Gotta love Switzerland!

Apr 2nd, 2007, 11:39 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 125
Gotta love Switzerland!

Hi everyone and thanks to help from those in the know on Switzerland we had a wonderful spring break trip!
We landed in Zurich in blinding snow and were on the ground before I could tell we were even that close. That was great for me, who dreads those last few minutes of whining machinery as I analyze every noise and bump.
We immediately caught a train at the airport for Grindelwald, changing trains in Interlaken. I love the punctuality of those Swiss trains, which are timed perfectly to the minute. I had purchased our tickets ahead of time through budget europe travel as was recommended to me (and actually, I had used them before in Italy 2 years ago) and am very glad I did. It just saved time and energy at the airport when we were all very tired and was one less thing for me to worry about.
I can't say enough about the beauty of the Berner Oberland region and Grindelwald. Totally amazing. Because of the snowfall, which covered the entire country that week, the ski season was still going strong for the locals anyway. We encountered very few people in the town however, as I think the ski season was ending the next week. Our hotel, the Gletschergarten, was wonderful; a family business going on 4 generations.
We did take the Jungfrau train to the "Top of Europe" though many people said if the day wasn't clear it might not be worth the cost. Well, not only was it not clear, it was a pretty major snowfall but we decided to go anyway since we didn't know when we'd be back that way. So glad we did. We have the funniest videos of my husband and daughter running out in the blizzard conditions, up a hill to touch the "Top of Europe" as you sure couldn't see 2 feet in front of you, much less the 5 countries visible on a clear day. There was also an ice cave to explore, with great ice sculpture scenes throughout etc. that my kids loved. My 12-year-old thought this was the highlight of the trip.
After Grindelwald, we traveled on to Lucerne, staying at the Des Alpes hotel. (Excellent location, not alot of personality in the staff but efficient, clean rooms. We did have wonderful views!) Lucerne is lovely and we enjoyed exploring the town, listening to an outdoor concert by a Swiss military group of some sort.
As a day trip, we traveled to Basel for half a day, then on to Bern, (again in the major snow). Both are about an hour from Lucerne and from eachother, and we hit the highlights in each location.
Also, it was a Sunday and most everything is closed Sunday which is why we decided to spend the day on the trains!
In Basel, we hiked up the 400 plus wooden, winding, narrow stairs of the old Munster church overlooking the Rhine River. That ranked right up there with climbing the Statue of Liberty (back in the day). Great views of the entire city though!
We also took advantage of their beautiful City Hall building in Old Town to take my daughter's senior pictures with the red sandstone building covered in murals as backdrop. They turned out awesome.
In Bern, just walking down the old town medieval streets with magnificant arcades gave us an idea of the 12th century city. Of course we visited the bear pits and watched a quick 3d presentation of the history of the town. It was just enough to give the kids a good glimpse of the Swiss capital city.
For our last day, we went on to Zurich for a last shopping experience before heading home. We stayed in the Hotel Adler which was a great location and really nice hotel.
I neglected to say we absolutely loved the food everywhere we went. From Italian, Greek, Indian and of course Fondue, we ate it all.
I will say that the high cost of Switzerland isn't overstated. We thought prices on everything were very high, especially meals. However, as we didn't find the shopping great, we used our shopping allocations for food, so it worked out fine.
Thanks again to everyone for the advice. Switzerland has to be the most beautiful country we have visited as far as natural beauty alone. Next time we'll take our ski clothes.
Jane

jane00 is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2007, 11:47 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: May 2005
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Mega geil!

Glad you enjoyed yourself in beautiful CH. Come back soon!
kleeblatt is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2007, 12:11 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2007
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This is good to hear! I''m going to Interlaken to see the Jungfraujoch this Easter. I'm glad it was fun no matter what. I'm excited about the Ice Caves!
megansmind is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2007, 12:15 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2003
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This confirms the answer to the question "when to go to Switzerland" should be: any time!
FainaAgain is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2007, 12:38 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 7,644
Hi jane00,

Thanks for your report! I *SO* love a little imaginary trip to Switzerland!

So glad you enjoyed yourself!

s
swandav2000 is online now  
Apr 3rd, 2007, 04:51 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 1,393
Jane, I'm just looking in for a minute or two, and I have to add that your joyful trip report reminds me that a person's (family's)travel 'attitude' is a big factor in the success of every trip. The pleasure you found in each activity is such fun to read. Thanks for brightening my morning. J.
jmw44 is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2007, 10:50 AM
  #7  
JN
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
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I enjoyed your report--brimming with enthusiasm and wonder. Made me wish I were back there. Guess I'll have to wait till September
JN is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2007, 11:07 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2003
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Jane, great report, how nice you had snow (I speak as someone who loves snow and doesn't get nearly enough of it).

But...if you didn't get any Schiesser chocolates while in Basel, then you did NOT hit all the highlights ;-)
BTilke is offline  
Apr 5th, 2007, 11:30 AM
  #9  
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OH my gosh........I guess we'll have to go back for more chocolates! Well, ok, I guess I will......I had also wanted to see all the red geraniums blooming in the windowboxes in Grindelwald, so my list is growing..........Jane
jane00 is offline  
Apr 5th, 2007, 01:37 PM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 42
I still dream of the Hotel Adler breakfast! I would wake up extra early just to have time to enjoy and relax while the old town was just waking. Loved the murals on the walls, when I was there they were remodeling. I bet it is beautiful now!!I am so glad you had a wonderful time in Switzerland, truly a favorite of mine. Thanks for the trip report!
francefling is offline  

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