1. The Rail Enthusiasts Ideal Trip
If there’s one thing guaranteed to bring together my husband and two teenage daughters in a joint adventure, it is trains. They’ve been making an N-gauge model railway together and the next part of the layout is supposed to include a mountain with tunnels. Like an authentic Swiss rail journey, the train will dive into the mountainside and out again over impressive bridges. My husband is quite concerned about this design task which has already taken ages to plan.
Of course this feat of engineering has already been done in real life in the Swiss Alps. Now when we are struggling with our miniature, we begin to grasp the scale of achievement of the Alpine railways. However until we take our own Swiss Rail journey in real life, we can’t soak up the atmosphere and beauty of the mountains.
2. Let the Train Take the Strain
The railways are an excellent way to go sightseeing in Switzerland as all the big attractions are connected by rail or other public transport. To get right up into the most striking mountain scenery by car would involve driving some pretty tricky roads. Even though I love road trips, in Switzerland I’d much prefer to avoid hairpin bends and instead relax and look out of a train window. To have spellbinding beauty roll past our eyes would allow us to really savour the journey. I think that would be a delightful change of pace from our busy lives.
3. Authentic Time Together in Switzerland
Another thing I always seek from our holidays is a chance to meet some locals. Doing that gets us an insight into the culture, such as the time we were taught to make crepes by a Breton farmer. It’s experiences like that which attract me to a Swiss Rail Journey with Inntravel holidays as they specialise in authenticity and taking the road less traveled. With a self-guided tour, we would be able to enjoy family time in our own little bubble, without thinking about tour groups and timings.
4. Eye-popping Highlights of a Swiss Rail Journey
There’s no getting away from the fact that some areas like the Jungfraujoch – the highest railway station in Europe – are very busy and popular. However, a seat in a panoramic carriage on the Glacier express would be all my own. Beautiful lakes are also on view from the Swiss railways. You can take a paddle steamer on Lake Geneva for a closer view. I have lots of things on my wish-list for Switzerland. My ideal day would start with a view of the Eiger and end with a beer in a cuckoo-clock style pub decorated with window boxes full of flowers.
5. Photographing Alpine Scenes
A few years ago my in-laws took a Swiss rail journey in the summertime including several different train routes. It was a big treat for them, and of all the scenic railways in the world they most wanted to travel in the Alps. We enjoyed spending time looking through their beautiful photos. The photos in this blog are from their trip and they have kindly let me share them. As a child I saw both the Rockies and the Alps in summer. For greenery, flowers and charming cottages the Alps are winning. It’s a great choice for a rail enthusiast, or a mountain enthusiast!
My tips for taking photos in the Alps would be to be very careful with the bright sun. It can cause a lot of high contrast. Try different exposures to make sure bright areas don’t get washed out, especially if there is lying snow. Avoid including too much sky, although some fluffy clouds always look nice. Use a small aperture to keep everything sharp from the foreground to the background. If the clouds come down you could look for shapes emerging from the mist. Or you can take some close-ups of the flowers until the sun comes out again.
Read more of our railway themed travel
Last summer we had the treat of staying in a Caboose (American railway guard’s van) which had been converted to holiday accommodation. Also read about our cycle tour of the beautiful old railway line route of the Tarka Trail.
In collaboration with Inntravel, images with thanks to David T.
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