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Back in Switzerland!!!!! Solo this time.

Hi everyone!! I promise a full trip report later but wanted to check in with some misc info

The efficiency of Switzerland is as impressive as ever. I think I went from departing plane in Zurich to passport control to baggage to train in under 15 minutes. My Ohare experience is a story for another day. :)

The 1st class Travel Pass was money well spent. 1st class cars pretty much to myself. .And loved the upper deck on the boat to and from chillion cas!e. And my step count is high moving from side to side on train to take pics.

No one knows how to open the train doors. I think I've helped 4 people so far. Green button or hand!e to get on and off and wave hand to trigger sensor when moving between cars. I feel like such an expert after my one trip last year. A few more and I'll call RS to see if I can lead a tour. :)

Perfect day in Zermatt today to see (yes see) the Matterhorn!!!!!! Blue skies. What a great day trip from Montreux. Took the 6:43 train and arrived 9:15. Unbelievable scenery from the train. Almost forgot. Cows in Zermatt!!!!

Other than boat ride to castle, haven't explored the area around montreux much so I'm reserving judgment. But I'm counting down the days til I get to Wengen on Friday. I discovered last year after a disappointing day trio to Bern that I am a mountain girl. :)

No rain yet. Had my favorite avocado sandwich and paprika chips today.

Wasn't sure how'd I'd be traveling so!o but turns out I absolutely love it!!!!!!! No slow pokes to wait for. :) But one negative. No one to tell you that you have a big piece of lettuce stuck in your front teeth as I discovered when I returned to the hotel today. (:

That's all for now. Have to figure out tomorrow's plan. I'm thinking gruyeres. Have to check my meteo Swiss app for the 500th time. And I discovered that app is linked to sbb. I was checking the weather on the train and a little red dot showed where I was on the weather map. Pretty coo!

Posted by
860 posts

How envious! Please report back on Gruyeres. We are thinking about that on our next trip. Often wondered what traveling solo would be like. Guess it's time to be brave and find out! It's not often I can reach out to someone and say, hey, let's go to Europe! Glad your weather is holding out. Look forward to your next report!

Posted by
424 posts

Thanks for the great update! Look forward to hearing more about your adventures!

Posted by
7694 posts

Carrie, i am so glad you are there and having fun (and finding great weather). I just love how you have gone so quickly from traveling newbie to someone who provides advice and help to others !!

Sorry for whatever “fun” you had at O'Hare !!

Posted by
940 posts

I am so jealous! I love Switzerland and your hitting all my favorite spots. Hope the weather holds out and I look forward to reading your next report.

PS: Ohare is never "fun"!

Posted by
479 posts

Great update, glad solo tripping is working out so far. Still working out a few details on our upcoming trip so its informative to follow yours.

Posted by
1005 posts

Looking forward to hearing your further adventures! Thanks.

Posted by
4776 posts

Hi Carrie,

I’m so happy for you!

On my first solo trip I was anxious and worried, but after a couple of days it was liberating!

I’m looking forward to reading about your adventures! 😉

Posted by
303 posts

Yay, you're back in Switzerland! Happy travels and enjoy the mountains.

Posted by
2144 posts

Hi, Carrie,
it's good to hear from you. Glad all is going well. Have some paprika chips for me!
Safe travels!
PS
Not a fan of O'Hare after all my flight delays from last year.

Posted by
77 posts

I’m glad you’re enjoying your trip so far! I love solo travel - and recommend using your phone camera to check your teeth 😜

Posted by
2144 posts

Oh, what do you think of that hotel?

Posted by
300 posts

I enjoyed your report, especially since I was in Montreux, Chillon & Zermatt last December. So I can picture the fun you're having.

Posted by
1677 posts

Congrats on getting the first solo outing underway...you just have to get there and get going and all is well (except for O'Hare sounds like). Speaking from experience, never pass up the opportunity to use a restroom and a tooth-check in the mirror :) Enjoy the journey and the weather.

Posted by
232 posts

Weekend weather in looks absolutely perfect in the Berner Oberland -- enjoy!!
And by the way, the Greenfield rock music festival in Interlaken is this Thu-Sat, so the 1st class pass should come in handy there too for avoiding crowded train cars.

Posted by
1425 posts

Huzzah for you, Carrie! I had to cancel my trip for the end of July. I just had knee surgery and there's no way I can rehab it and get into proper shape in 7 weeks. One mustn't half-a$$ the alps.

Posted by
1780 posts

Hi Carrie, love the real time reports! Following along and hoping you have a wonderful trip!

Posted by
39 posts

All sounds lovely, Carrie.
I will be in Switzerland solo in a week. Can I buy the Swiss Travel pass at a train station or do I need to buy on line? Also do you know if I can rent hiking poles in the Berner Overland area? Many thanks

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447 posts

Hi Carrie,
What a great start to your trip, to see the Matterhorn on a sunny day in Zermatt! And to go from "Rookie traveler to expert" in one year. Only one level left, RS Tour guide for the next chapter of your life!
Silly you, to think you are traveling solo. Don't you know we are ALL there with you in spirit, at every location. We can "almost" taste and smell those paprika chips AND chocolates. Looking forward to your next posting.

Posted by
458 posts

Carrie all of us Switzerland 2021s are with you in such spirit! SO happy you got to go back this year. What luck to see the Matterhorn! That’s a long day trip but you got your reward. Hope you enjoyed Chillon, just like Robin Hood. Gruyère worth doing once but not something we would go back to. Love the vineyard walks there. Soon you will be HOME in Wengen! Keep us posted. 🐮 Chris

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26 posts

Carrie, This is my first trip to Switzerland and my 1st solo trip. Arrived in Zurich yesterday and wandered for a few hours before moving on to Lausanne. I will be in Murren Thursday. I agree, travelling with my husband was great but sometimes I felt I had to miss out on a lot since he didn’t have the same energy level I have. Enjoy your trip!

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1444 posts

Hi everyone. Just a quick update as I'm trying to limit screen time. I appreciate all the positive thoughts and teeth cleaning tips. :)

Mixed reviews on the hotel (grand hotel Swiss). I picked it for its location--right across from train station. And like a typical Marriott, it has a nice comfy bed and decent bathroom/shower. Great lake view. As far as the balcony, lets just say its a good thing I'm skinny or I'm not sure I'd fit. Not impressed with the staff. I asked for best door to go out to get to the lake and they sent me to the restaurant. And they couldn't tell me price of postcard stamp to US. I wanted to make sure my 3chf stamps were still good. My Basel hotel last year set a very high standard

Not sure how this will be received but not a fan of gruyeres. First the positives. Gorgeous ride on the golden pass panoramic train. I took the 7:50. Almost empty. No reservation needed. Loved the little helper guy waiting to help direct peop!e to the bus in montbovon due to work on train tracks. And bus of course was waiting even though train a little late. That part of the country is beautiful!!!!! Love the green hills and the trees. So I got some great pictures from gruyere but would have preferred to be out in the scenery. The town is just souvenir shops and restaurants. And the co-ed public restroom. Ladies just be mindful when opening the door. :) The castle was ok. I enjoyed walking around the outside. What I found disappointing about this town (and Bern last year) is they are not car free. Sure I can't take a car there but there are so many worker vehicles everywhere. For me, that takes away from the experience. It might be worth it to go for the train ride but I would never go back or recommend it. It just isn't my thing. I might look into bulle I think it was or another part of that region. Somewhwre nice to walk. And I stopped in the cheese place waiting for my bus and it was so packed I had to get out of there. I don't want to discourage anyone from going. If u know what you're getting into it might be ok.

Obviously I wasn't in gruyere very long. :) So back in montreux I walked along the lake to the castle. Super nice walk. Very flowery and scenic. Was a nice afternoon and I got some great pictures. Did I wish I was in the French alps instead of looking at them. Absolutely. :) For those comimg to montreux soon. I really like cafe Bryon by the castle. Just dont take one of the sandwiches to the register. Apparently the one I had was a ''disp!ay'' sandwich. It was wrapped up with all the other takeaway food. Still puzzled about that. And then took the boat back to hotel.

Tomorrow I might stick around here. See lutry and/or st Saphorin. Maybe hit the manor in vevey. I have zero interest in lausanne. Looks like we could get some rain tomorrow.

This was longer than I intended. Can u tell I'm a legal editor and write for a living? Even on vacation I can't stop writing!!! :)

Oh someone asked about the travel pass. Yes can buy at train station. I like to buy online so I can print multiple copies and add to watch and phone wallet. Although I still find it easier to use hard copy as I just keep it out along with copy of passport.

Posted by
164 posts

Thank you for sharing about your trip! I am a HUGE fan of solo travel. Your writeups make me want to do Switzerland solo. I have spent a little bit of time in Zurich and Lucerne but would really love to see more of the country.

Posted by
1140 posts

Sounds like Gruyeres is a hit or miss. When I was there it wasn't crowded and not too many cars, so I did get some great pictures. It is definitely a day trip. We went into the cheesemaking place which was quite interesting, but as I said it was not at all crowded. As someone stated earlier, I wouldn't return, but it was one of those, been there, done that, visits. Sounds like you have plenty of great days ahead. Enjoy.

Posted by
2144 posts

Cchapin-
Love you coining us "Switzerland 2021's". We are right there with Carrie.
Carrie- wasn't impressed with Gruyeres either.
I did like Lausanne and wanted to see more of it, but be prepared for steps everywhere- that town is built up and down. We only had a short time there with our RS tour a few years ago.
Luv following your adventures! Maybe you could also be a travel editor!

Posted by
1124 posts

Carrie should be working at the Swiss TI because she makes me move Switzerland higher and higher up my list...

Posted by
458 posts

Yes as mentioned before Gruyère is very touristy, glad we did once but never go back. Sorry Montreux hotel isn’t up to standards, last time we were there was pre-pandemic so quite possible not great now but we loved it then and the times before.

Have you thought about going up to Rochers? There is a STEEP train! But it will get you up in the mountains above Montreux. Otherwise I would definitely walk the vineyards which we loved.

You will be in Wengen before you know it! We’re all there with you, can’t believe it’s been a year since the 2021s were all there! We left last year in August. Keep us posted! 🐮 in the mountains 🏔

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1444 posts

What a beautiful morning!! Just had a nice walk by the lake in the noncastle direction. Looks like they're already setting up for jazz festivle. Bakery next to hotel has my favorite chocolate chip buns. I'm finally getting used to the bonjour instead of the gruezi in the French part of the country.

Just waiting to take the first train up to rochers. Like like rain might hold out until the afternoon.

I think 2021s should become the 2023s. :)

Roubrat the town I'm staying in next (wengen) had an ad about a week ago looking for a taxi driver for the little cars that take peop!e from train station to hotel. I did think for a minute should I print out my resume and bring it with. :)

Posted by
735 posts

Oh Carrie……so happy you are back in Switzerland and that our Switzerland 2021 travel group has sent you greetings! I can taste those paprika chips right now! So happy that solo traveling is working out so well for you. I cannot wait until you are back in Wengen in the heart of those gorgeous mountains. We are about 5 weeks back from our France trip and already I am skimming RSteves sites to see where we could affordably go again…….I will say that the heavens opened up to me when I searched the airbnb sites for lodging in Lauterbrunnen…..and saw where there are $16 a night places to stay there……WOWZERS!!!!!!…..we might actually be able to squeeze in another Switzerland trip soon if we could make it that affordable and use points to fly there…..YES!!!!!!! I am so eager to see how your day trip to Hotel Geissbach works out…….we also saw Gruyeres and said “done that’ after it was over…..not too bad but would not go back…..but we did drive to the chocolate factory near there and take a tour…….Cailier I think….and we loved that….you eat all of the chocolate you want in a room right before you exit……all you want to eat but when you leave that room you cannot go back in……hubby kept waving me out as he had finished but I was too eager to down as much as possible! Keep reporting!!!…..would love to know if you are hoteling or airbnb on any of this trip…..we are new to airbnb and would love your thoughts…..

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1124 posts

.you eat all of the chocolate you want in a room right before you exit……all you want to eat but when you leave that room you cannot go back in

Oh wow, this sounds like some kind of game show/reality show! I would probably make myself sick in a place like this lol

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1444 posts

Wow!!! Did I have a fabulous day!!! Morning on Rochers. Me and a couple of marmots. Then off to saint saphorin . Stephen and others coming here p!ease put st saphorin at the top of your list. Not to be missed!!!!!! Remind me when I get home and ill link the you tube videos I watched. Thanks to the videos I knew exactly where to go. St saphorin. :) Nice conversation with 3 Swiss police oficers while I waited for my train. Switzerland only has 20k-30k officers for 8 milion peop!e. Incredible!!!!! Then off to Lutry. Nice old town. And car free that is actually car free. :) Not a must see but I enjoyed it. I like the small no crowds places. Just had rain for about an hour. I need to rest up for about a week before I get to the mountains this weekend.

Tomorrow my last full day here. I have to get to vevey to do some shopping for my sister. And I still have sion and fribourg on my list as maybes. Guess ill see how the weather looks in the am. Today was less rain than I thought.

Jane, hotels only for me. I'm old school that way. :) Plus I think a safer option for me. You should definitely come back. :) Everybody needs to come to Switzerland!!!!!!! :). :). :)

Posted by
1124 posts

Your happiness is really radiating off the screen, Carrie! It all sounds so picturesque and relaxing.

Posted by
447 posts

Carrie, don’t think you HAVE TO go everywhere on this your second trip to Switzerland. There’s always “next year 😊.”
We, (2021 Switzerland travelers), all have the same opinion about Gruyère. However, I do buy Gruyère cheese at home…a little bit of Switzerland on my eggs.
Jane, too funny about the chocolate factory in Cailier. I didn’t sample a lot because I only like dark chocolate. You ate the rest of my share.
Carrie, you’re visiting places I never heard of. Will have to look them up.
So happy for you that you are having a GREAT solo trip. Thanks for checking in frequently so we can share your enthusiasm.

Posted by
458 posts

Carrie, thanks for spending some screen time on all of us. We’re living through you!
Jane, we did the chocolate thing too one year and I totally made myself sick, it was like Lucy in the chocolate factory. Lol.
Carol, you’re def right-as RS always says “assume you will return”. The first time we went to Switzerland we never knew when we could go back but have managed 5 returns, always working all these other Europe trips around how we can include Switzerland.
Pat I know you had a great trip this year, as did I (though not until I got a parka) but doesn’t this make you wish we were all back a year ago? Love Switzerland!!!
Anyway Carrie you are carrying the torch this year, can’t wait to hear about Wengen and the BO. Hope you’ll have some great hiking days. I would be hopping on the Mannlichen tram first thing. 😎 Chris

Posted by
139 posts

Enjoy your trip! You are getting me excited for my trip in September, my first time to Switzerland.
And remember, those who wander are not lost. 😉

Posted by
192 posts

I am loving this report. I travel solo, so it is great to hear the perspective of another solo traveller. I have 5 days in Vevey. I am planning to go to St Saphorin. What did you enjoy most there? Any other must sees or dos in the area?

Posted by
2144 posts

If I could, I'd go back to Switzerland every year, and then do another European trip to a new location...in a perfect world.

Posted by
4776 posts

Carrie,

Thanks for taking us along on your trip!

I’ve bookmarked this post for future reference.

Are you happy with the hotels where you’ve stayed so far (besides the Grand Hotel Swiss) ?

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447 posts

Pat, I’m trying to create our “perfect world/trip,” also. We signed up for RS’ Southern Italy tour….and “added” Switzerland after the tour. It didn’t take much effort to include Wengen to our trip 😊.

Posted by
28 posts

Carrie- thanks for taking us along for your second Switzerland trip. You are so lucky to see the Matterhorn with blue skies! I'm sure it was gorgeous. St. Saphorin is on our list too, but we'll probably have to save it for another trip since we are focusing on the Bernese Oberland area this time. Enjoy the rest of your trip and look forward to reading your trip report!

Posted by
1444 posts

Pleasant day in 3 old towns.

I headed to vevey super early and wandered the old town and lakefront. Much larger than I expected. Old town is a nice area but lots of construction and tearing up streets. Montreux has a much better lake front. All those flowers are hard to beat. Headed to the manor dept store and stocked up on my favorite souvenir--kitchen dish towels. Yes you read that correctly. :) The store brand manor towels are the best. These are the ones the Swiss buy. Not the touristy ones with cows and ''Switzerland'' on them. I learned about these from the how to Switzerland you tube channel.

Then back to hotel to figure out where to head next. Sion One of the sunniest places in the country so a good choice on this somewhat rainy day. P!us I thought this would be a good test to see if I could find the old town. I did. Sion has a nice old town and hiltop castles. Not a most see but a nice place to get away from crowds. I like these p!aces where I feel as if I'm the only tourist. I did not go up the hilltops. My shins have been bothering me a bit since zermatt so I figured best not to climb up steep hills.

Once back in montreux I decided to check out the old town. Its an uphill climb but nice views near st Vincent. And not a single tourist in sight.

Tomorrow I will take one last early morning walk by the lake (when most are still sleeping) and head to wengen. Hopper has ordered me up some perfect weather. :) All I see our suns on the meteoswiss app for the next 5 days.

I talked to my mom today and she said she didn't realize Switzerland had so many ghost towns. :) I got so many great pictures of st saphorin lutry vevey sion and montreux old towns with no peop!e. I don't like peop!e or cars in my pictures. So I get up early and/or wait for people to move.

Victoria, best part of st sapharin was wondering town and the vineyards. The train runs every hour so u can walk around for an hour like I did or if u like to walk and the weather is nice you can walk through the vines to another town. Theres great signs in the towns and info online. Google lavaux walking. I also saw people riding bikes. Just a great area with no well-known sites (other than tbe famous vines) so not a lot of peop!e. You guys are probably starting to think I don't like peop!e. :) I swear I do. Just not crowds.

Carol, did I read you are coming back here! :) Switzerland is a very powerful force. :)

Posted by
447 posts

Carrie, So thankful you are taking time to post what you are doing. We are "visiting Switzerland vicariously through your report." Dish towels at the Manor? Must add that to my list. I'm always looking for "good" towels to use.
People: One of the many reasons to like Switzerland is the ability to get away and be alone...just you and the majestic mountains...or quaint towns. I know on our trip last year, we hardly went into any museums, or shops.
And yes, we are heading back to Switzerland in September. It's relatively easy to "add Switzerland" to any trip because it borders so many countries...Italy included. This will be our 4th trip to Switzerland! And of course, we are headed to Wengen!

Posted by
2144 posts

Carrie, pls keep feeding our Swiss addiction with your daily reports. I also hate it when people get in my beautiful landscape pix. I'll think I have a good one to enlarge, and then I see someone in the corner- usually with a bright orange t-shirt!
Safe travels!

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1444 posts

Quick update. I was so excited I went everywhere today. Early train to wengen. Walked around. Ice cream from ice cream cart. Train to lauterbrunnen. Brat from the brat cart. Cable car and train to murren. Stop at hotel edelweiss for my fav apple strudel and hot chocolate. Walk down to gimmelwald. Cable car to stechelberg and bus to lauterbrunnen and train back to wengen. My fav Caesar salad at pasta and more. I'm exhausted just typing all this. :)

Posted by
1124 posts

And then you got back to your room and heard the great news. What a day!

Posted by
735 posts

……and now you do not have to worry about a negative Covid test when you come home……YEAH!!!!!!

Posted by
192 posts

Thank you Carrie. I am not fond of the crowds either. I remember in Venice I was able to find little tourist-free corners. I like people too, but there is nothing like enjoying the scenery without the crowds. I look forward to the vineyards,

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1444 posts

The sounds of Switzerland: Waterfalls. Distant cow bells. 7 pm church bells. Only 1 week left to enjoy.

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1444 posts

Thread, you are absolutely right!! 7 more glorious days in this fabulous country. And I won't even be mad at Hopper for the rain now predicted for tomorrow. :)

Today I'm off to ballenberg outdoor museum. My camera needs a break from all the marvalous mountain pics. :) Might try to squeeze in giessbach too with rain expected tomorrow.

Yesterday I went up to mannlichen. Just didn't have the same magical appeal for me without my cows. But I knew it was probably too early for them to be up there yet. So no disappointment here.

Posted by
232 posts

Hey, we need a little rain every once in a while to keep things nice and green :)
And I think there will be more than enough sunshine coming up for you - I am actually heading up to the mountains later this week to escape the heat down here in the rest of the country!! Thu-Sat look downright HOT, especially for this early in the summer...

Posted by
735 posts

We want to hear all about Geissbach Carrie!

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2144 posts

Have you been to the various honesty "shops" in Gimmelwald? Pls have some chocolate for me, also!

Posted by
4776 posts

Wow!
I’m completely amazed by the multiple places you’ve visited thus far!

Apple strudel… Yum!

Posted by
4776 posts

Wait, did I miss something?

I thought you were staying in Wengen when you wrote this:

Early train to wengen. Walked around. Ice cream from ice cream cart. Train to lauterbrunnen. Brat from the brat cart. Cable car and train to murren. Stop at hotel edelweiss for my fav apple strudel and hot chocolate. Walk down to gimmelwald. Cable car to stechelberg and bus to lauterbrunnen and train back to wengen.

Is this correct?

Enjoy the rest of your time in beautiful Switzerland!

Posted by
458 posts

Carrie, how fun! While we have seen cows up that high at this time of year if they aren’t yet you could try Grindlewald and Brandegg area where they may be more likely if the higher grasses aren’t out yet. I read an article awhile ago saying there is a significant portion of tourists (raises hand here) who are just as interested in the cows as the mountains. One of the reasons I loved Jersey this year, cows and more cows and beautiful Jersey cows.

Anyway 7 more wonderful days to explore, what fun! Hope the rain holds off a bit for you. Keep us addicts fed as was said already!

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1444 posts

Highlight of the day. Boat ride on Lake Brienz. Is that water even for real???? Wow!!!!! Those are my sistes fav pics so far. Send more she says.

Jane, I would be so ticked if I were a guest at hotel giessbach. These poor, poor elderly people trying to get luggage from boat to funicular and then up to hotel. I couldn't believe it!!! I took charge and was rolling all the suitcases up the hills. Where's the customer service??? Anyway, hotel was in a super nice setting. I didn't eat there. I like to eat on the go. Too much to do and see. Plus I wanted back on the boat. This 1st class pass is really paying off. Better vantage point for pics from upper deck.

A step back in time. I also went to the ballenberg open air museum for a couple of hours in the am. I enjoyed it but wouldn't consider this a must see. Got some nice pictures. Until last years trip I don't think I had taken more than 20 pics with my phone. And they were all of my dog. Seeing how great our pics turned out last year really sparked an interest for me in photography. I just checked my phone and it has 1108 pics. Don't worry, no selfies. :). I am so not that person. That would be my sister. The younger one of course. :)

Roubtat, I may or may not be eating chocolate right now. :). But I actually prefer the ice cream out here. I've gone to the little ice cream cart so many times in wengen I'm afraid the guy might think I have a crush on him. :)

Hopper, I know, I know. :) I'm could actually use a break from the hot Swiss sun. And I'm afraid to go to Luzern. I keep asking my phone what is 32 degrees Celsius in Fahrenheit. And I do not like the answer!!!!

Pat, my sister got a kick out of the honesty shop last year. She's the shopper in the family.

Priscilla, I am sleeping in wengen (hotel schnogg) for 5 nights but am going all over the place during the day. I call it the ants in the pants syndrome. I have a hard time sitting still. I'm still amazed I can handle the plane rides.

Cchapin, the cows are out and about. But the mannlichen ones are impossible to beat. Ill just have to come back again. :) In fact I told my mom I'm not sure I want to go anywhere else. Switzerland is just so easy to travel around in. I'm still in shock that I'm in another country by myself. And I know what I'm doing. So weird. :)

Not sure tomorrow's plan yet. Will check weather in the am. And I'm toying with the idea of jungfrau on tues. See what all the fuss is about.

Posted by
2144 posts

Great report, Carrie, so proud of you venturing out solo. I look forward to your posts each day! I so want to be there.

Posted by
13211 posts

I hope you had a great day today!

We have seen the cows up at Männlichen in early August (including one blocking the trail in a most awkward way). But we saw none up there the time we went to Switzerland in late June. Which meant we could see the wildflowers blooming along the trail.

The cow experience I enjoyed most took place in the meadows below the Eiger, when we hiked down the Eiger North Face trail from Eigergletscher to Alpiglen. Due to the rugged terrain, we could hear the cowbells far off, long before we reached the cows themselves.

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1444 posts

It's open!!!! Went back up to mannlichen to finally walk down to Klein scheidegg. Trail has been closed for snow. Was a great walk!! I'm sure it would be even better on a non cloudy day. :) Also went up to almendhubel. Construction up there so not as peaceful as last year. And walked down again to gimmelwald (love this walk) to get some pictures with all the clouds. Turned out only rain early in the am and again for an hour around noon time.

Am I the only one in this country???? That's how I feel most times when I'm out walking. It's me, the super tall trees and the crazy black squirrels. I'm obsessed with these forests!!!!! Walk a few feet off the main street in wengen and you're in the woods. Love it!!!!

Bought my ticket for jungfraujoch tomorrow morning. I have that much faith in the metoswiss app that tomorrow is nothing but sunny skies. :)

Posted by
4776 posts

Wishing sunny skies for you tomorrow, and for the rest of your week!

Just curious, what shoes did you take on your trip?

Posted by
479 posts

Carrie, glad to hear you like Wengen so much. We got a full week (couldn't resist the weekly rate price), for our Aug/Sept trip staying in an apartment in Wengen. Any plans for the Thunersee?

Posted by
135 posts

Carrie, I have enjoy following along with you. We are headed that way in August. Been to Switzerland three times before.. you are right I could be happy just going to Switzerland year after year.

Question the meto weather app is that something I can download from US to have ready on my phone?
Isit only good in Switzerland? We will be in Austria, Italy, Switzerland, Germany and France .
I am very very curious how you were able to travel in 2021? Very jealous..
Thank you so much for sharing with us stuck at home.. will be there in August..

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735 posts

Oh Carrie…….such fun….and be happy now knowing that you could always be a busboy and manage the luggage for Hotel Geissbach! Shame on them and how kind of you to help….I know they appreciated it! Isn’t the lake water for Brienz incredible???!! So glad I did not over sell it……be so glad you are there as it is forcasted to be 100 degrees tomorrow in Nashville….YUCK…….wish I were in Switzerland right now, looking forward to a beautiful, even rainy, day tomorrow if it would cool me down! I have been perusing the airbnb websites to see if we could sneak in another trip that would be somewhat affordable to Lauterbrunnen…..and wow!, there are some that really could work! I think we need a yearly trip just to hike and walk and let Switzerland’s beauty take care of us!

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1444 posts

Waiting for weather to warm up a bit. 6am and its cold. Could of used my puffer coat for mountain early mornings.

Priscila, brooks ghost shoes. Highly recommend!!!!! I'm averaging between 18k - 23k steps a day. I consider myself more of a walker than a serious hiker. All of the walks / trails I take the running shoes are sufficient. I also don't have any ankle issues so dont need the ankle support a hiking boot would provide.

Rob, last year took train to thun to see castle then boat ride on lake thun. Was a great day!!

Travelnana, meteoswiss just for Switzerland. Can download in US. I've told a few Americans I've run into here about it and it can also be downloaded here. I find it to be super accurate. Especially compared to the weather channel app which for some reason thinks it rains 24 hours a day in Switzerland. Patience and many times rescheduled got us here last sept.

Jane, a yearly trip would do wonders for everyone's health and wellbeing. It should be required along with routine health screenings.

I can wait no longer, off into the cold I go. Mountain trip not til later this am. Thinking about a repeat mannlichen Klein walk after. Expensive walk though. With pass it's $8 I think to get up and $19 to get down. Well worth it though!!!!

And quick note on credit cards. Tap pay does not always work and have to insert card and sign. Everyone seems aware of this as the comment is usually something about the international credit cards not working. I'm using Chase. Haven't tried my Wells Fargo to see if that works better. Also haven't tried phone or watch wallet. Maybe should try that.

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232 posts

Re contactless payments - just wanted to mention that the transaction limit here is 80 francs. If the amount is higher, you have to enter a PIN (or sign). It varies from country to country (Switzerland has one of the highest limits in Europe due to the prices here) - if anyone wants specific info, Apple has a pretty comprehensive list.

Weather sites/apps - yes, I use meteoswiss all the time and second the recommendation. Another one I like that can be used for any destination around the world is meteoblue, which displays a lot of info in a very concise, user-friendly way. They have a lot of detailed maps available too (humidity, cloud cover etc, easier to use in the desktop version) and I find the "feels like" temperature, wind speed and 'sunshine hours' useful.

Posted by
1444 posts

Get me off this mountain!!!! My first unpleasant experience in Switzerland. Let’s just say I discovered where all the people are. More later.

Posted by
3485 posts

I'm sorry to hear your reaction to The Jungfrau . , I know you will chime back in , Is it crowded up there or something else ? stay calm !

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1444 posts

That who!e jungfrau experience seemed very unswiss like. I thought I could avoid the crowds by taking the first train up. No such luck. And the timing seemed off. At the Kleine scheidegg station we had to wait outside in line for a half hour for the next train. I'm surprised it wasn't waiting for us. And it must of been a train from grindelwald that dropped off another who!e bunch of people. I almost bailed at that point and I really wish I would have. The train ride up there was no first class. :) So crowded and hot I thought I was going to pass out. And then of course theres 5 million peop!e all walking in the same direction. Felt like we were in a tunnel walking most of the time. Just wasnt for me. I thought the schilthorn was a way better experience. Both the getting there and the being up there.

Then I went back to Mannlichen and walked down to Klein again. This time with nothing but blue skies.

Tomorrow I head to luzern for 3 nights. I was going to do all mountains but now I'm rethinking. We'll see. And I'm so excited for bachmanns bakery!!!! Chocolate chip buns here I come!!!! And they have a chocolate carmel stick thing. Ill have to get the name. I'm gonna ask if I can buy a box.

Hooper, thanks for the info. For some reason, even most of my small transactions require a signature. Although today at the coop I had to insert but not sign. Seems random. And ill definitely use meteoblue for Austria later this year.

On another note, I realized today I'm way over my data limit with my international plan. Should be an interesting Verizon bill. As I was texting videos back home I was wondering if they were using much data. ;) Apparently maybe they were. :)

Posted by
1140 posts

Texting videos or pictures are huge data hogs. Email is better or posting on Facebook. If your weather is good take the boat, cogwheel train and back on gondolas to Mt Pilatus. Nice trip with great views of Lucerne. However, it might be crowded as well.

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3485 posts

If you keep to your plans , and the weather holds ( I assume you will go back to Rigi ) take the train back to Vitznau , and walk along the lake ( RT 2B ) back to Weggis , before boarding the the boat back to Luzern , It's about 3 - 4 miles and delightful . We did this ten years ago , and are planning to do this again in September . As you get close to Weggis, keep to the left when the road splits , it will keep you on the lakeshore !

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2144 posts

The Jungfraujoch was crazy last Sept, 2021. We were told that we needed timed tickets to avoid the lines at the upper connections. Timed tickets allow one to stand in the shorter reserved lines, and are 5 chf additional. Of course, we didn't know that until afterwards.
I agree, it's a one- time visit. Did you see folks in summer clothes up there?
Regarding data use, if you turn off cellular data and send the videos from your hotel wi- fi, would that alleviate the problem?
Keep including us in your adventures, please!

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135 posts

Carrie, Thank you for the weather app tip..lol. Apparently I had downloaded it when we were on the Best of Switzerland tour a few years ago. It was in my cloud... you will love Luzern. We spent five days there on the Best of Switzerland tour. We went early and met tourmates from another tour we did the year before.
Mt Titlis we did on the tour.. Funny now and we all laugh about it but the gondolas all stopped and we dangled for half way to 3/4 of the way up.. 1 hr 40s minutes.. 8 people per gondola..we got to know each other really fast.. The worker at the top said it had never happened in the 20+ years she worked there..
it was a beautiful blue sky day and we watched the cows (way-way ) below us forever. At 2 hours they were prepared to send helicopters in to take us off. It actually became a highlight of the trip..
I have really enjoyed your reports.. keep them coming.

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1444 posts

Thanks for the suggestions everyone!! Headed to luzern early so I can fit rigi in today.

Pat, I'm not going to let a little thing like data slow me down. :) Not on facebook so texting is easiest way to stay in touch back home. And I can't not share my fabulous pictures. :)

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303 posts

I also enjoy the Schilthorn experience more. When we were there last summer, our cable car wasn’t even half full on the way up and it was nearly empty at the top (perhaps because it was cloudy down in Murren?). It was sunny at the peak. Enjoy your time in Luzern! If you like beer (or just good food) we really loved Bierliebe & Friends. bierliebeandfriends.ch

Great location, great beer and food, and so friendly, especially to my young kids.

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1444 posts

Wow!!!! Wow!!! Wow!!!! You know you're having a spectacular day when Mt rigi is the most boring part of your day. :) :) What did I stumble upon in Luzern???? Just happened to walk upon a fabulous parade. Horses, old military garb, marching bands, the Swiss National guard. Everywhere I turned there was a parade. Did i mention earlier I was over my data limit because now I'm way way over!!! I dont know how many videos and pictures I have taken and sent. I dont care. Well worth it. :)

I asked at the hotel. Girl said it was a celebration of the Brotherhood of the way the military used to be.

I don't even want to talk about rigi but it was fabulous of course. :) Took one of the sleek new modern trains up. No cows yet, but that's ok. There were wild flowers everywhere. Got some great pics. Now I want a job with National geographic. :)

Tomorrow looks cloudy. I'm thinking about taking the 6am train to stein am rhein maybe beat the crowds. All I know is my ankles are so sunburned I can barely walk. What is with this Swiss sun????? My next trip is going to be Iceland!!!!!!

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2144 posts

Carrie, when are you doing the open air Cabrio cable car? That is a short excursion, maybe nice for sunset. When we were there in Sept., we were above the cows/bells! I have a video of that!
Keep on traveling'.

Posted by
1124 posts

How fun!! Except for the sunburned ankles. I hear eating Swiss chocolate can help with that..

Posted by
735 posts

Carrie……LOVED Stein am Rhein…….hope it proves to be fun for you as well!!

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1444 posts

Its a small world full of RS travelers. It's a good thing I left later than planned today or I would have missed meeting fellow forum member Sally and her husband on my way to stein am rhein. What a surprise that was. :) Sally I thought of a coup!e things after we talked. Pasta and more only has their full menu from 12-2 and 6 til close. I think you said you were staying at hotel barren. One of the walks I did starts right from your hotel. Its the staubbachbankli walk. When facing your hotel turn left and walk along paved roads. If I remember correctly this one had some ups and downs. A great short walk would be down the main street. Pasta and more will be on your left. Keep walking til you see hotel schnogg (that's where I stayed) on the right. Then you'll see the church steeple on the left with great views and benches in front of it. Another great walk in the forest where I saw the crazy black squirres is to keep walking past the church. Don't forget to try the ice cream from the guy with the cart in front of the coop. I think its 3.50 a scoop. My favorite is the chocolate.

I should of skipped stein am rhein. I liked it, but was just too tired to enjoy it. My rigi day in the hot sun left me with a little heat exhaustion. One thing I'm struggling with is the pacing of the trip. I feel as if I have to be doing something all the time so I'm not sitting in the hotel room by myself. I guess that will come with more experience.

Pat made it to stanserhorn today. I was a little unsure on the way up but the views were incredible. Ill put it on my top 3 mountains behind mannlichen and Rigi.

Roubrat Swiss chocolate is causing me problems at the moment. I have bought too much. And there's more I need to buy. Chocolate is heavy!!!! My little suitcase can only hold so much.

Note on trains: I've noticed a lot more are self check. I can go days without anyone checking tickets. And when they do, I haven't been asked for my passport like I was last year. And fyi, fine for being caught without a ticket if they do a spot check is anywhere from 90 - 120 francs.

Note on toilets: Luzern train station just yesterday put in credit card readers. Still 2 francs. And credit card only. No cash/coins. This was causing mass confusion. I ended up buying some guy a trip to the toilet. My guess is this will be the case too in the other bigger train stations. Great unless you have an international credit card that won't always let you swipe and there's no place to insert tbe chip.

Tomorrow is titlis and maybe walking around engelberg.

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1444 posts

I forgot to mention too that if I knew it was going to be this hot, I would have picked a hotel with ac like the fabulous Marriott we stayed in last year. This hotel des alpes is not helping with my heat issues. :(

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2144 posts

Carrie,
Why were you unsure of Stanserhorn on the way up?

Regarding exhaustion and not wanting to sit in a hotel room alone-totally understand -
This is why I recommend a view room with a balcony - you can sit and just people watch, with a glass of wine. But a good alternative is just sit outside - on the shady side- of the river and have coffee/ Diet Coke or Pepsi, or wine, and just be. Then every so often, just move onto to the next cafe. Also, The rooftop eating area at the Manor Dept Store is a nice place to lounge, but it does close around 4pm.
When we were there on a Friday night, there were fireworks over the lake, and I never understood why. And- the Farmers Market is Saturday morning!
I loved MT Titlus- do walk on the suspension bridge. I hope you have good weather. And- there is the monastery in town for the cheese. We didn't make it to the monastery on our RS tour, because it took us too long to hike down from the lake under Titlus ( one gondola stop down). I learned that down is not necessarily faster, unless you're a Swiss school kid. There was an elementary class hiking down, and they skipped around us and left us in their dust.
What the rest of your itinerary?

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458 posts

Carrie, so glad to hear your updates. Jungfrau, ugh. Give me another hike. I forgot to tell you about this one hike we have always done in June that was very wildflower heavy, and mix of woods and fields. Oh well, maybe in the future.
That sun, especially this time of year—the mountains! Have to watch it. Hopefully you found some aloe or other relief.
I agree with Pat, many trips just spending a few hours sitting on a balcony with a wine or at a cafe with a wine and people watching can be a good break. Or a park but you have to watch that especially traveling alone. (We stumbled into one in Lucerne last year with many people shooting up so you have to be careful).

How fun to fall into the parades!

My guess is you are getting close to having to go home, 😥. Remember there are many places to see in Switzerland. It’s so full of great spots. Still we all end up back in the BO, lol. However next time we go we are going to force ourselves to also go to the Engadine. Always wanted to see largely because many Swiss have suggested it to me.
Are you still going to Italy in Fall?

Anyway enjoy your last few days. I envy you. The UK was good this year, bucket list items, but it’s not Switzerland.

Posted by
1444 posts

Loved titlis!!!!!! Details later. Off to see how much chocolate is coming home with me. Will train to Zurich in the am for afternoon flight home. Booooo!!!!!!

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2144 posts

Carrie,
Titlus is probably my favorite on a clear day. Almost a religious-type experience for the non- religious.
Time does fly .......

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1124 posts

Damn, it went by fast. But sounds like you ended on a high note! Literally.

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28 posts

Wow, what a perfect way to end your whirlwind Switzerland adventure! It sounds like you saw all sorts of different scenery this time around. I’m intrigued about Titlis now. I was under the impression it would be like Mt Pilatus or Jungfrau (overcrowded and too touristy) but maybe I’m wrong? Do tell us about your experience! When we go to Lucerne and spend a day in the mountains, I was planning on Going up to Rigi for the hiking, but maybe we will consider Titlis instead! Enjoy Zurich and thanks for bringing us along with you!

Posted by
1140 posts

What made Titilis different than the other peaks? Save travels home and thanks for sharing.

Posted by
2144 posts

Mt Titlus (10, 600+ ft ) has much more elevation than Rigi and Pilatus , which are both around 6,000 ft elevation. You can feel the elevation and temperature differences. Titlus is snow-covered all year round, and has a cool pedestrian suspension bridge over a rocky, snow-covered ravine. If you take the revolving gondola down one stop, you are in a very pleasant weather zone, with many hiking options.
The Jungfraujoch is a major site, the Top of Europe, worth doing once, but is a major time and money investment, in addition the the crowds and highly- commercialized aspects.
Lucerne to Mt Rigi, and Pilatus, is about 1.5/hrs each way, and Stanserhorn is about 45 min each way, and is considered in the Lucerne area.
Titlus is in Engleburg, and is probably two hours each way- Carrie can tell us.
Comparing Alps summits is like comparing your kids- each has their own individual charms!

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2144 posts

Carrie,
Waiting for you to get rested and to read your final thoughts. Hope the flights back were uneventful. Welcome home!

Posted by
447 posts

Carrie, we are all waiting for your report on Mt. Titlis. You must have had great weather.
I really wanted to go to Titlis on our upcoming trip, so we are spending 2 nights in Engelberg.
Making the trip to the Jungfrau has never interested me, so was happy to read it was not your favorite either.
Your time in Switzerland seemed to fly by quickly. Safe travels home.

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1444 posts

Yesterday I was in Switzerland and today I am not. ☹ Made it home.

It kills me to say this, but O’Hare was actually more efficient on the way home than Zurich. Last year, when flying home from Zurich, we checked in at Check in 3, which is near the train station in the airport. That has been converted to a mostly bag drop off if you already have your boarding pass. I tried to check in with Swiss online to get a boarding pass, but it was asking to upload covid docs (which we of course no longer need) and I couldn’t bypass that. So, I had to go to Check in 1 which was super crowded. And I was asked for proof of vaccine, which US citizens don’t need, but I had it, so I showed it. And I don’t fault the airline employees who have to keep track of the ever changing rules. Passport control was quick. But then as I was in line to board, I found out I had to do a second passport control at the gate to get a blue stamp on my boarding pass. I have no problem with that, but it would have been nice to know prior to getting in line to board. And some nice guy from Denmark let me back in my place in line. Flight was 50 mins late taking off. I believe we were waiting for some passengers from another flight. Nice that they wait I guess, but, that caused us to lose our gate at O’Hare and we had to wait about 30 mins on the tarmac for our gate to free up.

The line at Passport control at O ‘Hare was so, so long. For those familiar with it, the lines were outside the actual passport control area. That whole outside area was completely full of people. But this line was moving and moving quickly. I don’t think I ever really stopped walking or have seen a faster moving airport line. Around and around the ropes we go. And all I was asked is where I was coming from, had my pic taken and as was sent on my way. Bags were already coming around so grabbed my suitcase. And here’s where I unintentionally made some guy mad. After you grab your bags, you have to go through a line for baggage/agriculture inspection. There were a bunch of people standing around looking for their form which they needed to hand to the agent. Well, I had mine out and ready to go, so I walked around a few people who weren’t ready. That didn’t make one guy too happy. I usually try to be very patient with people, but it really drives me crazy when people are just standing in the walkway, preventing others from moving. So, I didn’t feel too bad about this one. 😊

Quick covid note for those who are curious as I won’t be putting any covid info. in my trip report. About 10-15% wearing masks at O’Hare and about 5% on the plane both ways. Virtually no masks in Switzerland as they are no longer required. I was aware and completely fine with this. I felt completely comfortable traveling.

Full trip report coming, hopefully soon (next week or two). But I also have 1600 pictures to look at. 😊

I appreciate all the comments as I do enjoy sharing my experience in real time.

Posted by
2144 posts

We really enjoyed following your adventures and look forward to your Trip Report. Are you looking into Global Entry now that you're a world traveler? When we land in San Diego, having GE takes the reentry process down to a few seconds at the GE machines.
Good luck with the jet lag!

Posted by
479 posts

Carrie, thanks for all your Swiss info, its been fun following your adventures. Your airport experiences were interesting. Somewhat disturbing that Swiss air staff were asking for proof of vaccine from US citizens, as that has not been a requirement for US citizens to get back to the US. I can see them asking for the negative test requirement as that was just changed, but the entire non stop US to Switzerland, and vice versa, travel experience should be totally covid restriction free.

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735 posts

Glad you are safely home Carrie though its hard changing our view after being in Switzerland! I think these airline people have a hard time keeping up with the changing rules of Covid. So glad that all seemed to go well for you…..ready to read that report and dream of cows and bells again!

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1444 posts

Tap and pay update: Probably no one cares about this but me 😊, but I called Chase to inquire about why I could not always use the tap and pay feature of my visa. They suspect the card might be the problem, so they are sending me a new one.

Pat, I’ll have to think about the global entry. I would for sure do it if the approval process didn’t involve an extra trip to O’Hare.

Rob, I suspect the confusion was because non US citizens are required to show proof of vaccine to enter the US. The guy probably wasn’t paying attention to where I was from. I could of questioned him, but didn’t want to prolong my time getting checked in.

Jane, my sister took some great videos last year of the cows with their bells on manlichen last year. I still watch/listen to them. One thing I didn’t hear this trip was any alphorns.

Posted by
458 posts

Carrie it’s been such a joy to follow along especially for the Swiss 2021s. Now you have to deal with reentry syndrome! Hope it’s ok. Look forward to the trip report. Thanks again for taking us all along and glad you’re safely home.

Posted by
36 posts

Carrie - Thanks for your daily reports and glad to hear you are back home safely. I am leaving in a week's time, but staying in BO for 4 nights and luzern for couple of days.

Question - you mentioned that Jungfraujoch was crowded. I read in multiple sites that June is a lean period and won't have that much crowd...is this because of pandemic, more folks are travelling. Just wondering....

Also, you mentioned you took the first train from Wengen....if you don't mind me asking, what time was it? Checking sbb.ch mobile, it says that the first train out of Lauterbrunnen is 7.32 AM. I would like to catch the first train from Murren to avoid the crowd to Jungfraujoch, so will be helpful planning wise.

Thank You
VK

Posted by
1444 posts

VK, I just think that the Jungfraujoch is probably the most popular thing to do in Switzerland. I’m not sure why. It was my least favorite thing. So, I’m not sure you can avoid the crowds unless you get lucky. I went on a Tuesday, thinking that would be less crowded than a weekend. And maybe it was. It could be even crazier on the weekends.

I took the 8:46 train from Wengen as that is the first one up via Klein Scheidegg. If you’re going to be in Murren, I would highly recommend the Schilthorn instead. Or Mt. Titlis from Luzern.

But if you have your heart set on the Jungfraujoch, just be prepared for the crowds. And know you’ll have to be patient.

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2144 posts

Carrie, glad you are home safely. I'm curious how much chocolate snuck into your luggage!?

Posted by
36 posts

Thanks Carrie. I would like to go but was just curious about the crowd. I am going to play it by the ear. If the weather is not that great, I might go on other trails...

Fingers crossed...

Thanks for your help
VK

Posted by
1444 posts

Pat, I bought so much chocolate I had to leave some of it at the hotel. Chocolate is heavy!!! And I needed to make room for some bags of paprika chips for my sister. 😊

VK, I will keep my fingers crossed too. Please let us know how it goes.

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1 posts

Doing some preliminary research for a Switzerland trip next year and randomly came across this post. It is so amazing I abandoned my lurker status and joined. Thank you for sharing your trip Carrie. Very good writing by the way. You can tell it is your craft.

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2144 posts

Carrie,
Abandon chocolate- gads! 🤯

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1444 posts

Johnny Biscuits, that’s such a nice comment. Thank-you! It’s fun for me to write when I have a great subject, like Switzerland. 😊 Happy planning your trip for next year.

Pat, you gotta do what you gotta do. 😊