Is Switzerland worth it?

Old Jun 4th, 2013, 12:36 PM
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@asps - Nuremberg in Germany.
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Old Jun 4th, 2013, 12:48 PM
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> This is my first trip to Europe and who knows if I will get to go another time or not

> Money is not a problem.

> I will be going in early July.

Three excellent reasons to visit Switzerland.
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Old Jun 4th, 2013, 03:37 PM
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Utah = Switzerland ??????????????????????
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Old Jun 4th, 2013, 11:01 PM
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If you are in Nürnberg, I would consider South Bavaria, Austria and even Dolomites before than Switzerland, as they are closer and easier to visit.
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Old Jun 5th, 2013, 12:34 AM
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suze - I didn't say that Utah = Switzerland, I was just trying to find a U.S. equivalent in my mind that if it was a toss up between going and not ever going, I'd happily go to Utah, but if I had a choice, there are many other places that I'd prefer...

That being said, there are some similarities; beautiful scenery, towns that aren't the most exciting and (in my experience and my experience only) slightly insular people.

I'm not saying they're the same or that no-one should visit them, just that given the choice, they wouldn't be top of my list.
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Old Jun 5th, 2013, 02:27 AM
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I'm always afraid to ask people why they think they will not have another opportunity to visit Europe but since you're going on business it's not likely that your time on earth is limited. I'm sure you'll have plenty of other opportunities to see Europe.

Switzerland is lovely and does not look anything like the Hudson Valley.

If I were traveling to Germany I would follow that with Vienna for a couple of days and then rent a car and see the Austrian countryside. History, beautiful architecture and countryside. You can see salt mines, ice caves, go white water rafting (depending on time of year), lakes, mountains, etc.
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Old Jun 5th, 2013, 02:38 AM
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I'm from Pennsylvania and I live in Switzerland. First, I will say that there are amazingly beautiful outdoor areas in the U.S. My husband's aunt and uncle, both Swiss, were bowled over by the beauty of the Pacific Northwest.

I love living in Switzerland and heartily recommend it as a destination...but for this trip, I think you would be better off going to the Salzburg area. The scenery there is also stunning and it's easier to get to from Nuremberg.

Actually, with six days, I'd catch a train from Nuremberg to Vienna (passing some nice scenery along the way, assuming there will be no lingering disruption to transportation from the flooding). I'd do this trip:
Day 1 train to Vienna
Days 2 and 3. Full days in Vienna.
Day 4 - mid-morning train to Salzburg. Explore the city in the afternoon.
Day 5 - full day outdoors (hiking, lake cruise, whatever you want to do)
Day 6 - morning at Schloss Hellbrunn, explore the castle, water features, beautiful parkland, etc. Late afternoon train to Munich, evening in Munich.
Day 7 - fly home or head to Nberg (depending on whether your free days are at the beginning or end of your trip)
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Old Jun 5th, 2013, 06:04 AM
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Thank you all again. WeisserTee, May I ask why do you recommend Austria for this trip?

Adrienne - he he he - as far as I know there is no danger to my time of earth just yet.

To be honest, Switzerland is still on top for me. However, after seeing some of the feedback here - as an alternative, I started looking at Nuremberg - Prague - Vienna - Salzburg - Frankfurt. I will also consider WeisserTee's suggestion.

I will make my call this weekend. Thanks for your insights.
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Old Jun 5th, 2013, 07:34 AM
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I think the only states in the US that you could even make a compelling case for being good comparisons to Switzerland's scenery are Washington and Alaska. Those are the only ones I'm aware of that can approach the magnificence of Switzerland's scenery. I lived in Utah for 15 years and love many things about it, but from a scenery perspective I don't think it's even close.
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Old Jun 5th, 2013, 08:29 AM
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Blaise22 - I suppose it's what you're used to...

Sights like Arches Park and Canyonlands are spectacular (at least to this Englishman) and I found them as memorable as any Alp I've seen, been up or skied down.

I still wouldn't recommend Utah to a person who might only go to the U.S. once, in the same way I wouldn't recommend Switzerland to an American visitor who might only have the one chance to come to Europe.

Completely agree regarding Washington and Alaska...
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Old Jun 5th, 2013, 09:36 AM
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I am in the minority when I say that Switzerland is one of my least favorite European countries. It is like a stereotypical model, beautiful on the outside but has little else going besidies business. For a 1,000 year old culture, it has contributed a small fraction of what other European have given to music, literature, and art. They are proud of their cleanliness and their efficacy which to me are wonderful but extremely limited assets as a visitor.

If I were to visit one country in Europe-Italy, Spain, France, and England would be high on my list.
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Old Jun 5th, 2013, 10:04 AM
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> For a 1,000 year old culture, it has contributed a small fraction of what other European have given to music, literature, and art.

Not true.

Literature? Hermann Hesse, born in Germany, became Swiss citizen. Carl Spitteler (both Hesse and Spitteler Nobel Prize awarded), Gottfried Keller, Jeremias Gotthelf, C. F. Meyer, Charles Ferdinand Ramuz, Friedrich Dürrenmatt, Adolf Muschg ...

Music? Ok, not the strong side of the Swiss. Honegger and Hindemith come to my mind.

Art - the architects, builders, craftsmen from Ticino were among the best in Europe in the Renaissance and Baroque era. FAMOUS! Did you know Francesco Borromini, Bernini's big rival, was Swiss? Domenico Fontana and Carlo Maderno were Swiss. Domenico Trezzini designed the masterplan for St. Petersburg and many buildings there. Modern world-famous Swiss architects are Mario Botta, Herzog & de Meuron, Peter Zumthor e.g.

Ever heard of Cuno Amiet, Alber Anker, Arnold Böcklin, Johann Heinrich Füssli, Paul Klee, Ferdinand Hodler, the Giacomettis, Vincenzo Vela, Jean Tinguely and Niki de St. Phalle?

Not to mention that Switzerland in general and Zürich in particular provided exile for many artists, writers, musicians. Think of Thomas Mann e.g.
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Old Jun 5th, 2013, 10:33 AM
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I can't believe that people are taking you out of going to Switzerland!!
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Old Jun 5th, 2013, 10:58 AM
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As stated Switzerland has contributed a small fraction of what other 1,000 year old cultures have given. The influence has been minimal. Dadas did find refuge in Zurich but left after WWI was over. Hesse has little sway after someone reaches 20 years old. Besides Max Frisch there is not one late Swiss writer that attracts international interest and Spitteler is rarely taught. If fact when I was in Switzerland a few years ago I went to a bookstore in Geneva and requested any book by a contemporary serious writer besides Frisch and the clerk was stumped. Every country has its artists and Klee and Giocametti have influenced art, but once again they are but two.

The real contribution has been in architecture.
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Old Jun 5th, 2013, 11:01 AM
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I know I asked a very subjective and vague question. There is so much to do and see in Europe that its difficult to pick the first country(s) for your first trip - wish I had more than 6 days to visit.
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Old Jun 5th, 2013, 12:50 PM
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We see things differently in Germany. And, I might say, in the non-English speaking world in general.

As for contemporary writers - Adolf Muschg was even chairman of the PEN. Or think of Peter Bichsel, Urs Widmer, Juli Zeh, Hugo Loetscher, Zoe Jenny, Robert Walser.

Saying "Hesse has little sway after someone reaches 20 years old." is a typical English/American culture. Not so in other cultures.
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Old Jun 5th, 2013, 01:51 PM
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Hi Traveler1501,


Welcome to Fodors – you sound like a good sport. You will really enjoy the Nurenburg area which should give you a good snapshot into German culture.


Where to go next? Switzerland is fabulous – breathtaking scenery, charming chalets, more flowers than in Ireland. July should be perfect time. But tough if it rains though, bad for visibility in the mountains. Lucerne is one of the loveliest places I have ever visited and I am glad to see that on your itinerary.


On the other hand, Switzerland has been described as a “folk culture” as opposed to the “high culture” of other European capitals. You said,



“This is my first trip to Europe and who knows if I will get to go another time or not ”


If this is true, I would choose either London or Paris – really read up on my chosen destination and go for it!


Please let us know what you decide and send a trip report.
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Old Jun 5th, 2013, 02:18 PM
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Harry Lime in "The Third Man"

"Don't be so gloomy. After all it's not that awful. Like the fella says, in Italy for 30 years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder, and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love - they had 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock. So long Holly."

But why not go to Switzerland? With your interests, I think that your itinerary is just fine. You might even decide to return to Europe some day.
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Old Jun 5th, 2013, 02:40 PM
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IMHO the mountains of Switz are unlike anything I have seen in the US. The rockies are - dramatic but not cute. Alps have adorable little villages on the slopes and meadow with adorable swiss cows and swiss food and the cleanest country anywhere. You can also find history in Swiss if you look for it.

that said it is very pricy (figure everything is double that in NYC). And you can see similar alps in southern germany and parts of austria for much less money. But I stil prefer Switz.

And agree that the lower hudson valley and much of new york state is gorgeous (something most people don;t seem to know) but not as cute as Switz.
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Old Jun 5th, 2013, 04:33 PM
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I enjoy reading European writers to try to understand and appreciate the literary and social sensibilities and traditions of other cultures. In fact, in two weeks, we are to see a Bertolt Brecht play. I wish I could be generous about Swiss writers. Many writers you have cited are non-fiction and ironically Zoe Jenny's last novel was written in English

N.B. I did not know that Adolf Muschg was President of PEN International. I looked it up and seems he was not. Are you referring to PEN International?
______

Saying "Hesse has little sway after someone reaches 20 years old." is a typical English/American culture. Not so in other cultures.

This is like bragging anout the influence of Ayn Rand. (Hesse was born in Germany, right?)
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