East Switzerland – 4. Train from Grusch to Zurich

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The Swiss trains and railways system is undoubtedly the best in the world.

You would be hard pressed to find something this neat and efficient that covers all the country, with amazing scenery on every journey.

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DSCF0809 1024AS you can see, the pretty town of Grusch I think is quite typical of many of the idyllic looking villages in Switzerland.

There several characteristics of trains here.    There are several classes of trains with different stock and track like the funicular trains that go up impossibly steep hills.

The platforms are not high.  Often you can walk across flatter parts of the track.   The trains don’t actually go very fast, and the barriers, lights and sirens come on well in advance.   Some of the modern trains have a small motorised platform that appears to help you get up.

SBB is the Swiss railway operator, and it is also easy to buy your ticket using your smart phone and therefore know exactly where you are going and where to change and the right platform.   I didn’t get any pictures of Zurich’s station, but it is huge and has 45 platforms.

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There is a lot of freight I see going past.

GERMANY 1. Dachau concentration camp – 2. BMW museum – 3. BMW World futuristic showroom – 4. Neuschwanstein Castle – 5. 1972 Munich Olympics village – 6. Tourism and going out in Munich – 7. Deutsches Museum – 8. Business in the UK, Germany and Israel – 9. Friedrichshafen, a pleasant German town on a lake

SWITZERLAND 1. Trying to do ‘cheap’ Switzerland – 2. The town of Grusch – 3. Clever Swiss made things – 4. Train from Grusch to Zurich – 5. Zurich, the more liberal Switzerland

LIECHTENSTEIN 1. Plans – 2. Getting into this tiny nation – 3. Motorbikes, cars and kebab shops in Vaduz, Liechtenstein – 4. Small country topography – 5. Road up to the castle – 6. The Prince’s castle and vineyard – 7. bars, shops, Olympics –

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East Switzerland – 2. The town of Grusch

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Switzerland seems to integrate housing estates, farms and factories very well.  Ordinarily, there is always worry about noise or smell when you have a combination of places in the UK maybe.

Grusch is a postcard-perfect small Swiss town with around just 2,000 people.   Its part of the Canton of Graubunden, and has been around since 1340.   This area of the country is German speaking.

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A lot of the houses are these distinct nice wooden chalets with balconies and shutters.   Someone put a mannequin out on the porch with a costume.   I think the Swiss have their own unique sense of humour.

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Where else do people have an outside shed/workshop and not worry about someone taking stuff.

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This herd of Jersey cows were friendly and licked my hand.   These types of cattle are prized also in Britain for making better quality and quantity of milk, they would suit the Swiss well for making cheese and chocolate.

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This railway siding is right by another old factory, where the track has been laid from the beginning to help raw materials or finished goods from industries to get sent around by train, rather than clog up roads.   So, so, so far ahead of Britain in this regard.

Grusch looks even better at night with the snow with the 30cm or so (ie; standard school ruler) of snow glinting in the moonlight, and a lot of stars visible without any light pollution.

GERMANY 1. Dachau concentration camp – 2. BMW museum – 3. BMW World futuristic showroom – 4. Neuschwanstein Castle – 5. 1972 Munich Olympics village – 6. Tourism and going out in Munich – 7. Deutsches museum – 8. Business in UK, Germany and Israel – 9. Friedrichshafen, a pleasant German town on a lake

SWITZERLAND 1. Trying to do ‘cheap’ Switzerland – 2. The town of Grusch

East Switzerland – 1. Trying to do ‘cheap’ Switzerland

After leaving Friedrichshafen in Germany, once leaving the lake, I got on a train and went directly to Grusch, a small town on the east side of Switzerland.  I chose this town as it was close-ish to the tiny nation of Liechtenstein and all other places I looked into staying were not open during the winter.

Switzerland is probably the most famous non-EU European country.  I’ve been to this lovely country before but the other side going from Basel to Interlaken to Geneva.  Flights are cheap because cities like Basel, Zurich and Geneva are kind of dead centre in the middle of Europe, thus being a great hub for transferring to somewhere else.

Everything else is definitely not though.  The Franc, seen often as “CHF” the local currency is almost identical to a US$ but everything seems to be 2 – 3 times what would cost in the UK.

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This hostel cost me CHF62.60 for two nights, £24 a night.  That’s absolutely unheard of for Switzerland.   But actually, the Sporti Grusch is a restaurant for skiers and snowboarders, with three rooms in the basement.

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This is my room.   The bunk is built into the wall.    I didn’t have to share with anyone. There is a shared bathroom which you have to go outside to use.    This is a great place for a scouts or youth group I think.   I’m used to simple places to sleep so this is quite adequate for me.   There is no lounge to sit and read.    So during evenings I sat in the restaurant with usual Swiss prices and drink tea.   Beer is about £9/pint, food is also very high so I visited a local shop.

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This was parked next to my hostel.   It seems Swiss landowners can’t rely on local municipality services to clear snow and have the means to clear it themselves.  This 1990s Toyota truck has been adapted for this purpose.

GERMANY 1. Dachau concentration camp – 2. BMW museum – 3. BMW World futuristic showroom – 4. Neuschwanstein Castle – 5. 1972 Munich Olympics village – 6. Tourism and going out in Munich – 7. Deutsches Museum – 8. Business in the UK, Germany and Israel – 9. Friedrichshafen, a pleasant German town on a lake

SWITZERLAND 1. Trying to do ‘cheap’ Switzerland – 2. The town of Grusch – 3. Clever Swiss made things –

LIECHTENSTEIN 1. Plans – 2. Getting into this tiny nation –