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Switzerland and Alsace trip

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Sep 22nd, 2015, 11:31 AM
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Switzerland and Alsace trip

Our family of 4 (2 adults plus two boys ages 7 and 9) went to Switzerland and Alsace at the end of August and beginning of September. It was such a great trip. I highly recommend both Bernese Oberland and Alsace.

We followed the itinerary that I posted here: http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...-september.cfm except that we stayed in Wengen instead of Lauterbrunnen.

We arrived in Zurich around 9am, bought our Travel passes at the airport and traveled to Lucerne. In Lucerne we stayed at Cascada. It was not cheap but we were very happy with it. It had modern rooms with two different beds for my children (they sleep better that way). The rooms had nice air conditioning, which is not that common in Lucerne and the hotel provided nice breakfast. On the first day we mostly walked around and tried not to fall asleep

Unfortunately, I did not feel great on our second day (mad migraine) so we decided to take it slow. We went to the Transportation museum, which had almost no people since the school year started in Switzerland that week. The boys had a great time and did not want to leave after 5 hours at the museum. I was able to relax and even sleep on one of the benches It is very easy to get to the museum. It takes about 10 minutes on a boat from the center of Lucerne. A very pretty boat ride!

Next day we took trains to Wengen. Wengen is so very beautiful. We live by the mountains and I did not think I would be impresses by the mountains in Wengen but I surely was! Stunning. We stayed at victoria lauberhorn and absolutely loved it. Their rooms are a great deal for families since kids stay and eat free. We had a huge room with a loft for the kids. Our room had big windows facing the Jungfrau and a balcony facing Manlichen. The hotel provided breakfasts and dinners. Breakfasts are very nice and dinners are hit or miss (sometimes a big miss). We knew the dinner problem before hand but the hotel charged us very little for dinners so we decided to just go for it. The hotel also has a very nice pool (more like a huge huge Jacuzzi). The pool never had more than 8 people and was great.

The weather was great in Wengen so we hiked on two days and biked to different waterfalls on our third day. The infrastructure in Bernese Oberland is great. There are restaurants and bathrooms and playgrounds everywhere. It could seem a little built up for locals I am sure but for non-local families it is great!

After our three days and four nights in Wengen we took trains to Colmar, France. We enjoyed our time there as well. We saw the castle on one of the days and toured different small villages on another day. The food and wine were so good and pretty cheap. The boys had a good time as well. We stayed at Mercure Colmar Centre Champ de Mars in Colmar. The hotel is not ranked on tripadvisor but we liked it. It is cheap and central and is located in a park (which means that it is quiet at night). We got two rooms because the price was so low and were very comfortable with multiple beds and two bathrooms. The hotel also had a nice breakfast.

After Colmar we took trains to Zurich. We stayed right at the airport at Radisson Blu. I know that many people recommend staying in the center instead of the airport but I could not find anything reasonable by the train station and I did not want to travel much on our departure day. We were happy with our decision. We went to Zurich the day before our flight and walked around a bit. Zurich seemed like a very busy city after little villages of Alsace and Wengen We enjoyed walking around but were happy that we won't have to deal with crowds and trains the next day.

That is it I believe.
alisa23 is offline  
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Sep 22nd, 2015, 12:46 PM
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Thanks for following up on your post - K.
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Sep 22nd, 2015, 01:07 PM
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Sounds like a wonderful trip and Wengen was a great choice over Lauterbrunnen - wondrous Wengen views! Great place for families.

Thanks for reporting back!
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Sep 22nd, 2015, 01:19 PM
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Yes, we much preferred Wengen to Lauterbrunnen. It is so much more peaceful in Wengen especially because there was lots of construction noise at the train station in Lauterbrunnen. And the views are definitely more magnificent. Although if it were to rain, it would have been more convenient to be in Lauterbrunnen. But fortunately, the weather was marvelous!
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Sep 22nd, 2015, 01:22 PM
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I should have said: "We stayed at Mercure Colmar Centre Champ de Mars in Colmar. The hotel is not ranked HIGH on tripadvisor but we liked it."
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Sep 23rd, 2015, 03:16 AM
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Sounds a lovely family holiday. Great memories. Wengen is on my list too.
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Oct 31st, 2015, 04:31 PM
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That sounds like a great trip, Adelaidean! I've bookmarked the Cascada in Lucerne for two to three nights next fall, as it looks very nice, includes breakfast, and is close to the train station. Can you tell me a little more about it, please? Was it convenient to seeing the rest of Lucerne?

As you did, we plan to go from Lucerne to Wengen, then to Colmar. Did you prefer spending four nights in Wengen, or do you think that three nights is a comfortable amount of time.

Thanks!
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Oct 31st, 2015, 04:47 PM
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Enjoyed your report! So glad you had nice weather in Wengen!
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Nov 12th, 2015, 07:27 PM
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Iwan2go, sorry for not replying sooner. It is nice to have four nights in Wengen because the weather might not cooperate on all days. We were definitely not bored and could have stayed for one more night (5 nights total) easily.

Lucerne is not big so Cascada was very convenient for everything. I was a little concerned at first that it is not right in the old section but it is not important at all. You can walk almost everywhere in the center in 10 minutes.
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Nov 12th, 2015, 07:28 PM
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tomarkot, yes we were very lucky with the weather, which was great for hiking and biking.
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Nov 13th, 2015, 01:27 PM
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The weather is very fickle in the Alps even in summer - could be very hot one day and chilly the next - layering is a must for hiking and traveling about the hills - sun pops up you get to hot - sun pops behind clouds you're chilled - winds blow up, etc.

They say it thunderstorms somewhere in the Jungfrau Region about every day too - if you have a clear nice day hop on it for any jaunt to higher altitudes - rain can and has set in in this area for weeks per past posts - making a hiking trip a washout - keep your schedule flexible - day trip to Bern or Lucerne perhaps in wet weather and Interlaken can have nice weather when the hills do not and a lake boat tour on either lake bookending Interlaken to me is a great great relaxing float.
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