switzerland in november, anybody??!

Old Oct 24th, 2000, 06:46 AM
  #1  
meiji
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switzerland in november, anybody??!


i have two young children and plan on accompanying my husband on a trip to switzerland on the 10th of november..
any suggestions?
any advice will be helpful..thanks!
 
Old Oct 24th, 2000, 09:33 AM
  #2  
s
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meiji,
I precede you by three days; I leave the 7th. I know it's not the "best" season, but I'm looking forward to it anyway (maybe because it's off- off- off-season)!!

You do not say what part of the country you'll be visiting or for how long. If you'll be in Zurich, you and your children can enjoy the city center and the historical buildings; ask at your hotel how to get to the train station (lots of trams, buses, etc). You can map out a walking tour from two web sites: www.zuerich.ch (go to "Tourism," then "Places of Interest" and note too the link to the map) and www.zurichtourism.ch. You should also visit a few of the other villages along the Zurichsee -- Rapperswil at least (you can get there by train if the lake ferries are not running). From Zurich you can also make a day trip to Lucerne (www.lucerne.org) or to Berne (www.berne.ch). If you have a weekend, you ought to grab your husband and spend a night or two in the mountains at Grindelwald or Wengen (www.grindelwald.ch and www.wengen.ch). Go to the Swiss Rail website (www.rail.ch, then "Travel/Timetables") to get precise rail schedules. You can get lots of information about these areas, transportation (everything!!) at Ed & Julie's personal travel site, www.twenj.com. Check out especially their notes for a short trip.

e-mail me if you want more details or if you're going somewhere other than Zurich.

s
 
Old Oct 24th, 2000, 12:37 PM
  #3  
Manju
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S,
We'll be spending our honeymoon in Lucerne this Dec last week. Do you plan to go to Lucerne ? Where do you plan to stay ?
We are currently planning to stay at the Wilden Mann and have planned daytrips to Engleberg, lake cruise and local Lucerne sight-seeing (Lion, Bridge, chapel, Swiss house, Museum). However, we would also like to get some skiing done while in Lucerne. Both of us have never skied before and are looking forward to start skiing on this trip.
Have you planned any skiing on your trip ?
Can you think of any other place/spot near Lucerne that we have missed ?
Let me know.

Thanks,
-Manju
 
Old Oct 24th, 2000, 02:53 PM
  #4  
s
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Manju,
Howdy and congratulations to you and your mate!! I think you'll both have a great time in Switzerland. Yes, I'm planning my first visit to Lucerne this trip (strange, as I've been visiting Switzerland exclusively for the last 3-4 years!). I'm staying at the Hotel Des Balances, but I was very, very tempted to stay at Wilden Mann. In fact, a frequent poster here often recommends the WM, and it is a member of the Romantik group. You really can't go wrong.

I'm very sorry that I can't help you with skiing in/around Lucerne -- I've been fortunate enough to ski in the Berner Oberland, and that's hard to beat. I believe there IS skiing near Lucerne (photos of skiers getting on the train, etc), but I can't tell you which mtn. You ought to go to the web site www.lucerne.org and send the tourism office an e-mail (I do this frequently to various offices in Switzerland and *always* get good, detailed replies); you've certainly got plenty of time for them to mail you stuff. The Lucerne office mailed me a hefty packet of stuff including excursions by lake/train, timetables, brochures, and information on the regional pass. Oh, you might also e-mail your hotel and ask them; if there's skiing nearby, they'll certainly have the info and be happy to share it.

As for other excursions, I'd check out the lake's navigation co. site if you haven't already (www. lakelucerne.ch) for some nice, romantic ideas around the lake (fondue boat, etc). If you do a search here at this site, you'll find great suggestions from the likes of Richard of LaGrange Park (I've got his suggestions printed out for my trip next month) and Ed (***by all means *** read/study/print the material from Ed & Julie's web site as I noted above). They both mention excursions to Mt. Titlis (www.titlis.ch), Mt. Pilatus (www.pilatus.com), Mt. Rigi, (www.rigi.ch), Fruelen by ferry, and perhaps the abbey of Einsiedeln (www.kath.ch/einsiedeln or www.eindiedeld.ch).

Again, my best wishes & best luck. How can you go wrong??

s
 
Old Oct 24th, 2000, 03:42 PM
  #5  
Ed
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Manju, skiing the last week in December may be possible. It depends very much on the weather.

There is skiing at nearby Pilatus (on the slopes above Kriens). There's also skiing on the Rigi, though not quite as convenient to reach, and at Titlis (in/near Engleberg), about an hour from Luzern.

Ski season starts roughly December 15 in Switzerland, but whether there's snow and how much at that time varies by year, by location and by altitude. The Pilatus and Rigi slopes are fairly low, for example, so less likely to have early snow. Titlis is quite a taller mountain though, not being a skier, I don't recall at what altitude the pistes are.

Check when you get there. As you're a non-skier I'd suggest the slopes at Kriens which look quite easy for the most part, as well as being most nearby.

Ed
 
Old Oct 25th, 2000, 05:07 AM
  #6  
Manju
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Ed and S,
Thank you both for the input.

S,
I will write to the Lucerne tourist office. Yes, they have been pretty helpful and prompt in the past. Thanks for the abbey website - will definitely put it on the list. I did check out the Lake website and plan to go on a cruise. But my main concern is the weather - I don't know how this December last week is going to be in Lucerne. Hopefully the weather should hold out for us to have some outdoor excursions. Hope you have a nice time in Lucerne. I am sure the November weather will be just right !

Ed,
Have you skied in Engelberg ? Does it have slopes for beginners ?
Yes, I understand that the weater can be unpredictable. We are just keeping our fingers crossed. (After all, its the weather we are talking about )
I had a question on the city and people of Lucerne itself. When it snows, does the town have a desterted look with most people holed up inside and shops and hotels closed ? Or do people still brave it and attempt to retain normalcy ?

Once again, thanks to both of you. I'll keep the thread posted as our plans solidify further.

-Manju
 
Old Oct 25th, 2000, 06:42 AM
  #7  
Ed
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Not a skier so have never bothered with Titlis in winter. Very, very likely it has a beginner area, though. Most areas do, and certainly the locations (like Titlis, Pilatus and Rigi) that are not prime skiing spots will. These are 'family outing' slopes for folks who live in the area.

Luzern, like most of Switzerland except for the mountains, has a continental climate. Large snows are extremely rare, and snow of any kind in December would be unusual in the city. I suppose once every 25-50 years they get a big snowstorm in mid-winter that shuts things down. Normally, though, it's just like a rainstorm, except colder.

Ed
 
Old Oct 25th, 2000, 06:48 AM
  #8  
carolyn
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Our grandchildren enjoyed seeing the Castle of Chillon in Montreaux. On an upper level, my husband, enjoying the echo, started to sing the Hallelujah Chorus, our 7-year-old grandson joined in, and pretty soon they had begun to draw a crowd to see what was going on. You can also be chained to the wall in the dungeon. It was great fun for the kids.
 
Old Oct 25th, 2000, 07:42 AM
  #9  
s
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Manju,
Re: weather, I think you'll find that the locals hardly ever hole up inside due to outside weather. In fact, you're likely to find lots of folks outside, especially on the hiking trails outside the urban areas. I've even seen folks enjoying (*enjoying,* mind you, not merely enduring) outside restaurant terraces in January and February. Be sure to dress in layers, which could be a mantra for travel to Europe in the winter: start w/lightweight long johns or a cotton t-shirt (if you're from the south, as I am), then add two sweaters (turtleneck and heavy cardigan) and a raincoat w/ liner. And then you strip off layers as the sun rises -- even in January, I find myself down to the t-shirt, turtleneck sweater, raincoat w/o liner by lunchtime (when hiking). Also use gloves (!!!!) and a hat/hood; waterproof, comfortable, closed (no open flats, etc) are essential as well. Of course, you'll want to have a small daypack to store the layers you've shed.

s
 

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