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Revised itinerary for Switzerland – have I come up with a better plan?

Revised itinerary for Switzerland – have I come up with a better plan?

Old Feb 14th, 2013, 10:06 PM
  #81  
kja
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> PalenQ and
> LucyLemonade and
> Ingo

You are all totally awesome! I am deeply indebted to you for sharing your experiences, and even doing additional research, to help me plan my trip! Thank you so very much!

Through your responses today, I’ve learned that:

• Swiss train stations may have lockers, even if the sbb.ch site doesn’t show them (so I won’t plan on finding them if not listed on the web-site, but I’ll look for them whenever they might prove useful just in case);

• Neuchatel-Gare is probably the best train station for me to leave luggage, if I choose to leave my luggage at a train station while visiting the Latenium; and

• The Latenium might have space for my luggage, if I can get there with my suitcase. Ingo has just now confirmed my understanding that I can take a bus (I had made it at least that far through the museum’s web site!), although I think I might have to transfer a few more times than I would like if I try that option (particularly on the way to Solothurn). Before deciding whether to take my luggage to the Latenium, I will check with the museum first to make sure they can accommodate a suitcase.

My sincere thanks to each of you for your efforts to help me figure out my best options for this transfer! This day is one of the most ambitious of my planned itinerary, so anything I can learn in advance to think through my plans (and my back-up plans) is tremendously helpful.


In the meantime, I’ve been working on plans for my night and less-than-a-day in Lucerne. I visited it (and fell in love with it!) in 1989 and am really looking forward to my brief re-visit. I’m thinking through a few options and would welcome comments.

The KKL has a performance the night that I’ll be in Lucerne. From what I can tell, the seats I would be willing to pay for are “nose-bleed seats,” but I think I might enjoy the performance nonetheless, particularly if the much-acclaimed acoustics of this concert hall aren’t critically dependent on the location of the seats. Even so, I’m inclined to forego this opportunity so I have greater freedom to play-it-by-ear when leaving Basel for Lucerne (giving me more time to see the museums in Basel) and to make sure that I have plenty of time to re-discover Lucerne’s Old Town (and to do so at sunset). If I reach Lucerne early enough and am still interested, I can check whether tickets are available, but I’m not overly sanguine about that option, as it will be a Saturday evening. But maybe seeing sunset from the KKL would actually be a bonus. Any thoughts?

I’m quite embarrassed to admit that I hadn’t realized until yesterday that I could visit Mt. Pilatus from Lucerne in just a few hours – somehow, I’d thought it was a full day excursion. With this new information, I’m considering trying to visit Mt. Pilatus on the morning after my overnight in Lucerne (day 10) if the weather seems auspicious. (I’d try to get up a bit earlier than I usually do, if it’s true that clouds often move in mid-day.) I’d probably go for the route up through Alpnachstad and via the cog rail, then down via cable cars to Kriens. I think I should be able to get back to Lucerne, visit the Sammlung Rosengart and maybe the Kunstmuseum or Picasso Museum, and still reach Ascona in time for a late dinner. My current thinking is that I would only try to visit Mt. Pilatus this day if there seems to be a reasonably chance of good weather. The down side would be losing about a half day in the Ticino, leaving me with only 3 days there. Any reactions?

BTW, I do realize that trains between Lucerne and other places I’ll visit later in the trip (e.g., Lauterbrunnen and Zurich) are rapid enough that I can return if I want to. I’m just trying to think through my priorities so I can use my time - and any good days for panoramic views from mountain tops -- to best advantage.


Thanks again!
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Old Feb 15th, 2013, 02:05 AM
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Small correction on PalQ's post and kja's understanding --

There are some train stations in Switzerland that do NOT have lockers, so do not assume that all do.

Two that do not are Montbovon and Gruyeres -- and this makes a visit to Gruyeres somewhat difficult if travellers are enroute between Montreux and Interlaken (or Gstaad). Yes, there is a cloakroom in the cheese demonstration building in Gruyeres, but it isn't secure, and I don't know if it's common to leave suitcases there.

Anyway, just a caution.

s

In any case
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Old Feb 15th, 2013, 02:08 AM
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Gosh, I hadn't even though of the bus. (Where's the embarrassed smiley?) It's a clear sign I drive too much. Either way, you're not really going to save time there. The time you save not going back to Neuch is the time you lose taking the InterRegio to Solothurn. Really, it's a wash.

That's a tough decision about the concert. As you say, it's not likely that you'll get tickets on the day. I don't envy you that decision!

However, my thoughts would be this, if I found myself there on the same day as an event at the concert hall, I would be inclined to go. That would mean I'd probably not go up to the mountain the next day to spend the time walking around Lucern.

If you stick to your plan to go up the mountain, I'd skip the 1/2 day at the museum and to Ascona directly. Or I guess instead of going to the museum you could spend that time walking around the old town.

Either way, you can't lose. Maybe leave room for a bit of spontaneity. I'm actually quite excited for you! I want your trip to start now!
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Old Feb 15th, 2013, 02:31 AM
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Yes, swandav2000 is correct. Not sure where the idea a station may have lockers even if they are not listed on the SBB site came from. This is why the site is so useful. If they are not listed, it's is 99.9% sure they don't have them. I suspect it was perhaps a typo on KJA's part.

Also, the "cloakrooms" at museums are to put your bulky items like coats/back packs/shopping, etc. They are not big enough to leave luggage and as Swan says the "room" (sometimes just a corridor) are not locked and not a good idea to leave luggage there unattended.
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Old Feb 15th, 2013, 02:38 AM
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Hi LL,

Pal Q posted this on 14 Feb:

"well every station I have ever been in in Switzerland has had some kind of lockers - in major stations yes various sizes so you can depend on their being lockers in any sizable Swiss station. You can also send luggage ahead of trains though that costs quite a bit - to your destination or even to your plane."

So I wanted to make sure there was no misunderstanding.

s
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Old Feb 15th, 2013, 03:06 AM
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Ah, yes, I saw that. He did say all the stations he has ever been at. I just assumed he hasn't actually been to every single station.

But you are right to clarify. If someone comes to this thread later we don't want them to be confused.

Also, the SBB is quite thorough. You can be confident that if it's not listed on their site, it's not actually there.
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Old Feb 15th, 2013, 09:53 PM
  #87  
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➢ swandav and
➢ LucyLemonade

Many thanks to both of you for making sure that I, and all others who read this thread, have good information about locker options!


➢ LucyLemonade

Thanks for your thoughts about my time in Lucerne. Whatever else I do, roaming around its Old Town again is completely NON-negotiable! Visiting the Rosengart Collection is my next highest priority. The rest is all “icing on the cake.” (OMG, this trip has a LOT of icing! ) As you say, I won’t lose no matter what I choose!

I know it sounds odd, but one advantage that I find to planning my trips in great detail is that It allows me to make better spontaneous decisions because I’ve already thought through my priorities and cosidered the consequences of spending more or less time in various places. And fortunately, I love planning my trips! I’m not saying anyone else should plan as I do – Vive la différence!

And BTW, I’m very excited about this trip, too –and the really good news is that I become even more excited the more I learn. It is going to be totally awesome!
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Old Feb 16th, 2013, 01:34 PM
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I did say _a little bit_ of spontaneity. If there is any talk of spontaneity in this house, my husband will spontaneously combust! LOL
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Old Feb 18th, 2013, 10:32 AM
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Lake Lucerne to me is the most awesome of all awesome Swiss lakes - take a boat trip on its fjord-like part north to Fluelen and then take the train back to Lucerne. You can get off and take a mountain train up to Mt Rigi, one of Switzerland's most celebrated lookout points - it is not so high but has a nifty lateral view of the spiny central Alpine ridge of Switzerland. You can go up via train and down via cable car (boats and train covered 100% by a Swiss Pass - aerial cableway 50% off).
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Old Feb 18th, 2013, 08:53 PM
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➢ LucyLemonade

LOL – sounds like you and your husband have a plan for his response to a spontaneous idea! I trust you have a good fire extinguisher, just in case.


➢ PalenQ

I treasure my memories of a boat ride along the Vierwaldstadtersee during my first trip to Europe. I took a boat from Lucerne to Rutli, where I had just enough time for a brief visit to the Rutli Meadow before returning (by boat) to Lucerne in time to be sure that I would not miss my train onward. I don’t believe it would be possible for a day to be more spectacularly suited for a leisurely boat ride through that amazingly, stunningly, indescribably gorgeous area. It was, indeed, awesome!

I’m certain that I would enjoy Mt. Rigi, but I think I could only visit it if I sacrifice something else. I am definitely willing to entertain suggestions, but I must admit that I don’t see any obvious “can-skips” in my current plan. But you (and others) have the advantage of actually having visited the places I’m hoping to see, so maybe there is something you think I can (or even should) skip…. I don’t promise to take your advice, but I do promise to give it serious consideration!

Thanks again!
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Old Feb 19th, 2013, 12:27 PM
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kja-

Mt Rigi to me was nice but not great or as great as other things you may do - the boat ride was the reason for doing it to me and like you I loved both the Rutli Meadow, where the Swiss Confederation was born centuries ago, and the whole lake in general.

If doing Mt Pilatus you can take a boat to Alpnachstad to catch the thrilling train up there (or take the train to A;lpnachstad right from Lucerne.
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Old Feb 19th, 2013, 09:31 PM
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➢ PalenQ

Thanks again PalenQ – I’m glad you agree that Mt. Rigi is a lower priority than the places already on my itinerary.

I’m currently inclined to visit Mt. Pilatus if the weather is promising on the morning I’ll be in Lucerne. If I do that, I think that I will most likely skip Bellinzona. :'( I’m still working through several scenarios for my time in the Ticino….
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Old Feb 19th, 2013, 09:32 PM
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➢ PalenQ

Thanks again PalenQ – I’m glad you agree that Mt. Rigi is a lower priority than the places already on my itinerary.

I’m currently inclined to visit Mt. Pilatus if the weather is promising on the morning I’ll be in Lucerne. If I do that, I think that I will most likely skip Bellinzona. :'( I’m still working through several scenarios for my time in the Ticino….
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Old Feb 20th, 2013, 10:27 AM
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Mt Pilatus is fickle IME - nearly always shroude3d in clouds or fog even if this rest of the sky is clear.
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Old Feb 20th, 2013, 10:39 AM
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Scenic Swiss Trains in a Nutshell | Europe Forum | Fodor's Travel ...
http://www.fodors.com/community/.../...-a-nutshell.cf... - rail links at Tirano, Italy and St Moritz - Majola Pass bus to Lake ...

one of my old posting about Swiss trains - fantastic Swiss trains!
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Old Feb 20th, 2013, 11:34 PM
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(Sorry, all, for the double post.)

➢ PalenQ

Again, many thanks! If Mt. Pilatus is veiled, I think I’ll be able to visit Bellinzona on my way to Ascona. If the skies and forecast seem clear, I’ll decide whether to risk a shrouded top (and skip Bellinzona) or not. I don’t like passing up the opportunity for a great panoramic view, but I think Bellinzona will be a bit different than other things I’ll experience on this trip, and so am reluctant to give it up. The good news is that I don’t have to decide in advance! (If anyone wants to make an argument one way or the other, I’ll welcome it.)

Your posts on Swiss trains are invaluable, PalenQ. For anyone who is following this thread, note that clicking the link above might take you to a message that reads, “The topic or member you're looking for is no longer available on Fodors.com.” If it does, you can type: “scenic swiss trains in a nutshell” into google, and you should find the thread.
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Old Feb 21st, 2013, 12:38 PM
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kjs - thanks for telling me my link was gone!
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Old Feb 21st, 2013, 12:41 PM
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http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...-nutshell.cfm#

Just fooling around to see if this link works.

Again thanks for informing me that the other one did not!
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Old Feb 21st, 2013, 08:58 PM
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> PalenQ

From what I can tell, the new link works. Thanks again for all you have done for all of us who plan to visit to Switzerland!
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Old Feb 21st, 2013, 11:10 PM
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Bookmarking
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