Help with Bernese Oberland planning

Nov 18th, 2008, 07:27 AM
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 2,248
Hello ira

Either way, you can't lose.

Just a couple fleeting thoughts:
- Kleine Scheidegg, to me, is the motherlode. The views of the mountains and valleys will take your breath away. There are a number of trails departing from here, as long or as short as fits your needs. From the station, heading towards Mannlichen, a five-minute walk gives you the Grindelwald Valley. Towards Wengen, you can practically touch the glaciers. Just allow enough time here to fully absorb it all.

- In Grindelwald, if you're there for sunset, the golden glow on the Eiger is spectacular.

- Both Grindelwald and Wengen are small towns. If you are not hiking or riding cable cars, two hours is plenty to get the feel. Just remember that many of the shops will close around 5 pm.

- on the train from Wengen to KS, sit on the right side of the train (facing forward) for the best views.

- on the train from Grindelwald to KS, it's a tad tricky. From Grindelwald down to Grindelwald Grund, I'd choose a seat on the left side facing backwards. When the train then heads from Grund to KS, it switches directions so then you are facing forward on the right, perfect for viewing the valley on your way up. (And I only mention this because sometimes that train, beginning in Grindelwald, can get very crowded and switching to the other side in Grund is sometimes impossible.)

Happy Travels!
swisshiker is offline  
Nov 18th, 2008, 08:57 AM
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 6,509

Any particular reason you favor option A? To me, it "feels better" to go counterclockwise---up to Wengen and KS first, then down to Grindelwald and back around. But I can't think of any rational reason I feel that way, other than it gives you the option of spending lots of time up at KS (lucn on a terrace, perhpas?)

Speaking oflunch. . . what are your plans fo rmeals that day? Lunch somewhere, but dinner? Would you return to your hotel in Lauterbrunnen for half-board dinner? Or have dinner in either Grindelwald or Wengen, depending on your route.

The patio at Hotel Spinne has gorgeous views of the Eiger, making for a spectacular dinner spot, if the weather cooperates. But maybe in September this won't be an option, given the daylength.

Also, are you considering the gondola ride up to First while in Grindelwald? (I know about your LW's issues with height, but this one does not go far off the ground. On the other hand, it is a long ride--maybe 30 minutes.) Or will you stroll and check out the shops? The town itself is not high on the charm list, at least compared to Wengen.

enzian is offline  
Nov 18th, 2008, 10:33 AM
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 28,506
Hi Pat,

We climbed up to the Kapuchin monastery for a pretty view of Salzburg, we visited the fortress and the cathedral, the girls shopped in all the kitschy shops in town while I sat at the cafe at the Hotel Sacher and watched the water flow by, we took a boat ride on the river, we did the trick fountain tour at the palace (a must IMO), we visited the comtemp art museum and saw a wonderful 9/11 photo exhibition and then had lunch there overlooking the whole area. Our SofM tour included some time at an Alpine sled trail (not sure what they call this but you steer your way down a pretty hill on metal tracks - lots of fun). We also watched the 40th anniversary of SofM in our room that night. We also spent time at the gorgeous gardens (Mirabelle? the name escapes me) but they are in the center of town and part of SofM was shot there - my girls did run through the trellised area...

I'll let you know about the fondue and also I'll check back after we visit Prague.

Our favorite day in Vienna was spent in Durnstein which is about an hour drive outside the city. Sits over the Danube and there is an old ruin to climb for even better views. I think you can take a boat ride there. We rented a car for the day and stopped at Melk on the way back. My girls still remember the beautiful library at Melk. Look into a river cruise that might include these destinations.

In Vienna we saw an incredible performance of the symphony orchestra - but my girls both play violin so can appreciate that sort of thing. You can see what is playing in July...

Our other favorite day was at the summer palace - Schonbrunn. You can spend hours there and there is a maze, wonderful gardens and small zoo and a few cafes for when you tire of the palace itself. Do see the Sissi rooms as your GD will enjoy this story. There is actually a musical opening here in Zurich about Sissi. My girls actually knew a bit of the Hapsburgs history from school so they were way ahead of me.

There is a lot to see in Munich, but it's a very walkable city. I also hear the Flat Tire bike tour there is great as the city is flat and has bike lanes throughout. Since you only have one day, a bike tour would be very nice and give you a good feel for things. My favorite spot is the outdoor market. The beer gardens will be open and they are quite fun to sit for a rest and get to know the townspeople (and some other tourists). There is a beautiful palace outside the city center, but you will see so many other fantastic

I like your new itinerary. You can really relax in Wengen after all your city touring. It will be a nice contrast.

Can I make one more recommendation? During on of your Zurich days I suggest you take the train to Luzern (40 minutes) and then take the boat portion of the William Tell Express. You can reserve to have lunch on board. It is a stunning trip through gorgeous scenery.

Pat, it's been fun talking to you about your trip. I sure hope you'll share it all with us when you get back.


gruezi is offline  
Nov 18th, 2008, 12:33 PM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 78,339
Talking so much of Lauterbrunnen to Murren cable ways reminds me of how a Swiss Pass covers these two cable ways (Stechelberg-Gimmelwald-Murren or Murren-Grutschalp-Lauterbrunnen) in full - as well as 100% to Wengen.

And these are the only two aerial cable ways in Switzerland TMK that are covered 100% (others are 50%) and i learned why from a Fodorite - because these cable ways link two cities - Lauterbrunnen and Murren - most other cable ways go to mountain tops or ski or hiking areas and thus are only 50% covered.

But any transport between two places - actual places is covered pretty much 100%.

Thus those esp with consecutive day Swiss Passes can ride these to their heart's content and be 100% covered - to Wengen as well - good for commuting from Murren or Wengen down to Interlaken, etc.
PalenQ is offline  
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