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Just Back from Tour of Austria, Switzerland and Germany

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Absolutely stunning scenery and wonderful cities and towns. Favorite cities: Lucerne Switzerland, Old Town in Berne Switzerland, Saltzberg Austria and little Zermatt near the Matterhorn (loved viewing those huge mountains dotted with chalets). Favorite Lakes: Boat cruise from Chillon Castle on Lake Geneva and also Lake Wolfgang near Saltzberg Austria. Favorite Mountain Peaks/Scenery: Gonergrat (~10,500 ft) to view the Matterhorn and surrounded by towering snowy mountain peaks (unbelievable), view of the Jungfrau from Interlaken, and lastly the stunning panoramic view above the Berchtesgadener Land-Kehlsteinhaus-The Eagles Nest Historical Monument-Hitler's Summer Headquarters atop the 6,000 ft. Mountain in Germany. If going to Berchtesgaden, park at Obersalzberg and special nature buses run you up to the top-steep with hairpin turns, nice trip from Saltzberg. Favorite experiences: taking the cogwheel train running up a steep mountain at 45 degree angle up to Mt. Pilatus Switzerland and returning on cable cars suspended on cables (not for the faint of heart), dinner followed by touring the beautiful fountain gardens and whimsical surprises at 17th century Schloss (Palace) Hellbrun in Saltzberg Austria and finally the evening at the Grinzing heuriger dinner (sit inside or outside in gardens) with Heurige musicians at Alte Presshaus in the wine village outside Vienna. Favorite Castle: beautiful Schloss Schonbrunn (we liked it better inside than at Versailles) and Gardens in Vienna. Favorite Concert: The Vienna Residence Orchestra playing Strauss, Mozart music/waltzes, operetta and ballet at beautiful Palais (Palace) Liechstein in Vienna. Best shopping: Mozart Museum Shop in Vienna, stationery shops in Vienna, Bucherer Dept. Store Lucerne for Cuckoo Clocks, Swiss Army Knives or Hummel Music Boxes, Christmas ornaments in Innsbruck or Saltzberg. Misc.--if time permits an evening at a Swiss Folklore Show in Lucerne or in one of the lively bars in Zermatt Switzerland on Saturday night with music. A lady wept when on top of Gonergrat because she was so moved by the incredible beauty of those mountain peaks. We were lucky with the weather but there is no guarantee on that. Must return to Vienna someday to see the Spanish Riding School in Vienna-not there in the Summer. If you love mountains, nature and lakes you must not miss the stunning areas of Europe described in this post.

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