a few days in switzerland

Apr 17th, 2007, 03:42 AM
  #1  
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a few days in switzerland

I will be traveling with my teenage daughter from Parish and eventually to Italy. We'd like to go to Switzerland for two days, three at most. Any suggestions? Fly in and rail down? Or rail the entire time? What should we NOT miss?
rkt01 is offline  
Apr 17th, 2007, 04:33 AM
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Hi rkt01,

What time of year is this? Early spring? Deep summer? Early fall? That will have an impact on what we might recommend for you.

Of course, with only 2-3 days, you're going to miss a LOT, so you need to prioritize what you'd like to see. I assume you'd like to see some mountains, yes? Maybe some lakes?

From Paris, you can take the TGV to Bern and then spend a few days in the Berner Oberland mountain villages of Wengen, Muerren, & Grindelwald. Most first-time visitors enjoy seeing these first.

Alternately, you could take the TGV to Lausanne, then go on to Montreux and take the Golden Pass Panoramic trip from Montreux through Gstaad & Zweisimmen to Interlaken and the BO villages. This is a lot of train travel, though, in a very short time.

Or, finally, you could take the new TGV east line from Paris to Zurich, then go on to Luzern and spend your days there enjoying the lakes and the mountains.

You can research the train trips at www.rail.ch.

You can research these destinations at www.myswitzerland.com, www.wengen.com, www.wengen.ch, www.muerren.ch, www.luzern.org, www.goldenpass.ch, and/or using the text search box above.

Have fun!

s
swandav2000 is offline  
Apr 17th, 2007, 08:22 AM
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Nice suggestions from Swandav. I'd spring for the TGV east and Lucerne, which I favor for a snapshot view of Switzerland, with easy access to the lake and mountains.

You're not going to see all the can't-miss sights in Switzerland in 3 days. Don't try.

But where are you going in Italy? That might affect your answer. From Lucerne, I'd take the train to the Zurich airport and fly to Italy.
Mimar is offline  
Apr 17th, 2007, 09:35 AM
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My initial thought was to fly from Paris to Zurich and then rail to Interlaken and Luzern. Now I think we may rail to Switzerland and then fly to Rome. I know we're going to miss a lot, but I thought a little taste would be interesting. Thanks for the suggestions.
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Apr 17th, 2007, 10:27 AM
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Hi again,

Yes, with the new TGV East lines, it will be much quicker to take the train than to fly (considering transportation to the airport, early check-in, retrieving the bags, etc). Your plan sounds good!

s
swandav2000 is offline  
Apr 17th, 2007, 12:21 PM
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Does it sound reasonable to train to Luzern, go to Interlaken and then make our way to Geneva and fly out of Geneva? I don't want to spend the entire time on the train, but also want to see interesting things. We would arrive on a Monday night and leave Switzerland on Thursday afternoon.
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Apr 17th, 2007, 02:19 PM
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Well, no, I'm not wild about that plan.

First, again, I think that flying will be a waste of time. Rather take the train to Milan & onward to your Italian destination.

Second, there's not a lot that first-timers enjoy about Geneva (I personally love the Lake Geneva region, but most folks wait for the third or fourth visit to see it).

Also, you have yourself changing hotels every night -- one night in Luzern, one night in Interlaken, one night in Geneva. You'll be wasting half a day for each move, what with packing up & checking out, then checking in & unpacking at each new hotel.

I would pick either Luzern (train via Zurich) or Interlaken (train via Bern) and stay there the three days. Really, there's so much to do & see that you won't be bored, and you'll leave with a better impression of the country than if you spent the time in & out of hotels. You should spend each minute walking Alpine trails or on ferries across the lakes, slurping ice cream walking along a lakeside, etc.

The connections are good from either Luzern or Interlaken to Milan.

Have fun!

s
swandav2000 is offline  
Apr 18th, 2007, 06:10 AM
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The train ride from Lucerne, Interlaken or Geneva to Rome is a minimum of 8 hours and at least one change. There's an Air Berlin flight out of Zurich that goes to Rome Fiumicino via Vienna and an EasyJet flight from Geneva to Rome Ciampino that only goes on certain days of the week.

I agree with swandav that you'd be better off staying in one spot in Switzerland. Unless your goal is to see train stations and hotel rooms instead of experience Switzerland.

You might check into overnight trains to Rome, but these are relatively rare these days.
Mimar is offline  
Apr 19th, 2007, 11:44 AM
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So, if I have to choose between Interlaken and Luzern, which wouldl provide the most enjoyable time for me and my 16 year old?
rkt01 is offline  
Apr 19th, 2007, 12:43 PM
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I'm coming in late here... but I would travel by fast train, Paris to Lausanne (under 5 hours) and spend the 2-3 days on Lac Leman. Then easily continue by train on to Italy. Your other plans have WAY too many moves to appeal to me. Quite the mad dash.
suze is online now  
Apr 19th, 2007, 02:42 PM
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Hi rkt01,

Well it's difficult to say which place would appeal to you more, of course, unless we know more about you.

Do you enjoy hiking rugged trails or gentle walks? Do you want to feel dwarfed by surrounding majestic, towering peaks, or do you want the expansive feel of a lake system with mountains spilling in on the other side? Does fine dining enter your plans? Shopping beyond souvenir trinkets?

You might also want to spend some minutes looking at images of each place to help you decide. Try googling images of each town & the mountains (Jungfraujoch, Rigi), or try a photo search at www.webshots.com

For suze -- the TGV from Paris to Bern or Paris to Zurich is not that much longer than the one from Paris to Geneva. And, much as I dearly love Leman, I know most first-timers do not share our devotion to it. I hope you soon make it to the Berner Oberland and other spots to see what else Switzerland has!

s
swandav2000 is offline  
Apr 19th, 2007, 04:16 PM
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point well taken. and you're correct in guessing i did not realize all 3 train rides were approximately the same length.
suze is online now  
Apr 20th, 2007, 04:40 AM
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From everything I have read, I think Jungraujoch sounds fascinating. We are from south Louisiana, so this would be something very different for us. But, I also enjoy just "being" in a place. I'm not really fond of big touristy things, unless it's something that you just "have to see" once. We probably won't be doing a lot of hiking and shopping is something we can skip (except for chocolate, of course). Hard to explain, but I want to get a feel for the place and then get back there to really spend time and explore. And I want my daughter to walk away with an appreciation for the country that she has always dreamed of seeing.

Thanks for all of the wonderful suggestions. There are so many choices and so much to do.
rkt01 is offline  
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