What to do around Brig for 5 hours

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Madhura618
Madhura618
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Jul 21, 2018 - 5:50 AM

We have GEX reservation from Zermatt to Chur And Another booking from Brig to St. Moritz made by STC. We were thinking of combining too but there is no way we can do that as we leave at 7.52 from Zermatt and arrive at Chur around 13.15 and go back to Brig to catch 2.20 Pm reservation. So we decided we will use Zermatt to Brig portion and then spend 5 hours around Brig area and then use our Brig to St. Moritz reservation. My question is please suggest what can we do during these 5 hours . Please suggest us a trip that we can do . We also have luggage with us so we need to store the luggage too.

rockoyster
rockoyster
6564 posts
expert
Jul 21, 2018 - 6:26 AM in reply to Madhura618

Wow that sounds like quite a complicated predicament you have right there.

If it was me I would go through to Chur, drop your bags there and take a train out to Arosa to use up the time while you wait for your later connection. Either than or just get to Chur and hop on a regular train to St Moritz. I think you have a Swiss Travel Pass right?

Brig is quite a nice town but not the ideal place to kill 5 hours.

Madhura618
Madhura618
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Jul 21, 2018 - 6:40 AM in reply to rockoyster

Hi rockoyster

thanks for your quick reply. Yes we do have Swiss travel pass. I already booked the reservation since I didn’t get reply quickly from STC. This is the Dilemma . I could not cancel my booking with Hapoy rain to Chur. Meanwhile STC booked that portion even though they knew I already have this ticket. If you suggest Chur is the best option since we can go to Arosa, we will do that.

rockoyster
rockoyster
6564 posts
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Jul 21, 2018 - 6:45 AM in reply to Madhura618

I think the best option is actually to go through to St Moritz on a regular train. You would waste the second reservation but it depends whether you are happy getting to St Moritz 5 hours later than you otherwise could have. Your choice I guess.

Lucas
Lucas
10496 posts
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Jul 21, 2018 - 9:22 AM in reply to Madhura618

If you decide to hang out in Brig you can get some ideas on what to do here:

https://www.myswissalp s.com/brig
https://www.myswissalp s.com/forum/topic/blau see-and-brig-2-days-1-night

There is also the nearby Brigerbad baths but you may not have the time https://thermalbad-wallis.ch/de/

JohnYorks
JohnYorks
72 posts
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Jul 21, 2018 - 7:41 PM in reply to Madhura618

Hi Madhura

I agree that a round trip from Chur to Arosa is a very good way to spend a spare few hours - two hours if you return immediately, three if you delay the return by an hour. Another return train trip you can do, and one of my favourites, is from Brig by the spectacular Lötschberg tunnel mountain route to Kandersteg, a most attractive village at the top of the line. The views from high above the Rhône valley, climbing out of Brig, and in Kandersteg, are stunning. It's under an hour each way, with an hourly service, so well within your time span. If you're feeling international you could even take a short round trip from Brig to Domodossola in Italy, covered throughout by the Swiss travel pass, so that you could buy a wonderful - and cheap - Italian ice cream from the stall in the square outside the station! Again, plenty of time.

So many choices!

John

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
6254 posts
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Jul 21, 2018 - 11:37 PM in reply to JohnYorks

<<"So many choices!">>

Indeed -

That's the nice thing about Switzerland.

Slowpoke

rockoyster
rockoyster
6564 posts
expert
Jul 22, 2018 - 2:50 AM in reply to Madhura618

Hi MadHura,

Don't know how long you will have spent in Zermatt but another option that hasn't yet been canvassed is to skip the GEX Zermatt to Chur. Have a relaxed morning in Zermatt then get a regular train to connect with the 14:10pm from Brig. There is a 12:37 train that gets you to Brig at 14:02. Or a direct (no change) train at 12:13 which would give you a little more leeway.

Last modified on Jul 22, 2018 - 2:53 AM by rockoyster
Madhura618
Madhura618
16 posts
new member
Jul 22, 2018 - 8:31 AM in reply to JohnYorks

Thanks John. That is a good idea. It sounds like it is a beautiful place.

Madhura618
Madhura618
16 posts
new member
Jul 22, 2018 - 8:37 AM in reply to rockoyster

Yes. That is also a good option because we have one free day before we are going late in Zermatt previous night . We are planning to do the trip to Schilthorn and Also want to do the trip Lucas has report on to Murren, Wengen, Klein Scheidegg etc.

Peterli
Peterli
867 posts
top member
Jul 23, 2018 - 6:40 AM in reply to JohnYorks

Hi John and Madhura,

I would suggest a variation of the proposal to take the train to Kandersteg and then back to Brig. There is the new route that runs through a tunnel from Brig to Frutigen. So why not take the tunnel train from Brig to Frutigen and then return to Brig on the old line, via Kandersteg and Goppenstein, with all the tunnels and loops and wonderful views ? Or do this the other way around. I totally agree that the views down to the Rhone valley as the train rises from or descends to Brig are superb. See the attached map. The advantage of this is that you will now get to enjoy the scenery between Frutigen and Kandersteg. The series of looping tunnels just south of Kandergund is amazing. See attached map. I have not checked the timetables but wonder if this can even be done in less time (because of the speed of the trains in the new tunnel).

I also like the idea of popping over to Domodossola for a gelato.

Last modified on Jul 23, 2018 - 7:05 AM by Peterli
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JohnYorks
JohnYorks
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Jul 23, 2018 - 7:27 AM in reply to Peterli

Hi Madhura and Peteril

The new base tunnel does not, I think, serve Frutigen, but emerges into daylight at the side of the station. So you would have to go to Spiez to do the loop.

The Frutigen to Kandersteg section is certainly another spectacular line, with its wonderful climb through loops and tunnels in the Blausee-Mitholz area, for which the station closed many years ago (but read on...) Rather than take the basis tunnel one way, via Spiez, mostly a rather featureless journey, I would suggest lapping up the views both ways with a Brig to Frutigen return on the top line if you'd like to add this stretch, but this would increase travel time compared with the shorter Kandersteg suggestion.

Incidentally, the excellent BLS company that covers this area is operating a special historic train on one Sunday a month this summer, with a preserved 1949 electric loco and 4 lovely old blue and cream first class carriages with pull down windows for photography. It is counted as a scheduled train, so ordinary walk-on fares apply, without reservation, and you only pay for second class! It runs from the preservationists' depot at Burgdorf, through Bern, Thun, Spiez, Frutigen and Kandersteg to Brig and return, and makes a unique stop at Blausee Mitholz for walkers and lovers of the obscure! The train also stops at Hohtenn, high above the Rhône valley, for photographs. A wonderful day, and free with an Interrail ticket.

I'll get back to this site with details of the special train.

John

Last modified on Jul 23, 2018 - 7:59 AM by JohnYorks
Slowpoke
Slowpoke
6254 posts
expert
Jul 23, 2018 - 9:39 AM in reply to JohnYorks

<<"The train also stops at Hohtenn, high above the Rhône valley, for photographs. ">>

Thhanks. I'll see if it is running in September. Maybe I can catch it.

Views at or near Hohtenn.

Hohtenn station is barely visible in a couple of the pictures of the Luogelkin Viaduct.

Those pictures are taken from this thread on the BLS Südrampe Trail:

www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/bls-sudrampe-trail

Slowpoke

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JohnYorks
JohnYorks
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Jul 23, 2018 - 10:01 AM in reply to Slowpoke

Hi Slowpoke

You're in luck! BLS have an A5 pamphlet, Erlebniszug Lötschberg, that gives details of the historic train. Future excursions are on the second Sunday of the summer months - 12th August, 9th September and 14th October.

Departures include Burgdorf 07.46, Bern 08.21, Thun 09.04, Spiez 09.15, Blausee-Mitholz (!) 09.39, Kandersteg 09.49, Hohtenn ten minute photostop at 10.11, Brig arr 10.43. Return from Brig at 14.58. Ordinary fares, too.

I travelled on the first one of the season on 10th June. It was busy, but by no means crowded. A representative of the BLS historical division chatted to passengers about the preservation scene, and free iced tea was provided! A couple of images, of Blausee and Hohtenn, attached. Blausee-Mitholz is remarkably well kept, considering that it's a closed station. Rumour has it that a 'ghost train' runs from Kandersteg to Blausee about midnight - something to do with the postal service? Perhaps somebody can confirm. The bystanders at Hohtenn seem to be getting a bit too close to the platform edge! I should add that the photo stop here is for the train - not enough time really to get to a vantage point for views from the station.

John

Last modified on Jul 23, 2018 - 10:06 AM by JohnYorks
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Peterli
Peterli
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Jul 23, 2018 - 10:08 PM in reply to JohnYorks

Hello again John and Madhura,

The last time I traveled by train in that area, the new tunnel had not even been built. I did not check the schedules prior to my last post, and so I just assumed that the train would make a stop in Frutigen. I have now consulted the 330 and 300 sections of the "Indicateur Officiel" or "Officielles Kursbuch" and see that almost always the trains that will be taking the new tunnel do not stop at Frutigen. That having been said, one could travel via the Lötschberg Base Tunnel from Brig all the way to Spiez in about 36 minutes.

If one travels via the old Lötschberg tunnel route, the trip from Brig to Spiez takes about one hour and eight minutes. Unless I am not reading the schedules correctly, trains leave Brig at 36 minutes after each hour, 8:36, 9:36, 10:36 etc, arriving in Spiez respectively at 9:44, 10:44, 11:44, etc. One could then catch the train that returns over this same "old Lötschberg" route, leaving Spiez at 12 minutes after each hour, 10:12, 11:12, or 12:12, arriving back in Brig at 11:20, 12:20, and 13:20, respectively. All of these scenarios will provide our traveler with ample time to catch the train to Chur that leaves Brig at 14:20 (2:20 PM).

I agree that the scenery in any base tunnel is not that great (let's just say non-existent) and I was only suggesting using it as a measure to gain some time. The old route is much more beautiful and interesting and if you have time, I would totally go along with John's suggestion of using it both ways and if time permits, instead off getting of at Frutigen to begin the return trip to Brig, just go on to Spiez and make the turnaround there. If I am reading the timetables correctly, the run from Frutigen to Spiez is only 12 to 13 minutes in length. And if you have not been to Spiez before, the views of Lac Thoune (Thunersee) and the mountains across the lake to the north-east and east will be well worth the extra few minutes. To illustrate my point, (if you have about 43 minutes to spare,) I highly recommend the following video, which shows a cab view of the train run from Lalden (just outside of Brig) all the way to Spiez via the old Lötschberg line. youtu.be/3pF1xXEB6ZE The video doesn't last for the full hour and eight minutes of the run as Tim cuts out all the time in all but the shortest tunnels (except the last one before Spiez) but the train does stop in Hohtenn to allow a goods train going in the same direction to pass. The thing I don't like about cab ride videos is that they tend to always point straight forward. A passenger in the train will be rewarded with much better views. I will see if I can find a video that shows better views of the Rhone Valley as one heads up from Brig. If you don't like what you see here, perhaps a gelato in Domodossola will be a better idea. 😉

Last modified on Jul 23, 2018 - 10:40 PM by Peterli
Peterli
Peterli
867 posts
top member
Jul 24, 2018 - 3:43 AM

Hello John and Madhura,

I found a much better video, entitled Swiss Railway Journeys - The Bern-Lötschberg-Simplon Company at: youtu.be/sAvtNYyiGDA At the 35:29 point in the video you will have arrived and visited Spiez, so no need to continue to the end of the 49 minute video unless you have been hooked on it ! If you have an extra day to put into your travel itinerary, you may be tempted to modify it to have more time between Brig and Spiez. Maybe you will be enticed by the Niesen with its incredible views. www.niesen.ch/en/galle ry/panorama-pictures/?oid=1827&lang=en If not, perhaps another time.

Last modified on Jul 24, 2018 - 4:04 AM by Peterli
Slowpoke
Slowpoke
6254 posts
expert
Jul 24, 2018 - 7:32 AM in reply to JohnYorks

Hi John-

With luck, I'l be in the BO on September 9th. I should be able to pick it up at Spiez, maybe earlier.

Thanks for the tip.

Slowpoke

Last modified on Jul 24, 2018 - 7:32 AM by Slowpoke

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