Travel Life Europe 21/22 - Planning, General short TRs, Travel and covid

DidSurfNowSki

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Organised chaos !!!

2DA0A343-FD49-4D70-AF72-351FC111EB47.jpeg
 

DidSurfNowSki

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Remember that Kletterer was basing in Leogang which is in the valley north of the Glemmtal (Saalbach). To get there get the train to Saalfelden, then bus. There is a railway stop at Leogang but it is up the hill so a bit out of the way. Or else pre-arrange pickup from the Leogang stop.
Booked a place in Leogang. Next thing I know the owners were offering me a cheaper room and rate.
Sweet.
 

Zeroz

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@Zeroz How are things over your side of the Alps atm ? ?
Hello @Kletterer, things are ok on my side of the Alps. Some snow forecast for Tuesday.

Euroskiing for a month and chose to start in Arosa Lenzerheide, an easy 3hr train from Zurich airport right to the Swiss village of Arosa.
Arosa is high and cold with a good snow record. Big early Dec snowfalls, but not much after that, and a warm late Dec left a sold base.

About 20cm fresh on the weekend, light high quality snow. -12C since, which kept it in great condition. Thank you Snow Jesus.

The idea was to spend a few days acclimatising and re-acquainting our bodies with the skiing thing.
Then head off piste as A-L has good and easily accessible off-piste routes via a selection of lifts that go up to pointy peaks.

Day 1 & 2 were fun flying around the 220km of pistes and 43 lifts. Lots of rolling terrain, well suited for intermediates and advanced, with long piste runs, links to Lenzerheide, Valbella and other villages, new cable cars etc. Sparse crowds because it's mid -Jan and Covid.
It's a place frequented by the Swiss and Dutch, few Brits or French. Should be more popular than it is.

We decided Day 3 would be Swiss mountain guide and off-piste adventures to take advantage of the conditions.
I'm ready as I've pushed myself in a gruelling pre-skiing fitness regime, which since I'm a middle aged man, I've boasted about relentlessly.

A bit of Arosa from our room - the train line is bottom right and the regular and smoothly quiet train arrivals are weirdly soothing
1642007636602.jpeg



First leg was off the back of the Weisshorn and 45 mins later we ended up in the village of Tschiertschen.
Our guide is also a local farmer in the summer and pointed out exactly where his cows roamed here when the snow disappears.
1642006941676.png

Tschiertschen isn't part of Arosa Lenzerheide so we had to buy a lift ticket, which was $20 aud. That, plus the enthusiastic patronage of what appeared to be a total of eight people, including us, may explain the dire financial situation of this area.

But I enjoyed the next leg as we motored across Swiss farms and barns, vacated for the winter. They take the wires out of the fences for winter (not for the convenience of skiers) so my usual paranoia about getting Tarantino sliced in two was slightly mollified.
1642009961498.png


Scenes of bucolic Swiss serenity. Also a hopelessly inefficient and elaborately subsidsed farming industry,. But fun to ski through.
1642010349318.png


Arrived in Lenzerheide and up to the Rothorn gipfel (summit) and off the back. Fabulous snow.
1642010979557.png


Lunch up high at the Rothorngipfel, taken from my seat as I slurped a tasty Gulaschsuppe. Lenzerheide on the left, Valbella on the right.
Euros don't do much run naming, you might get run 14a or whatever. The usual piste signs are about pointing to towns to ski to.
1642014155383.png



We needed to get back to Arosa either by the big cable car link , but just past the Lenzerheide ski galerie
(a semi-interesting 100m covered ski path that people froth over) there's a human powered option for the return to Arosa.
1642014851775.png


This is where my surrealist influences came to the fore with a pic of the first part of the run - reflected in my goggles.
This was, of course, an accidental selfie as I stabbed at the phone with my cold fat fingers while trying to Make Technology Work.
Top left is the galerie exit, the starting point.
1642014762971.png



Start is the red dot. The top section was good, but the run out was not. The -12C temps made the snow sticky and it was a 2km slog
of man v nature to get forward propulsion. We left the skins in the hotel room because they weren't needed....
1642016047879.png


Back in the hotel.
Rearrange this word puzzle to see how I feel: TOTALLY FCKED. The run out exhausted me, on top of the day skiing.
My aforementioned "gruelling pre-skiing fitness regime" didn't even prepare me for Day 1 of off-piste.

So I did what any athlete would do - collapsed into bed and scoffed three Snickers bars and a can of David energy drink
(see his magnificent abs below - Goliath should've seen it coming). We will ski tomorrow but it will be a slow start.
david-energy-dose-125x300.png
 

Hermannator

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Two weeks skiing in France, tick. Crossing into France from Geneva without getting checked, tick. Not getting covid, tick. Much excitement and drama, big highs, low lows. HMU if you need advice.

Oh and don’t rely on the French...

Retrospective TR to come.
TR started:

 

Sbooker

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@Zeroz
Care to tell us how the arrival into Switzerland went regarding tests, vaccination certificates etc?
Is our vax passport recognised there?
 
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RCN

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Zermatt Jan 2022

Planning 8 days of skiiing in Zermatt this month.

Flights to Zurich from Sydney booked for travel next week.

Heading there via Dubai on Emirates. I chose a longer transit (taking the later of the 2 daily DXB - ZRH flights) to explore Dubai (might head to Expo 2020).

Will return via Singapore on SQ, at the end of Jan.

I've not booked accomodation/train tickets for the trip yet, and I plan to do so only after my negative PCR test, which I'll do 24 hours before my first flight.

Doing a RAT for entry to Switzerland is possible as well, but must be done 24 hours prior to entry (won't work if your travel time is longer).

Other requirements - Swiss entry form, Swiss COVID certificate.

Anything can happen between now and next week! Including me catching COVID or increased border restrictions/testing requirements (wont be surprised given our case numbers).

Will send updates. ;)
 
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Zeroz

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@Zeroz
Care to tell us how the arrival into Switzerland went regarding tests, vaccination certificates etc?
Is our vax passport recognised there?

I did a summary on our Euro entry in a post a week ago. But basically you need to do all the forms but probably won't need them.
It's messy, inconsistent, with different rules everywhere, and you just might get someone difficult.

- We did all the forms and apps and got QR codes, but no-one checked Aus vax forms or QR codes and only one gate person wanted to see an -ve PCR test, even then it was a cursory glance to see the name matched the airline booking​
- Except... the toughest checks were to get into airline lounges, They wanted to see the Aus Vax certt, -ve PCR test, EU passport. We found this pretty funny, but typical if you're familiar with the practices of airline lounge guardians​
- There was no-one in Zurich checking the Entry to Switzerland form, or RAT/PCR. Could be random.​
- But once in Switzerland you must have the Swiss EU QR pass. Hotels ask for it on check-in, cafes , on-mountain bars etc.​
Download the app and also send the Swiss $45 aud, Aus vax cert, flight and passport info. Once approved the app generates a QR code. Swiss places use an app to verify your QR code, some also ask for ID to match the QR code and your ID name.​
It's not difficult to get and also works all over Europe,. I'd expect they would reject any other form of verification.​

Good luck.
 

Sbooker

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I did a summary on our Euro entry in a post a week ago. But basically you need to do all the forms but probably won't need them.
It's messy, inconsistent, with different rules everywhere, and you just might get someone difficult.

- We did all the forms and apps and got QR codes, but no-one checked Aus vax forms or QR codes and only one gate person wanted to see an -ve PCR test, even then it was a cursory glance to see the name matched the airline booking​
- Except... the toughest checks were to get into airline lounges, They wanted to see the Aus Vax certt, -ve PCR test, EU passport. We found this pretty funny, but typical if you're familiar with the practices of airline lounge guardians​
- There was no-one in Zurich checking the Entry to Switzerland form, or RAT/PCR. Could be random.​
- But once in Switzerland you must have the Swiss EU QR pass. Hotels ask for it on check-in, cafes , on-mountain bars etc.​
Download the app and also send the Swiss $45 aud, Aus vax cert, flight and passport info. Once approved the app generates a QR code. Swiss places use an app to verify your QR code, some also ask for ID to match the QR code and your ID name.​
It's not difficult to get and also works all over Europe,. I'd expect they would reject any other form of verification.​

Good luck.
Thanks. I missed your other update.
So if we do the Swiss pass it will work in France too?
 

ShaunQuigley

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We are leaving for the UK in a few weeks and after a short stay, heading to Morzine via Geneva. Whilst I normally don't mind a bit of admin/paperwork I have to admit this is all seeming very complicated. As a british citizen I have been using the Morzine Source magazine website which has lots of useful information. I am struggling however with setting up the Pass Vaccinal in the TousAntiCovid app. I have tried scanning the QR code in my mygov generated Australiamn international covid 19 certificate but get an error. How has anyone here gone about getting an Australian vaccine certificate to generate a Pass Vaccinal? Or does the Swiss Covid certificate described earlier in this thread serve as an alternative to TousAntiCovid app?

I'd really appreciate some help, thank you!
Shaun

EDIT: I've just given it a try with the Swiss EU app too and had the same problem, it says my QR code from the mygov certificate is invalid.
 

Heinz

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We are leaving for the UK in a few weeks and after a short stay, heading to Morzine via Geneva. Whilst I normally don't mind a bit of admin/paperwork I have to admit this is all seeming very complicated. As a british citizen I have been using the Morzine Source magazine website which has lots of useful information. I am struggling however with setting up the Pass Vaccinal in the TousAntiCovid app. I have tried scanning the QR code in my mygov generated Australiamn international covid 19 certificate but get an error. How has anyone here gone about getting an Australian vaccine certificate to generate a Pass Vaccinal? Or does the Swiss Covid certificate described earlier in this thread serve as an alternative to TousAntiCovid app?

I'd really appreciate some help, thank you!
Shaun

EDIT: I've just given it a try with the Swiss EU app too and had the same problem, it says my QR code from the mygov certificate is invalid.

Australian QR code is accepted at airports but is not compatible with EU digital certificate. The current workaround it to get a EU cert from Switzerland. This is all discussed earlier in this thread eg. from previous page.

https://www.ski.com.au/xf/threads/e...short-trs-travel-and-covid.90243/post-4940685
https://www.ski.com.au/xf/threads/e...short-trs-travel-and-covid.90243/post-4941270
https://www.ski.com.au/xf/threads/e...short-trs-travel-and-covid.90243/post-4943611
etc
 

DidSurfNowSki

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Australian QR code is accepted at airports but is not compatible with EU digital certificate. The current workaround it to get a EU cert from Switzerland. This is all discussed on the previous page.

https://www.ski.com.au/xf/threads/e...short-trs-travel-and-covid.90243/post-4940685
https://www.ski.com.au/xf/threads/e...short-trs-travel-and-covid.90243/post-4941270
https://www.ski.com.au/xf/threads/e...short-trs-travel-and-covid.90243/post-4943611
etc
Can confirm. Every restaurant I've stuck my head into wants to see the green pass which I got using the workaround.

Austrian border officials at the airport wanted to see the Australian International Covid certificate.

As per https://www.austria.info/en/service-and-facts/coronavirus-information FFP2 masks are required in all public areas in enclosed spaces, including restaurants (when not seated), hotels and cable cars. When 2-m social distancing with people not living in you household is not possible, FFP2 masks are also compulsory outdoors.
 

ShaunQuigley

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Thank you for the links. I had seen most of that but not the link to the pointhacks. I have downloaded the Swiss app but can't get it to recognise the certificate.
When I go to https://www.covidcertificate-form.admin.ch/foreign I enter the airport details (we are not staying in Switzerland, transiting immediately to France) and again I got an error. Is it therefore essential to book some sort of refundable hotel as proof and then cancel that as suggested on point hacks?

See below, I can't change the country from CH to France and it doesn't ask for flight details. Given we will immediately be transiting what should I do?

ta
shaun

1642209445175.png



and when entering the Hilton Geneva Airport's details, I get...

1642209643917.png
 

DidSurfNowSki

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The Green Pass app will recognize a Swiss QR code which you need to get from the Swiss. It does not recognize the Oz QR code.

I booked Swiss accommodation and got their QR code through the ch website. However my travel plans did change, so I had to cancel the hotel booking. Luckily it was fully refundable.

You then use the Green Pass app when you go into restaurants etc.
 
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ShaunQuigley

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The Green Pass app will recognize a Swiss QR code which you need to get from the Swiss. It does not recognize the Oz QR code.

I booked Swiss accommodation and got their QR code through the ch website. However my travel plans did change, so I had to cancel the hotel booking. Luckily it was fully refundable.

You then use the Green Pass app when you go into restaurants etc.
Thank you but I don't understand. The flighthacks site links to the website https://www.covidcertificate-form.admin.ch/foreign
I thought doing this generated me a covid pass. How does this relate to green pass?
 

RCN

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Thank you for the links. I had seen most of that but not the link to the pointhacks. I have downloaded the Swiss app but can't get it to recognise the certificate.
When I go to https://www.covidcertificate-form.admin.ch/foreign I enter the airport details (we are not staying in Switzerland, transiting immediately to France) and again I got an error. Is it therefore essential to book some sort of refundable hotel as proof and then cancel that as suggested on point hacks?

See below, I can't change the country from CH to France and it doesn't ask for flight details. Given we will immediately be transiting what should I do?

ta
shaun

1642209445175.png



and when entering the Hilton Geneva Airport's details, I get...

1642209643917.png
I've just completed my application for the Swiss COVID cert, including paying the CHF30.

I entered details for a hotel I was planning to stay in for the first night (although no booking made yet).

For the evidence re:entry to Switzerland, I uploaded my e-ticket.

So I'm not sure if a confirmed hotel booking in Switzerland is absolutely required.
 

DidSurfNowSki

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ShaunQuigley

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So, for anyone else struggling like me....

I was entering hotel details for Geneva, tried various and got the same error. Finally thought of trying another area (Zurich) and it allowed me to progress to the next page...


1642214560615.png
 

Sbooker

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So, for anyone else struggling like me....

I was entering hotel details for Geneva, tried various and got the same error. Finally thought of trying another area (Zurich) and it allowed me to progress to the next page...


1642214560615.png
Maybe the hotel address was the French side?
 

Apiraclubby

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I believe u don’t need the swiss pass at all if ur arriving in Geneva and transferring straight over the border to morzine. Your pcr test result will get u all the way, then u can walk straight into a French pharmacy and show ur Aussie vaccine certificate to get the French version.
The address and postcode were Ch and the webpage autopopulated the Ch canton with the postcode so don't think so. Annoying bug if bug is what it is. Unless the Geneva canton are dishing out these certificates.
 
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Hermannator

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I believe u don’t need the swiss pass at all if ur arriving in Geneva and transferring straight over the border to morzine. Your pcr test result will get u all the way, then u can walk straight into a French pharmacy and show ur Aussie vaccine certificate to get the French version.
The cafe at the airport accepted my Aussie vax cert.
 
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RCN

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I'm wondering how strict they are w/ the 24 hr cut off for RAT tests. Has anyone had issue with entering Switzerland with a RAT test done 1 calendar day prior but > 24 hours?
 

Zeroz

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We entered a week ago with RAT and PCR tests. No-one checked anything.

But it's a lottery whatever advice you get. It's not like there's a disciplined program and border force rigorously enforcing regs.
It's airline staff and other harried individuals trying to do this stuff on top of their normal job.
 

ShaunQuigley

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I have the Swiss app/pass now. Do I also need to somehow connect this to an EU app to get around in France or can I just flash the swiss app QR code?
 

Heinz

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Did you have to install a VPN to download the Grüner Pass app to get around the country restriction?

Figured it out now. To get around the 'not available in your country' with Google Play store I found an APK version of the app here and was able to download and install it. Also did the Swiss hack to get the EU QR code. Amazingly only took 2 hours after submitting request.
Was then able to scan it with the Grüner Pass app. :thumbs:
Yay, Another small step forward. :)
 

sli1

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I’ll admit I’m being lazy.
What has anyone researched the requirements for an fully vaxxed (boosted) Aussie travelling to Switzerland or Italy and then onto France by car?
I assume the pre-flight PCR to get on the plane will allow entry into Italy or Switzerland. The border cross into France would be covered to? Or another test required? Travel back to Italy/Swiss for the return leg?
I've been looking at the same issue. Theoretically you would need to take a negative Covid test each time we cross country border in a car. However, I'm assuming once you obtain a euro QR code/pass, you no longer need to worry about negative tests at every border crossing. Is that everyone's understanding or wishful thinking?
 

Hermannator

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I've been looking at the same issue. Theoretically you would need to take a negative Covid test each time we cross country border in a car. However, I'm assuming once you obtain a euro QR code/pass, you no longer need to worry about negative tests at every border crossing. Is that everyone's understanding or wishful thinking?
It is both my recent experience and understanding that, once you land in Suisse (and get through their border ctrl), you’ve met all the entry and test requirements. If you already have a Eurozone QR pass (e.g. the French ‘pass sanitaire’ ) at that point then you’re good.

Worse case you go to the nearest pharmacy and get a RAT in the unlikely event you got turned around at a border.

There (most likely) won’t be anyone stopping cars with continental euro plates at borders...
 
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sli1

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Looking at a trip to basically anywhere in the Alps or about 2.5 weeks and entering through Zürich or Munich airports and renting a car. I have the flexibility of this trip to start anywhere between Mid Feb and March 6. I understand there are no guarantees at all when it comes to weather and am looking for advice on a sweet spot (best compromise) between likely snow conditions and crowds.

I've looked at the school holidays in France, Germany, UK the Netherlands and Austria and they are staggered all over the place but the last school holidays are over by March 6.

I've never taken my overseas ski trip beyond February and I'm conscious that it is not as though we have a deep snowpack (as yet) this season in the Alps so I have a tension between going a little early to get more winter like conditions or hanging on until school holidays are over to be assured of less people.

Can anyone comment if there is much difference in crowds between the first week of March and the second week of March in say France and Austria?
 

Heinz

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Looking at a trip to basically anywhere in the Alps or about 2.5 weeks and entering through Zürich or Munich airports and renting a car. I have the flexibility of this trip to start anywhere between Mid Feb and March 6. I understand there are no guarantees at all when it comes to weather and am looking for advice on a sweet spot (best compromise) between likely snow conditions and crowds.

I've looked at the school holidays in France, Germany, UK the Netherlands and Austria and they are staggered all over the place but the last school holidays are over by March 6.

I've never taken my overseas ski trip beyond February and I'm conscious that it is not as though we have a deep snowpack (as yet) this season in the Alps so I have a tension between going a little early to get more winter like conditions or hanging on until school holidays are over to be assured of less people.

Can anyone comment if there is much difference in crowds between the first week of March and the second week of March in say France and Austria?

I think @Skifahrer would be able to give a good answer for Austria being a regular seasonal skier there. When I go it is more often from mid March and fingers crossed this will be the case again this year. Once the school holidays are done in February the main crowds do drop off with just another short peak over Easter. Snow conditions in Austria in March and into April are still very good, less frequent powder, but normally still good coverage form earlier season snowmaking.

I quite enjoy spring skiing in Austria. Much less crowded, good weather so you can sit outside at the huts for lunch. You will do more of your skiing higher up but most areas will try and make sure they have a skiable valley run (Talabfahrt). It is a relaxed atmosphere.

Obviously with Covid crowds will be much less than usual which @blueandwhite reports confirm. Suspect even in school holidays there won't be quite as many German families visiting.
 

Kenzie

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Looking at a trip to basically anywhere in the Alps or about 2.5 weeks and entering through Zürich or Munich airports and renting a car. I have the flexibility of this trip to start anywhere between Mid Feb and March 6. I understand there are no guarantees at all when it comes to weather and am looking for advice on a sweet spot (best compromise) between likely snow conditions and crowds.

I've looked at the school holidays in France, Germany, UK the Netherlands and Austria and they are staggered all over the place but the last school holidays are over by March 6.

I've never taken my overseas ski trip beyond February and I'm conscious that it is not as though we have a deep snowpack (as yet) this season in the Alps so I have a tension between going a little early to get more winter like conditions or hanging on until school holidays are over to be assured of less people.

Can anyone comment if there is much difference in crowds between the first week of March and the second week of March in say France and Austria?
French half term school holidays 6 Feb 2022 to 6 Mar 2022, with the peak being 13 Feb - 27 Feb. After that French resorts will be quiet.
In the Tarentaise there will be plenty of snow cover in March. Places like Tignes & Val D'Isere are open into May.
One of the best days powder skiing I'ver ever had was in the Espace Killy (Tignes/Val D'Isere) on 30th March 2006.
 
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