First and foremost, I want to say thank you. I have turned to these forums for the last few months and have learned so much already. After struggling with doubts about a few choices, I wanted to post here to ask for some advice for our trip next month.
My husband and I are in our late 20s and will be traveling from Sept 22nd - Oct 5th. We were fortunate enough to be provided with free round trip business class airfare on Edelweiss, but are required to fly in/out of Zurich. However, we don't have much of an interest in Zurich since there are so many other wonderful places to visit. We are mainly interested in the B.O. area of Switzerland and the Bavarian porition of Germany. We thought it best to do the "loop" idea to start and end in Zurich. We will be traveling mostly by train, with the exception of having a rental car during our Germany portion. We enjoy scenery/nature, a little adventure, and some relaxing and soaking it all in as well.
Our tenative plans are as follows:
Saturday - Arrive Zurich 10 am. Leave for Lauterbrunnen (our base for B.O) around 2pm. Explore Lauterbrunnen and check into hotel for an early evening.
Sunday, Monday & Tuesday - Gimmelwald, Jungfrau, Trummelbach Waterfalls, Murren
* Need to figure out a way to get to Chur or St. Moritz to do Bernina Express on Wednesday
Wednesday - Bernina Express...Start at Chur or St. Moritz, lunch in Poschiavo, ending in Tirano. We don't have an interest in staying in these areas, mainly just want to do the B.E.
* We would like to go to Venice from here, but we're finding that we may only be able to go back through Milan and then on to Venice. Can anyone confirm/deny this?
Thursday - Venice
Friday - Venice - Night train to Salzburg
Saturday - Salzburg
Sunday - Salzburg/Hallstatt
Monday - Pick up rental car in Munich. Visit Oktoberfest (I have read that one day here is enough). Stay the night somewhere else...rooms were too expensive in Munich.
Tuesday & Wednesday - Germany
* Not sure what areas, but strongly considering Stuttgart and the Black Forest area since we would like to visit the Porsche museum
Thursday - Fussen - Neuschwanstein & Hohenschwangau Castles
Friday - Leave Fussen early to make 1pm flight out of Zurich
Are we trying to do too much? We've scaled our trip back quite a bit, and I would be heartbroken to miss out on some of these areas... but then again I don't want to kick myself later for not slowing down a little.
Does the order make sense? We thought about changing it go to St. Moritz first, then tack on the B.O. at the end to avoid some of the connection issues between the Berner Oberland to the Bernina Express, and Tirano to Venice. My concern is that we may spend an extra day here and there, and I don't want to cut short our time in the B.O. since we are most excited about visiting that area.
If we stick to the current order, do you have any suggestions for getting to the Bernina Express from the Jungfrau area? What about from Tirano to Venice?
Suggestions for a railpass? We considered the 3 country Eurail pass, but the trip from Venice to Salzburg would cost us more than just adding a 4th country (Austria). Also, since we will be doing most of our train travel in Switzerland, would it make more sense to get a Swiss Pass, and make other arrangements for the other train trips? I looked at the prices and wasn't impressed, so I honestly felt like the Eurail would be a better option. Thoughts or experience on this?
Sorry for all of the questions, but I think I'm starting to panic since our trip is 6 weeks away. Any help is GREATLY appreciated!
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