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Susy Oct 12th, 1997 11:07 AM

Switzerland - 1st trip to Europe
 
My Sister and I are going to Lucerne mid November. Any suggestions for side trips, must sees, train travel? Thanks

Donna Oct 12th, 1997 02:20 PM

While in Lucerne, be sure to see the Lion Monument. We also enjoyed exploring the lookout towers. Fantastic views of the town. Wonderful towns to visit by train are Appenzell, St. Gallen, Stein-am-Rhein (beautiful medieval buildings) and Rheinfall (gorgeous waterfalls). The trains in Switzerland are spectacular. Beautiful scenery all along the way. The train station is always right in the center of town with a huge map right outside the door. Nearly all the sights and attractions are within walking distance. If you are going to do a lot of travel by public transportation, be sure to get some sort of pass.

Tom Oct 12th, 1997 03:25 PM

I'm sure you'll enjoy your stay in Switzerland.
If you can, take a train to such places as Zermatt
(beautiful ski resort w/ Matterhorn backdrop), Chur
(walled, medieval town), Bern, Geneva, and Zurich.
Switzerland is fairly expensive compared to other countries despite a reaatively strong dollar. For hotels, you can call/fax there to reserve, contact a Europe hotel broker based in the U.S., or just wing-it and find hotels on the fly! By the way, English is spoken widely there - you really don't need to learn French, German, or Italian.

Sue Oct 17th, 1997 08:43 PM

Donna, I hope you enjoy your first trip to Lucerne (Luzern in German). I have been there several times and consider it my "home" in Switzerland. The town itself is lovely with the river, covered bridges and stately churches. Plan to walk -- and then walk some more!! Visit Old Town. Discover Am Rhyn Haus, the Picasso museum housed in a centuries old home. See composer Richard Wagner's home on the lake. Ride the funicular up to Chateau Gutsch to enjoy the view. Take the time to see the Transportation Museum, especially the history of the wonderful Swiss train system. Day trips abound using Lucerne as a base. If weather permits, take a boat trip on Viedervaltersee (Four Lakes). Get off at any of the little towns ringing the lake, prowl around a bit, take the train or bus home. Go to Schwyz, site of the Swiss confederation. Take the narrow railway to Engelberg, a lovely town tucked at the end of a long narrow valley with glorious views, skiing Mt. Titlis and a wonderful Benedictine monastery where vespers can still be heard. One of the best day trips yet -- wait for a clear day and take a local bus (get route at the main train station, all busses start and end there) to a suburb, Kriens I think, to catch the cable car to Mt. Pilatus. The ascent is literally breathtaking. Enjoy a meal, snap all the photos you wish, then take the world's steepest cog railway down to Alpenstad on the lake and pick up the regular train back to Lucerne. The Swiss rail system is absolutely wonderful. The engineering it took to navigate the Alps is astounding and the trains run like clockwork. Every town has a train station and most have tourist offices. Use them. They are very willing to be helpful. And, don't forget to try the famous yellow Swiss postal busses. They go to all those off the beaten track towns as reliably as the trains.
Above all, enjoy your stay. You're in for a treat!

Brent Lemons Oct 18th, 1997 01:35 PM

Lucerne is beauiful, but I must say that if I go back to Switzerland in the future, there is no way I am missing Gimmelwald (not Grindelwald) near Interlaken. This summer my girlfriend and I spend 9 nights (out of 31) at the Mountain Hostel in Gimmelwald. It overlooks an incredible valley with sheer walls, and the owner, Petra, is a wonderfull host!

Connie Tritt Nov 2nd, 1997 01:45 PM

Highly recommend, and envy, your upcoming trip to Switzerland. My husband and I were there in June of 1997 for the first time and absolutely fell in love with the country. My husband's ancestry is Swiss and is traced to a small town by the name of St. Stephan in the south. We stayed for two weeks in a nearby town of Lenk which is at the end of a valley and the end of the rail line. If you want to experience a small town setting with lots of walking in the mountains (or possibly skiing in November), I highly recommend it. Lots of hotels there for an overnight stay. There are even some Tritts (Tritten in Switzerland) at the Tritten dairy store and the BP gas station. If you go, tell them Leonard and Connie Tritt said hello! Do enjoy your time in the most beautiful country in the world! Would love to hear how your trip was and what all you did.


Connie Tritt Nov 2nd, 1997 01:46 PM

Highly recommend, and envy, your upcoming trip to Switzerland. My husband and I were there in June of 1997 for the first time and absolutely fell in love with the country. My husband's ancestry is Swiss and is traced to a small town by the name of St. Stephan in the south. We stayed for two weeks in a nearby town of Lenk which is at the end of a valley and the end of the rail line. If you want to experience a small town setting with lots of walking in the mountains (or possibly skiing in November), I highly recommend it. Lots of hotels there for an overnight stay. There are even some Tritts (Tritten in Switzerland) at the Tritten dairy store and the BP gas station. If you go, tell them Leonard and Connie Tritt said hello! Do enjoy your time in the most beautiful country in the world! Would love to hear how your trip was and what all you did.


Connie Tritt Nov 2nd, 1997 01:49 PM

Highly recommend, and envy, your upcoming trip to Switzerland. My husband and I were there in June of 1997 for the first time and absolutely fell in love with the country. My husband's ancestry is Swiss and is traced to a small town by the name of St. Stephan in the south. We stayed for two weeks in a nearby town of Lenk which is at the end of a valley and the end of the rail line. If you want to experience a small town setting with lots of walking in the mountains (or possibly skiing in November), I highly recommend it. Lots of hotels there for an overnight stay. There are even some Tritts (Tritten in Switzerland) at the Tritten dairy store and the BP gas station. If you go, tell them Leonard and Connie Tritt said hello! Do enjoy your time in the most beautiful country in the world! Would love to hear how your trip was and what all you did.


mark Nov 3rd, 1997 06:00 AM

You'll love Switzerland and especially Lucerne. Take a train over to Interlakken, Grindelwald or Lauterbrunen (there all right next to each other) and ascend the cog railway up the Jungfrau mountain, next to the Eiger. The scenary is spectacular and the railway will take you 14,000 feet up. You'll feel like you're in heaven as you look down on the clouds. WARNING: make certain you bring good sunglasses because the snow glare is so strong you can burn your retina. Also, the altitude may get to you after an hour or so. have fun.

Cindy Nov 3rd, 1997 10:53 AM

I was in Lucerne in June and although it rained almost the entire time, we had a great time. The Lion Monument is a must, along with the Chapel Bridge. You should definitely go to the top of Mt. Pilatus! We stayed at the Hotel Bellevue at the very top of the mountain and it was beautiful - although cold, even in June. There was snow at the top. Take the series of cable cars to the top - some of the sheer drops as you go over the peaks will take your breath away! Then take the cog railway down the other side of the mountain for a leisurely journey (watch out for the adorable cows with their huge bells that graze on the mountain!) From the cog rail station at the bottom, you should be able to take a lake cruise to the center of Lucerne. (As I said, I did all this in June, so I'm not sure of the availability/frequency of some of these things during the winter months.) You'll have a great time!

Nicole Nov 14th, 1997 03:05 PM

I've been to several cities in Switzerland including Lucerne and Geneva, which were both great.
But my favorites are the small Alpine towns. If you think you would enjoy something like this, I would suggest Grindlewald or Zermatt. They are both charming towns with beautiful views. Zermatt is my favorite if I had to choose -- been there twice. In fact we were just there a couple of months ago and I posted my travelogue on the web complete with pictures and more info. if you're interested. The URL is http://www.lunadesigns.com/travels/

Joyce Nov 16th, 1997 06:31 AM

Most of the restaurants are a bit pricey, but we found a gem at Hotel Kolping. It's on a side street in the old area, fairly near the Lion Monument. Seemed to be mainly businessmen there, we were the only tourists. Don't have the exact address, but you can find it, either on a map or just by asking in the general locale.

Andrew Weiner Nov 26th, 1997 11:30 AM

GO TO LUGANO! it is probably a 3 hour train ride south and you'll have to change trains in Zurich.
Lugano is known as the Swiss Riviera! It actually has palm trees. If you go, try to eat at La Tinera, a restauant in the main piazza.


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