Switzerland Now.. Flexible Plans, Adjusting to Weather

I have just arrived in Zug, to stay/home base with friends for 12 days. I have several weather- dependent itineraries, including Montreux/castle, Bern, and of course Lucerne/Rigi. And of course, the Berner Oberland. (This is not the ideal time of year but it was what could work out for everyone.) As far as Berner Oberland, the weather just turned bad and isn't scheduled to recover until Monday - at which time, I have just learned, the lift to Schilthorn closes for service until the 27th. So I believe I will go to BO the 26-28, stay in Murren, and hope to get up the Schilthorn 27 or 28. Are there enough trails for easy/moderate hikes at this time? Does this sound like a good plan? Also, for the next several days, rain and cool temps are forecast (it is raining now). I'm not coming across bad weather options that appeal to me - any thoughts? I am considering venturing elsewhere, Salzburg is an idea. Haven't bought railpass yet until I firm up plans. Thanks in advance for any thoughts!!

Posted by Tom
Hüttenfeld, Hessen, Germany
9130 posts

"Are there enough trails for easy/moderate hikes at this time? Does this sound like a good plan?" No. Looking at the webcam images, everything is still covered in snow. Because the temperature has finally risen, it probably is soft and slushy, so it wouldn't even allow for winter walking. April is usually not good month to visit the Alps, and because this spring was colder than normal, it's even worse this year.

Posted by Jim
Bern, Switzerland
341 posts

"If anyone else has any other thoughts I would also be interested and grateful!" The combination of rain and melting snow is not good news at all, it is very possible there will be flooding and even some landslides, so the mountain valleys may not be the place to be right now. Much of the old town of Bern is covered, so it's possible to visit that even on a wet day, apart from that all I can think of is the usual array of museums and galleries....

Posted by Margaret
Minneapolis, MN
8 posts

Thanks, Tom. That's not very good news! Perhaps hiking in the valley would work? Is staying in the mountains vs the valley thus inadvisable? Any suggestions for bad weather options elsewhere? If anyone else has any other thoughts I would also be interested and grateful!

Posted by Margaret
Minneapolis, MN
8 posts

Hi James... not sure if this is good information or a sarcastic comment! :-) It's bad weather here now, that's for sure. Any ideas for navigating now would be appreciated. Has anyone tried to use the Rick Steves travel counsel service? I'm even considering calling to see if there may be an availability for someone. THanks!

Posted by Tom
Hüttenfeld, Hessen, Germany
9130 posts

"Perhaps hiking in the valley would work?" Should be OK, but I'm not certain what the ground cover is like right now. I'm not sure what Rick Steve's travel counsel service can offer you... they can't make the snow disappear. Most of his company's expertise seems to be with summer travel.

Posted by Margaret
Minneapolis, MN
8 posts

James, due to my schedule and my friends' schedule, it was now or not at all in 2013, and perhaps not at all in 2014. So, I chose now. The weather was actually beautiful here for about 5 days just before my arrival.

Posted by Chris
Jersey CI & Mürren CH, Twitter :@murrenlover
390 posts

So far 10cm of snow has fallen in the village tonight and its meant to continue until tomorrow (Saturday). Its snowing down to Stechelberg at 900m. The temps will go back up to the seasonal average on Monday but with the higher lifts still open here above Mürren...its pow pow skiing !! http://hoteledelweiss.roundshot.ch/ more info if you follow me on twitter

Posted by Margaret
Minneapolis, MN
8 posts

Thank you, Chris and Jim. Chris - what is your Twitter info? Thanks again.

Posted by Nigel
East Midlands, England
8755 posts

Just down the street from Zug is Luzern with its mostfantabulouslywonderfullyneatandgreatfullofinterestandcoolstuff Transport Museum much of which is indoors. I take it that walking around the the Zugersee has lost its appeal and you have fed enough of the birds?

Posted by Terry kathryn
Ann Arbor, Mi
2606 posts

Well, if the location you are at is not going to be pleasant, and you have never been to Salzburg, then most definitely... switch gears and go there. Lots to do even if the weather is not great. Switch gears and make the most of the time you have.

Posted by Marcus
Kansas City, United States
206 posts

You might want to travel to the south side of the alps. The weather is often entirely different in Tessin than in the north of Switzerland. If you're in Zug, you can be in Canton Ticino in about two hours. Lugano and Locarno/Ascona are great spots. You can also ride the Centovalli train from Locarno to Domodossola in Italy and then back to Switzerland via Brig. Steamers on Lago Lugano and Lago Maggiore are great and many of the small towns they go by are very scenic eg, Morcote. Stresa in Italy is also in striking distance. Bern and the Swiss Transport Museum in Luzern are good rainy day spots if you want to stay local. Honestly a really good source of advice is to just go to the station. Larger stations have a window or area marked Reisebüro. Just talk to them and ask for suggestions on where to go and what to do. The SBB Reisebüro is essentially a free travel agency run by the Swiss Railroad and will have a host of ideas for you.

Posted by Margaret
Minneapolis, MN
8 posts

Thanks everyone for the suggestions! Nigel - I hope to do Lake Lucerne and trip to Rigi on a nice day. Not sure if Swiss Transport Museum sounds too interesting, but I may do that on another rainy day. Terry kathryn - I did end up going to Salzburg! It was great and snuck in 22 hours in Vienna! Marcus - thank you and I keep looking at the weather, but Ticino isn't nicer than anywhere else this time, unfortunately - all rainy now Sat thru Tuesday, with possible exception of Monday. I plan on Bern and perhaps some museums on those days. Today I went to Lausanne/hiking near the vineyards. Tomorrow hopefully Berner Oberland, it's supposed to be sunny so I hope to take advantage.