Thursday, February 14, 2008

Somewhere to lay your head part II

Two of the complaints one hears about Switzerland is the cost of food in restaurants and the cost of accommodation. Our way round the former is to eat lunch in either Coop or Migros self-service restaurants, unfortunately only at lunchtime. We normally eat the meal of the day. We write unfortunately because one of the activities we enjoy in Switzerland is cycling and after a heavy lunch need to find a patch of grass, lie down and close our eyes. This is not too good an idea when we need to climb 1000m of pass or just cycle 50km of fairly level lakeside route. We eat a picnic at lunchtime and then eat out in the evenings. We wander round the town or village until we have checked out a number of restaurants to find somewhere reasonable. If we are stopping in a Youth Hostel we eat there. Most Youth Hostels provide a meal in the evening, but this needs to be booked in advance. The excellent Swiss YHA website ( lets you book a meal in advance when you book online.
There are several way round the accommodation problem. We spent several weeks last year cycling in Switzerland researching our book on Cycle Touring in Switzerland which will be published by Cicerone Press in Milnthorpe, England in April. (End of plug) Youth Hostels will also take grey haired members of society, but it is advisable to book ahead whether 20 or 120 years old. Prices vary but we have stopped in the Lausanne YH for 58CHF per person in a double room with shower/WC. Obviously beds in less well visited areas or less luxurious cost much less starting around 30CHF.
Another useful web site is the Swiss bed and breakfast site: We stopped in a farmhouse near Grindelwald with a view across the Eiger North Wall in a double room with for about 40CHF a head recently.
In addition the Swiss Tourist Office has a brochure about affordable hotels which you can download from its web site:

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