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Dianedancer May 21st, 2015 04:41 AM

We stayed overnight in Zurich a few years ago. Had a fine time. Went to a beer hall and hubby had a huge glass of beer. Walked through the old town and went into some quirky shops. Crossing the bridge from one side of the river to the other at night came upon a string quartet playing under the bridge. Lovely.

Dianedancer May 21st, 2015 04:42 AM

BTW - We didn't spend a lot of money. It depends on where you choose to spend your money! People say NYC is expensive. But you can get $5.99 breakfasts. You just have to go to the right places.

thursdaysd May 21st, 2015 05:06 AM

Well, no I don't want to travel via Milan (been there) and am planning to fly into Turin. I will have to go via Milan to get from Turin to Stresa and then to Varenna, but I can pick up the Milan-Zurich train at Como without going back to Milan.

The direct train goes Como - Chiasso - Lugano - Bellinzona - Arth-Goldau - Zug - Zurich.

I have no interest in Picasso, but the Reitberg definitely sounds like my kind of museum, thanks.

But with these continued German rail strikes I am rethinking the Black Forest and therefore the train across Switzerland altogether.

simpsonc510 May 21st, 2015 05:14 AM

I would base in Zurich and do a day trip to St Gallen to see the library. In Zurich I love strolling the old town and the bahnhofstrasse. Zurich is clean and expensive and worth a stopover. You mentioned Lucerne. That could also provide you with a lovely day trip. Such a beautiful place!

neckervd May 22nd, 2015 05:25 AM

There is no doubt that you can go by hydrofoil from Varenna to Como, but that would mean more changes or longer journeys, like:

Varenna dp by hydrofoil 13.22 - Como Lago ar 14.12, dp by citybus 14.29 - Chiasso ar 14.46, dp by train 15.12 - Zurich ar 18.28
resp 1/2 mile walk from boat to Como San Giovanni railway station and then Como SG dp 14.47 with a train change at Lugano to Zurich ar 18.28. Only 3 Zurich bound trains stop at Como SG (in the morning and in late evening), but all stop at Monza.

neckervd May 22nd, 2015 05:35 AM

" I will have to go via Milan to get from Turin to Stresa"

You may do so. It's the fastest and most expensive itinerary (about 2 hrs,
47 EUR/OW).
You may also change at Novara (2 hrs 40 min, 14 EUR/OW)

neckervd May 22nd, 2015 05:43 AM

"I will have to go via Milan to get from Stresa to Varenna"

That's by far the shortest itinerary.
Much longer and more scenic one's go via Laveno - Lugano or Como (partially by boat).

neckervd May 22nd, 2015 05:49 AM

"I could use Zurich as a base for Schaffhausen and the Rhine Falls, and/or St. Gallen"

In this case, it would be much easier to go from Zurich to Schaffhausen, to put your luggage into the railway station lockers, to visit the Rhine Falls, to fetch your luggage and to continue by Rhine river boat up to Konstanz.
Similar solution with St. Gallen: there are direct trains from St. Gallen to Konstanz (Kreulingen railway station, from where you can reach your destination within the city by Constance citybus).

thursdaysd May 22nd, 2015 01:46 PM

@neckervd - thank you very much for the details, especially for Turin to Stresa (now Stresa to Turin). For my dates is also showing a route via Rho-Fiera Milano.

I have given up on trying to find accommodation on the Scilly Isles and revised my itinerary. I will now be going north to south instead of south to north. I am definitely leaning towards staying in Konstanz instead of Zurich.

Nancy to Konstanz - through the Black Forest if the DB workers are not on strike, via Basel if they are.

Konstanz to Como - leave Konstanz 10:03, change in Zurich onto EC 17 leaving at 11:32 arriving Como at 14:56. Is that too late for a boat to Varenna? Or is the walk from the train station a problem?

I was looking at trains from Konstanz to St. Gallen, I should use Kreulingen railway station instead?

Fra_Diavolo May 22nd, 2015 02:19 PM

After escaping the hellish heat of West Africa one August, I stopped in Zurich. We walked to the old town and had dinner outside in the blessedly cool evening. Some kind of wurst and rosti. It was wonderful. I did not have to return to Africa, and didn't, for many years.

neckervd May 23rd, 2015 01:31 AM

Connecting BOAT: Como Lago dp 15.30 - Varenna ar 18.10
Conncting hydrofoil: Como Lago dp 17.10 - Bellagio ar 17.51, change to car ferry Bellagio dp 18.10 - Varenna ar 18.25
bus and boat via Bellagio:
Como SG railway station dp 16.07 - Bellagio ar 17.17, dp by car ferry 17.30 - Varenna ar 17.45

Konstanz dp 10.03 - Zürich dp 11.32 - Monza dp 16.32 - Varenna ar 17.24
Konstanz dp 14.03 - Zürich dp 15.32 - Monza dp 19.32 - Varenna ar 20.24
Konstanz dp 10.03 - Zürich dp 11.32 - Lugano ar 14.25 - citybus to Lugano Cassarate, Cassarate dp by bus 16.00 - Menaggio ar 16.55, dp by boat 18.00 - Varenna ar 18.10

neckervd May 23rd, 2015 01:34 AM

Kreuzlingen - St. Gallen:
direct trains every 30 min from 5.00 until 23.00; 55 min journey

thursdaysd May 23rd, 2015 08:40 AM

Thanks again, neckervd.

I have booked a room in Konstanz, but I had trouble finding one. Even the Ibis is fully booked. It's a weekend, and since I don't like crowds I'm starting to think I would be happier in Zurich. (I can cancel the Konstanz reservation.) It would certainly make for less of a trek to Varenna (which was also short on space).

kja Jun 6th, 2015 05:23 PM

I really enjoyed Zurich. Some great museums, extraordinary stained glass, lovely river and lake, interesting public squares, etc. If you are still seeking info, let me know!

thursdaysd Jun 6th, 2015 05:47 PM

Thanks kja! It turned out that Oktoberfest was starting the day I was arriving, so I canceled my Konstanz reservation and made one for Zurich instead...

I'm thinking of at least one day trip - the Rhine Falls and/or St. Gallen, but there do seem to be some interesting museums in Zurich. Any recommendations? And where did you find the stained glass? I can always use suggestions for places to eat with good food that won't break the bank!

mokka4 Jun 6th, 2015 07:17 PM

cheap but tasty eats can be found in "Shopville", the underground maze of restaurants and shops under the main RR station (yes, really!)
For a wonderful vegetarian experience, try famous Haus Hiltl. Lovely food and ambiance...Teuschers Felix Cafe at the southern end of town...delish hot chocolate, but I did drop 45 CHF on lunch...

mokka4 Jun 6th, 2015 07:26 PM

Oh, and Bierhalle Wolf on Niederdorfstrasse for reasonably-priced traditional dishes with the 'locals.' Have stopped here many times, always pleased!
PS, many of Zurich's museums are free entrance on the last Sunday of each month...

thursdaysd Jun 6th, 2015 07:52 PM

Thanks! those all sound good.

Zurich doesn't seem to get much respect around here, I'm looking forward to finding the nay-sayers are wrong.

mokka4 Jun 6th, 2015 08:08 PM

I liked Zurich very much. Click on my name to read a few of my TRs including Zurich visits....being in medicine, I especially liked the Medical History Museum.
Also was surprised how much I enjoyed the local 'mountain' trip up to Uetliberg (fast and convenient walks in nature, with snowy peaks in the distance...very pretty in the fall).
I think you will enjoy Zuerich very much..eclectic shops and quiet squares just steps away from the much-ballyhooed shopping avenue!

kja Jun 6th, 2015 08:14 PM

For the stained glass in Zurich, Fraumunster, and pay attention to not just the Chagall, but also the Giacometti. And do visit the "cloister" beside the Fraumunster (which is actually open on two sides, as I recall).

For museums in Zurich, the Swiss National Museum is excellent, IMO. I enjoyed the art museum, and would have loved to see the Rietberg. I was very happy to visit Wintherthur outside Zurich for its complement of excellent small museums, but I'm not sure any of them are up your alley....

FWIW, I was convinced against visiting Rhine Falls pretty easily, but gave up St. Gallen only with great reluctance.

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