After our magnificent first big rail trip around Scandinavia the year before, my best friend suggested we went to discover Switzerland by rail in 2013. He was inspired by his aunt’s trips to Switzerland and always wanted to go there himself, of course I couldn’t say no as the country spoke to me too. So off we went on a second rail adventure together.
After a short stop at the Queen Astrid memorial chapel in Kussnacht am Rigi, we continued by bus to Vitznau. In Vitznau we would be taking a rack rail train up the Rigi Mountain. In fact there are 2 distinct railways going up the Rigi Mountain. The oldest one being the “red” line leaving from the Lake Lucerne port in Vitznau, while the slightly newer “blue” line leaves from the major railway junction in Art-Goldau. Both lines join each other on the mountain to climb the final stretch up the summit.
We started our trip on the red line in Vitznau up to the summit, and went back down on the blue line to Art-Goldau, to enjoy the spectacular scenery from both sides. We were very lucky with the weather and enjoyed some splendid views over the region from the summit.
In Art-Goldau we jumped on a train taking us a few stops down the Ghottard line to Schwyz. There we visited the Bundesbrief museum, telling us about the charter that founded Switzerland. For Swiss nationals this is a sacred place as the birthplace of their nation.
We finished off the day by travelling on a classic paddle steamer on the lake back to Lucerne. This was a very enjoyable retro experience.
Unfortunately this also meant the end of a very nice trip, the next day we travelled back to Belgium on the old classic route via Basel, Strasbourg and Luxembourg. This first trip to Switzerland made me taste a bit of this fascinating country and makes me want to go back to see and explore more of it.
Are you a keen Switzerland traveller too, or do you think it is an overrated destination? Let us know in the comments below!