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Switz-Germany-Austria 2.5 weeksHELP!!! PLEASE!!

Switz-Germany-Austria 2.5 weeksHELP!!! PLEASE!!

Old Dec 31st, 2005, 08:37 AM
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Switz-Germany-Austria 2.5 weeksHELP!!! PLEASE!!

We arrive in Geneva on Feb 12th. My daughter wants to ski once or twice so thought of going to Chamonix,then on to Zermatt, Wengen. Luzern. My husband flies into Munich and we were going to meet and stay in Garmisch and use that as a home base for 4 days. Want to see St. Anton, Davos, St. Moritz. Then thinking of going to Badgastein for a w/end, driving thru Kitzbuhl and Salzburg before flying out of Munich.
I am overwhelmed! Want to "train it" (in Switz) til mu hubby arrives. Then should we rent a car for Germany and Austria?

Any and all help is appreciated!
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Old Dec 31st, 2005, 10:17 AM
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Hi char60,

Why go to Chamonix? If it's to ski in Feb, your daughter can do that at both Zermatt and Wengen; going to Chamonix will add complications and take days away from your plan.

Your journey seems to be going all over the map: Luzern-Munich-Garmisch-St Anton-Davos-St. Moritz. It doesn't make much sense to me. I recommend you take a look at a map and then plan out some journeys using www.rail.ch for trains and www.mappy.com for driving. Can hubby meet you in St. Moritz, and then together you can do Austria and Bavaria and end up in Munich?

Are you flying out of Munich?

Have fun planning!

s
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Old Dec 31st, 2005, 02:09 PM
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So, it looks as if we should skip Chamonix...ok...she is happy to ski anywhere. Would St. Moritz be a good meeting place? Should we try & stay there or a smaller tow?
Yes, we are flying out of Munich on 3/1.
Where do you suggest would be good "home bases"?
Thanks!
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Old Dec 31st, 2005, 02:36 PM
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Hi Again,

I'm not going to be much help, char60, because I don't know Bavaria/Austria well at all. I spent a week in Salzburg and used it as a base for Kitbuehel, Zell, & Innsbruck, but I don't know about St Anton.

Perhaps someone will soon step in with a great plan!

In the meantime, I repeat my recommendation that you sit down with a great map. Mark the places you want to see, then find one location that looks central to most of them. Then verify travel times (by rail with www.rail.ch or by road with www.mappy.com). I always limit my day-trips to two hours in each direction. Pretty soon you'll know where you want to stay.

And of course I don't know if you should stay in St Moritz or in a smaller town -- only you can know that. Do you like big towns or small ones generally? I spent a week in Zuoz and used it to day-trip the area (Guarda, Zernez, St. Moritz, Sils, Soglio, Pontresina, Poschiavo), but it was too small for my taste actually. I've only been through St. Moritz once, so I have no idea really what's great about it. A friend who loves the Engadin prefers the towns of Sils or Scuol. This same friend spent a week in St. Moritz in Oct, and here is a link to his report, with photos:

http://www.worldisround.com/articles/229817/index.html

It may give you some ideas to see if you'll like the place.

Hoping someone will come up with a great game plan.

s

ps, for a trip of, what, 16 or 17 days, I think you should try to have about five stops.
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Old Dec 31st, 2005, 03:09 PM
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I had the same reaction as swanday2000.

You are all over the map and many of the places you pick are really not the best for non-skiers.

What do you want to do? Ski or sightsee, or do both? If you (parents) are not skiers, you probably may wish to stay in a larger city for your part of the vacation. If the weather turns bad (snow storm or the usual "February thaw")in some of the places you mention, there really isn't much to do for you.

Here are my suggestions. They are all places I have been to and/or skied:

If you can, get an open jaw flight to Zuerich, take the train directly from the airport to Grindelwald. Make that your "ski headquarters". After your daughter has gotten the skiing "out of her system", take the train to Luzern, and do a bit of sightseeing there. Then take the train to Munich. Meet your husband there. Allow a couple of days for visiting the city, and when there is a clear day, take a day trip by train to Garmisch and the Zugspitze. Yoiu daughter can skiat the top of the Zugspitze, Germany's highest mountain. Then, from Munich, take the train to Salzburg and stay there for a few days, again doing day trips (perhaps by car) to Berchtesgaden, Hallstatt, St. Wolfgang and perhaps even an "overnighter" to Vienna.

Return your car in Austria and proceed back to Munich for your flight home.

For RR schedules, visit www.bahn.de This site will also cover the Swiss and Austrian portions of your train travel.

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Old Dec 31st, 2005, 05:00 PM
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We have already booked our flights and have paid a change fee once...the girls and I are flying into Geneva on 2/12. My husband is flying into Munich 2/17; we are all flying home from Munich on 3/1, everything else is open.
What is the girls and I went from Geneva to Vevey for 1 or 2 nights, then on to Gstaad.
From there to Wengen for 2 days and then poss. take the Bernina Express and then meet my husband in Garmisch.???(We like samll, qauint towns vs. cities).
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Old Jan 1st, 2006, 03:42 AM
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Hi char60,

The train trip from Tirano (the end station of the Bernina Express) to Garmisch ranges from 9h10 (with four changes)to 11h15 (with three changes). If you backtrack to St. Moritz, the trip from St. Moritz to Garmish is about 6h57 (with four changes). That's why it's not a good idea.

Get. A. Map.

s
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Old Jan 1st, 2006, 04:08 AM
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Good morning and Happy New Year!

As the others said, your itinerary is quite confusing. It seems to me you want to hit all the famous skiing resorts in the Alps. On the other hand - you (parents) are non-skiers, and there is in fact not much sightseeing to do in such places. Sure, many people do just winter hiking, sleigh rides, sledding, dining and *nothing* in the ski resorts, but that's not what you are looking for, eh?

I suggest you head straight from Geneva to Grindelwald or Wengen for two days skiing, then go to Zermatt (if you need to see it), where you could stay one or two nights, gaze at the peaks or so while your daughter is skiing another day. From there take the Glacier Express to ST. Moritz area and stay in a nearby village (Sils, Pontresina). Your hubby could rent a car in Munich and drive to St. Moritz area, where you could meet. Stay another day there (the area is good for excursions, e.g. Bernina Express, sleigh ride in the Fex valley, sledding at Muottas Muragl or Preda-Berguen, some small museums and galleries etc.) and then head to Garmisch, which is indeed a good base for some days.

Stay there four or five nights, see the Ludwig castles, convent Ettal, Linderhof, Benediktbeuern etc. while your daughter can do some skiing again.

With the few days left over you could go to Badgasteinto experience some k.u.k. Habsburg ambience in the coffeehouses and for recreation in the spas ... Finally you could drive via Salzburg (spend a half day there sightseeing) to Munich, spend the night and drop off your car, fly home the next day.

Since you did not tell us about special interests or just the reasons why you picked the places you listed it is difficult to advise you properly.

Ingo
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Old Jan 1st, 2006, 06:59 AM
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Happy New Year to You All!
I am not "married" to any place except Geneva, our entrance city, and Munich, our departure city. I think that I am just "information overloaded" (and I do have maps, lots of them!)
I just want my family to get the feel of the different areas and the more I read, they all sound so great! (I must admit one of our favorite trips was to go to Lucca in Tuscany 2 years ago where we had villa and just did day trips...very simple).
Anyway, we definetely prefer smaller, quaint towns and really have no interest in larger cities. We will all ski probably 1 or 2 days, my daughter and husband maybe a couple more.
I apologize for seeming so scattered; just overwhelmed, as I said.
I really do appreciate all suggestions!
CC
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Old Jan 1st, 2006, 08:18 AM
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Ingo & Swandav2000,
Ok, how is this itinerary???
Arrive Geneva 9:20 am 2/12. Train to Vevey, overnight and explore Chateau Chillons on Sunday
Monday: Golden Pass to Gstaad. 1 night
Tues: Golden Pass to Wengen or Grindelwald
Thurs: Glacier Express (are you sure this is great? I have read that it gets a little much at the end?)to St. Moritz; stay in Pontresina Thurs-Mon
Sat: Hubby drives fro Munich (how far by car?)
Mon-Thurs:Garmisch
Thurs-Sun Badgastein
Sun-Salzburg
Tues-Munich
Wed_Fly home
I have an extra day; any suggestions.
Be patient, I think I am getting there...
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Old Jan 1st, 2006, 10:01 AM
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Well I absolutely adore Vevey, so will say yes yes yes to your Sat/Sun plan! Plus it is extremely easy to land at the Geneva airport and catch a train out to Lausanne, Vevey, or Montreux.

I visit Switzerland often but have never attempted such an ambitious itinerary, so sorry can't help more.
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Old Jan 1st, 2006, 12:02 PM
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I like your new itinerary better. What I don't like, however, are stays of only one night. So I would probably skip Gstaad (sorry, swandav ) and head straight to Wengen.

The Glacier Express to (St. Moritz-) Pontresina is quite ambitious from Wengen. You need to get to Brig first, which requires changes in Lauterbrunne, Interlaken Ost, Spiez. It will be a very long train ride. But you can check options with www.rail.ch

The drive from Munich to Pontresina is 3 or 4 hours, depending on weather and possible traffic jams. Your hubby might start early (or late afternoon) since Sat is the day when all the skiers drive to the Alps ... me included The route is Munich - Garmisch - Fernpass - Landeck - and up the Inn river valley to Pontresina. In Imst (past Fernpass) make sure not to take the motorway (toll) the few miles to Landeck - the drive on the major road is not much longer.
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Old Jan 1st, 2006, 07:42 PM
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I agree that you are trying to see too much.Grindelwald very nice great skying and a must to go up to the top of Europe,Jungfraujock.There you can go a few miles to Interlaken great shopping and 5 star hotel.If you go to Garmisch you must stay at the Eisbee Hotel at the base of Zugspitz.Garmisch is a beautiful little evillage.Very nice.Also great skying in this town.I would also suggest a trip to Salzburg a most beautiful part of Austria.From here i would then finish in Munich,a very large city with every Gucci type store posible.A couple of days here at the most,so many other beautiful sights to see.Remember if you are not traveling by train these are mountain roads ,narrow and not all that fast. Takes time to travel.Have a great time.
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Old Jan 2nd, 2006, 06:09 AM
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BIG UPDATE!! My husband just found out that this trip will not work into his work schedule...So, it will just be myself & the 2 girls (13 & 22)Yikes! This does free up our itinerary a bit since we will have no deadlines except being in Munich 3/1. Big question: are the roads in Austria & Switz easy to drive? I would try and get a car w/ GPS or are we better off just "training it?
(This trip is going to drive me to drink
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Old Jan 2nd, 2006, 06:14 AM
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Trains, trains, trains.
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Old Jan 2nd, 2006, 06:40 AM
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Hi,

I agree with jw: use the trains! No hassles about getting lost, where to park, how to pay for parking, etc! It's also nice to enjoy a picnic while watching the scenery slip by.

I suggest you pack light, though, so luggage won't be a problem. Use lightweight undershirts that can wash & dry overnight (fewer bulky sweaters).

Will you also pare down your list of destinations?

Have fun!

s
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Old Jan 2nd, 2006, 07:36 AM
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Swandav2000& Ingo<
Could you both suggest an updated itinerary via trains from geneva 2/11 to Munich 3/1. I think I would really like Gstaad to be included....
Thanks again so much!
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Old Jan 2nd, 2006, 08:17 AM
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Trains are great but you will have a hard time sight seeing except for the major cities and whee ever the train drops you off. In places such as Garmisch,Grindelwald,Gstad you will not always have cabs.If you rent a car and can read a map you will be ok.The mountain roads are spectacular and the day trips would be worth it.
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Old Jan 2nd, 2006, 10:17 AM
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Hm, too bad your hubby cannot travel with you!

On the other hand, this should not affect your itinerary very much.

Of course you can spend a night or two in Gstaad before heading to Wengen. I would probably deduct this day from Pontresina (on the other hand, I LOVE this place ).

This itinerary is very doable by train/bus. The trip from Pontresina to Garmisch e.g. requires 3 changes and an hour waiting in Innsbruck. Pack light!

Are you sure you want to see so many towns? It sounds like a whirlwind tour to me. Too much hassle with packing/unpacking, check in/out etc.
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Old Jan 2nd, 2006, 10:21 AM
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Open to suggestions (ie simpler itinerary)
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