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Trip Report Switzerland Trip Report: Bern/Lucern/Bernese Oberland Sept. 2010

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I found a lot of great information on this board for our (my wife and I) trip to Switzerland. So in kind, I thought I'd give a brief trip report.

We went in mid-September 2010. Flew into/out of Zurich and stayed for 4 nights--a whirlwind trip. The angle of this trip report is to demonstrate that YES you can see a lot of Switzerland in a compact time.

1. We flew into Bern at 8:25 and were on the train to Lauterbrunnen by 9. Yes. 9. Pack light, and check out the www.sbb.ch/en website for timetables. Swiss efficiency is amazing.
2. We took the scenic route to Lauterbrunnen because it was sunny. A very nice trip.
3. Up the gondola and onto the train and into Murren. We stayed at Hotel Bellevue for 2 nights. Great hotel, very nice owners. Murren was awesome as a base.
4. By 1:30 we were onto the life to Allemdubel. Quick sandwich at the cafe, and hiked the northface trail. We did all this because it was very sunny and the next day was supposed to rain. We hiked northface down to Gimmelvald and back to Murren. Dinner at Hotel Bellevue. Great day and a perfect way to fight jetlag.
5. Next day it was so foggy we couldn't see 10 feet. Took the lift down to Stechelburg and hiked to Lauterbrunnen. The valley floor was clear, but no views above. We trained to Wengen and hiked Mannlichen to Kleine-S. but zero visibility. So back to Lauterbrunnen for drinks, then up to Murren for another fine dinner. Kind of a wasted day due to weather.
6. Next day we check the webcams on-line and there is bright sun up high! So a quick trip up the Gondola to Schilhorn and fabulous views--early and we're the ONLY people on the Gondola to the top. Very nice and a lot cheaper than Jungfrau. We had the entire mountain to ourselves!
7. By 9:06 we're on the train to Bern. Store our bags in a locker and spend 6 hours in Bern. My review: myeh.
8. Catch the 3PM direct to Luzern. A good walking tour of Luzern and dinner at Nix. Drinks at Brauhaus. Stayed at Hotel Bastelor. It's rated 3 star, I wouldn't give it 1. But a great location.
9. The next morning we're up early, see the lion, take the lake boat around to the train to Pilatus. Wow. We hike around Pilatus. There are so many hikers out, young old, the Swiss love it. We hike for 2 hours, then take the gondola down, ride the summer tobbagan, and a bus to Luzern. Dinner at a horrible Italian (La Fenice). Not recommended, so we leave the food on the plate and go to the Brauhaus for cheese, bread, and beer. That's more like it.
10. On-line check in, then catch the 7:10 to Zurich Airport, we're have 45 minutes to browse the duty free, then on the plane at 10:25 and off.

I really wish we had more time, but we crammed a lot into a short period. I couldn't have done this without the legwork of the folks on Fodor's. The highlight was Murren and the hiking. The low point was the food in Luzern. Expensive and just blah. Bern was really not worth the side trip...

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