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Thread: Swiss Alps in Sept.

  1. #1

    Swiss Alps in Sept.

    We are planning a vacation to Switzerland in Sept. Does anyone have any specific areas they like ? Can you access everything by rail or is renting a car a necessity? How do you get your film there? thanks, Alan

  2. #2
    Thomas
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
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    Bielefeld and Hamburg, Germany
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    Re: Swiss Alps in Sept.

    This is from a native Swiss (now in Germany). September is usually a good time to travel, clear skies and often longer periods of stable, sunny weather, at least at higher altitudes, with early morning fog in the lower valleys.

    You can get around the country pretty much everywhere with public transportation (trains, cable railways, buses, boats on the lakes), usually with one ticket. All public transportation schedules are linked, so you can connect from bus to train, from train to boat etc with ease. Check www.sbb.ch (the Swiss railway) for schedule and tickets. And you have frequent connections everywhere, usually at least every hour, sometimes even more often. It is probably one of the best countrywide public transportation networks. It is not cheap, though. Not much is cheap in Switzerland, anyway. The two major airports in Switzerland (Zurich and Geneva) are connected to the train network, so you can get around very well without a rental.

    A good idea may be to stay at a central place for a couple of days and then go for daytrips. Places might be Interlaken (for the Berner Oberland, which I find great), somewhere in the central valley of the Wallis/Valais or the Engadin valley (St. Moritz or nearby) or around the Lake Lucerne. You will have access to the most spectacular places. These are the most traveled places as well. Other people may prefer places such as the Säntis mountains, Glarus, the Tessin/Ticino (the southern Italian-speaking part), Arosa, Gstaad, Montreux, Lucerne and many more. They are not wrong either.

    Most tourists from abroad will visit the alps. Yet there are some other areas which are definitely worth a trip, for instance the Jura mountains, the areas around the lakes in the French-speaking part, especially in fall, such as the Bielersee, the Lac de Neuchatel, Lac Leman (Lake Geneva). Not that many foreign tourists, the Swiss seem to keep these places for themselves mostly. From the Jura mountains you can see a spectacular panorama of the alps, particulary in fall and winter.

    Greetings, Thomas

  3. #3

    Join Date
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    San Joaquin Valley, California
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    8,245

    Re: Swiss Alps in Sept.

    Zermatt of course. In September you can ski on the glacier into Breul in Italy and have pizza for lunch. Really though, every place you visit in the Swiss Alps will be stunningly beautiful (and pricey!) If you find yourself in St Moritz, stay at the Hotel Steffani---a first class place but they also have some less expensive rooms in the basement. When I stayed there I was invited to a party thrown by the german railroad workers from Bavaria who were on a holiday. They were all wearing bolo ties made out of walnuts. Needless to say between the dueling alpenhorns and the conga line I didn't get much sleep, but it was a blast!
    I steal time at 1/125th of a second, so I don't consider my photography to be Fine Art as much as it is petty larceny.
    I'm not OCD. I'm CDO which is alphabetically correct.

  4. #4

    Re: Swiss Alps in Sept.

    I would rent a car. Years ago I have driven from Basel to Milan, over the mountain instead of St. Gothard tunnel. The landscapes were literally breathtaking. I regret I wasn't LF shooter at that time.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    Humble, Texas
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    58

    Re: Swiss Alps in Sept.

    Switzerland is Heaven, IMHO. I have mainly stayed in the Bernese Oberland (Gunten, Muerren). Although I have stayed a few days in Geneva and Zurich. As for getting around the country take a look at the "Swiss Pass". It will give you unlimited travel on the Swiss Transit System (trains, buses, gondolas and boats) for a set amount of time. The last time I was there I bought a month's travel, but you can get 4, 8, 15 or 22 days also.
    http://www.raileurope.com/us/rail/pa...ectCGIParams=1

    When I have gone to Switzerland I typically stayed in apartments while there. The swiss make it very easy to find apartments to rent for short term. Nearly every town has a web-site which lists accommodations. Often all you need to do is simply type the name of a town into a web-browser followed by ".ch" and you will more often than not hit the web-site of that town. For instance if you want to find the web site for the town of Muerren type in "muerren.ch" and you should hit the web-site for that town. You can then contact owners of apartments and make arrangements. I have done this in Muerren, Kandersteg and Gunten and had wonderful experiences every time. The Zimmermans in Gunten were extremely nice and invited my wife and I to dinner at their house. Mr. Zimmerman had a 49' Harley that he restored and was happy to show it off.

    As for film, I take the slowest film I am comfortable with in a carry on and let it be x-rayed. I don't like having my film x-rayed, but I have not noticed any problems so far. I have traveled with HP5+, Tmax 100, Velvia-50 and High Speed Infrared and have never noticed any fogging of the film from x-rays of the hand luggage (don't put your film in checked luggage, the x-rays will destroy it). I have had my film x-rayed up to 9 times when I went to Vietnam and Cambodia and did not notice any fogging. Although, my lab has destroyed my HIE film a few times during processing by leaving on the IR light in the processor.
    Good luck with your trip.

    r.
    Last edited by Richard Wall; 13-May-2008 at 21:32. Reason: Added bit about film.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Dec 2001
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    Re: Swiss Alps in Sept.

    If you buy an Omega or Rolex watch with a radium dial don't claim it as a "small unlicensed nuclear device"---the people who run Swiss airports (the one in Geneva anyway) don't have much of a sense of humor!
    I steal time at 1/125th of a second, so I don't consider my photography to be Fine Art as much as it is petty larceny.
    I'm not OCD. I'm CDO which is alphabetically correct.

  7. #7

    Join Date
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    Re: Swiss Alps in Sept.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Dowding View Post
    We are planning a vacation to Switzerland in Sept. Does anyone have any specific areas they like ? Can you access everything by rail or is renting a car a necessity? How do you get your film there? thanks, Alan
    If you are a student with no money, you'll get by OK, as you will anywhere in Europe, with a backpack and public transportation.

    If you are an adult who has done the student thing and doesn't want to revisit it, rent a car and consider spending some time in France and/or Italy as well.

    As for recommendations, you'll find lots of interest anywhere you go. It's a pretty small country, so it isn't like you have to make hard decisions as between here and there. Just rent a car, if you can, and go with the flow. And if you backpack it, all the more reason to go with the flow.

    You get your film to there the same way that you get your film to anywhere in the civilized world.

  8. #8

    Join Date
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    Re: Swiss Alps in Sept.

    I'm living close to Switzerland and I regularly go there for mountaineering.
    To the many good advice already mentioned, I have a few extra ideas to suggest.
    Renting a car will give you more freedom but as suggested, keep in mind the top-class public transportation system that will bring you almost everywhere.
    Many Swiss citizen go skiing and mountaineering by train + bus.
    The Postal Bus (le car postal) is a Swiss institution that will bring you everywhere in the mountains.

    An interesting option ( but may be for a second visit) that some of my friends at the Alpine club often use, is to park the car on one side of a mountain, make a mountain climb or a trip, go down in another valley and go back to the car with the public transportation system.
    The Wallis area (Le Valais) has a very special climate, drier and sunnier than many other places. Usually drier and sunnier than the nearby Chamonix valley in France or the Berner Alps, located, unfortunateley just on the wettest side of the mountains with respect to the usual path of clouds & rains coming from the Atlantic
    In September you will not see as many flowers as in June, but on the other hand many snowfields will have melted during summer (except permanent glaciers of course) so many walks on footpaths in the mountains are accessible without special equipement, including many nice walks that will bring you close to glacier areas, after combining with a cable train or something to shorten the climb.

  9. #9
    Lachlan 717
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    Apr 2007
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    2,283

    Re: Swiss Alps in Sept.

    Alan,

    I'm heading there in Mid August (I'm a bit limited for time), and have booked in to Luzern, Interlaken and a place called Lauterbrunnen.

    My advice is to Google images of Lauterbrunnen; if there is a more magnificent (inhabited) valley on earth, I'll go hee.

    Enjoy your trip,

    Lachlan.

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    .ch
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    Re: Swiss Alps in Sept.

    Most places have been mentioned. One of the places that I like best is aplace near Interlaken called Schynige Platte. You take a train (famous among train spotters) that goes directly up the slope for one hour, 1000m higher you find yourself in the middle of a breathtaking view to the so callled Jungfrau Group on one side (three very famous mountains called Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau, which means Ogre, Monk and Virgin - the Monk is said to protect the Virgin from the Ogre), and the two lakes Thunersee and Brienzersee on the other. There's a botanic garden that explains all the alpine plants you can also find in the surrounding nature when you take a walk.

    http://www.jungfraubahn.ch/en/Deskto.../178_read-3273

    and

    http://www.alpengarten.ch/Seiten/210description.html

    If you are in the region of Interlaken, you could also go to the Jungfraujoch, aka Top of Europe. Even more spectacular, you take a (very expensive!) train ride through the Eiger north wall, the two intermediate stops allow you to peep through a hole in the middle of the north wall and another one on the back side. At the top you arrive at Europe's highest-altitude railway station between the Jungfrau and the Mönch, where you have a view over an incredible glacierscape.

    http://www.jungfraubahn.ch/en/Deskto...//183_read-808

    And, If you happen to be thirsty and near Basel, just drop me a PM and I'll join you for a drink.

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