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6 days in Switzerland-your suggestions please?

6 days in Switzerland-your suggestions please?

Old Feb 10th, 2006, 12:30 AM
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6 days in Switzerland-your suggestions please?

We have 6 days to spend in Switzerland, travelling down from Amsterdam by rail in May 2007. Yes, I know it is a long way off but as it is our first trip to Europe we have a lot of planning to do, just love this part!

So far we have planned to spend our first night in Bern, the next in Lausanne or Montreux area. A friend has suggested to stay the remaning nights in Brienz to explore that region before we take off to Austria on the Golden Pass Railway. Would Brienz be a good place to use as a base for that time or does anyone have any better suggestions? If we decide on Brienz will it be easy enough to find accommodation or should be go to Interlaken for more choice?

Can you also help with a base figure on accommodation to to give us some sort of idea on costings. We need something near the train stations, clean, would prefer our own bathroom but will share if needed. Breakfast would also be a plus but we can manage to find our own (I hope).

Thanks in advance, I have been reading lots of postings and everyone is so generous with their time, I have become addicted!
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Old Feb 10th, 2006, 03:47 AM
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I assume you mean you are going to take the Golden Pass Route as you make your way into Austria.

Interlaken may have more to choose from accommodation-wise..do you have a particular budget in mind?

A decent select of budget hotels can be found at www.rooms.ch

Are you absolutely wedded to the idea of rail from Amsterdam? (I agree this is a great trip and have done it but it takes most of your day) You could get a budget flight on EasyJet from AMS to either Geneva or Basel (just so you know).

Am sure others will offer further suggestions.
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Old Feb 10th, 2006, 04:05 AM
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What do you want to see when in Switzerland? Mountains? Shopping? Hiking? Boat rides? Is Bern selected for a reason, or just randomly?

Do you wish to focus on the French, German or Italian areas? A bit of two or all three?

Easy Jet has 8:40 am flight to Geneva and 5:30 pm to Basel for less than the cost of a train ride (~$50/~$30, respectively).

You could fly to Geneva and spend one or two nights in the Lac Leman area. Then, go to the Berner Oberland area or explore it while staying at Brienz.

Personally, I cannot bring myself to travel to Switzerland without a stay in Luzern. The scenery (mtns, lake, river), charming Altstadt, good German/Swiss food make this a place worth staying at. If I were to give up one area of Switzerland, it would be the French part (Lac Leman). Not everyone feels this way, of course, but I prefer the scenery, food and ambiance of the German part of Switzerland over the French.

So, from my angle, I'd suggest flying to Geneva, train to Brienz for a few days, spend a couple of nights in Luzern then head to Austria.
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Old Feb 10th, 2006, 04:16 AM
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I will be spending a few days in Switzerland next month riding the rails: Glacier Express, Bernina Express and Golden Pass. We will be staying in Montreux, Berner Oberland, Zermatt, Chur, and Luzern.

Otherwise, I would push you towards the Berner Oberland for its scenic beauty (either Murren or Wengen).
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Old Feb 10th, 2006, 04:38 AM
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Many thanks for your quick replies. Yes Intrepid1 I did mean the Golden Pass Route. I will check out the site for the rooms,that should give me some idea as I have NO idea what we should expect to pay.
No we are not wedded to the idea of rail from Ams to Switzerland at all just thought it would be a good way to see the countryside. Will certainly look at the flights, good idea, thanks.
JN, mountains, walking, boat rides and just soaking it all up. We only picked Bern because it seemed a good days train journey. I didn't even know there where French, German or Italian areas but I guess it makes sense when you think about it. Your last paragraph just abouts sums up our ideas.
Barbara, where are you staying in Berner Oberland?
Thanks again it certainly has given us food for thought.
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Old Feb 10th, 2006, 04:45 AM
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As a follow-on....the rail trip would be a way to see some countryside, no doubt about it. If you decide to fly remain aware of the rather strict checked luggage requirements (usually no more than 20 Kg (44 lbs) per person and on some airlies, even less than that).

I have stayed in a few of the places listed at rooms.ch and have found them to be, without exception, clean, comfortable, etc., but you can certainly pay more, lots more, if you wanted to.

re Bern..it sometimes gets a bad rap here because, for many, it doesn't seem as picturesque as places like Luzern, etc., but Bern does have its advocates.

Let us know when you want more input as there are many people here who love Switzerland and have been to every part of it.
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Old Feb 10th, 2006, 05:01 AM
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I spent seven days in Switzerland last summer and thought I got a nice mix of mountains and cities. We spent 5 nights in Interlaken and did day trips up into the mountains two days (extremely easy to do from Interlaken). We did one day trip to Thun, at the opposite end of the lake from Interlaken. We took the train there and the boat back, stopping at a couple of other small towns on the lake. And we did one day trip to Bern and Murten. Loved Bern and Murten even more. The last two days/nights we spent in Lucern. Loved that too.

Many people don't like Interlaken - it really hasn't got much charm of it's own (a little on some of the back streets) and is extremely touritsty. But it was a good base. We stayed at the Hotel Lotschberg which I highly recommend. It's five minute walk from the train station (handy since we did day trips every day)with an absolutely wonderful owner and staff. They have a hotel building (big old victorian house) and a B&B/guest house out back that is cheaper. We paid about $100 per night for an "apartment" which was just the one room with bathroom but had a little kitchenette so we could eat in some. There is a huge grocery store between the hotel and the train station. Switzerland is very expensive compared to other European countries so it helped our tight budget to have the kitchenette.
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Old Feb 10th, 2006, 06:25 AM
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Thanks Isabel, I will check out the B&B, sounds like our sort of thing and I guess you are talking American dollars?

Thanks again Intrepid1, that was good to know about the baggage limit and I am sure there will be many more questions. I guess we will spend our weekend looking at the map again and checking out websites.
Cheers.

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Old Feb 11th, 2006, 05:39 AM
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Hi, Maudie. Unless someone has suggested already, may I urge you to take a look at the bnb.ch website, which lists bed & breakfasts and a good bit of info about each. Be sure to notice the distance to the train station. I know Brienz has one or two within walking distance. Brienz is a delightful, though popular, town with views across the lake to the mountains. Great position for rail connections, both up to Grindelwald, Wengen, etc. and to Thun, Spiez, Lucerne, etc. If you stay there a number of nights, you will be in a fine position to see many places.

Rather than moving from Bern to Lausanne, it would be very easy to stay a night or two in Vevey or Montreux or Lausanne (I think there's a b&b in Cully, and I like the little Auberge de Rivaz in Rivaz) and daytrip to Bern from there. If you stay more than one night in a hotel or b&b, you may receive a better rate. Things are very expensive in Switzerland.

If you go immediately to Lac Leman from Amsterdam, there is a beautiful rail route from Montreux to Spiez, which is near Brienz. Have fun planning. It really is an exciting part of travel, isn't it? J.
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Old Mar 8th, 2006, 04:54 PM
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Hi there again,
I have been doing so much reading since my first query, now I have another question (the first of many and I am not even getting into the rail passes yet!).

It looks like our time in Switzerland will be sometime around the 12th to 22nd of May , it seems like a lot of hotels will be closed in the BO around this time for maintenance. Should we concentrate on looking in the Interlaken area for our accommodation? Is the weather going to be hit and miss at this time? Is it going to stop us from enjoying the mountains? As the weather warms for spring I guess it could become foggy???? I looked on weatherbase.com and the average temp for May was -6c.

We really just want to experience the area, walking, rides on the lakes,going up to the mountains, taking the train to anywhere that takes our fancy. Is the weather going to make that much of a difference? Or we just have to pick our days for the mountains etc?

Thanks in advance.
Maudie

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Old Mar 8th, 2006, 05:49 PM
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If it's cold, rainy and foggy in the mountains, since your views there would be obscured or nonexistent, you're better off doing the stuff in the valleys and lakes, which there is plenty of in the BO. Plan things day to day. As stated above, Bern, Murten and Luzern (and other worthwhile visits) are easy day trips from Interlaken and make perfect rainy day activities.
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Old Mar 8th, 2006, 06:24 PM
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Maudie,

I think your friend who suggested Brienz is steering you right. There you can: 1) get a boat ride on beautiful lake Brienz, stopping off for lunch at a lovely lakeside inn or eating on the boat. 2) catch a bus for a short ride to the Ballenberg open air museum or 3) take a cog rail ride as well as take a short train ride to many other towns and cities you would want to visit. Another alternative is Meiringen where I've stayed before. I suggest you check the train connections for both as well as accommodations & restaurants (there Meiringen may be better), but Brienz is sweet (known for wood carving). DO choose a village to get the feel of Switzerland...
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Old Mar 8th, 2006, 09:50 PM
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Victoria,
I have never heard of Meiringen, but it sounds just great. I didn't really want to stay in Interlaken, that's why I was looking at Lauterbrunnen, but a village, Yes!
Can you let me know where you stayed? We would really like an apartment or something self contained so we can eat in once in a while & save money for sightseeing!
One more question before I google Meiringen, how big is the town and is there a reasonable supermarket?

Taxatty, yes I think that is the best way to organise things. We are from Australia, it is such a long way to come I guess I just want the weather to be perfect so we can make the most of our time! I just wish it were this May and not next! Oh well, I just have to keep saving!

Thanks
Maudie
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Old Mar 9th, 2006, 12:20 AM
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Just found it on the map, how did I miss that! Looks good so far.
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Old Mar 9th, 2006, 07:33 AM
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One suggestion I have for you: check out the info on the Untours website under Idyllchat and Trip logs. I don't think you'll want to book with them because of your trip length but the Untours organization specializes in Switzerland and there is so much good info here from people who travel there repeatedly. Before our trip, I even found a detailed map of Meiringen so I could find the apt we had booked (independently) relative to the train station, etc.

At the time, we found it an ideal location because it was well serviced with trains --do check this out because I've heard there have been cut backs in that area, that the station may not be staffed, and I imagine that may be a little less convenient (although not necessarily a big deal). From here, we visited: Luzern, Bern, Grindelwald, Murren (Schilthorn), Gimmelwald, Reuti, Wengen, Brienz (for the boat ride and the Ballenberg museum), did the Jungfrau trip. Obviously more than you can do in 4-6 days. When we went, the town had 2 supermarkets: Coop and Migros. Again, look up their websites and you will be able to see their locations and what they sell. There were lots of shops, restaurants, bakeries, ice creameries, a pizzeria. Some people might prefer a smaller village way up in the mountains, but this was great for us. The apt we were in was a little damp, so I would not recommend it for May. You may want to look at this hotel--it has a 3 room apt associated which is very reasonable, the location is very nice and the association with the ALPBACH hotel will make checking in very easy. http://www.alpbach.ch

Otherwise, you can contact the tourist bureau in different towns and you will receive info from them and from individual landlords for your consideration. Also, try these sites: http://www.myswitzerland.com/en/; http://www.alpenregion.ch/

Gute Reise!
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Old Mar 9th, 2006, 01:56 PM
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Maudie,
You really got me reminiscing. Maybe you'd like to see these photo reports of Meiringen (lots of detail about the town amenities):

http://www.untours.com/albums/Bill%20Kover/album146.asp

http://www.untours.com/albums/Bill%20Kover/album171.asp

http://www.untours.com/albums/Fred%2...a/album170.asp

http://www.untours.com/albums/Fred%2...a/album172.asp

http://www.untours.com/albums/Fred%2...a/album178.asp






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Old Mar 9th, 2006, 03:50 PM
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Oh Victoria, thanks so much. You have been very helpful. I have to go to work now and won't have time to read all your information but will get stuck into tonight.

How long ago were you there? When I looked up train schedules and put in Meiringen it came up with lots of names starting with that - which is the correct one? And one last question if you don't mind - what is the correct pronunciation?

Many thanks again,
Maudie


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Old Mar 9th, 2006, 05:32 PM
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Maudie,

It was 6 and a half years ago. Good memories, but do check the other info I sent you for more updated info. It is pronounced: MY-rin-gen. I only get one of them when I used DB search site --if it takes about 1:18 to get to Luzern, you have the correct one.
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Old Apr 30th, 2006, 03:42 PM
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tagging for reference
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Old May 1st, 2006, 04:26 AM
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tagging too.......only two months to go
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