As a travel agent, I’m currently out of work due to the COVID-19. I can’t wait to get back to traveling and booking trips for my clients. I’m sure once we do begin to travel there will be different protocols put in place, and once I find out what those are, I’ll be writing about that. Much like after travel changed after the horrific events of September 11, 2001, I expect that travel will once again adapt to the new world. It will become normal after a while, just like the additional security we now go through.
As you can guess, my days have been filled with helping clients re-schedule or cancel their planned vacations, and not much else in the way of work. One of the things that I’ve done to keep busy during this quarantine is to attend as many training webinars from various vendors that I plan to work with in the future. One positive thing about this catastrophe, is that it has shed a light on which vendors I will work with in the future, and which ones I won’t be using any longer. Some of my vendors have been an absolute joy to work with and have treated my clients exactly how I would have expected. A few of them, not so much. You shouldn’t have to argue with a vendor to get your client’s money back from a trip that was cancelled by the vendor.
Yesterday, (April 29, 2020) I attended a webinar and learned about various rail vacations across the world. One of the highlighted journeys was Switzerland. I did some research, and I’ve now added a trip to my Vacation Bucket List. Since riding the Matterhorn at Disneyland back in the early 90’s, I’ve always wanted to see the real mountain, but really didn’t have much interest in actually going to Switzerland “just to see the Matterhorn”. That’s now changed. I’m hoping to do a River Cruise sometime in the near future, and I’m pretty sure that I’ll be doing this exact trip before or after the cruise (whichever European river cruise itinerary I eventually choose—there are so many to choose from!)
This four-night rail vacation combines two of Switzerland’s most popular destinations together with some spectacular journeys. It begins with a two-night stay in Zermatt, where you will embark on a trip to the top of The Gornergrat to enjoy an amazing panorama of the famous Matterhorn Mountain. Then you’ll cross Switzerland onboard the Glacier Express to chic St. Moritz for another two-night stay, during which a day trip through breathtaking scenery onboard the Bernina Express is included.
DAY 1 – ARRIVE IN ZERMATT
On arrival in Zermatt, check in at your hotel for a two-night stay. Your 4-day Swiss Pass allows you to travel from any point in Switzerland, so you can spend the rest of the day exploring this pedestrianized village famed for its history as a mountaineering base, or you could tackle the two-hour hike to the top of The Breithorn mountain, otherwise known as the ‘Little Matterhorn.’ In the evening, perhaps indulge in some traditional Swiss cuisine such as fondue or raclette. (Overnight in Zermatt)
DAY 2 – GORNERGRAT DAY TRIP
After breakfast this morning, ride on the Gornergrat Cog Railway, which climbs from 5,262 feet above sea level to 10,135 feet in just 33 minutes, and is a marvel of 19th Century engineering. From the top, enjoy one of the most spectacular panoramas in all of Switzerland, taking in the iconic outline of the Matterhorn as well as surrounding peaks and glaciers. You might even be lucky enough to spot a chamois or marmot on the way up or while wandering through the nature reserve. (Overnight in Zermatt, Breakfast included)
DAY 3 – THE GLACIER EXPRESS FROM ZERMATT TO ST. MORITZ
Enjoy the exhilarating experience of crossing Switzerland today, traveling the full length of the Glacier Express line. The train passes glistening blue lakes and quaint Swiss hamlets, as well as crossing numerous high passes and mountain peaks. Take pictures of the spectacular Landwasser Viaduct as the train rolls over. On arrival in St. Moritz, make your way to your hotel and check-in for a two-night stay. In the evening, perhaps enjoy a stroll around the lake or experience the glitz and glamour of the casinos. (Overnight in St. Moritz, Breakfast included)
DAY 4 – BERNINA EXPRESS DAY TRIP
After breakfast, embark on one of the world’s most scenic train lines, heading south into Italy. The Bernina Express is a spectacular journey from the snowcapped heights of the Alps down into the lush Poschiavo Valley and vineyards surrounding Tirano. Stop in Tirano for a traditional pizza, before returning north again on the Bernina Express as the awe-inspiring scenery changes drastically in the afternoon light. Make sure your camera batteries are fully charged because you are guaranteed to capture some amazing shots from the comfort of the panoramic carriages of the train. (Overnight in St. Moritz, Breakfast included)
DAY 5 – ST. MORITZ TO ZURICH
After breakfast this morning, check out of your hotel and return to Zurich for your onward travels. Let me know if you might like to extend your vacation with additional days in one of these cities, or a different city. I can help you with all the details, as this vacation is absolutely customizable. (Breakfast included)
PARKHOTEL BEAU SITE
Hotel Beau Site is located in a quiet, yet central location in Zermatt, with beautiful views of the Matterhorn and within walking distance to the village centre for shopping and dining.
HAUSER SWISS QUALITY HOTEL ST. MORITZ
The Hauser Hotel in St Moritz is a family-run hotel with 52 bedrooms. The hotel has a restaurant and terrace bar, and is famous for its “Engadine Nusstorte” (nut and caramel pie) which is available from the hotel confectionary and chocolate shop. The hotel is located in the centre of St Moritz.
This trip sounds ideal! After doing my research, it seems that the scenery couldn’t be more beautiful. I’m going to drop a few more of my favorite photos of Switzerland here for you to enjoy. If you’d like to begin planning your rail journey through Switzerland, here’s my information:
Thanks so much, stay safe and I hope we are all traveling soon!