Wengen, Switzerland is my all time favorite mountain destination. The beauty, the clean fresh air, the amazing hiking, the charming towns, and the infrastructure of the Jungfrau Region all make it a delightful place to visit.
Saturday, June 29, 2019
Venice to Wengen via Milan
Our morning started with a 7:00am train ride from Venice to Milan. My parents, the kids, and I had spent a delightful 10 days in Italy, and Jeremy flew in to meet up with us. Given flight prices and train schedules, Milan ended up being the most sensible place to join up – so we all met on the Milan train platform around 10:30am. He had landed in Milan the evening before, and got to take a walk and take a few photos:
We then took the train from Milan to our next stop in Spiez, Switzerland. The route traversed the alps, but seemed to be in long tunnels for much of the time. Having arrived in Switzerland, we went to the train office to get the our Swiss half-fare cards and the kids’ family cards validated. This would allow us to travel half price in Switzerland and for kids to travel for free with a parent, so definitely check whether this type of card would save you some money.
From here, our trains got smaller and smaller until we caught our mountain train to Wengen. The boys always love seeing the different trains, although I think my parents were a little taken aback by the quick train changes. Some of the train changes can be as short as 6 minutes, so if you dawdle, you might be waiting a half hour or more before the next one comes along.
Once in Wengen, we stopped by the Interhome office next to the train station to check into our apartment and pick up our keys. For the Jungfrau Region, Saturday to Saturday week-long apartment rentals are typically the best way to explore the area. The apartments are less expensive than hotels, have significantly more space, and you will save a lot of money on your food bills. You can check out our accommodations post.
After dropping off our luggage in our lovely apartment, picking out our bedrooms, and freshening up, Jeremy, John, and I went back to town to get groceries for a few days. Mom, Dad, and James decided to enjoy the beautiful deck.
Like many Swiss mountain apartments, ours came with a fondue pot. The grocery stores in this region have packets of fondue that are just about as good as the restaurants, with the bonus of costing a fraction of the price. All you need is a package or two of fondue, a loaf or two of bread, some fuel, and some matches. Most often, your apartment host will provide limited quantities of the last two.
The local restaurants seem to charge 25-30 CHF ($25-$30) per person, plus drinks, for a fondue meal. We have had fondue at Restaurant Taverne Bernerhof and found the it to be delicious. That said, making your own for a family of 4 will be about the same as the cost of 1 person in a restaurant. On the other hand, if you don’t like the idea of making pre-packaged fondue, you can also stop by the cheese shop and have them prepare a pack of fondue for you and then purchase a bottle of wine to thin it to the right consistency.
As we were just about to light the flame, we realized that we had forgotten to check whether the apartment came stocked with matches. While we found the fuel, we couldn’t find the matches, so Jeremy ran back to the store a few minutes before closing and picked some up. Whew! Disaster averted!
After dinner, we took the kids to the park to play.
The boys have outgrown their “little house,” but all of us still enjoy the memories.
What a great end to a day of traveling!
We spent much of the following week hiking and otherwise exploring the natural beauty of the area, which we’ll write up in the following post.