I want to see the Alps

Old Nov 18th, 2003, 10:48 AM
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I want to see the Alps

I am traveling through Switzerland from Paris to Milan. Which city would be best to stop in for a day trip to see the Alps. I just want a great view. Also, what is the best way to explore them? Tram, bus, train? Thanks
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Old Nov 18th, 2003, 11:44 AM
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Train to Interlaken but take the train via Wengen and Grindelwald to really see the best of the Alps.
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Old Nov 18th, 2003, 01:21 PM
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The train from Paris to Milan by way of Lausanne and Brig follows along the valley of the Rhone River. The main ranges of the Alps are on either side of you, but the peaks are out of sight.

If you do not want to deviate too far from your route, branch off at Brig, backtrack a little to Visp and to to Zermatt. The view from there if you take the Gornergrat train or the cable lift to the Klein Matterhorn is outstanding, IFFFFFF the day is clear.

You can also see the Berner Oberland from either Mürren or Wengen, which are south of Interlaken. Interlaken to Milan is doable quite easily.

To reach Interlaken, you can take the TGV from Gare de Lyon to Bern, and the regular Swiss train to Interlaken.
They run frequently. From Interlaken OST you ride the mountain trains upwards to any one of several villages in the Berner Oberland.

I have been to both areas, in fact, Lauterbrunnen is my summer habitat for quite a few days each year, or has been for the past 6. The views from that area are great.

But, when are you going? That plays a vital role in what I suggest.
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Old Nov 18th, 2003, 01:28 PM
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The very highest peaks (other than Mont Blanc) which include the Matterhorn and Monte Rosa can be viewed from the top of the Gornergrat mentioned above but the weather plays a key factor in viewing from that vantage point. Sometimes the view can be completely shrouded in clouds. Unfortunately, unless you can call, of get someone to call to the top and ask, you cannot tell about the viewing quality from below in, say, Zermatt..since it can be overcast there but clear up above.
The Bernese Oberland is another possibility, also mentioned above, and may not be as "subject' to weather conditions. Either, on a good day, are unforgettable, and both are fairly easy to reach by train..and in some cases ONLY reachable by train unless you want to spring for one of the helicopter tours. Good luck.
 
Old Nov 18th, 2003, 02:18 PM
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Hi

take a turbo prop aircraft Turin to Zurich (used to be Crossair flying Saab aircraft) around sunset.

You'll see magnificent views as the plane weaves it's way through the highest mountains.

Peter
http://tlp.netfirms.com
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Old Nov 18th, 2003, 04:19 PM
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I am going May/June 2004. Any further suggestions?
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Old Nov 18th, 2003, 06:50 PM
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May is a mildly down month in many of the mountain resorts -- post ski; pre summer. Check for a place to stay overnight before you finalize your plans.

One thing that has not been mentioned is this fact: those mountain cable lift and cog rail train rides are expensive. For example the trip to the Jungfraujoch from Interlaken Ost is about $120 undiscounted -- 167.80 chf.

The Swiss Card is a good discount instrument in some cases. You get 50% off and a free train ride from the border to your destination, and from your destination out of the country.
The problem is purchasing one. It is sold via the mail from the Swiss Federal Railways, but you must pay postage.
Otherwise it is sold at the Zürich airport railstation.

For the short period you will be there, we would need to do some careful cost comparisons to see if you would reach the break even point.

Other than the Jungfraujoch, the gondola from Grinelwald to First (First - ridge)
is spectacular on a clear day.
It gives an unparalleled view of the Berner Oberland.

Some people argue that the Schilthorn summit gives a better view. I am not so sure; it depends on what you want.
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Old Nov 18th, 2003, 06:54 PM
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May is a mildly down month in many of the mountain resorts -- post ski; pre summer. Check for a place to stay overnight before you finalize your plans.

The closer you get to June, the better off you will be in terms of the villages coming to life.

One thing that has not been mentioned is this fact: those mountain cable lift and cog rail train rides are expensive. For example the trip to the Jungfraujoch from Interlaken Ost is about $120 undiscounted -- 167.80 chf. We have not discussed budget, but if total cost is a factor, it needs to be considered.

The Swiss Card is a good discount instrument in some cases. You get 50% off all train fares and a free train ride from the border to your destination, and from your destination out of the country. Many of the cable systems will also honor the Swiss Card for a 50% discount as well.

The problem is purchasing one. It is sold via the mail from the Swiss Federal Railways, but you must pay postage.
Otherwise it is sold at the Zürich airport railstation. It is not widely available at train stations.

For the short period you will be there, we would need to do some careful cost comparisons to see if you would reach the break even point.

Other than the Jungfraujoch, the gondola from Grinelwald to First (First - ridge)
is spectacular on a clear day.
It gives an unparalleled view of the Berner Oberland.

Some people argue that the Schilthorn summit gives a better view. I am not so sure; it depends on what you want.

In Zermatt, the view of the whole area from the end station on the Gornergrat line is also staggering. (Grat also means ridge in Swiss German.)
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Old Nov 19th, 2003, 04:09 AM
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I used to live in Germany and I skiied the alps every weekend year round. 2 words of advice. Watch the weather forcasts. A rainy/cloudy day will hinder the spectacle and waste your time. Second, from the air is awesome. If you are flying out of Milan to the US, the route may take you over part of the alps (mine did a few years back), Be sure to have a window seat. The view from the top is beyond words (have a camera handy too)
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Old Nov 21st, 2003, 07:53 PM
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I have never been to Switzerland, but am going there for a week in the middle of June. Any suggestions on where
to base ourselves for a week, or should I move around in order to see everything? What are the "must see's" there? I am not planning on having a car. Thank you.
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Old Dec 7th, 2003, 12:12 PM
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breathe - you might want to start a new thread with your question
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Old Dec 7th, 2003, 03:59 PM
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Breathe: I agree with sea fox.
It is a complex question.
Switzerland is small, but complex.
It depends on what you want to see and what you want to focus on.
I love Luzern, but personally it is the Alps that draw me back year after year.

I admit to a bit of a fixation, but after a short time cities bother me.
I find the high valleys and meadows of the Alps to have a real attraction and I had rather be there that many other places.

I suggest you move some, but pick places that are central and as such are transportation centers.
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