Holidays to Switzerland Travel Podcast
Podcast Episodes

Episode 37: Trip Report – Traveling Switzerland at a slower pace

January 12, 2022 Last Updated on March 19, 2024

Interview with Gary and Cathy Martin

My guests in this episode are Gary and Cathy Martin from Seattle who recently spent a month’s vacation in Switzerland.

After a couple of very brief visits in the past, they were longing to return to Switzerland and planned this trip to celebrate Gary’s retirement.

Gary and Cathy created a trip that combined some of Switzerland’s most popular destinations with a number of incredible authentic experiences that they have a personal connection with.

With four weeks to explore the country, they were able to slow down, stay longer in each destination, meet the locals and really appreciate the beauty of Switzerland and the peace and quiet it offers.

“If, like Gary and Cathy, you need quiet please, you need Switzerland.”

I’m sure you’re going to love hearing more about their trip.

Click the green button below to listen:

[This post may contain compensated links. Please see my disclosure policy for more information.]

Show Notes

Topics covered in this episode include:

  • Gary and Cathy’s story and why they chose to visit Switzerland for their month-long trip
  • An overview of their trip
  • How they travelled around Switzerland
  • Where they stayed and what they did in each location
  • Authentic experiences they enjoyed
  • Their tips for making the most of your Swiss vacation

Gary and Cathy’s itinerary including places and activities mentioned in this episode:

  • Lucerne – 3 nights
  • Mürren – 3 nights
  • Grindelwald – 3 nights
  • Interlaken – 5 nights
  • Zermatt – 4 nights
  • Eggiwil – 4 nights
  • Heimiswil – 4 nights
  • Zurich – 2 nights

>> Lucerne – After flying into Zurich, the couple’s first destination was Lucerne where they spent three nights. They met up with a friend who took them to Mt. Rigi and shared his family’s unique history with the mountain, and enjoyed wandering the Old Town.

>> Mürren – Next stop was Mürren, a small, car-free village about Lauterbrunnen in the Jungfrau Region. Gary and Cathy stayed at Hotel Alpenruh and enjoyed a visit to the Schilthorn as well as some relaxing walks.

>> Grindelwald – They then moved to another Jungfrau Region town, Grindelwald, for the next three nights at Hotel Gletschergarten. This alpine town is larger and busier than Mürren but still offers scenic views and plenty to do, including the hike from First to Bachalpsee.

>> Interlaken – Gary and Cathy wanted to be flexible should the weather not be kind to them so they headed to Interlaken for five nights. This is the largest town in the Jungfrau Region and is a great base for exploring the area and they chose The Aarburg Hotel and Cafe to call ‘home’. Whilst in Interlaken they visited Harder Kulm and an Alphorn maker in Habkern (Gary is an Alphorn player) and caught up on chores like laundry. They were also visited by friends from Bern who took them on a scenic drive over some of the nearby alpine passes.

Cows at Bachalpsee near Grindelwald in Switzerland
Man and woman standing near Zermatt sign
A rural scene at Heimiswil in Switzerland

>> Zermatt – In Zermatt, Gary and Cathy were reunited with a German couple they met many years ago. Together they visited Matterhorn Glacier Paradise, enjoyed some hikes and ate a celebratory meal to honour their friends’ wedding anniversary. They chose the Hotel Garni Testa Grigia for their Zermatt accommodation.

>> Eggiwil – Gary was keen to visit another Alphorn manufacturer – Bachmann’s Alphornmacherei – so Eggiwil, in the Emmental region, was the ideal place to stay. Quiet villages and picturesque landscapes were the highlights of staying in this region.

>> Heimiswil – After stumbling across a receipt from their brief visit to Switzerland in 1995, Gary and Cathy decided to spend four nights at the end of their trip at Spycher Lodge in Heimiswil, another Emmental village. This traditional village was the ideal place to relax and appreciate the tranquil surroundings.

>> Zurich – For the final two nights of their Swiss vacation, Gary and Cathy stayed at the Radisson Blu Hotel at Zurich airport. They spent their final full day in Switzerland browsing shops at both Zurich Airport and Zurich downtown. The convenience of staying close to the airport was perfect as they had an early departure for the return journey.

Carving of an alphorn player at Harder Kulm, Switzerland
Harder Kulm
Rural scene at Heimiswil, Switzerland
Views of the Alps from the Schilthorn
Views from the Schilthorn

Useful Resources

In this episode, Gary and Cathy talk about the following places (click on the links for more information):

>> Mt. Rigi

>> The Schilthorn, including the hike from Mürren to Gimmelwald

>> Bachalpsee hike above Grindelwald

>> Harder Kulm near Interlaken

>> Bernatone Alphornbau in Habkern

>> Matterhorn Glacier Paradise

>> Bachmann’s Alphornmacherei in Eggiwil

>> Gary has created a website which documents their trip. You can visit it here.

Gary and Cathy travelled around Switzerland by public transport (train and bus) and purchased the Swiss Half Fare Card to reduce their travel costs. You can read about the Swiss Half Fare Card HERE.

You might also find these articles from Holidays to Switzerland helpful:

You can also listen to other podcast episodes that cover the destinations Gary and Cathy visited including Mt. Rigi, the Jungfrau Region, Zermatt and Zurich.

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This episode is sponsored by Switzerland Tourism.

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