Hi everyone, first time poster, but have been lurking for a few months. I didn't see another thread for this specific tour, so hopefully I'm doing this right. My husband and I, both late 50s, are taking our first RS tour in May, and I'm super excited. If anyone else is also on this tour, please chime in. Both my husband and I have been to Europe in our younger days - him on business trips 20 years ago, me as a air force brat living in England multiple times during my school years, with a couple of brief trips to Paris and Amsterdam during high school. I wanted to do the 21 day BOE trip but my husband couldn't get off work that long.
I've been reading RS books and the forum, but haven't planned out our free time on this tour yet. We're going to arrive a day before the tour starts and stay one day after (have the RS hotels booked for those days).
I'm especially excited about seeing the Alps as I really enjoy nature and the outdoors. Can anyone tell me about the free day "optional mountain excursion that combines the local narrow-gauge railway, a gondola lift, and a spectacular Alpine walk above the tree line, surrounded by a panorama of cut-glass peaks" or "ride a gondola lift up to the Schilthorn at 10,000 feet, loiter in the thin air, and hike down" options? We really like hiking and have done road trips in the Western USA (mostly national parks) for the past three years, hiking 5-10 miles on average per day, at approximately 6,000-9,000 feet altitude. We use hiking poles and wear hiking boots. Since we don't plan on taking those on this trip, are regular walking shoes ok? (I have bad feet; still reading forums on the best shoes to take on this trip that aren't athletic shoes.) Both of those options sound great, but I'm most interested in the first one. What is the trail like on either of these options? Are we likely to be walking through or on snow in mid-May?
Hoping this will be the first of many RS tours! Already thinking ahead about doing the Best of the Adriatic tour, or one of the UK tours in the future.
Thanks for your help!