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Ingo's Switzerland pics have altered my itinerary

Ingo's Switzerland pics have altered my itinerary

Nov 23rd, 2005, 12:59 PM
  #21  
 
Join Date: May 2005
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Appenzell is a great area to see because of the most adorable houses. You could combine it with St. Gallen.

Or go towards Tessin, stay in Ascona and explore Valle Maggia. There are beautiful, quaint very old stone villages that are NOT over run by tourists. You could drive from St. Moritz to Menaggio to Lugano to Ascona. What a drive!
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Nov 23rd, 2005, 01:21 PM
  #22  
Doble_Vergasser
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You are getting good advice here, but Michelin has a green guide for Switzerland and for something more intense, there is a book "Motorcycle journeys through the Alps and Corsica" (try Amazon).

Whitey, I wish I could ride with you (My wife has now limited my squiggly line time. It was the the Passo Croce Domini - Italy, that did it).
 
Nov 23rd, 2005, 05:11 PM
  #23  
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Hi Schuler,
Your suggested drive sounds very good... almost like an italian lake sampler. Have you driven that area and/or stayed on any of the lakes?

Hi Doble,
Sorry that your driving is limited now...I know how you feel, I nearly lost my privileges driving the steep, narrow road to Vernazza - I should have been scared, but I was laughing too much ! I'll have to search for the Alps drive book - it sounds perfect..

Whitey
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Nov 24th, 2005, 06:43 AM
  #24  
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Whitey,

My Michelin book gives the Engadin Valley three stars. Michelin gives Furkastrasse and Sustenstrasse three stars. [I am so often impressed by the excellent offered by posters here. Unbelievable.]

Motorcylce Journeys highly recommends Andermatt as base (origination for four of the best rated drives.)

I don't know what car you prefer but there is Garda Clasics on Lake Garda, rents older convertibles (4 cyl Alfas and 4 cyl british cars). You can rent 911's but you have to go half way to Rome.
 
Nov 24th, 2005, 12:12 PM
  #25  
 
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Whitey, I think either Lake Geneva or the Ticino would be a good idea for the remaining 2 or 3 nights.

Lake Geneva would be perfect for the beginning of the driving - stay in Vevey/Montreux area, from there it is a short and scenic drive via Villeneuve and Col du Pillon, Gstaad, Zweisimmen, Spiez, Interlaken to the Bernese Oberland region which I mentioned before.

If you decide to visit the Ticino, add these days after your Engadin visit. Drive from the Engadin via Maloja Pass, Promontogno (short detour to Soglio), Chiavenna, Menaggio, Lugano. Stay either in a village on Lake Lugano (Gandria, Morcote, Carona) or drive further to Locarno/Ascona and stay there. From there it is another easy and scenic drive to Zurich (with sunny weather drive over the Gotthard Pass) via Lake Lucerne, Brunnen, Zug.

Once you have decided on an itinerary I (and others probably too) would be glad to help with accommodation recommendations and activities.

Ingo
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Nov 24th, 2005, 01:43 PM
  #26  
 
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Hi Whitey,

I've only done parts of the trip. I wish I could once do it all. I was in Ascona for a week this year and last year. I love it. Visit the Valle Maggia. It has diverse little deadend valleys springing from it.

One favorite valley, springing from Valle Maggia ends at Bosco Gurin. You'll travel through stone villages hanging on the slopes and end in a wooden village that speaks German.

Another favorite is driving up Valle Bavona, the valley that comes after Bosco Gurin. Rough slopes with small stone hamlets located along the road, nestled in green pastures. Picturesque.

I have been to Centovalle yet. Hope to go there next year.

Also, Bellinzona is interesting because of it's three castles. We visited all three of them in one afternoon.

Enjoy Switzerland!

P.S. Here's a website that shows different photos from the passes you might be traveling. www.raonline.ch/pages/mot/passgal/motgal15a.html
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Nov 25th, 2005, 03:12 AM
  #27  
 
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Hi again,

Well it's no secret that I'm a huge fan of Lake Geneva, so of course I have to chime in to say you ought to go there!

Here are links to descriptions of my favorite activities, w/photos:

Montreux old town
http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserR...reux_Vaud.html

Lavaux
http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserR...reux_Vaud.html

Promenade Fleuri
http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserR...reux_Vaud.html

Morges
http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserR...rges_Vaud.html

Gruyeres
http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserR..._Fribourg.html

You can easily to all of these by train or ferry.

s
swandav2000 is online now  
Nov 25th, 2005, 04:42 AM
  #28  
 
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Hello Swandav,

I love to hear your recommendations. I rarely get to that area of CH but you always make it sound wonderful!
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Nov 25th, 2005, 04:46 AM
  #29  
 
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Hi schuler,

Thanks for your note! Seems that today's my day for dropping verbs ("You can easily to these . . .")!

Wondering if you're still celebrating American Thanksgiving -- if so, did you turkey it up? Did you gather with other expats? Curious (and envious!) minds want to know!

s
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Nov 25th, 2005, 05:12 AM
  #30  
 
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Hi Swandav,

No turkey this year. I taught English last night to adults and showed them pictures of Washington State, where I grew up.

However, you can buy turkey here although it's hard to find a restaurant that serves a Thanksgiving dish with all the trimmings. Unfortunately, the stores here still don't supply canned pumpkin so I have to buy pumpkins in October, make the filling and freeze it...which I forgot to do this year.

So, instead of turkey and pumpkin, we have SNOW! It's quite cold and the 5 (?) inches of snow is crispy and light. My kids are going sledding after school.

Wish you a great Thanksgiving weekend! Don't shop til you drop...we need you on this board!

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Nov 25th, 2005, 05:18 AM
  #31  
 
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S & S, I saw the fresh snow at the Rothenthurm webcam this morning! What about Knoxville? Dresden? J.
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Nov 25th, 2005, 06:10 AM
  #32  
 
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hey schuler, I can't shop *and* travel!! So I choose travel! Hey, I'll trade you turkey for snow!

hey jmw! No snow here, but at least it's finally cold enough to be really winter. You?

s
swandav2000 is online now  
Nov 25th, 2005, 06:21 AM
  #33  
 
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Hi JMW44:

It's definitely Christmas weather here! What's your weather like?
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Nov 25th, 2005, 06:41 AM
  #34  
 
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Hi s, jmw and schuler! We had some snow showers today (and it is cold ... 30 F). The snow did not stay on the ground for long in the city. But the mountains south of the city look magical. The first lifts opened yesterday (like the Christmas markets!) and some kilometres x-country skiing tracks are groomed. Re: shopping ... the shops in Dresden will not be open on December Sundays. The administration decided against opening to make clear that Christmas is more than shopping. Good decision IMO.

Ingo
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Nov 25th, 2005, 06:43 AM
  #35  
 
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40-ish last night, almost 70 expected this afternoon. Invigorating! I'm celebrating this day by refusing to go to any store of any kind. Semester exams to compose, I might go for a walk around the neighborhood. There's one little stretch where the elevation rises maybe 10 inches in 150 feet or so. I'll pretend that I'm in Switzerland. J.
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Nov 25th, 2005, 01:44 PM
  #36  
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Hi Everyone,
It's feeling like Switzerland here in Rhode Island today, very, very cold...and we even had snow yesterday!
With everyone's help, I've got a pretty good backbone of an itinerary; hopefully it'll only need a little tweaking and fleshing out. Here goes:
(day 1 Sat)- Fly in 7 AM/explore Paris, Stay in either the 5th, 6th or 7th.
(day 2 Sun)- Explore more Paris, stay again.
(day 3 Mon)- Drive car to Lake Geneva area. Stay in Vevey, Montreux or Lausanne.
(day 4 Tue)- Explore area; possibles: Chillon, stroll lake promenade, visit Gruyeres, take tram to Rocher de Nayes, Lavaux vineyards, or take boatride on lake. Stay again.
(day 5 Wed)- See what you've missed and then drive to Berner Oberland via Villenuve, Col du Pillon, Gstaad, Interlaken. Stay in Wengen.
(day 6 Thu)- Do Mannlichen - Kleine Scheidegg hike and Jungfraujoch(unless there are restrictions for my 3 year old daughter to ride to the top). Stay in Wengen.
(day 7 Fri) Explore the other side of the valley like the Grutschalp to Murren walk etc, stay in Wengen.
(day 8 Sat)- Drive to the Engadin following Ingo's directions and stay in Pontresina.
(day 9 Sun)- Explore the little towns of the area and stay again in Pontresina.
(day 10 Mon)- Following Ingo's directions, drive to Mennagio on lake Como, park the car and take the boat over to Varenna, Bellagio etc. Stay the night in Varenna.
(day 11 Tue)- Drive from Mennaggio to Lugano. Explore. Drive to Locarno, stay in Ascona.
(day 12 Wed)- Explore lake Maggiore, Valle Maggia, Bellinzona etc. Stay in Ascona or nearby.

Days 13, 14 and 15 are open. I can spend an extra day in the Engadin or on the lakes if I can't tear myself away from a particular area. But of course this only works if you don't book all of your hotels ahead of time. Do you think I'll have a problem finding rooms as I go? Early June shouldn't be too crowded I expect?
In any case, for the last few days I'd head for somewhere in France for a day or so to drop the car and to avoid a surcharge. Depending on Airfare, I was thinking Nice or Mulhouse.
Thanks again for everyone's help, and please let me know what you think.
PS The things I have down to see and the towns I've chosen to stay are pretty much a consensus from this board and from things I've heard or picked up along the way - right now, I'm still open to anything.

Whitey
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Nov 26th, 2005, 03:28 AM
  #37  
 
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Sounds spectacular to me. Don't forget Ingo's mention of a brief look at Soglio. I've only seen photographs, but wow. J.
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Nov 26th, 2005, 03:35 AM
  #38  
 
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p.s. I think somewhere schuler mentioned Whit Monday (June 5?) as a long travel weekend for the Swiss. Maybe make reservations for your hotels for that weekend?
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Nov 26th, 2005, 03:35 AM
  #39  
 
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Hi whitey,

You've done so much work and have revised your itinerary so many times that I *hate* to say anything negative --

-- yet this is too much hopping around for me. This is what you have listed:

Paris -- 2 nights
Lake Geneva -- 2 nights
Wengen -- 3 nights
Pontresina -- 2 nights
Varenna -- 1 night
Ascona -- 1 night

So, I would suggest you take your three "extra" days and make your current stops longer.

But of course I do have to admit that I usually stay in one place for 5-7 nights; staying four nights is blurring speed to me!

s
swandav2000 is online now  
Nov 26th, 2005, 07:09 AM
  #40  
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Hi All,
I probably will use my "extra" days to stay a day or two longer somewhere, but I usually research and take notes on surrounding areas as a fallback plan in case of bad weather, or an airline strike etc.
I try to travel light, so I bring a folder full of notes and only one guidebook along. I've found that some guidebooks are good for planning, and some are better to take along with you. Which ones have you guys used with the best success for Switzerland?

Whitey
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