CHARLOTTE, April 16, 2012 — The
Heading from the lovely resort
Depending on which train you choose, the journey takes between 75 and 90 minutes through cool, densely forested hills. Three small lakes, Alpnach, Sarnen and Lungern, are a visual treat for riders as the train glides past mountainside villages and sheep graze at the base of the heavens.
If time permits, Meiringen is great place for a brief visit, especially if you’re a fan of Sherlock Holmes. It was in Meiringen that the great, fictional British sleuth chased down his arch-enemy, Professor Moriarity. Eventually the two adversaries engaged in hand to hand combat and fell to their deaths at nearby Reichenbach Falls. Enthusiasts were so upset by the demise of their beloved detective that author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was obliged to revive his character for future mysteries.
If you bother to get off the train, there can be no doubt about the influence that Sherlock has had on the community. The railway station features a full-sized mock up of Holmes flat at 221-B Baker Street in London. There is also a statue honoring the illustrious private detective that features clues from each of the Holmes novels and short stories.
With a hotel and a pub bearing Holmes name, there is little doubt that this was the site of The Final Problem. Ambitious travelers may want to hike to the top of Reichenbach Falls, but for the less hardy there is a seasonal funicular that takes visitors to the summit.
From Meiringen, the delightful woodcarver village of Brienz is just a 20-minute ride. Tucked between the mountainside and the northern shores of the Lake of Brienz, this picturesque town is the home of Lötscher, the only authentic Swiss cuckoo clock maker in the world today. Rail pass holders can take advantage of another bonus in Brienz if they choose. Lake steamers make frequent cruises between Brienz to
The steamer pier is just a short walk across the tracks in Brienz. Boat trips take about an hour, and travelers can reconnect for their onward journey on the Golden Pass in Interlaken Passengers with less time, or no desire to sail, can continue by rail around the perimeter of the lake.
In most places, the segment of the Golden Pass between Interlaken and Zweisimmen would be considered a premier rail journey. In Switzerland, it is more of a pleasant diversion between the perpendicular upheavals of rock in the Alps and the gentle carpet-like progression of rolling farmland. This leg of the route is one of those in-between places where intoxicating images whisper tales of discovery. Sit back. Relax. Enjoy the ride.
Zweisimmen is the terminus of the BLS rail line and the starting point for the third portion of the
Nestled in the heart of a wide valley floor, Zweisimmen lies at the center of a popular ski region, but it is difficult to believe when you are there. In Zweisimmen the Alps do not swallow the sky as they do in other sections of
While waiting to change trains, Zweisimmen is a great place for some last minute shopping, a relaxing stroll, a refreshing glass of beer or a cup of hot chocolate. Montreux, on the banks of
Prepare yourself for vast expanses of rolling countryside before concluding your journey along serpentine ribbons of steel through tiers of neatly manicured vineyards.(http://www.myswitzerland.com/en/home.html) (www.raileurope.com/)
Peabod is Bob Taylor, owner of Taylored Media Services in Charlotte, NC, founder of The Magellan Travel Club which creates and escorts customized tours to Switzerland, France and Italy for groups of 12 or more. Inquiries for groups can be made at Peabod@aol.com Taylored media has produced marketing videos for British Rail, Rail Europe, Switzerland Tourism, the Swedish Travel & Tourism Council, the Finnish Tourist Board, the Swiss Travel System and Japan Railways Group among others. As author of The Century Club book, Peabod is now attempting to travel to 100 countries or more during his lifetime. To date he has visited 69 countries. Suggest someplace new for Bob to visit; if you want to know where he has been, check his list on Facebook. Bob plans to write a sequel to his book when he reaches his goal of 100 countries.
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