Sorry, it takes me so long to post this report. We finally had a chance to make to Switzerland after the cancellation of the 2020 trip of 15 days. Due to last minute changed in plan, we were only able to spend 5 days in the country. It is a beautiful country, the sceneries are beyond ordinary, the transportation is the best that I experienced so far during all my travels to Western European countries (France, Italy, Spain, Netherlands, Austrian). We are already planning for longer stay in near future.
There was a promotion of 4 days travel Swiss Travel Pass of 30% discount, it worked well with our schedule. We used Zurich as a base and done day trip each day. We were out around 6:30am ish and returned to our hotel approximately after 7:00 pm just in time for dinner.
Day one: arrived Zurich by train from Salzburg right at 2pm. Checked in to Ibis hotel within less than 5 minutes walk from Zurich train station. The room was typical European size small but clean and modern, reasonable priced. We spent the rest of the day exploring Zurich charming old district, Lindenhof, a small hill from where we can enjoy panoramic views over the old town.
Day two: we made a day trip to Lavaux region, a charming village nested in the vineyards. It was absolutely beautiful with fall colors.
We got off at Rivaz station and walked the trails meandering through vineyards lead toward villages located along the steep hills, St-Saphorin. This village left the impression to be in Italy or South of France.
From St-Saphorin station, we rode to Montreux, took ferry to Chateau de Chillon, then bus back to town. The bus station is right across the chateau with very frequent stops within 10-15 minutes. We took the scenic train ride Goldenpass and got off half way to get connection back to Zurich. An unforgettable experience! However, we are not fan of scenic train, due to the reflection of the sun on a bright day from all over the windows. Perhaps we would enjoy more if it was a cloudy day. Also, we found the sceneries are pretty everywhere in Swiss, regular train rode on the same tracks, but Goldenpass seat was much comfortable.
Day three: we took the train to Thun, at early in the morning, we practically had the entire town to ourselves. The water of lake was blue and clear, the air was fresh, the charming villages with magnificent range of mountains surrounding the lake. It was just a picture perfect.
After Thun, we took train to Launterbrunnen Valley. The sun was too bright and very crowded, we decided not to stay long, we hoped on the train and moved to Lake Brienz, visited beautiful Brunngasse street lined with historic Swiss wooden chalets.
Last minute decision, we stopped at Spiez, a small town sits on the edge of lake Thun with a castle right in its center. There is no more relaxing way to enjoy the scenic views of the Bernese Alps than aboard a lake Thun cruise. Then train back to Zurich, an unforgettable experience.
Day 4: we visited Steim am Rhein, one of the best preserved medieval towns in Europe. It was very foggy so we did not stay long, but it was a beautiful visit. We also made a brief stop at waterfall. Back to Zurich, we took mountain excursion to Mount Rigi. The ride up with train, then cable car up with panoramic view towards lake Lucerne and the Bernese Apls. This journal took us over forest and rock terrain to the top. The way down with Cogwheel railway descending via mountain and lake scenery. It was a beautiful adventure. Next to the cogwheel station, we took ferry ride across the lake Lucerne where we explored the old town, had dinner, watched sunset before making the return trip to Zurich. We enjoyed every moment of this day.
Day 5: Due to international outbound flight the next morning. We just wanted to stay nearby the area with only short train ride from Zurich. There were many choices, we decided to take the mountain excursion to Stanserhorn. Train to Stans, the ride up the mountain in open funicular, then Cabrio cable car up the mountain. Wow, what an amazing adventure! we loved it. Back to Zurich, late afternoon we visited Schaffhausen, a 16h century medieval town.
Day 6: only 9 minutes train ride to Zurich airport to catch our 10am flight. The shortest distance to airport we ever experienced. Love Zurich airport. The travel Swiss pass was well worth it. It was a hassle-free destination, it will certainly not our last visit.
Thanks myswissalps for all valuable information !
I am trying to attached the photos I took during my trip.