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Switzerland and France travel (Golden Pass and Alsace)

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Hello,

I am trying to get a better idea of travel times and possibilities to effectively organize our summer 2015 family vacation in France and Switzerland. We are family of 4 (kids are 23 and 11).

We are arriving to Paris on Monday and leaving from Paris on Thursday next week. First 2 days we would like to spend in Paris + adjust to the local time (flying from USA).
Then we want to rent a car (or take a train?) and go to Switzerland. When it comes to traveling, we are the type who would rather visit smaller towns and see many different places.

In Switzerland, having 4 full days there, we are interested in the Golden Pass and Chocolate train. Here are my questions:
1. If we take a train from Paris, where should we take it to (we need to get to Montreux , right?)?

2. One day for the Chocolate train and overnight in Montreux. Correct?

3. Next day(s) is for the Golden Pass. Is Golden Pass considered as a one way or round trip? If it’s one way, do people usually get off the train and stay overnight somewhere? Any advice? I know it’s about 6 hours ride and it is operated by 3 different companies, so we need to change the trains. How do we deal with the luggage?

4. After 4 days in Switzerland we would love to go to Alsace region, France, for the next 3 days. I guess we would need the car there. Ideally, it would be great to start from Colmar. Where should be our starting point for driving from Switzerland after completing (maybe even partially) the Golden Pass?

When we finalize the plan my next question would be about the train tickets :).

And lastly, SORRY FOR SO MANY QUESTION, what do you think about renting the car for the entire trip? As one of the options, I looked at picking then car from Lyon (taking train from Paris to Lyon to get closer to Switzerland) and returning it in Strasbourg after driving through Alsace). Thank you very much!!!!

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