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Where to go in Switzerland, arriving from Florence, Italy...

Where to go in Switzerland, arriving from Florence, Italy...

Old Jun 30th, 2010, 07:15 PM
  #1  
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Where to go in Switzerland, arriving from Florence, Italy...

Hi, I'm planning to visit Florence around the end of September for about 5 days or so. After that, I'd like to head to Switzerland for about 2-3 days to take in a little alpine scenery before heading home. Can you recommend a Swiss town that I can reach by train from Italy and from which I could take 1 or 2 alpine excursions - by cable car or rail? I also need it to be a town from which I can easily reach either Zurich or Geneva for flight home.

Or maybe I should just go straight to Zurich and do 1 or 2 escorted day-tours into the alps. I appreciate any thoughts, input. Thanks, Greg
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Old Jun 30th, 2010, 10:09 PM
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Hi gregs317,

I think you have two basic choices, both going from Milan. One is to go to the west and stay in Brig or Zermatt, and the other one is to go to the east, take the Bernina Express, and stay in one of the towns around St. Moritz. Zermatt is car-free, so that might be an advantage in its favor. Both trips will be about six-eight hours of train travel.

And each is about the same to get to the airport, too. Zermatt to Zürich is about 3h30, and St. Moritz to Zürich is about 3h20. You can check all the train schedules at the Swiss rail site

www.rail.ch

No, I don't think it's a good idea to base in Zürich and see the Alps from there -- it's quite a long trip, and your brief views of the Alps will only whet your interest. You could go from Milan directly to Luzern, which is near three or so peaks and sits on a system of lakes; it's a good introduction to all of the landscapes that Switzerland offers. And Luzern is only about an hour from the Zürich airport. However, these mountains are not as high or as dramatic as what you'd see around Zermatt or St. Moritz.

Have fun with your choices!

s
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Old Jul 1st, 2010, 10:26 AM
  #3  
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Thanks for your reply. What are the cable cars like? I've seen pics of some in which the cars look big enough to hold 3 or 4 people, and some that look smaller.

I really do want to go up and see the alpine views, but I get nervous going up that high (fear of heights). Since I'm traveling alone, is it possible there will be other passengers on the same car? Greg
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Old Jul 1st, 2010, 10:35 AM
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Agree that Lucern is a good compromise for you. You can stay in the town and tour the sights there, take a steamer on the lake to visit some of the cute villages and take either a cabe car or a tram railway - yes, other perople on the train with you -up Mt. Pilatus - which is 7,000 ft plus.

If you want the highest alps you will have to go farther from Zurich and stay in a much smaller town.

Also, be aware that the highest mts are not available at all times - they can be socked in by clouds for days at a time. We had to stay in Interlaken 3 days before we had one with the Jungfrau not covered in clouds.
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Old Jul 1st, 2010, 10:58 AM
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greg,
If you decide on Luzern, Engleberg would make a great day trip.
About 50 minutes by train from Luzern with great scenery along the way and the final 10 minutes of the ride on cog.

Titlis is ~3000meters w/glacier and ice caves open in summer.

Some links:
http://www.engelberg.ch/index.php?language=en
http://www.titlis.ch/

Have a great trip
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Old Jul 1st, 2010, 07:11 PM
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Thanks everyone. Looks like Lucerne it is. I'm planning to be there for about 3 days, then head to Zurich for flight home. Greg
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