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Trip Report Trip report....Alpine tour of Germany, Austria and Switzerland

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This report is a bit late since we traveled from Sept..9th - 29th. I'll begin by saying this was one of the most incredible trips I've ever taken, and as always thanks to fodorites who I'll mention later. I was a bit apprehensive about renting a car in Europe, my first time...but it made the trip. We stayed at the Jedermann in Munich for 3 nights...thoroughly enjoyed it, and convenient location, we walked from the train station to the hotel. Did the usual tour stuff in Munich, went to Dachau. Had a really nice time at the English Gardens...awesome bier garten. After Munich, we stayed 3 nights in Schliersee in the Bavarian Alps. Since Schliersee was only about an hour and half from Munich, we did a road trip... went to Fussen/Neuschwanstein, then through Garmisch, Rt 307 was awesome...stopped at the small village of Krun for lunch, and arrived in Schliersee around 5. It was a great day of travel. We stayed at the Alpenhotel, accessible only by cable car, and once we took the alpine slide down. Loved the hotel...incredible views and the staff was excellent. The first night our waiter suggested the homemade Hungarian goulash...it was the best meal of the trip! We did the Kreuzbergalm hut hike...moderate difficulty, loved it and was well worth the aches of the next day. Next we traveled to Salzburg, an easy trip from Schliersee. Stayed at the Kasererbraeu in the old section and really enjoyed it. We took the Sound of Music Tour, I heard pros and cons, but we thoroughly enjoyed and think it's a must do in Salzburg. After 3 days in Salzburg, we were headed to Ramsau am Dachstein in Austria. Stopped at Berchtesgaden salt mines along the way, arrived in Ramsau late afternoon. We stayed at the Pension Koberl, one of our favorite lodgings! Josef and his wife were incredible hosts. Great views, really reasonable..about 80 euros/nt with wonderful b'fast and even included cable car passes and the Dachstein Glacier. Definitely do the Dachstein Glacier, well worth it! Also spent a day in Schladming and took the cable car up Planei (sp?) Spent 3 days in Ramsau, a sad goodbye to our fantastic hosts, then off to Lauterbrunnen, Switz. Since it was about a 7 hr drive, we stayed a little over half way in St. Anton. The only place we didn't make reservations in advance, and didn't need to because it was before ski season. Stayed at the Valluga, a 5 star hotel for about 90 euros/nt...great choice and wow, what a breakfast. Left the next morning for Lauterbrunnen. The road heading over the mountain as you leave St. Anton was closed due to snow, so we were delayed a bit but was worth the wait. It opened a few hrs later and the views were spectacular as we made our way to Lauterbrunnen. Arrived in Lauterbrunnen around 2. We stayed at the Pfrundmatte Apartment, a chalet at the edge of the village, and loved it. Stayed for 6 nights. It was nice to have kitchen and laundry facilities for the last leg of our trip. Did the usual touring in the Berner Oberland region and loved it. One of our favorite days was taking the cable car to Grutschlap and hiking from there over to Murren...incredible views. I'd heard how fantastic the views are from Murren and it was no exaggeration! We went from Murren to Gimmelwald, and that little farming hamlet was one of my favorite places. Had some drinks on the terrace of the small inn with mtns in the background. The owner took a pic and it's now on my desktop. When I posted it on facebk, several commented it was so gorgeous the backdrop almost looked fake. Took the cable car down to Stechlberg (sp?) then walked from there back to Lauterbrunnen....what a day. Also really enjoyed the hike from Mannlichen to Kleine Scheidegg. It was overcast in Lauterbrunnen, but was told it was sunny and clear at Mannlichen. As we took the cable car up from Wengen, we couldn't see anything, then we broke out of the clouds coming into Mannlichen, it was like another planet. I've done that on a plane, never on a cable car! We drove over to Grindelwald for a day, also took a road trip to Thun and Interlaken. Loved Thun....Interlaken was nice but way too touristy for my liking. Couldn't believe how quickly 3 weeks went by. Departed Lauterbrunnen around 7 am, arrived at Munich airport in plenty of time for our 3 30 flight back to US. Were very impressed with Munich airport, easy car rental drop off at the airport. I'll follow this report with add'l comments and specific thank yous!

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