4 days between Lausanne and Italy

Jul 7th, 2014, 10:55 AM
  #21  
 
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Hi again,

I found Zermatt to be overbuilt (too many chalets in too little ground, and they keep building) and too overcrowded. Its buildings are scattered and plunked down anywhere there is room for them. I found the town to be charmless because of those things.

s
swandav2000 is online now  
Jul 7th, 2014, 01:22 PM
  #22  
 
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Let's see - swandav has now found Zermatt in addition to Interlaken and Grindelwald to be charmless - three towns I find that are very charming.

charming is in the eye of the beholder - swandav is sincere in her take on it as am I - we both see the same thing in very different ways and who is to say who is right or wrong - there is no right or wrong but just subjective takes.

But anyway no one stays in a town like Zermatt or Grindelwald during the day but use them as utilitarian bases from which to hop to Alpine places around them.

Yes you can decry the many chalets but they are a mere blip on the exquisite scenes unfolding from their balconies - perhaps the most famous, iconic and certainly one of the most awesome views in the Alps - on a clear day the glacier-girdled Matterhorn framing the view to the south, acting like a big plus to the end of a valley sloping up to it.

Yes Zermatt is not a museum piece but a town thriving on winter and summer sports and to prevent the sprawl from spilling into the pristine countryside that abuts it expansion is concentrated in the town center - thank God!
PalenQ is offline  
Jul 7th, 2014, 03:15 PM
  #23  
 
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Quick question: How different is the Lauterbrunnen region from Zermatt? If you had to choose one, which one would you choose?>

IME the Jungfrau Region has oodles of varied things to do and Zermatt is mainly, for the average tourist, is the Matterhorn.

Zermatt is in a rather narrow valley - the Jungfrau Region is much larger and also has none-Alps things to do - like boat rides on the lakes lovingly book-ending Interlaken and just so many toylike trains and aerial gondolas going everywhere - Zermatt has some of these but in a compact area.

Zermatt is also isolated - well over an hour by train from Brig/Visp so if funky weather sets in - not unusual in the Alps - it is hard to day trip to some place better in wet or cloudy weather - from any Jungfrau base you can day trip to Bern or Lucerne, two cities enjoyable even in foul weather.

Lauterbrunnen would not by my favorite base - Grindelwald I believe has the most to offer in views - Lauterbrunnen is in a deep gorge - Grindelwald is in a large amphitheater with spectacular views all around.

So comparing Zermatt to Lauterbrunnen is not the point - the regions they are a base for it what to chose from and to me for the average first-time Swiss traveler it's the Jungfrau Region hands down.

That said you can't go wrong in either place.
PalenQ is offline  
Jul 7th, 2014, 10:27 PM
  #24  
 
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Yes, that's right, PalQ -- when I spend a lot of money for my Swiss vacations, I am pretty picky in my destinations. I've visited different destinations in the country, looking for what is perfect fore me; and of course, I have some criteria for evaluating each destination.

I like quiet, and I like beauty. If one wants a pretty, quiet little town, then Zermatt isn't it. Oh yes, the hiking is superb from Zermatt, but I don't believe the OP will have sufficient time for hiking.

I will not apologize for having tough criteria for my stays! And if my tough criteria help a poster eliminate one or another option, then they can be useful.

s
swandav2000 is online now  
Jul 7th, 2014, 10:55 PM
  #25  
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Thanks a lot for your viewpoints. I think I would stick with the Jungfrau region for my parents. When I do my hiking trip next year, I would definitely hit the Matterhorn area.

Stresa seems to be a bit touristy. Is there a more quaint alternative?

Thanks once again. I am sure my parents would have a blast on their trip.
kyunbit is offline  
Jul 8th, 2014, 05:17 AM
  #26  
 
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Stresa seems to be a bit touristy. Is there a more quaint alternative?>

Not on the main rail line to my knowledge - Stresa would be an easy stop - in September the tourist crowds will have abated. Just a pretty town on a pretty lake - nice lakeside esplanade and the three fabulous Borremean Islands just off shore.
PalenQ is offline  
Jul 8th, 2014, 07:24 AM
  #27  
 
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I will not apologize for having tough criteria for my stays! And if my tough criteria help a poster eliminate one or another option, then they can be useful.>

I do think though that you are too prescriptive and you strident negative attitudes about those places may turn away folks who may indeed find those places that you find charmless to be charming.

So I will counter your rather negative comments with what I find - so that the person not having been there will have both sides.

What's good for the goose is not always good for the gander.
PalenQ is offline  
Jul 8th, 2014, 07:46 AM
  #28  
 
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Oh Pal. Of course you should counter with your views; that's what this forum is for. I expect you (and others) to do that, and I agree that each OP will be able to balance our opinions and made decisions on that.

Of course I agree that what one person likes, another may not like.

But do not take swipes at my views, as in "swandav has now found Zermatt in addition to Interlaken and Grindelwald to be charmless - three towns I find that are very charming."

What's the purpose of that? The OP can read my opinions; you don't have to characterize them.

My view are not "strident negative attitudes"; they are just my views, based on my personal observations. Yes, you have other observations and make other points. Just make them. Don't comment on mine.

s
swandav2000 is online now  
Jul 8th, 2014, 12:08 PM
  #29  
 
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Swandav - to me 'charmless' is a very very stridently negative word - like something is awful - no charm at all - so it provokes me to set the record straight - those towns may have their drawbacks but in no way can they be called charmless IMO and to term them as such will just drive folks away from them, looking for something more charming.

Gstaad is a favorite of yours I think and though I have only spend a few hours there to me it looked very similar to Zermatt and Grindelwald - lots of modern hotels, etc. How is Gstaad more charming than those two - the big dispute here is over using the word 'charmless,' which implies a total disaster.

Please stop using "charmless" for these towns that by any reckoning do have some - even a tad bit - of charm.

That said I will stridently counteract your impressions that conflict with mine (and most folks few of whom would call Zermatt or Grindelwald charmless) in a more gentle and kinder way if possible.

That said is enough said on my part.
PalenQ is offline  
Jul 8th, 2014, 10:27 PM
  #30  
 
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Thanks so much for explaining that, PalenQ! I had no idea that word was a hot-button for you, and I'll see if I can phrase my thoughts differently in the future.

I do understand that many, many folks dislike Gstaad -- and of course they are welcome to their opinions. To me, Gstaad is different because the buildings are not set down haphazardly and crowded together, but they are arranged in a pleasing way and spaced out and look all pretty. Yes, I agree, though, it can be very crowded in Gstaad, particularly when I'm there in August for the Menuhin Music Fest. In that case, I just get out of town quickly and head for the hills during the day.

Similarly, lots and lots of folks dislike Montreux, which totally owns my heart. Folks dislike it because of the traffic and the crowding and the modern buildings and the crowded buildings -- and I can't disagree with any of that. It's all there. But (mostly because I attended boarding school there when I was 13) I still love it. The lakeside promenade just makes my heart soar. There again, I never visit when it's crowded and stay there in Oct or Nov.

So, I totally understand how folks can have vastly different opinions. I don't mind your making a strong and strident opposite view -- at all! Please, just don't attack me/my opinions, don't make it personal.

s
swandav2000 is online now  
Jul 9th, 2014, 04:41 AM
  #31  
 
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OK - nicely said - and I always thought Montreux to be a nice romantic town with its setting on Lac LeMan - traffic and trains trundling thru it and all. Certainly not 'charmless'. A setting can affect the charm of a place - that is why I would never call Zermatt or Grindelwald charmless!
PalenQ is offline  
Jul 9th, 2014, 07:24 AM
  #32  
 
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I in general find the French-speaking and French-cultural area of Switzerland to be in general more charming than the German areas - Montreux is in the French area of course - things are not so squeaky clean there - buildings a little more left pristine in upkeep, etc.
PalenQ is offline  
Jul 11th, 2014, 10:45 PM
  #33  
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This is the OP again.

Quick question: Should I book the first night for my parents in lausanne or Montreux/vevey?

They arrive in Lausanne at ~5PM from Paris.
kyunbit is offline  
Jul 11th, 2014, 11:26 PM
  #34  
 
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Hi kyunbit,

I would go to Montreux or Vevey, but then again I simply prefer smaller towns to cities. The part of Lausanne that is next to the lake is Ouchy, and the rest of the city is almost 2 km away, accessible by metro.

In either Montreux or Vevey, they can walk through town, and there are many hotels right on the lake. What is their budget? I generally stay in apartments there, but if I were to stay in a hotel, my first choice would be the 3-star Hostellerie Bon Rivage. It sits near a bus stop and right on the lake in La Tour-de-Peilz (a suburb of Vevey). They can walk to the Vevey train station in about 10 minutes, either next to the lake or through the old town.

BTW, I would walk to Chillon from Montreux rather than taking the bus there. It takes about 45 minutes; I don't think it's more than 4 km, and it's all flat. The flowered lakeside promenade is one of the best things about Montreux.

s
swandav2000 is online now  
Jul 12th, 2014, 05:32 AM
  #35  
 
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Like swandav says most folks will enjoy Vevey and Montreux much better than Lausanne, a nice city but a large city lacking the old-world romance of those other two smaller towns. Vevey seems to win on Fodor's over Montreux - and I too love Vevey a little more - it lovingly sticks right out into the lake ona spit of land.
PalenQ is offline  
Jul 12th, 2014, 09:40 AM
  #36  
 
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BTW, I would walk to Chillon from Montreux rather than taking the bus there>

I echo that but if not that ambulatory you can also take a boat there.
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