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Switzerland October

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I am thinking of traveling to Switzerland this October. My main objective is to see great scenery and just walk around. I do not ski. I have done the very initial research. For example, I would like to take the local train on the same route as the Bernina Express and I would like to hike through the small towns and valley areas about Interlaken. I am interested in seeing mountains, valleys and any scenic pastoral regions. I do not have a major interest in the big cities unless I am advised on some must-sees. At most I would see Zurich but I do not plan on going to Geneva. I don't know enough about Bern. Also, can I cut out Zermatt by seeing enough in the other areas. I do not feel compelled to see the Matterhorn.

I have some questions before I proceed with my planning. I will be traveling solo with public transportation and have heard the trains and buses are great. If anyone can give me advice on an itinerary I would appreciate it. I can spare at least 10 days and possibly up to 14 days, which seems like a long time in Switzerland. The problem is that I cannot go any earlier than the second week of October with date ranges of approximately Oct. 7th through 21st or 23rd. I have read that the weather can be good from early though mid-October. I know that the weather is unpredictable, but from those who are experienced, what do you think? I also read that a lot of tourist sites and some hotels close down for the season by October 15th.

I need advice on how many days to spend in certain areas. I know the area around Interlaken is great (Gimmelwald for lower price hotels). What particular areas should I see -- Grindelwald, Lauterbrunnen, Wengen, Appenzell? Does Lucerne live up to the hype? Lugano? Ten to 14 days seems long -- should I add another place -- is there anything I should try to see in Northern Italy? I want to hold off on Bavaria for another trip.

Thanks in advance for your help.

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