Switzerland Help Please!!

Jan 29th, 2007, 07:05 AM
  #1  
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Switzerland Help Please!!

This board has been extremely helpful in planning our month in Europe with our 3 kids (11, 9, 4) this summer.

I'm nearing the end of itinerary planning and we are ending in Switzerland. But now I'm stumped !!Coming from Florence (overnite train) to ?? in Switzerland?

We have 2 days.

Does anyone have any recommendations on a train excursion we could do? Ideally this is what my kids would be interested in. We need to end up in Berne at the end of 2 days to fly back to Munich and then home.

Also, if anyone has any hotel recommendations, it would be appreciated. Thanks!!

Jasmine
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Jan 29th, 2007, 07:17 AM
  #2  
 
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An ideal opportunity to try the Bernina route, as you have two days for Florence to Berne. Why not,on the first day, travel from Florence to Tirano? Overnight there, then on day two, take the Bernina Route from Tirano to Pontresina and on to Munich (or if you prefer to Berne, as you say in your message) but actually the train travel time to Munich is pretty much the same as that to Berne.

I'd rate the Bernina route as one of Europe's most wonderful train journeys. Here's an extract from a feature on this route bwhich will be published in the March 2007 issue of hidden europe magazine (http://www.hiddeneurope.co.uk):

"The train journey to Pontresina from Tirano via the Bernina Pass typically takes a little over two hours. Note that halts at many of the intermediate stations mentioned in the text are only on request. The one way fare is 24 Swiss Francs (about €15). There are seven daily services in each addition which operate year round, but these are augmented by additional trains in summer. Timetable information on http://www.sbb.ch. Some services are designated as either Bernina Express or Trenino Rosso in the schedules. Our advice is to avoid these services. They carry panorama coaches (for which a extra fee is payable) and are often very overcrowded. Better to take one of the regular trains, and outside the main season, you may get an entire carriage to yourself. Throw open the windows, take a sniff of that clear mountain air, and enjoy what may well be the most spectacular two hour train ride in all Europe."

Hope this helps.
Nicky
(editor / hidden europe magazine
http://www.hiddeneurope.co.uk

hidden_europe is offline  
Jan 29th, 2007, 12:35 PM
  #3  
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Thank you Nicky!
This looks amazing!
Appreciate your help.

Jasmine
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Jan 29th, 2007, 01:19 PM
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Another option, and one tht would have you spending less time on the train and more time "on the ground" in Switzerland, would be to take the train from Florence to Kandersteg, via Milan and Brig. This is a 6.5 hour journey. You can do it at night if you like, but it leaves Florence very late (11 pm) and gets into Brig at 6:00 am, where you would change for the 30-minute ride to kandersteg. So it's probably better to just get an early start from Florence, arrive in Kandersteg early afternoon, and have the rest of the day and evening there to play. You can take the kids up on the chairlift to ride a Rodelbahn, or "summer luge", or rent a rowboat or pedalboat and cruise the lake:

www.oeschinensee.ch

You could spent the night in Kandersteg; Hotel Adler is a 5-minute walk from the train station, although I'm not sure if they have family rooms. They do have an apartment.

It is one hour by train from Kandersteg to Berne. Depending what time your flight from Berne leaves, you could even spend 2 nights in Kandersteg and then take the train to Berne to catch your flight to Munich.
enzian is offline  
Jan 29th, 2007, 01:35 PM
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I should add---to see the summertime offerings at Oeschinensee, choose your language on the opening page, then look in the upper left and click on "sommer".
enzian is offline  
Jan 29th, 2007, 02:37 PM
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I'd have to disagree somewhat about the "overcrowding" on trains with Panorama Cars. Each seat in the Panorama car is reserved so it really doesn't matter how many other people are on the train.

The Panorama car windows are HUGE and give a far bigger view than the windows in regular cars although they do not open and you cannot hang your head out the window as some of us love to do as dangerous as that can be.
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