Many of you may have had the chance to catch our latest episode of the Real Rail Adventures series. Swiss International Hubs debuted on April 1st, 2020, and is now making the rounds of local PBS stations across the country. Check your local listings and, if you don’t see it scheduled, contact your station and ask them to air the shows as soon as possible (tell them they’re available via American Public Television‘s (APT) digital service).
The show was another one for the record books as our crew bravely crisscrossed the Alps and took on challenges like shooting a canyoning trip through Grimsel Canyon outside of Interlaken and making our own salami in Bellinzona. We even made a Swiss watch at a workshop put on by Initium in Geneva, toured rooftop beehives with the owner of Honig Kuchen in Zurich, took a leisurely float on the Rhine with something called a “Wickelfisch,” and checked out the urban street art scene from the back of a graffiti-covered Bentley (really) in Basel. All while finding plenty of time to enjoy the odd Aperol spritz.
International man of mystery, Jeff Wilson, relaxes at the Sandoase Bar overlooking Three Country Corner, Basel, Switzerland
When RRA: Swiss International Hubs first aired, you were likely holed up in some kind of home, apartment, or bunker as we rode out the COVID-19 crisis. I do hope you’re all well and that you weathered the pandemic in the best way possible. I kept my spirits up, in part, by planning trips for the future. As a tool for escape, I find trip planning to be very helpful.
In that spirit, here is the itinerary from our late-summer 2019 shoot for Swiss International Hubs. As in past itinerary posts, I’ll give the standard warning that this itinerary is merely an aid in planning your trip. Don’t try to mimic what we insane TV-show-producing people do, as we’re cramming as much must-see-adventure as possible into every day so that we can deliver a watchable show on time and on budget. With that caveat, here’s the itinerary:
Real Rail Adventures: Swiss International Hubs Itinerary
Day 1: Leave U.S. for Hamburg, Germany
Day 2: Arrive Hamburg. Overnight in Hamburg
Day 3: Explore Hamburg. Overnight in Hamburg
Day 4: Board ICE train to Interlaken. Explore Interlaken and overnight
Day 5: Canyoning adventure in Grimsel Canyon with Outdoor Interlaken. Evening funicular to Harder Kulm for Two Lakes Platform and scenic dinner. Overnight in Interlaken
Day 6: Board ICE train to Basel. Afternoon street art tour. Relax at Sandoase Bar overlooking Three Country Corner. Overnight in Basel
Day 7: Morning tour of Basel’s Kunstmuseum. Afternoon float in the Rhine River. Evening dinner riverside. Overnight in Basel
Day 8: Board TVG train to Paris. Overnight in Paris
Day 9: Explore Paris. Overnight in Paris
Day 10: Board TVG train to Geneva. Overnight in Geneva
Day 11: Tour Red Cross Red Crescent Museum, U.N. Place des Nations, and St. Pierre Cathedral. Afternoon boat ride to Jet d’Eau waterspout. Overnight in Geneva
Day 12: Morning watch-making workshop at Initium in Geneva’s Altstadt. Make your own Swiss watch as a souvenir. Afternoon train to Zürich, passing through scenic Lavaux wine-making region. Overnight in Zürich
Day 13: Morning stand-up paddling tour of Zürich. Afternoon visit to Honig Kuchen to learn about Zürich’s rooftop bees. Tour of Climeworks carbon-capture facility in Hinwil. Overnight in Zürich
Day 14: Board train to Bellinzona, passing through the 35-mile long Gotthard Base Tunnel. Explore Bellinzona and overnight
Day 15: Tour Bellinzona’s castles and Salami-making workshop. Afternoon visit to Coldesina bottling factory. Overnight in Bellinzona
Day 16: Board train to Milan. Overnight in Milan
Day 17: Explore Milan. Overnight in Milan
Day 18: Leave Milan for U.S., arrive U.S.
Does this help? What did we leave out that you’d like to see us do in the future? As always, don’t hesitate to reach out with travel questions of all kinds. My advice is free. If you’re looking for more involved trip planning, I can put you in touch with my people “on the ground” in Switzerland who know our show itineraries well and can arrange any type of adventure you can dream up.