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nan Jul 7th, 2002 05:42 PM

?'s about Switzerland-Germany Combo
We are hoping to travel to Switzerland and Germany in the fall. Can anyone suggest an itinerary that can be done in a leisurly fashion within two weeks using train and or boat. Thanks, Nan

jw Jul 7th, 2002 06:35 PM

Well for starters, I'd try to land in Frankfurt and depart from Geneva if your flight budget permits. Rothenburg, Munich, Berchtesgaden (maybe), Fussen, Lindau, Appenzell, Lucerne, the Bernese Oberland, Montreux and the Lavaux. Did you say two weeks or two months? Ah well, I guess you'll have to leave out a few stops. Take it away, someone. J.

traveler Jul 7th, 2002 11:46 PM

For Germany, can best speak for Hamburg and Munich, though these are at "opposite poles" geographically. But both would be excellent, since they give you an entry into north-German and south-German cultures, which are somewhat different. Hamburg has an impressive harbor area with an interesting "old town" (Speicherstadt) and more modern side; and, the city is also very cosmopolitan rivaling Berlin(plus, has that great north-German pride); Munich is perceived to be easier-going, more jovial, and is a gateway to some magnificent scenery in the Schwarzwald. If you want to go in-between, then take Berlin rather than Hamburg - all that history in Berlin will be fascinating, plus it's an up-and-coming trendy place. For Switzerland, spend a day or two in either Zurich or Basel for exposure to Swiss urban culture; then, when the weather's right, head for the mountains, either Wengen (no cars!; the big three mountains Eiger, Monch and Jungfrau) or neighboring Grindelwald in the Bernese Alps; or, alternatively, head to eastern alpine Switzerland and visit Flims, Pontresina or Lenzerheide. You could alternatively head down to Zermatt but this would be a longer train ride - question is, how much training do you want to do in 2 weeks? Would not book an alpine destination in the Fall too far in advance, since you never know about the weather - unless you like being in the rain at 2000 meters - and, you can generally book short notice since it isn't high season. Seeing you have only two weeks, would not bother going down to Geneva - but if you could, then use it as a base to visit a mountain resort like Villars (some of the best scenic walks!), Gstaad/Saanen, Chateau d'Oex (the Hostellerie Bon Acceuil is a great little chalet hotel there!), or Chamonix in France for a closer view of the Mont Blanc. Finally, check up on the calendar of festivals in the Fall, since there are various ones and they give an insight into Swiss culture. A good Swiss travel website is

jw Jul 8th, 2002 04:36 AM

Hi again. apologies for my spontaneous reply last night. Traveler mentions not going as far as Geneva, and perhaps that is good advice (I can't believe I'm saying eliminate Lac Leman). If you could fly into Frankfurt and out of Zurich, you could still visit the Bernese Oberland and Lucerne with just a short hop back to Zurich the night before your plane. <BR><BR>Having gone on about arriving and departing from different cities, I do remember that on a couple of my long ago multi-country trips, friends and I used our Eurrail passes to save money by taking a couple of night trains. So it's possible that you could work your way down to the farthest point and then do a night train back to Frankfurt for your departure. Or the reverse. At my age that sounds exhausting, but maybe not on a sleeper.<BR><BR>I'm a devoted Swiss traveler now, so have not used Frankfurt as my airport for many years, but I recall that it used to offer some of the best roundtrip prices. Don't know if it still does.<BR><BR>Anyway, Nan, if you'll give us a few more clues as to what you're looking for, I'll try to make a better effort. For example, I mentioned Fussen because of the famous castles, but maybe you are not interested in fairytales? And Berchtesgaden is gorgeous, but mountains are a real novelty for me and maybe not you. See what I mean? There are just so many places. <BR><BR>But you've come to the right place. There are travelers here w/a lot more experience than moi. Have fun planning. J.<BR><BR>

jw Jul 8th, 2002 04:39 AM

Any chance you can manage three weeks? Leisure is a great travel philosophy. J.

ttt Jul 9th, 2002 04:50 AM

topping for nan

Nan Jul 9th, 2002 11:42 AM

Thanks for all those helpful hints. We are reading all we can about all your suggestions. Nan

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