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SWITZERLAND HELP - so much beauty, so little time!

SWITZERLAND HELP - so much beauty, so little time!

Aug 19th, 2003, 05:21 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 73
SWITZERLAND HELP - so much beauty, so little time!

We are going to Switzerland and Italy in a month. We are flying into Zurich on 9/19 and will take the train to arrive in Locarno by mid-afternoon of 9/20 to get rental car. We are then spending a week at a villa on Lake Maggiore with friends. We leave there the morning of 9/27 and fly out of Zurich on 9/29 in the late afternoon.

I know we don't have much time to enjoy Switzerland and I am having great difficulty deciding what to do. My husband wants to take the train part way to Italy on the day we arrive. I'm very interested in going to Einsiedeln (my roots) but could defer to another time. Lucerne might be a good place to spend 9/19 so I thought we could possibly arrive in Zurich, take traian to Einsiedeln, walk around the village and see the monastery, catch train to Lucerne and spend the night there, leaving early afternoon the next day for Locarno...but then thought it would probably be too much with jet lag setting in.

On the trip back to Zurich, I am so tempted to go to Interlaken region (Grindewald?) but I think it's a 6 hour train ride from Locarno, so we'd spend 9/27 traveling there and just have 9/28 to enjoy the area, having to catch train mid-morning on 9/29 back to Zurich for late afternoon flight. It doesn't necessarily seem like a relaxing way to end our vacation, although the scenery from the train would be wonderful.

I need some experience, sensible travelers to help me! Should we just return to Lucerne for 9/27 and 9/28 since we really would not have had much of a chance to see it on arrival? If so, is there a different place on the train ride to Italy where you would suggest spending the night instead of Lucerne if we stay there on the way back?

Thanks so much!!
dellyb is offline  
Aug 19th, 2003, 05:22 PM
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oops, sorry, I was trying to post where Grasshopper told me and it came back up here.
dellyb is offline  
Aug 20th, 2003, 04:56 AM
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Hi dellyb,

What would happen if you showed up at Maggiore a day early? Could you get into the villa? How far is the villa from Locarno?

Because the train trip from Zurich airport to Locarno is only about three hours, I would go directly to my destination if I could. A three-hour train trip is not difficult to handle, even after the trans-Atlantic flight; just get some groceries at the airport's shopping area and relax for the ride. You may find yourself nodding off for an hour or so, but really you won't be alone! Then you have the great benefit of actually being at your temporary home and you can get settled in and start exploring!

If that plan is possible for you, I'd suggest you take that extra night and spend it in Luzern. There's more than enough to do in Luzern to keep you busy -- including visiting Einsiedeln. You can see the peaks of Pilatus, Titlis, and Rigi, you can explore the villages along the lake, you can take long ferry rides on the lake, and of course you can hunt around the old town.

But if the trip to the villa would be a lot of trouble or if you can't get into the villa early, you can stop at either Zug or Bellinzona, both enroute. I haven't spent time at either place, but I remember reading great things about them here. Do a text search to get more info. I would still spent 27 & 28 overnights in Luzern though.

I think your instincts to get to the Berner Oberland are right on, but I don't think you have enough time to enjoy the best it offers. Maybe plan a whole trip there when you have the time to really get into the mountains and trails and villages.

Have a great trip!

swandav2000 is online now  
Aug 21st, 2003, 02:53 PM
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Thank you SO much for your advice. I will definitely discuss with my husband immediately taking the train to the lake region when we arrive. He loves Cinque Terre and I'm sure we could incorporate a trip to Grindewald area when we (hopefully) return there in a year or two.
dellyb is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2003, 06:10 AM
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Hi, dellyb, Hi S'. I'm not sure I'm understanding correctly, but it seems to me that the villa rental is probably locked from the 20th to the night of the 26th, yes? So here are one or two more ideas to throw into the mix: You could stay in Einsiedeln the night you arrive (about an hour from the flughafen), and then train to Locarno the next morning (several train changes, but in Switzerland they're quite fun). S', whatever they decide, can they send their luggage on to Locarno from the flughafen instead of carrying it? Or. . . stay in Zurich the first night to stroll the old town. Other than these two, I'll second S' suggestion re Zug or Bellinzona as a first night stop. J.
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