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Grindelwald - The Glacier Village
The Swiss population is close to 7 million. Their national language comprises Swiss German, Italian, French and Rhaeto-Romanic. Depending on which border of Switzerland you are in, either nearer to Italy, France or Germany, the language will be adopted. Swiss staying near the SE border speaks Italian. S to SW speaks French and the N to NE speaks German (German and German Swiss have different accent) Swiss currency is in CHF (Swiss Franc)
o Tips are included in the restaurant, hotel/hostel bills.
o Water from tap are potable unless you see any sign like "Kein Trinkwasser" or "eau non potable" - which means cannot drink the water.
o There are locker services at the train stations.
o You can press the train door button outside the train to open it. Another thing to note : trains going to your destination may be shared by another train going somewhere else! They are joined together initailly as they are heading towards the same direction and will seperate later. They are separated by sector (eg A, B) for Swiss trains and for Italy, we encountered this too, so take note!
o The Swiss excellent network of public transport is one of the highest standards. Remember, most of the recognised watch makers are Swiss. The train and buses leaves right on the dot, no more no less!
o Weather forecast may differ in the mountainous region like Grindelwald, the winds play the pivotal role due to the mountainous regions. For eg if the report says its sunny, depending on the wind, when mixes with the cold air, snow starts to fall.
o Health reports by the doctors indicate that skiing/snowboarding in winter is better than during summer, not sure why, but I got this from a friend, maybe you can tell me.
o I had problems in the GSM reception while on the train, I had to do a manual setting to select the base station before any calls can be made. Well I was aware of this as I couldn't do my SMS : )
Things like imported clothing (T shirts cost about USD 15), gloves, shoes and jackets (3 piece winter jacket costs about USD 350) are very expensive here. Most of the clothes are made in the Far East and the quality for the T shirts are nothing fantastic. In the past, the Portuguese are brought in to Switzerland to work due to low wages. Now, most of the goods are produced outside Switzerland. Consumables are cheap, especially the chocolates and they are taste great. The Victorinox Swiss knives are good stuffs if you ever need to use one. There was an instant when we used a Swiss knife imitation to open the wine bottle while touring in Italy and the cork opener was stuck in the cork of the wine. I had to use the Victorinox Swiss knife to open it!
If you are traveling using single train
tickets in Switzerland, this can be quite costly. It'd be advisable to go
for a Swiss Pass (valid for a few days to a month) or Flexi Pass or Half fare
card. Half fare card entitles one to pay only 50% of the normal fare. Second
person at 15% discount.
Find out more about Switzerland >> - rough guide to Switzerland -
More about Grindelwald >> - The Glacier Village -
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