Is Switzerland worth it?

Old Jun 5th, 2013, 04:34 PM
  #41  
 
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Sorry for the addition. I will no longer argue this point.
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Old Jun 5th, 2013, 04:42 PM
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Comparing Switzerland to the Hudson Valley strikes me a bit ridiculous. One breathtaking, one merely pretty. You have the airfare over there! Spring for a hotel (no more expensive than NYC, we are going over in Sept. and found lots of choices); and do not plan on a gourmet experience. Food is very expensive. Take-out rotisserie chickens in Lugano @ $20. Yes, the Swiss need not entice tourists, and do not offer bargains -- but everyone wants to go there anyway because of the sights and towns and mountains! If you want 'value' for your dollar, go to Austria. Salzburg is lovely. Been there, done that, but Switzerland always been on my list. Apparently for many.
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Old Jun 5th, 2013, 06:54 PM
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Swiss culture is too sedate, too secure to produce great artists.

Artists and writers flourish in great turmoil and upheaval.

A Paxil zeitgeist just doesn't produce a Pablo Neruda.


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Old Jun 5th, 2013, 08:33 PM
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A few years ago, we planned a trip and debated Switzerland for all the same reasons you seem to be considering. We had lived in the Hudson valley and at the time lived in Colorado. We stayed in a smaller sized hotel in Lauterbrunen (reasonable and comfortable), hiked, and ate at pretty reasonable stick to your ribs restaurants.

It was the highlight of our six week trip. The mountains are different somehow than Colorado (which we love)... The food, culture, it was heaven. We did not need to spend a lot of money... Perhaps we have simpler tastes.

I am not a Prague fan... Nor a Vienna fan.... But Austria (Salzburg, thru the Dolomites, the lake area of Italy and over to Switzerland is all spectacular to me....nice people, good food, great outdoor activities.
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Old Jun 6th, 2013, 08:59 AM
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Guess it depends your priorities. I never once thought of Switzerland in terms of what authors or artists it has or has not contributed historically, or 'lack of high culture'.

When traveling I look for a place of natural beauty, easy to get around on the train, stunning scenery, decent food, diverse culture, friendly local people, some interesting sites/sights. For me I certainly found all that around Lac Leman.
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Old Jun 6th, 2013, 11:35 AM
  #46  
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Hi all,

I found this cool site - http://www.mygola.com/tripoutline/

You may know already but thought I would share.
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Old Jun 6th, 2013, 05:30 PM
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I hope you all realise that I was being facetious when I wrote that Switzerland is not worth it.

I absolutely adore the serenity and beauty of the Bernese Oberland. There is no place like it in the universe.

See Wengen and die!

You can have Zurich, however.

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Old Jun 7th, 2013, 07:26 AM
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Hi All, I considered your feedback & insights and what I would like to do - I need suggestions one more time.

I am considering two options

1. Keep the original plan - Spend all 6 days in Switzerland - 2 in Murren, 2 in Lucerne, 1 in Cully and 1 day open (Glacier Or Bernia express).

2. Spend 3 days in Paris & versailles and 3 days in Switzerland.

The option is relaxing, I do not have to run after things and the second option gives me a different flavor (Arts, architecture & History is something I am interested in also).

My question is what do you think of option 2 and if I go with that how best I can use 3 days in Switzerland - what is must do and what can I cut down.

Thank you again, looking to close this discussion soon
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Old Jun 7th, 2013, 07:43 AM
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I think either option will be great for you, it just depends on what you want to do. However, if you do go to Paris, I would skip Versailles. It takes half a day and I found it to be the most disappointing sight I've seen in metro Paris due to the unbelievable crowds. I would spend the whole time in the city if you will only be there three days. It takes at least five or six days just to see all of the major sights in the city.
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Old Jun 7th, 2013, 08:43 AM
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It's a good plan to spend 3 days all in one base in the Berner Oberland and then take the TGV bullet train to Paris for 3 days - most will say 3 days not nearly enough to see Paris but if you've never been there and may not come back to Europe...
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Old Jun 7th, 2013, 09:39 AM
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Herman Hesse was not Swiss.

He was no more Swiss than Patricia Highsmith, who also lived in the Ticino.


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Old Jun 7th, 2013, 10:54 AM
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I like the idea of plan 2. Gives you some down time to enjoy the things you love and sights of a great city. You will never be able to accomplish all things "Paris" in 3 short days but take a stab. The Louvre is a must for anyone but also the smaller museums. Notre Dam is so beautiful. Lunch on the Champs Elysee with a great bottle of wine. I loved my time in Paris... I might base myself in BO for Switzerland. If the weather is not good, you can take day trains to Luzern, Bern, etc.
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Old Jun 7th, 2013, 11:14 AM
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Notre Dam is so beautiful.
______
And when you are in America you can see Our Lady of the Hoover Dam
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Old Jun 7th, 2013, 11:15 AM
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Hmm, me too, take plan 2 with 3 and 3, limiting your time to Berner Oberland and Paris only. Switzerland - the all-natural outdoors; and Paris - all the museums & culture that certain fodorites feel is lacking in Switz. Too short a visit at either to get out of town. Yes, if bad weather in Switz. go to Bern, if bad weather in Paris ride the Metro instead of walk, it's that simple. Start in Switzerland, therefore if you're starving due to $$$, what better place in the world to end up but Paris!
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Old Jun 7th, 2013, 11:45 AM
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I've been to a lot of places in this crazy ol' world. The Berner Oberland was probably the most beautiful, though.

Probably.
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Old Jun 8th, 2013, 01:04 AM
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Gosh, that's tiresome.

Pepper, you probably don't know it, but Hesse found his home in Switzerland after moving back and forth between Germany and Switzerland in his youth. He was born Russian, became Swiss citizen 1881, then German citizen in 1890. After finally settling in the Ticino in 1919 he was granted Swiss citizenship in 1924. The Nobel Prize comittee called him "Swiss", too.

Quite different from Highsmith's bio, eh? ;-)
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Old Jun 8th, 2013, 05:28 AM
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Verbatim from Hesse's Nobel autobiography:

I was born in Calw in the Black Forest on July 2, 1877. My father, a Baltic German, came from Estonia; my mother was the daughter of a Swabian and a French Swiss.
________

Must be an unauthorized autobiography. Unless you think Estonians are Russian while the rest of the world beleives they are Finnic people.

But it this type of reaching that is worthy of a small town Chamber of Commerce.
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Old Jun 8th, 2013, 05:29 AM
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My preference is plan 1 but with fewer places. It's Switzerland you want to see. But you don't need to go to 3.5 places, especially if you want to relax. I'd make 2 stops, maybe Lucerne and Wengen. Or maybe Cully/Lake Leman and Wengen.

Paris wasn't a priority of yours, though it's very popular here. However, I'm not so fond of it myself. My favorite is Venice, a truly unique-in-the-world place -- but too crowded in July.
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Old Jun 8th, 2013, 08:25 AM
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I guess you can learn a thing or two on Fodor's: 1710 - 1918 Estonia was part of the Russian Empire. Thus both parents of Hermann Hesse were Russian citizens. His mother's father was from Germany (Württemberg), his mother's mother was Swiss, from canton Neuchatel.

On this topic - in case you speak German - I highly recommend Siegfried Unseld's essay "Hermann Hesse und die Schweiz" from Hermann Hesse: "Beschreibung einer Landschaft", Suhrkamp Verlag Frankfurt am Main 1990.
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Old Jun 8th, 2013, 11:24 AM
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Hello all,

Thank you all once again for your insights and suggestions. I have made the decision to do both Paris and Switzerland. While doing more research I realized that Switzerland is indeed stunningly beautiful and I would not regret spending the whole time there and even 6 days are not enough. However, I could not resist the lure of Paris. I realize I will miss out on some good stuff in both Switzerland and Paris but I will get a flavor of both. I will open a different thread for getting suggestions on using my time the best in both locations.
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