Eight days in Switzerland Trip Report

Aug 12th, 2010, 12:15 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 99
Eight days in Switzerland Trip Report

Just back from my first trip to Switzerland after wanting to go forever! I would go back in a heartbeat.
We flew into Zurich and immediately took the train to Luzern. Took a taxi to our Hotel Des Balances in old town. It was just a few blocks but I am glad we taxied. Never would have found it! Great location, but we were assigned a room on the 5th floor which was tiny and very low ceiling, but a great balcony and view of the river. We tried to change rooms but what they had available was worse and no a/c, so we kept it.
The old town was a great place to stay -- it is easy to walk everywhere and the action is all right there. We did walk along the lakefront by all the large hotels, and definitely liked the old town better.
One day we did the Mount Pilatus trip; taking a bus to the tram, then a gondola, hiking the top and then a train down the other side, and the ferry back to Luzern. What a great day! I loved the many modes of transportation, and the Swiss Pass was a great way to go. Just show your pass and go.
Headed off after 2 nights there on the Golden Pass train to Interlaken and then on to Wengen. Beautiful train journey and you change to a cogwheel train at one point.
Wengen is a beautiful car-free (mostly) village and really the center of it all. Great place to base to explore the region. We stayed at the Hotel Schonegg and loved it. We had a room on the 2nd floor off a huge terrace with wonderful mountain and village views. A few steps to the Mannlichen gondola and just a short walk to the train. We didn't think we would use the "half board" option, as I usually like to try different restaurants, but after the first meal we kept going back. Didn't see anything in town that looked better and the food was wonderful!
We had perfect weather during the days, for visit to Jungfrau Peak and hiking, then great thunderstorms in the evenings to entertain us through dinner. One day visited Murren on the other side of the valley but didn't like it nearly as much as Wengen.

After 3 nights we went on to Vevey, again by the continuation of the Golden Pass train. This one wasn't quite as scenic as the first leg, but still very interesting. We splurged on the Hotel des Trois Corronnes. Beautiful hotel and great service, but very pricey. The Montreux Jazz Festival was on and I thought that would be fun to visit the town for, but we were disappointed. There were just tacky booths along the waterfront and no "free" music or atmosphere that I was hoping for. The concerts all seemed to be in the very late afternoon and evenings.
We did take the ferry from Vevey to Chillon Castle and toured there. The audio guide was great and we spent several hours there. Very interesting. Then the walk back to Montreux along the gorgeous waterfront walkway was amazing! The flower gardens are unbelievable. So beautiful and so varied. If you are a gardener you will be just fascinated. We enjoyed Vevey, the town is walkable and we found quite a few little restaurants and wine bars to enjoy. And the waterfront is quite lively and beautiful.
After a couple nights there we moved on to France for a canal boat trip, which I will write a separate report for.
Feel free to ask about any of this -- I am better at questions!
patiricia is offline  
Aug 12th, 2010, 06:18 PM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 4,385
Hi Patty,

Thanks for writing! We also liked Luzern and we loved our stay in Wengen. We didn't want to leave.. ever! Someday we hope to go back. Glad to hear you enjoyed your trip.

pja1 is offline  
Aug 12th, 2010, 07:59 PM
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 395
Nice report. I am glad the weather was so great. It has been hot and humid all over the Eastern USA, the South and Midwest. I hope the weather was perfect!
sunstar is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2010, 06:58 PM
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 37
Dear Patty,
I was so happy to read your trip report. I am leaving on Wed to go to Switzerland & will also be staying at the Hotel des Balance. I will definitely take a cab from the train station to the hotel. Were there any restaurants that you would recommend in Lucerne & where did you eat in Wengen. I will be taking your trip report with me so you are traveling back to Switzerland again. Thanks for posting.
tex13 is offline  
Aug 24th, 2010, 01:33 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 99
Hi tex13, one night we ate across the river at a wine bar, I think it was Axis, very nice. In Wengen we ate at our hotel, Schonegg. we were surprised how good it was so we just ate there the whole time. Very much recommended. Thanks for "taking me along" with you. I will enjoy going back very much!
patiricia is offline  
Aug 24th, 2010, 06:11 PM
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 37
Thanks so much. I will definitely try the Hotel Schonegg for lunch.
tex13 is offline  

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