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Have the "bookends" for trip-help us fill the space between please!

Have the "bookends" for trip-help us fill the space between please!

Feb 11th, 2014, 03:50 PM
  #1  
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Have the "bookends" for trip-help us fill the space between please!

New to this forum so please excuse any faux pas.

Husband has just confirmed business in Zurich on April 29 & Vienna on May 9, so we have decided to use this opportunity for a 25th wedding ann. holiday(big day is May 11). Company will pay for 28th/29th nights in Zurich. On the other end, we want to dedicate a few days to Vienna & surrounds before departing Vienna on Monday, May 12th. Would prefer to use trains, bus, boat for our adventures but flexible & will rent a car if need arises. We have spent time in the Berner Oberland on a previous trip so looking for new/different places to experience for this trip between or around Zurich & Vienna.

My hubby has expressed interest in spending the first few days, after Zurich business, in Luzern(lake cruise, exploring Luzern, maybe day trip to Bern & Solothurn). Beyond Luzern, I have always been fascinated with visiting Salzburg & the St. Gilgen/St. Wolfgang area. And, of course, end up in Vienna. Should we just split the 11 days/12 nts. between the 3 cities? Wonder if any of you have enjoyed a particular village/area between these cities that we should consider as a day trip or stop off along the way. We have invested in a couple of guide books, but from past experience, have gotten better ideas from outside sources.

As background, we are a mid-50's couple in good health, don't mind walking a lot or easy hikes but serious hiking is not for us. We are excited by history, unique architecture, castles & old churches, beautiful mtns./ scenery, quaint villages, good food, & each other(after all these years!).

Sorry this is so long-I know it must get tiresome reading through the posts. Any ideas on filling in the space between our bookends of Zurich & Vienna would be appreciated and we thank you in advance for taking the time to read & respond!
alliecat05 is offline  
Feb 11th, 2014, 08:18 PM
  #2  
kja
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
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Happy Anniversary!

I think your challenge, with so little time, will be finding the ways to trim your aspirations. I suggest that you pull out a calendar and lay your wish list beside it. You can then start thinking about priorities, balance, etc.

Of the places you mention that I have visited, I can't think of a single one that I would rule out -- I just can't imagine fitting them all into the same trip! As examples, I thought Vienna itself deserved 4 or 5 full days -- but then, I love art, which you don't mention in your list of interests. As another example, I was glad to have 1.5 days in Bern plus and extra 1/2 day in Solothurn. You really are facing a world of opportunities!

And FWIW, some Fodorites disparage Zurich. I found much to enjoy there, and with your interests, I think you might also enjoy many parts of it - certainly enough to fill a day or two!

The good news is that you should be able to have a fantastic trip no matter what you choose!
kja is offline  
Feb 11th, 2014, 09:41 PM
  #3  
 
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Alliecat:

As usual, I agree with KJA.

As for Switzerland, I think that Lucerne is the most beautiful city in Switzerland, and one of the most beautiful in all of Europe.

So how about: Zurich - Lucerne - Salzburg - Vienna ??
If I understood you correctly, you are free between April 30 and May 9. That's nine days, plenty of time to spend a few days in Lucerne, a few days in the Salzburg area, and then on to Vienna. Sounds great to me.
sssteve is offline  
Feb 11th, 2014, 11:09 PM
  #4  
kja
 
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(thanks, sssteve! ☺ )

Some thoughts about the cities you mention:

I liked Zurich much more than many Fodorites do: I thought it had some great museums and churches and public squares and boat rides, etc. And if you have any interest in art (I know you didn’t list that as a focus), consider a day-trip from Zurich to Winterthur, which has several utterly awesome small collections.

Lucerne can be delightful. The boat ride through the Vierwaldstadtersee on a day when the weather is good is something I expect (and hope!) to remember forever.

Berne is among my favorite Swiss cities. I thought it had great public spaces, museums, gardens, views, things to see/do….

Solothurn is well worth a visit of several hours IMO. I recently humiliated myself quite thoroughly by questioning the obvious: No matter WHAT your guidebooks say, the glorious interior of the Cathedral of St. Ursus is Neo-Classical, aka classicistic. A visit to this cathedral; the city’s small, but admirable, art museum; and a walk through the rest of this charming town is well worth a few hours.

Salzburg is, indeed, well worth visiting IMO for a day or two or even three (depending on your interests); if you go there, consider a visit to the nearby salt mines at Salzach.

I haven’t been to St. Gilgen or St. Wolfgang yet.

As I’ve already mentioned, I think Vienna might be worth a chunk of time, depending on your interests.

You shouldn't need a rental car for any of the places on which I commented.

And thanks for including information about yourselves and your interests in your post – those details really do help!
kja is offline  
Feb 12th, 2014, 06:12 AM
  #5  
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kja-thanks so much for your thoughts and your anniversary acknowledgement! We have been to Zurich before, but I'm thinking, after your comments, that I might venture to Winterthur(or somewhere not too far out from Zurich)by myself while my husband is in his meetings all day. Would I be safe doing this alone?

sssteve-appreciate your thoughts too! We stopped briefly in Lucerne on a prior trip & have yearned to get back for a longer visit so really excited!! We actually don't depart Vienna until May 12th, so thinking now that we may cut one day off of Salzburg and add it to either Vienna or Lucerne. Hmmm....tough call. As always, there is never enough time! Thanks again.
alliecat05 is offline  
Feb 12th, 2014, 07:14 AM
  #6  
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Oh & thinking that if the weather happens to not be good for outdoor fun while in Lucerne, should we have a backup plan? A friend mentioned that she had taken the train from Lucerne to Bellinzona via the St. Gotthard Pass while on holiday and really enjoyed it. Would this be a good choice? Her pics of Bellinzona(and the train trip) are beautiful!
alliecat05 is offline  
Feb 12th, 2014, 07:37 AM
  #7  
 
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If your schedule permits, I also thoroughly recommend Bern and Solothurn. (Click on my name in blue to read my TR from last October).
From Zurich, I would suggest a solo venture to beautiful Rapperswil and/or Einsiedeln. Perfectly safe. I stayed in all of these areas on solo trips.
mokka4 is offline  
Feb 12th, 2014, 08:23 AM
  #8  
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Hey mokka4 & thanks for the recommendations from Zurich-i will certainly do some reading but it helps to get these ideas from someone who's been there! Loved your trip report. We'll definitely try the Solothurnertorte that you mentioned-yummy!
alliecat05 is offline  
Feb 12th, 2014, 04:55 PM
  #9  
kja
 
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I can't imagine safety being an issue anywhere in Switzerland! I spent 30 days there last May/June, traveling as a solo female, and I felt comfortable everywhere I went. (Well, except for when I thought I was in the way of stampeding cows ... but I doubt that's what you meant!)

Having a back-up plan for a rainy day is always a good idea IMO. Bellinzona is, indeed, beautiful (if you go there, don't miss the Santa Maria delle Grazie). Depending on your interests, you might also consider some places that are a bit closer, but where you would spend some time indoors, say in the museums of Zurich or Bern. And in Lucerne itself, if you have any interest in art, consider visiting the Sammlung Rosengart.
kja is offline  
Feb 12th, 2014, 05:57 PM
  #10  
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Hi kja-thanks for continuing to advise me. Have done some research since your last suggestions and have to say that I have fallen in love with Rapperswil without even seeing it in person! Thanks for the idea-I think that will be my jaunt on the day that my husband is in meetings all day. If the weather isn't good, I'll come up with another plan, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

We actually did visit the Swiss National Museum and the Fine Arts Museum while in Zurich for a couple of days on a prior business trip.

At the top of our list for Lucerne is the Rosengart and the Swiss Museum of Transport. And if we get to Bern, we hope to visit the Museum of Fine Arts and the Einstein House.

Thank you again! Any suggestions for Vienna? We are thinking we will take a day off of Salzburg to add to Vienna. As it is, it seems like we will only have time to hit the best of Vienna.

Oh and while I have your ear, are most shops closed on Sundays in Switzerland & Vienna?
alliecat05 is offline  
Feb 12th, 2014, 06:37 PM
  #11  
kja
 
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OMG, I can’t take credit for the suggestion to visit Rapperswill – that was Mokka!

If you make it to Bern, I highly recommend the Historical Museum.

The Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna is, IMO, extraordinary. The collection has incredible depth. If nothing else, go inside to see the Klimt stairwell. The Secession is expensive, but if you have an interest Klimt, it is worth every penny. I’m sure your guidebooks cover other options, and there are SO many things to see in Vienna that with your limited time, you’ll want to consider your options carefully beforehand.

Sorry, but I can’t say when shops open, but you should be able to learn that from any decent guidebook.
kja is offline  
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