Follow Me! Original Real Rail Adventures: Switzerland Itinerary

One of the most common questions I get from viewers is: How can I take the same trip you took on your TV program? Usually, I point them to the show’s website, www.RealRailTV.com, where they can find full show descriptions and links to regions where we’ve traveled. The question comes so often, though, that I began to wonder if I was shirking my responsibility as a host and virtual “guide.” When I decided to go back and write a useful itinerary for the original episode, Real Rail Adventures: Switzerland, I was surprised by just how difficult it was to square our production schedule with a usable travel itinerary.

After careful review of the episode and my notes from the time, I’m happy to say that I’ve put together an itinerary that viewers can use to plan their own, very similar journeys. As I look back, I’m struck by just how ambitious that original trip was – we shot over 17 days, with little down time, often shooting 4-5 experiences in a day along with specific trains, interviews, and meals. Eric, our extremely talented camera operator, was rarely able to put the camera down.

So, while I’ve included this itinerary as an academic exercise, I don’t really recommend that anyone literally follow in our footsteps. My advice? Slow down, spend at least three nights in each location, and remember that Switzerland will be there next year (and the year after that, and the year after that). Travel requires time to really absorb the landscapes, culture, food, and all of the subtle feelings that come from being exposed to something new.

That said, here’s that itinerary:

Real Rail Adventures: Switzerland – Itinerary
Jeff Wilson
Day 1: Leave U.S. for Switzerland
Day 2: Arrive Zurich. Overnight in Zurich
Day 3: Explore Zurich. Afternoon train to Chur. Explore Chur. Overnight in Chur
Day 4: Leave Chur aboard the Albula-Bernina line. Stop in Bergün to tour the Albula-Bernina Museum. Re-board train to St Moritz. Overnight in St Moritz. This route can also be done on the Glacier Express, without the Albula Museum stop
Day 5: Day trip to Piz Corvatsch to view glacier via cable car. Return to and overnight in St Moritz
Day 6: Leave St Moritz aboard Palm Express Post Bus. Arrive Lugano. Lunch and tour Lugano, train to Bellinzona. Overnight in Bellinzona
Day 7: Tour Bellinzona castles. (Side trip to San Gottardo Train Club in Mendrisio if local events allow). Overnight in Bellinzona
Day 8: Gotthard Panorama Express to Flüelen; boat in Flüelen to Lucerne. Lunch on board. Stop in Vitznau to take Rigi cogwheel train to Mt Rigi. Return to Vitznau and boat to Lucerne. Overnight in Lucerne (possible side trip to Lake Ritom via Ritom Funicular)
Day 9: Train to Alpnachstad for cogwheel ride up to Pilatus Kulm. Explore Pilatus and return to Lucerne. Overnight in Lucerne
Day 10: Train to Stans for morning Cabrio cable car to Stanserhorn. Lunch on Stanserhorn, then return to Lucerne. Explore Swiss Transportation Museum. Overnight in Lucerne
Day 11: Leave Lucerne. GoldenPass Lucerne-Interlaken Express Panoramic train to Interlaken. Explore and overnight in Interlaken.
Day 12: Board Lötschberg boat to Brienz. Day excursion on Brienzer Rothorn historic cogwheel steam train. Lunch at mountain cottage. Return to Interlaken by train and overnight in Interlaken
Day 13: Day excursion to Jungfraujoch. Overnight in Lauterbrünnen.
Day 14: Day excursion to Schilthorn via train, bus, and cable car. Tour “Bond World” and lunch in Piz Gloria Restaurant. Overnight in Lauterbrünnen
Day 15: Leave Lauterbrünnen to Montreux via GoldenPass. Explore Chateau Chillon and overnight in Montreux
Day 16: Day excursion to Gruyères and Broc aboard historic “Chocolate Train.” Tour Gruyères and Gruyères Cheese Experience. Fondue lunch. Train to Broc and tour Cailler Chocolate factory. Return to and overnight in Montreux
Day 17: Leave Montreux. Morning excursion to Rochers-de-Naye. Lunch on Rochers-de-Naye. Train to Visp. Glacier Express Panoramic train to Zermatt. Explore and overnight in Zermatt
Day 18: Day excursion on Gornergrat Railway and the Matterhorn. Overnight in Zermatt
Day 19: Leave Zermatt via train to Zurich. Overnight in Zurich
Day 20: Leave Zurich to U.S., arrive U.S.

Ready to plan your dream trip to Switzerland? I can help! With my years of experience traveling there, I can help you have a travel experience well beyond a pre-packaged tour. With my connections to folks “on the ground,” I can help you create a custom itinerary and ensure that your trip goes off without a hitch.

Let me know what you think and stay tuned – more itineraries and a raft of travel advice will be coming your way in the coming months!

Solar Saves Lives

Solar not only solves pollution problems, it can also help bring electricity to rural hospitals in places like Liberia, where it is literally helping to save human lives. Recently, my friend and solar installer Gary Easton traveled to install solar panels, inverters, and batteries on a clinic and a maternity hospital, bringing light to surgeries where operations were often carried out by the light of a mobile phone. Solar is also bringing refrigeration for vaccines and blood, vastly improving the chances of survival in a region beset by civil war and, more recently, the Ebola outbreak. Read all about Gary’s experience here:
https://www.sunfinityre.com/solar-saves-lives/

Reasons to Love Solar

What!? You’re getting your sweetie flowers for Valentine’s Day? Again? C’mon, use some imagination for once. Candy? Nope. Another Teddy Bear? You’ve got to be kidding. Here’s a pro tip to make the most impact this February 14th: If you really want to show the light of your life that you care, get them a dozen or two solar panels. That’s right, give them the gift that keeps on giving…power, clean air, clean water, health…read about 14 Reasons to Love Solar on this week’s Sunfinity Renewable Energy blog.

The IRS Will Help You Save On Solar

As costs for solar energy – and renewable energy in general – continue to drop dramatically, it’s now becoming cost-competitive without incentives in many places. Look for some incentives to phase out in the coming years. That said, the full Investment Tax Credit (ITC) of 30% on renewable energy installations is still available through the end of 2019. After that, it gets a bit smaller every year until it’s gone completely in 2022. So, this is a great time to go solar because you can take advantage of both historically low prices AND a 30% ITC on your 2019 Federal Tax Return. Read more about it and see my video on the subject here and call Sunfinity Renewable Energy (or your local solar provider, if you’re not in a Sunfinity service area) today to see how you can save a bundle on energy and slash your carbon footprint in the process!

Priority Health in Michigan

I’m pleased to be working with Priority Health in Michigan again. We’ve had a long relationship, teaching folks about Priority Health’s Medicare Advantage plans. Heck, I’ve learned plenty over the years about the ins-and-outs of Medicare, out-of-pocket costs, and even the fabled “donut hole,” which isn’t as tasty as it sounds. My mother says she and her friends see me on TV all the time, and my sister even said she saw me on TV in a bar. If you’re in Michigan, you probably won’t be able to avoid me during the Medicare enrollment period. Sorry about that.

Update: Watch Now on Prime!

Haven’t caught our Real Rail Adventures travel docs on your local PBS station? While they are playing nationwide, sometimes it’s hard to find the time to “appointment view” these fun shows. Well, now the wait is over . . . now, two of our three Real Rail Adventures episodes are available to stream for free on Amazon Prime. Watch Real Rail Adventures: Swiss Grand Tour, and my personal favorite, Real Rail Adventures: Swiss Winter Magic right now. And don’t forget to rate our shows and share your reactions on social media!