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Need your help on planning a trip with mom

Need your help on planning a trip with mom

Old May 18th, 2004, 05:38 PM
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Need your help on planning a trip with mom

I am planning to take my mom to Switzerland in September or October for her 70th birthday. She's never been to Europe but has a clear idea that Switzerland is the place that she wants to visit. I've been to Lucerne about 10 years ago only for a few days, so I know so little about the country... Would it be better to join an escorted tour? If it is better to plan the trip on my own, what will be the "must see" places for my mom? She loves anything small and cute. Can you guys please help me on this?
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Old May 18th, 2004, 06:47 PM
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While you are amassing information on this board, try finding videos at your local library on Switzerland. That will give you a nice visual on various parts of the country.

I liked Luzern, and you can take a lake cruise to other smaller towns around the lake. I have been to Basel, which is very nice, but probably not the Swiss element you are seeking. Enjoyed Zurich for a day - it has convenient transportation and a small picturesque city-center. It might be a good place to start, then work your way west to the higher mountains, then out of Geneva. What do you Switzerland fans say?
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Old May 18th, 2004, 06:59 PM
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The best of CH is the Berner Oberland.
I also like Luzern and Lugano, but the BO IS THE ALPS.
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Old May 18th, 2004, 07:00 PM
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Echo, There are so many faces to Switzerland; not only French, German and Italian (and Romanch), but mountains, lakes, cities, villages... To start with, it would be a good idea to find out what your Mom's expectations might be. Understand if she has any particular limitations with respect to walking, climbing, stairs, elevation, etc.

Also, do a search on Switzerland and you'll find lots of tips about trips some have taken. That will also help you get a good start.

Whatever you choose, you probably can't go wrong. Everything is beautiful.
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Old May 18th, 2004, 07:06 PM
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It would be helpful to know more about your mom and things like her mobility and health. Is altitude a problem?

She likes small and cute, but does she prefer cities or mountains? Scenery or shopping? Cruising on a lake or taking a short hike?

What does she think is "must see"?
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Old May 18th, 2004, 08:57 PM
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Thanks for your suggestions. My mom is not a really active person but I don't think she will have any difficulty in walking around in the cities. I doubt she would want to go for hiking though. She's a more like city person. I know for sure she would like to go shopping. She likes buying small items for decorating her house. Hope this helps.... Also, what would be a good tour book that I can use for this trip? I read a couple of tour books when I planned for my trip to Paris a couple of years ago. I found that helpful. Thanks for all your input!!!
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Old May 19th, 2004, 05:05 AM
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Hi echo,

Is Mom really sure that she wants to go to Switzerland instead of France or Italy, or is this just a matter of ignorance?

The porcini mushrooms are out in the Fall, the grapes are being harvested, the weather is clement, the tourist hordes have diminished.
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Old May 19th, 2004, 05:13 AM
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I agree with Ira. I am planning a trip to Switzerland for next year so I have never been, but if your mom likes cities and shopping, she would probably have a better time in France or Italy, perhaps visiting Paris or Venice or Florence. Switzerland is probably more for someone who likes siteseeing and nature.

Just my thoughts!
Tracy
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Old May 19th, 2004, 06:59 AM
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Ira, Ignorance? There are lots of great, fun and charming shopping opportunities in Switzerland!

Sounds to me like your Mom would love one of the lakeside towns. I would recommend Vevey/Montreux. You could walk along the promenade, shop the antique shops in the old town, visit Castle Chillon, take a steamer (boat) to Geneva and walk and shop and eat and then take the train back. Also, explore the wineries, take a train up the mountain for glorious views.

If you want to visit two spots, go from Montreux to Locarno, taking the train to Domodossolo and then the beautiful Centovalli route to Locarno. There's another lakeside town with an Italian flair. More shopping, lakeside walking and dining and boat rides to garden islands. All surrounded by beautiful mountains.
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Old May 19th, 2004, 07:06 AM
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Don't worry, you can see the Alps (the very HIGHEST ones) in other places if you cannot manage to squeeze in the Bernese Oberland which is a very scenic area but not the ONLY one with mountains.
I think before you do anything else to include getting into the pissing contest that seems to be developing on this post that you also read a guidebook and get re-familiarized with the country before you do too much planning.
If you rely solely on what we tell you here you'll end up visiting every single village in the country.

Good luck!
 
Old May 19th, 2004, 07:13 AM
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..I will not address location but rather the "mom travel" issue. I have travelled with my mother who is active (swims 3x/wk) but whose idea of adventure and comfort is a bit different than mine. What is your Mother's idea of planning and are any glitches (which always occur) going to make you feel guilty if you have booked the travel arrangemnets? Does she pack light?
Answer the above and then design a trip. Try to avoid multiple transfers unless you are on an escorted tour (they shlep the bags). Think the escorted tour route if you will feel responsible for travel glitches and if she wants a scheduled trip (I was just looking at the internet the other night and i think i noticed an interesting country roads tour of switzerland on the insight website). if you do it alone suggest one or 2 places only for night time with daytrips from your base. hope this helps and have a great time!
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Old May 19th, 2004, 11:50 AM
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How about Switzerland plus a little of France? You could spend some time making your way around Lake Geneva, visiting the various towns, and then stay a day or two in charming Annecy, over the border in France. Good shopping there!
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Old May 24th, 2004, 08:20 AM
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echo1967:
What about a vacation apartment in a small town in Switzerland?
There is a nice mix of camaraderie, independence and support with an Idyll Untour vacation.
Chack out www.untours.com
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Old May 24th, 2004, 08:36 AM
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Hi grasshopper,

> Ira, Ignorance? There are lots of great, fun and charming shopping opportunities in Switzerland!<

I am sure. I was addressing:
>She's never been to Europe but has a clear idea that Switzerland is the place that she wants to visit.<

That seems to me unusual.
ira is offline  
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