23 January 2011

The Fabulous Swiss Train...and your first born

I love the rail and bus system in Switzerland.  Somehow, the powers that be were able to produce a rail and bus system with an efficient schedule that allows travelers to visit every nook and cranny in the land of cheese and chocolate without waiting more than a few minutes between connections.  This includes buses, train, trams, funiculars, and some cable cars.

Over the years, I have read countless articles about Americans wanting and NEEDING a massive, high-speed rail system.  Obama wants major changes to the public transport systems, but he will not get it.  Ummm.  He has also spoken of using the European transit system as an example.  But unfortunately, the US doesn't believe in investing in its infrastructure on the same scale as most European countries.  This is something an American tourist will spot the moment they land in most European countries.  Things here are different, updated, and modern!

But of course this is Switzerland which means it will cost you your first born.  Compared to Chicago, a
  • CTA (Chicago Transit Authority) day pass is $5.75.  A Swiss 1 day travel pass is 68.00 CHF ($71) for 2nd class.
  • CTA monthly pass is $86.  A Swiss monthly pass is 578 CHF ($603) for 2nd class.
Granted, the Swiss rail pass I am referring to allows you to travel throughout Switzerland.  For a monthly regional pass from point A to point B only, be prepared to cough up 350 CHF ($364).

But I love it and use it everyday.  Did I mention that we get a major discount through my husband's job.  FYI, the words major and discount are never used in the same sentence in Switzerland.  So instead of paying the annual fare of 4850 CHF ($5057) for a first class pass, we pay about 20% of that.  I love it!

Funiculars are rail lifts that used on steep hills. This is in the capital city of Bern.
photo courtesy of flickr
Cable car in Lugano, Switzerland
photo courtesy of europeforvisitors.com

Weekends in Switzerland...The Swiss Alps

I have to admit, I don't do much during the weekends.  In Switzerland, the shops close at 4:30 pm on Saturday and are closed all day on Sunday.  Besides it's winter, which means extremely cold temperatures and clouds galore.  I hate winters here.  They are not as bad as Chicago, but they are quite depressing.  With that being said... lately, I can brag that we have been blessed with a few cloudless, sunshine-filled days.  So what better way to take advantage of the weather than to go to The Swiss Alps.

My husband and I hopped on the fabulous swiss train and made our way thousands of feet above sea level where we viewed breath-taking sights while eating Migros take away sandwiches and sipped on costly cappucino.

We went sledding



Hubby and sis-in-law