A train person sees a serendipitous trip to Switzerland as the opportunity of a lifetime—to saunter solo through some of the world’s most scenic rail routes. By Rashima Nagpal
My first solo trip happened in the Swiss Alps, not the Himalayas as I had always visualised. I was travelling to Switzerland for a whirlwind work assignment and decided to add three days of solo sauntering to the itinerary. It was also my first time in Europe—I had to make the most of it.
After six indulgent days in Ticino and Zurich, I bid adieu to my colleagues, dropped my suitcase at the airport hotel, took my rucksack, and left for Interlaken. On the recommendation of a friend, I had booked myself a bed at the popular Balmers Hostel. The destination didn’t matter as much as the journey. I was clear about my agenda for this extra time in Switzerland—to take as many scenic train journeys as possible. Hence, I spent a lot of time rummaging through train schedules—the SBB Mobile app came handy— before I decided to take the Luzern-Interlaken Express on the GoldenPass Line.
Almost every minute of the hour and 50 minutes I spent on the train from Luzern to Interlaken felt surreal. As the train snaked past lakes, meadows, waterfalls, and mountains along the 98-kilometre-long route, I kept gazing out of the window. In the beginning, I alternated between the seats on either side. It was overwhelming, and I wanted to shriek with joy! But it was so quiet inside the coach that you could hear even a pin drop. Before I knew it, I had settled into one spot and was meditating to the fleeting views of the landscape. Soon enough, the train arrived at its destination. It was time to step out of the reverie.
“My agenda was clear in Switzerland—to take as many scenic train journeys as possible.” Rashima Nagpal, Senior Features Writer.
WHERE TO STAY
The idyllic resort town of Interlaken is a popular gateway to the Bernese Oberland, which includes the summit of Jungfrau. Victoria-Jungfrau Grand Hotel & Spa, a historic five-star hotel located in the heart of Interlaken, is a good base for your Alpine adventures.
Or consider the Maison Bergdorf, a chalet-style villa from 1897 that can also be rented exclusively for a group of up to 10.