? We would need to be back by evening for dinner...Would we have time ? If we can,which route we we take please ?

This will be the first time we have visited Switzerland...I.. have searched so much my brain is dizzy with all the information...

Colombo, Sri Lanka
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1. Re: Glacier Express possible ?

Hi there,

Yes is an option though it would be a long day. Just use www.sbb.ch. First find a suitable GE train Brig to Chur or other way round and then the connections Wengen-Brig and Chur-Wengen or inverse.

All the best,

<Erik> & [Sandya]

Croydon
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2. Re: Glacier Express possible ?

Thank you Eric. It does seem a long day, so maybe I will give that one a miss. Going through the various passes available, it would seem that the Bernese Oberland Regional Pass may be a better option for us, as the gondola is free and also 50% discount to Jungraujoch . Would you know if there is a good scenic train in the region that doesn't require reservations please ?

Schindellegi...
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3. Re: Glacier Express possible ?

Glacier Express out of Wengen in a day?

Feasible, but around 10-11 hours train travel for your shortened Glacier Express trip.

Maybe one clarification: Glacier Express is a special panoramic TRAIN from Zermatt to Chur or from Zermatt to St.Moritz via Andermatt. You could also use regular trains between those sites (no reservation required, more connections available).

To my understanding Glacier Express is mainly a panoramic car day-trip for tourist stopping in Zermatt and in St.Moritz. But just one of many public transportation scenic itineraries.

By limiting “your” Glacier Express itinerary to Brig-Chur (or maybe better Chur-Brig) you are missing the part to St.Moritz and to Zermatt. But for having done it out of Zurich in a day: it’s still an interesting experience.

You might plan itineraries using www.sbb.ch online time-tables advanced search. If you want to make sure train itinerary uses Glacier Express line, enter “Andermatt” for one of the “via” places between either Zermatt and Chur or Zermatt and St.Moritz. With advanced search you can get total tour: Wengen to Wengen via Chur, Andermatt, Brig for instance. For Glacier Express trains select "GEX".

Edited: 1:23 pm, September 09, 2013
Croydon
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4. Re: Glacier Express possible ?

Useful information thank you ...regional trains seems a possibility...

San Jose, CA
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5. Re: Glacier Express possible ?

With a 10 day stay in Wengen and some outings in the Bernese Oberland you will see completely breathtaking scenery so no reason to spend a very long day on the GE. Just do day trips from a Wengen base and you will be completely "gobsmacked" as our British friends say.

I have a 40+ page write up on the region based on my 16 trips there. Includes public transport information, hikes of all levels, outings and so on. If you would like a copy send me a private message with your email address so I can forward it to you.

Our favorite discount travel card is the Half Fare Card. 50% off of all travel for a 120 CHF cost. Almost always ends up being the best deal economically and is so simple. No mental gymnastics around which routes are "free" (for which you pay dearly), which are discounted and at what levels (25%, 50%, none at all?), which days your discounts apply. Oy, so tiring to sort out.

Garmisch-Partenkirch...
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6. Re: Glacier Express possible ?

Hi Ambersmum675,

I SO agree with kimsanjose, as I usually do. I never see the scenic trains as a destination in themselves; at best, you see the scenery through a tv-sized window while sitting inside a closed-up, moving car. I would not waste one of my rare Swiss vacation days doing that!

Instead, spend your time outside, cruise Lake Thun or Lake Brienz; go for a gentle walk; visit the Ballenberg museum near Brienz; ascend some more peaks. You shouldn't run out of things to do in the Jungfrau area.

s

Martigny...
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7. Re: Glacier Express possible ?

the windows on the Glacier Express are hardly the size of a TV - they extend well up into the ceiling and you do get fantastic views from them. Even though I live in Switzerland I take the GEX quite often simply because I love the train, the views, the commentary and eating at my seat. It is undoubtedly my preferred way of transport from the Valais to Zürich, even though it takes hugely longer than going via Visp and the Lötschberg tunnel!

That said, making a day round trip with the GEX as a part of it will make for a very long day for you from and back to Wengen. You need to get to Visp to catch the GEX. (No sense in going up to Zermatt as you would simply be repeating part of the route again on the GEX). So - Wengen/Lauterbrunnen/Interlaken Ost/Spiez/Visp. Then GEX to Chur. This section, especially the part from Andermatt to Chur, is, IMO, the most beautiful part of the entire GEX line. You go over the Oberalp pass, then down the Sursilva valley and through the gorges of the young Rhine to Chur. You get to Chur around 3pm. Then change for a train to Zürich (1 hour). from there to Bern (55 mins) and on to Interlaken.... It is quite do-able IF you are prepared for a long day. You could even spend a couple of hours walking around the old town in Chur.

Leave Wengen at 0900. You will be in Visp around 1100 and the GEX leaves shortly afterwards. From Chur at 1530 and you are in Zürich at 1630. Bern 1730-ish and back in Wengen by 1900-ish. (Timing will clearly depend on the connections and whether you want to spend time in Chur as well...)

I have actually done a similar round trip from here in Martigny, on the GEX and to Zürich and back here all in one day. And that was before the Lötschsberg tunnel!! And I loved it. I would go for it if I were you...

Croydon
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8. Re: Glacier Express possible ?

Great observations here ! Thank you ...So now the next thing is to decide whether Half Fare card or Bernese Oberland Regional Pass will be more suited to us...Though I think maybe my husband would prefer the BORP so he doesn't have to keep paying .....I really like your ideas of just getting out and about...he likes walking very much...thank you TA's..much to think about :)

Croydon
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9. Re: Glacier Express possible ?

Thank you Hambagahle....hmmmm so tempting.....thank you for the directions also, I would have got it completely wrong ! I too was planning on leaving at 9.00 if we did it....but I would have to book seats in advance ? OK time to do some more thinking on this, many thanks for your contribution...

Martigny...
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10. Re: Glacier Express possible ?

You need (must in fact!) reserve your seat on the GEX. To do so, go to their site - www.glacierexpress.ch You can also reserve your meal on the same site if you wish to have the 3 course meal on the train. If you are happy to select from the menu then no need to reserve the meal...

No need for any other reservations...