Montreux - Interlaken, 3h
First real Alpine passage on a train for me, on a route that’s been buffed as one of the most scenic in Switzerland. The GoldenPass company who operate it have some sleek new trains that are optimized for viewing landscapes - e.g. including windows also on the roof of the car, and some even have seats right in the nose of the train for extra-special vantage point for the landscape. I hopped on a more normal train, that suited my schedule the best, on a charming old local train car.
And yes, the landscape is beautiful. Even though there are some steep inclines, the route doesn’t go really high up (~ 1km I think) and doesn’t get really close to mountains either but there are really quaint rural landscapes with forests, fields, cottages and cute little villages. And the train travels on a very curvaceous track due to the challenging geography, so the ride offers some sweeping panoramas with variating viewpoints to much spectator delight. There are no leaves in the trees yet even in lower altitudes, so the landscape definitely was not at it’s best. I’d dare to speculate that it is quite stunning really when nature is really blooming (or snow has really taken over the landscape).
There was an exchange of trains in Zweizimmen, and I decided to have a much delayed lunch there instead of continuing directly to Interlaken. Well, I would have been better of hopping off on one of the much nicer looking villages earlier on the track, but was too excited to stop there yet. The sausage-cheese -salad turned out to be drowned in a whole lotta mayo, as seems to be the norm around here. Good thing I was really, really hungry, otherwise it could have been left on the plate. The small villages on the way also looked like perfect place to stay for the night in a classic Alpine rural landscape, I actually would have preferred some of them to Montreux. Oh well, next time then.
It’s really difficult to photograph the Alpine landscapes all and all - the huge scale of the vista just doesn’t capture well. And trying to do it from a moving train is another challenge: the viewpoint changes so often with twists and turns on the track. And then there are of course the technical difficulties like slow focusing camera and reflections from the window. The final thing could’ve been easily fixed though if I would’ve noticed earlier that you can actually slide down the windows on most cars in trains here. Without the stained glass between the scenery and the camera, at least the resulting shot will be cleaner & sharper if not better in any other means…