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josie May 18th, 2000 03:51 PM

Top 4 places in Switzerland
In your opinion, where are the top 4 places (cities, regions, etc.) to go in Switzerland during the summertime? No specific criteria, just whatever areas you like.

Ed May 18th, 2000 04:36 PM

1. The Berner Oberland, specifically the area south of Interlaken, around the Jungfrau Massif. <BR>2. Luzern <BR>3. Take your pick. Can't go wrong anywhere. We enjoy Zuerich, contrary to so many. Bern's a pleasant city for a day trip. <BR> <BR>Rome.Switzerland.Bavaria <BR> <BR>

Donna May 18th, 2000 05:20 PM

My vote would go to Appenzell. This is a "vintage" village, generally "untouristed" and could not be more charming. And, I found the shopping there to be superior in selection and prices.

Steven May 18th, 2000 05:42 PM

Top 4 places in order: <BR>1. Bernese Oberland <BR>2. Lugano <BR>3. Montreux <BR>4. Lucerne?

josie May 18th, 2000 05:56 PM

Thanks for the advice. We're leaning towards Lugano, Grindelwald and Montreux. Let me know if you have other suggestions. We have about 10 days.

Bob Brown May 18th, 2000 06:29 PM

If you want mountains, go to Zermatt. <BR>The peaks of the Berner Oberland -- the Eiger, the Jungfrau, the Finsteraarhorn, the Schreckhorn, the Fischerhorn are all nice and snowy, but in the aggregate, the Pennine Alps are higher and more imposing. <BR>I know of no place in the Alps where the peaks rise almost vertically directly out of the valley more dramatically than at Saas Fee. The Dom, which reaches nearly 15,000 feet, towers 9,000 feet directly above you. It is so huge that I think many visitors cannot accurately put its height into full perspective. By contrast, none of the Berner Oberland peaks top 14,000. <BR>Above Zermatt, Monte Rosa on the Italian side goes over 15,000 and spawns a huge glacier that flows toward Zermatt. <BR>Also within view of the ridges around Zermatt are the Matterhorn, Dente Blanche, the Weisshorn, and the giants of the Mischbel range to the east. To quote Kev Reynolds, author of the best English language hiking guides to Switzerland, "Many of these are not just big mountains, they are peaks of character, of substance, of great charm." <BR> <BR>So you have to decide what you want. To me, the Alps are the essence of Switzerland. The high world of ice, snow, and sheer cliffs is what I go to see. The rest is simply a series of cute little towns and good cheese and chocolate. <BR>

Diane Moll May 29th, 2000 02:03 AM

We just returned on Saturday from two weeks in Switzerland, with our home base being in Grindelwald. Contrary to some opinions, we really didn't find it overly touristy, perhaps because peak season hasn't arrived yet, but we had a very nice apartment, with wonderful views of both the Eiger and Wetterhorn from our balconies. Took lots of day trips (thanks to Bob Brown's wonderful advice, Bob I plan to write to you directly once I have recovered), the weather was wonderful - don't forget the sun screen. We traveled by train and found Grindelwald to be the perfect spot at the end of the day, having made our final train connection in "crazy" Interlaken. It was 6 years ago that we were last there, and was in shock to see how built up it has become, but it is a necessary transfer point when using the train. If I can be specific on any questions, please feel free to email me directly.

Santa Chiara May 29th, 2000 02:39 AM

Re: Zermatt. I just checked the train schedule on for trains from Milano to Zermatt. In the itinerary, it notes that at Brig, you go by foot (7 minutes) to Brig FO/BV2. What's up with that? Are there two train stations, and do you get off and walk to the other? Bob Brown, this is your fault; your wonderfully poetic description of the area made me want to go see it for myself. And I would appreciate any other recommendations for the area.

Ed May 29th, 2000 04:58 AM

The Brig SBB station is across the street from the Brig "FO/BVZ" station. It' more tram stop than train station. The walking time is about 20 seconds from the station, though it takes a few minutes to get from the arrival track. <BR> <BR>Rome.Switzerland.Bavaria <BR> <BR>

pete May 29th, 2000 05:50 AM

1. Zermatt <BR>2. Zurich <BR>3. Lucerne <BR>4. Geneve

Paulette Jul 26th, 2000 04:56 PM

Do you have any hotel recommendations for Zurich? Preferably in or near the Old Town. Things look quite expensive there. Regards, Paulette

Bob Brown Jul 26th, 2000 07:50 PM

I wasn't trying to lead anyone off on a stray path with my descriptions!! <BR> <BR>One reason for the train station switch in Brig is because the rail line that goes to Zermatt is private. <BR>So you must change from the national rail line - the SBB -- to the private <BR>line. I did not ride the train in or out of Brig because we had a rental car. <BR> <BR>I know the discussion can go on endlessly as to which one of many candidates is the most beautiful place in Switerland. I am not sure in retrospect that the mountains around Saas Fee, Sass Grund, and Saas Almagell are the most beautiful, but they are the most impressive in terms of their height relative to where you stand. That towering peak directly above Saas Fee is nearly 2 miles straight up above you, just about 9,000 feet. <BR>Think of walking two miles on level ground; then think of climbing that wall!! Because the slopes are covered in ice and snow, they have a seamless appearance that effectively disguises the true height of the mountain. But if you take the gondola up to the highest point, and then look down and then up, it seems like you are suspended in mid air. There is still about 4,000 feet of mountain above you and an equal amount or more below you. <BR> <BR>The problem here is that no train goes up the Saaser Visper valley to the Saas x's [where x can = Fee, Grund, Almagell, Tamaten, and Balen.] There is a very efficient post bus that makes those turns in near record time, sounding its horn loudly at each tunnel to tell folks to clear out of the way. (The post bus has the right of way!) <BR> <BR>We spent the week in an apartment in Saas Grund, which is about an hour's drive from Taesch, scene of the parking lot for Zermatt. <BR> <BR>Limited English is spoken in the Saaser Visper valley, so living there for a week was something of an adventure. My weak German was severely stressed! <BR>But I would not trade that experience for any of my other travels, not even a trip to Paris.

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