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Trip Report 8/27/16 GAS Tour

As usual, this is a very long Trip Report! I'll add the rest in subsequent posts. I chose to add it to the Tour category as we are invited to share candid tour experiences and this is mostly about my GAS tour.

Overview: This is a terrific tour! I’ve been looking at it for several years since I did the 21 BOE and had such a jaw-dropping day in Switzerland. I liked that this tour stayed in Muerren 3 nights, so 2 full days in the Berner Oberland. This visit lived up to my expectations as did the whole tour!

Itinerary: I liked the fact that this had smaller cities as well as some larger ones. I did discover that altho I really enjoy the big cities of Paris and London that I prefer smaller towns to the bigger, bustling ones! I really liked Trier, Baden-Baden, Muerren and Hallstatt. Munich, Salzburg and Vienna were fine, glad I visited but at this point no need to return. I’m not sure if the heat colored my thoughts on these destinations. BTW, I’m not a shopper but if you are and especially like high end stores, this tour is for you.

-Trier: I got there on Thursday afternoon. Friday I did the Landesmuseum including their special Nero exhibit, the Kaiserthermen and wandered around until I had to get out of the heat. Sat. did the Konstantin Basilica, walked thru the palace gardens and spent a good bit of time in the Dom including seeing the reliquary for the robe of Jesus. Had met up with a friend and when we were in the Dom there was a Sat. concert at 11:30 (2 Euro) which we listened to. This tour normally starts on a Saturday, I think, so that means that the walking tour is Sunday AM. There is not enough time to go in to either the Dom or the Basilica plus they are having Sunday services, so if these are on your list of things to see, plan for an extra day in Trier. We also went in the Church of Our Lady which is connected by a short hallway to the Dom. On our walking tour we did go in the Kaiserthermen which I do not think is always done. I think Carlos wanted to lay the foundation for the baths at Baden-Baden. This meant I went in twice which was fine with me as they are interesting and very big! Others on our tour took a boat trip on the Mosel before the tour started and enjoyed it a lot.

-Baden-Baden: A number of people did the thermal baths here. That’s not my thing so I did some birding along the Lichtentaler Allee which was very nice. People watching as well as bird watching!

-Muerren: Carlos got us organized the first day for the trip up to Piz Gloria at the top of the Schilthorn for those that wanted to go, then met up after lunch with those who wanted to hike beginning at the Almendhubel funicular. This transportation was out of pocket. Carlos paid for the tickets and we repaid him. Most of the group did the North Face hike but 2 others and I elected to do the easier Mountain View hike. We enjoyed it immensely and deeply appreciated Carlos’ getting us started on the right trail. Day 2 transportation down to the Lauterbrunnen Valley and back to Muerren was covered. We did the Truemmelbach Falls via bus, then Richard drove us in to Lauterbrunnen. Many of us chose to go up to Mannlichen (via Wengen) and walk to Kleine Scheidegg, then take the cog train back down to Lauterbrunnen. This was not a group activity altho we were mostly in a group anyway. One person did the Jungfraujoch altho Carlos did not think there was time enough to do it. In retrospect, if we had spent less time at Truemmelbach it would have allowed more time for the afternoon activities. The ticket up to Mannlichen and back down from Kleine Scheidegg was about $63 but well worth it, then we had the return ticket from Lauterbrunnen back up to Muerren. My suggestion here is to plan to spend the money on the transport both to the top of the Schilthorn and up to the other side, whatever options you choose. They take credit cards and really, it is SO worth it to hike/walk in this area.

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-Munich: Hotel was well located near the Victualienmarkt. Very nice local guide for the morning walking tour. We did not go in anything, just walked by. On the free afternoon I did the Neue Pinokatek art museum which has some fantastic Van Goghs. Ate lunch at Alois Dallmayr which has deli stalls downstairs but we ate upstairs in the dining room. Very nice!

-Salzburg: Nice walking tour of the old city area. Many did the Mozart concert. Carlos had asked for a count of who was interested several days before and made reservations for those that did want to go. Dress code here – business casual, no jeans, no athletic shoes.

-Hallstatt: The bus drives thru (above, lol) town and parks on the far side where you board a boat for a short tour of the Lake. This drops you near the hotel. The next day you walk back thru town to the bus parking area. I recommend you just take a small overnight bag with you and leave your suitcase on the bus. It’s just a PIA to load it on to the boat, get if off, then pull it thru town the next AM. This is such a cute little village. There is a lot to do and very little time in which to do it. I walked around town, did the church, cemetery and ossuary. Others did the salt mine or walked to the top of the waterfall.

Vienna: Two excellent local guides here. We had a short walk the evening we arrived, then the next day took the subway to the meet-up, did a backstage tour of the Opera House, toured the Residenz and also toured the Treasury with the local guide.

Pre-tour: Last year Tamara did a Trip Report where she and her husband did a few days in Paris prior to the GAS tour, then took a train to Trier via Saarbrucken/Saarbruck. I thought this would work well as I have slightly less pathetic language ability in French than in German and thought I would be more comfortable with leaving from Paris. This worked great! Purchased the ticket on CapitainTrain (or whatever it is called now) and it was perfect.

Weather: I KNEW I was taking a chance with weather in Paris the 3rd week of August. It was HOT. Fortunately I had been to Paris before, knew what I wanted to see and basically got out early for the outdoor stuff and was back in the air-conditioned room by 3PM. This, unfortunately, also turned out to be the weather for most of the tour. It was 35C/95F in Trier, very hot also in Baden-Baden, Munich and Vienna. Muerren was very comfortable to me and it was quite rainy in Hallstatt and Salzburg. I don’t tolerate heat very well and this did have an impact on what I saw. I got to Trier 2 days before the tour started. I did not really get as much seen as I wanted due to the heat.

Hotels: The hotel in Trier is slightly odd as it is part of an Assisted Living facility. If you take this tour, have googlemap directions printed for your taxi driver to show them where it is. My taxi driver had no idea, asked another taxi driver and found it but was very apologetic apparently because he could not drive straight thru to it. It did not seem like he was driving me around to increase the fare, just did not know where it was to drive straight there. I did have the address printed out and a map but it was not printed dark enough for it to be easy for the taxi driver to read. This hotel did not have AC but did have fans. The tour rooms at the Baden-Baden hotel varied widely based on tour member comments. Mine was a smallish single (as expected) with a shower. Some had bath tubs that had mineral water taps. Mine had AC, some did not. Muerren was fine (view!!!!), excellent location and very nice hosts. Munich, Salzburg and Vienna were fine. The hotel in Hallstatt was the nicest – wish we had had 2 nights there! My bathroom was huge – had 2 chairs and a coffee table in the bathroom. This was under the slope of the eave so I guess it was just to take up some of the unusable space, but it looked like I could have had a party in there, lol!

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Tour food: I never know what to say about this as I am vegan. My guide was able to get me vegan meals for all the tour meals and it was by and large delicious. There is usually a LOT of food and this tour was no exception. The biggest portions were, I think, in Switzerland. There was a wonderful salad bar but then there was a full meal as well. One night there was cheese fondue, but I had a substitute of pasta which was nice.

Guide: Carlos Meissner was my guide and I felt he was superb. He has such a solid grounding in history both from the academic side (PhD in history!) and also from family history as his Dad and family were from Thuringia which was Soviet-occupied after WWII. He told some really interesting stories about family getting out of East Germany in the 50s. One of the things he did was have music and some political speeches appropriate to his topic for the day. He played JFK’s Ich bin ein Berliner speech and explained some things I did not know (or remember) – particularly about it being observed that a Berliner is also a jelly filled doughnut. He has a very low key sense of humor which I enjoyed very much. He said his family cannot believe he is actually in a profession that involves public speaking as all they ever imagined he would say in public is “The buffet is open.” I laughed so hard at that! He lives in Berlin and also does day tours around Berlin and to Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp memorial. If ~anyone~ is looking for an excellent day guide I definitely recommend Carlos.

Bus driver: RICHARD!!! Anyone who has had Richard on a 21 BOE tour understands completely. What a fun guy! Really a part of the group and, as expected, an excellent driver as well. He does not usually drive this tour but said 3 21-day tours were cancelled this summer due to low enrollment thus he was offered the GAS tour. He and Carlos had not been teamed before but seemed to work well together. Their problem solving was really good. On the transfer day from Trier to Baden-Baden the usual rest stop was in a construction zone and could not be reached. Richard and Carlos opted to drive on as Richard said there had to be a town nearby where the people drink coffee, lol. They found a great bakery (with nice bathrooms) which was OK to have an unscheduled tour bus stop! It was fairly hilarious. The bakery was busy with their usual customers who were kind of shocked at a tour bus stopping but the 4 ladies behind the counter handled the group with aplomb, the baked goods looked delish and they all seemed happy we stopped. Apparently the tour behind ours stopped there as well, so Richard and Carlos might have found a new resource. Richard also said he really likes the RS tours as he likes to be a member of the group and not just the driver.

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Clothing: I did not plan well for this trip. It was way hotter than I anticipated. I did take 1 pr of crop pants but needed 2. Fortunately the ones I took dried overnight so I could wash them in the evening and wear them the next day. Here’s what I took: Pants – 1 pr dark wash jeans, 1 pr black jeans, 1 pr gray pants that roll to crop length. Shirts – 2 Cabelas + Icebreaker Tee shirts (merino wool, one dark teal, one light aqua), 2 Land’s End SS Cotton/Modal Tees (black and cobalt), 1 Land’s End Active SS Tee (black/white print), 1 LS Land’s End Heat Crew (really a long underwear shirt but I size up and wear it all winter as a regular shirt). 1 Cabelas + Icebreaker merino wool jacket (in black and in place of the cardigans I usually take). 1 Cabelas XPG waterproof jacket (this replaced my Marmot Precip which I discovered last year is cut to slim to accommodate even a very small cross-body purse under it). Altra Zero drop athletic shoes. Waterproof hiking boots (was doing a walking tour in UK after the GAS tour). 3 pr Ex Officio Underwear, 2 Ex Officio bras, 4 pr Smartwool no-show crew socks, 2 pr merino wool crew socks for the hiking boots. I packed this in the RS 20# roller (which I think is what they are now calling 21 inches), had the RS Veloce backpack, a LeSportSac Everyday purse worn cross-body (packed in suitcase for travel) and an Eddie Bauer Travex wallet which I can wear cross body as well. I also had Rick’s money belt which I wore in the cities, otherwise just had it in the bottom of my purse.

Clothing – what worked: As indicated, really needed another pr of crop pants. Jeans worked fine when I finally got to UK and got out of the heat of London. The Cabelas + Icebreaker merino wool tee shirts were fantastic. They were limited only because food spills showed up on the lighter one. This sounds gross, but I decided when I was alone in Paris to see how many days I could wear the darker aqua one without it smelling like it needed washing and I wore it for 6 days. I only washed it then because it was grossing ME out – it did not have any odor at all. They dried fast when hand washed – really were ready to wear in about 4-6 hours. The Lands End cotton modal Tees are the standard ones I take and they worked fine as well. The Cabela’s waterproof jacket is now my favorite. Really excellent at shedding water and not feeling clammy. It was raining in London and I could just shake it off right outside a museum and it was not wet at all. The merino cardigan was excellent altho it did not get much wear because it was mostly too hot. I did not wear the LS tee at all, but I would take it again.

Clothing – what didn’t work: The Land’s End Active Tee, which is supposed to be a workout tee shirt is comfortable but was smelly after one wearing even if I was not!! Not sure how that worked out. It dried fast but was a pain because I had to wash it after every wearing. It will not make the travel team again! The athletic shoes worked fine BUT there is a dress code at the Salzburg Mozart dinner which is business casual – no jeans or athletic shoes. I did not have appropriate shoes for this venue but it did not bother me to skip it.

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Transportation/Airports/Coach – CDG: Flew in here on a Saturday. Got to the arrivals gate at 830A and was in the hotel near Rue Cler at 11:30. I was anticipating the rogue taxi drivers who try to steer you to unlicensed cabs, instead saw guys in blue vests marked Taxi Information who were funneling people to the official taxi rank and who were managing the line there. Immigration lines were slightly chaotic. In the line I was in I noticed the immigration officer spent a lot more time with the cute young girls ahead of me than he did with my old, gray-haired, jet-lagged self, lol. Vienna – Flew from Vienna to LHR. Taxied to the airport with some people from the tour group plus the guide, lol. My only mistake here was going thru exit Immigration too soon as there was very little in the way of chairs or services in the international departure gate area where my BA flight left from. I realized later that all the services were in the common area before you exited thru Immigration. I was talking to some people after we passed thru the individual gate security to the boarding gate who indicated there was a seating area kind of around the corner from where I was, but I did not notice this. There were bathrooms in this area plus the actual departure gate area. LHR – Departed from Terminal 3 on Delta. Again, all the services were in the common area and gates aren’t posted until a half an hour or less before boarding starts. Made a big mistake here as there were NO bathrooms at the boarding gate and it was too far to walk back to the common area by the time I realized that. I was slightly surprised that there was no exit Immigration at LHR. My passport was scanned at security and again at the departure gate but no stamping by Immigration personnel. For what it’s worth the gentleman sitting next to me on the plane said it’s all done electronically even though I got an arrival stamp on entering the country. When I arrived in London, I did opt to take the National Express coach in to London from the airport. I had seen a thread on this before I left and as I was staying at The Lime Tree knew the Victoria Coach Station was right around the corner plus had gotten info on this from a forum friend. (Thank you Rebecca!) It was convenient as I came in to Terminal 3 where the coach station is located and it was easy to find and purchase the ticket. I waited maybe 10 minutes for the coach and then it was about 50 minutes in to town. It worked just perfectly.

Tour Pace: I had seen several comments in the review section that this tour was strenuous. To me it was more active than average but not as strenuous as other RS tours. For the record, I would rate the 21 day BOE as the most strenuous tour I have done out of 8. To me that was a 10 on the strenuous scale. The GAS tour was maybe a 7.5. Of course there are always options to bump up your daily mileage so I’m just talking about the basic tour.

Wow Moment: Switzerland!!! Two days!! Gorgeous weather! I am so glad Carlos organized us for the Schilthorn the first day and then gave us direction for the 2nd day.

Money: I kept track of expenditures during the GAS tour. Daily totals ranged from a very low 4Euro day when I paid 2E for the shuttle at Burg Eltz and 2E for various bathrooms to a high of 75CHF on Day 2 in Switzerland which included 63CHF for transport from Lauterbrunnen -> Mannlichen and Kleine Scheidegg -> Lauterbrunnen and 12CHF for lunch stuff from the Coop grocery in Wengen. Most days were around 30E if I had to buy myself dinner or ate a large lunch. I don’t drink much so this included just a few glasses of wine.

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Group: This was an excellent group to travel with! Everyone was interesting to talk with and eager to learn and do. I think this tour, in particular, is one that weeds out grumps as it is slightly more difficult to get to the starting point than others.

Solo Travel: I travel solo altho I knew one person who was going to be on this tour. There were lots of opportunities to do things with others and the couples seemed open to having some of the solos join them. The day I was most worried about was Day 2 in Switzerland when I knew I wanted to do the walk from Mannlichen to Kleine Scheidegg. I had done it before but had been following the guide and not actually watching how to do it on my own. I should not have worried as there were maybe 17 or 18 of us who did this hike and the group made sure everyone got to the start. We all wound up taking the cog train back down together as well altho I was confident about doing that on my own.

As always, I am happy to answer questions!

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11294 posts

Great report, and it sounds like you had a great time! I'm sure the details will be very useful for others considering this tour.

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982 posts

Yes! Pam, I've been waiting for your trip report as I knew it would be excellent, and it is. This sounds like a wonderful tour. Shoot - any RS tour that spends time in Switzerland is going to be a wonderful tour. We too loved Murren, although we only walked around there. We did not make it into Lauterbrunnen which I would have liked to do. I'm really sorry that the heat affected your plans but it reads as if you still got to see/do quite a bit. I'm glad that you had the time to stretch your trip. Are you going to write another trip report for your time in England? I hope you do! Thanks for sharing with us.

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Thanks for the comments!

Nance, the UK part of the trip was kind of a bust...I was on a Road Scholar walking trip and fell in London before the hiking portion started. Hurt my knee, foot and arm enough that I had to bail on most of the walks which was a disappointment. I did have fun in London pre-fall - I made it to several museums I had on my list such as Sir John Soames, The Wallace Collection and the Hunterian Museum plus re-visits to Westminster Abbey (verger's tour), Churchill War Rooms and the National Gallery, plus I also spent one afternoon watching the Tour of Britain as they finished in London. Fun to talk with the spectators.

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526 posts

Enjoyed reading your trip report. This tour is on our bucket list. It sounds right up our alley, we like an active tour. So sorry that you hurt yourself. What a shame you did not get to enjoy your hiking tour.

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982 posts

Oh gosh Pam, how miserable to have an injury when starting the tour. That reminds me of Lisa and her bad sprain. I'm glad you got to see some things pre-tour. How many Road Scholar tours have you taken? Do you like them as well as RS tours?

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2116 posts

Pam, as always when reading your tour reports, I traveled right along with you....well, up until your fall in England! I was so sad to hear about that but glad to hear you're "all better" now. Even though I enjoyed this tour with my family in 2012, I loved revisiting all those spectacular places once again. We, too had Richard as our driver/tour "member" for this tour. Isn't he so much fun? Thanks for posting! As someone else said, it's just chock full of valuable information for anyone contemplating signing up!

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Nance, I generally prefer the Rick Steves tours but have done some Road Scholar tours where Rick did not offer a similar itinerary. I've done 7 altogether, 2 hiking, 1 birding, 2 genealogy and 2 non-hiking ones in UK. The Road Scholar tours don't have a No Grumps policy and believe it or not, I feel that sets the tone and expectation for Rick's tours. The expectation is that tour members will be flexible and able to adapt to things that are different. I find some of the Road Scholar participants less able to flex and more apt to complain. For instance, we were in a really nice hotel in Bath and the others were going on and on about not having enough towel racks in the bathroom! Ummm, OK, but did you notice the mural in the shower of the Roman Baths so it felt like you were a part of it?? They also provide transportation from the airport if you book airfare with them so most people were brought from Heathrow to Salisbury (starting point of the trip) by taxi or private car. I did my own airfare and arrived by train that I had arranged (no brainer) and walked from the station. With my RS carry on bag. People were in shock.

Andi, I didn't remember you had Richard too. He is such a character.

Debra, you should totally do this tour. Being from TX you might even be able to tolerate the unusual heat, lol!! Probably will never happen again.

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527 posts

Loved your trip report, Pam. I always enjoy them so much. Bummer about your fall. Interesting about your guide's name...a Spanish first name with a very German last name. Approximately how old was he? We have a young friend who lives south of Chemnitz; his name is Enrico, also with a very German last name. I wonder if those were the popular names during a certain period in the DDR. :)

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394 posts

Pam, I'm so glad your trip turned out so well. When we corresponded last year you were concerned about making arrangements to get to Trier. I'm so glad you figured it out and made the trip. We also had hot weather when we took our GAS trip, but it cooled down a little more the longer we traveled. The biggest worry is that the weather cooperate for Switzerland and you lucked out. Our tour had 1 day of good weather in the alps, but it was wonderful. (Thanks for your tips on Yellowstone this past summer. We had a great time driving the bear tooth highway). I'm curious... Where is your next trip going to be?

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444 posts

Well that was fun. Thanks for posting. I miss the old TR. We were on the BOE14 day earlier in Aug. sounded like we lucked out with weather. It was perfect in Munich. The hot hot weather didn't hit till Italy.

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526 posts

Pam, being from Texas is no guarantee that one is able to tolerate heat.:) We get up each day by 5:30 am to walk our dogs. We walk 2+ miles each morning and if we get up any later the heat is a killer.

I remember, way back in the stone age, our 21 Day tour. There was a heat wave, never had cooler temps until the last day (we stayed 4 days past the tour) we were in Paris. It finally rained and cooled off. The heat was almost intolerable. I remember having cut the legs off a pair of pants, I did not bring any capris, so I improvised.

Your comparison of the two tour providers is interesting. I enjoy reading comments on other tour sites. Usually, the most complaints are about not having the car service there to be whisked to their hotel, and then the rants about the quality of the hotels. I read one recently where the person complained about having to share a bus seat. She had paid the single supplement and didn't think it fair she should have to ride beside someone.

You might want to check out Cotwold Walks for your next hiking adventure. You can choose guided or self-guided. The maps were very detailed and accurate. If you don't upgrade accommodations they are all RS type, small hotels and B&B's. Luggage transfer is included in tour price.

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1170 posts

Pam, thanks for your report.

A question for you (and others): I am already thinking of where I want to go for a 2019 trip and I am trying to decide on GAS vs. Switzerland only. And then take Germany tour 2021. I enjoy cities but my love is seeing the landscape.

Also, if going on GAS tour or Switzerland tour what time frame would you choose?

Thanks

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10685 posts

Hille, Carlos is 36-ish. Actually, his mom was a Costa Rican diplomat who met his Dad who was working in the German government in Bonn. His dissertation was titled "A Resilient Elite: German Costa Ricans after the Second World War" and here is a link to a talk he gave in Costa Rica. http://amcostaricaarchives.com/2014/03/world-war-ii-was-not-very-pura-vida-for-germans-historian-notes/ Quite an interesting background!

Janet, glad Yellowstone turned out OK! Big problems this Sept with road closures for both fire AND snow a the same time, lol!!

LA, glad you had great weather!

Debra...laughed out loud at having to cut off pants. I would have gone out looking for a pr of capris but I'm plus sized and just wasn't sure where to start with all those teeny sized women in Paris!

Vandrabrud, as far as time frame for Switzerland, I would probably pick late August (heatwave notwithstanding!) or early to mid-Sept for clear trails in Switzerland. When I did the 21BOE a couple of years ago the guide was saying for his tour in early June he had to cut steps in to the snow for his folks to do the hike in Switzerland. July or August would be probably be fine for Switzerland but probably too hot for me in Germany and Austria. I did like the varied terrain we saw on the GAS tour including the train ride from Saarbrucken up to Trier. Beautiful vineyards!

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11294 posts

I can only offer one data point. I went to Switzerland in September 2014 (exact dates were Sept 12 to 22). I had read on this forum that September was probably the best time to expect good weather in the Berner Oberland (a priority for me).

It worked - I stayed in Mürren for 4 nights, and had 2 days of sun with clear skies (great for the Allmendhubel and Schilthorn), a day of light clouds (still fine for going up to the Jungfraujoch) and 1 day of clouds with a bit of light rain (great for Rick's valley floor walk and the Trummelbach Falls). My weather was great for most of the rest of the trip too (I went to Luzern and Lausanne) - mostly sunny, occasionally cloudy, but almost no rain.

Of course, like they say in a stock prospectus, "past performance is not a predictor of future performance." But I'd certainly go to Switzerland in September again.

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35 posts

Pam, since you have been on both the GAS and 21 BOE hopefully you can answer this. One of my goals is to go to Jungfrujoch. Which trip is better suited for going there?

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5309 posts

Pam, thank you so much. We always enjoy your posts, especially your trip reports. Love the detail.

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10685 posts

Jerry, I think the GAS tour might be better suited as you have 3 nights/2 full days in the Lauterbrunnen Valley, thus if one day is yucky viewing weather perhaps the other will be good.

It could still be done on the 21BOE with that one full day in the area. If you are on one of the tours that is still staying in Stechelburg then talk with the guide about getting the Post Bus to Lauterbrunnen to the rail station. The bus stops right outside the hotel and it would be very easy to do. I would also mention to the guide either at the beginning or a few days before you are in Switzerland that you want to do the Jungfraujoch. There may be others that want to do the same.

I would never discourage anyone from doing the 21BOE. That was my favorite tour. Ever.

Thank you Jane!

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725 posts

Really enjoyed reading your report. I wish we could have done this tour but am happy to be able to do the last half of it with the RS 8 day Munich, Salzburg, and Vienna tour.

Good to know about the walking tour in Munich. You didn't go inside any of the churches during the group walking tour? We arrive at 10 am the day before the tour so I hope to be able to visit a couple of the churches and possibly the Residence. Of course I'm expecting the Christmas markets will take up a lot of our free time.

Salzburg and the concert..... did not know this about the athletic shoes ! Steve usually only has the shoes he is wearing, which are Timberland boot/waterproof shoes... they are brown. Would that fly, do you think?

So, what's your next tour?

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10685 posts

Kathy, no we did not go in to any of the churches on the Munich walking tour. A number of the group went in after the tour was over or some time later that afternoon. We went in to the Hofbrau House during the walking tour, mostly for a bathroom stop, but also to get instruction on how the tables work there. Many went back that night to Hofbrau.

I think the Timberland walking shoes/boots will be fine. It will be winter and perhaps they will have different rules. I am not sure how stringently they enforced them. There were also other concerts around the central part of town than other group members enjoyed which did not have dinner involved.

Posted by
1054 posts

Pam, thanks for your tour report. As usual, it was complete and informative. I always enjoy your posts and even more so now when I have become a single traveler rather than one of a couple. What's your next destination? I'll be enjoying Sicily over Easter.

Posted by
3088 posts

A wonderful trip report! So glad you had a great time.....except for the fall and knee injury.

Posted by
608 posts

Lovely trip report! I'm so glad you had great weather in Murren! So sorry to hear about the heat wave - that would have diminished some of my enjoyment as well. Traveling is hard work, especially when it's hot! How neat that you guys toured the opera in Vienna - that wasn't a part of the tour last year, but it sounds like a nice addition. I may borrow your format for my Italy trip report, if you don't mind. I always struggle to figure out how to organize it and what to include. We are heading home today, so I'll work on it this week :)

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10685 posts

Patricia, Rebecca and Tamara, thanks for the nice words.

I've not got anything in the works yet. Still feeling a bit gimpy and not ready to plan for something big! Sicily sounds fun...a friend did it last Feb and is doing it again next May! Rebecca (and probably Jane) knows I am being called by the Villages of Southern England tour. I'm also interested in the Belgium and Holland tour. It has been so chilly and gray here the last few days and I've been looking at a friend's FB posts from the Southern Italy tour (sunshine as well as Limoncello Spritzes and Aperol Spritzes!! lol) so that is on my mind too!

Tamara, feel free to use the part of my format that works for you! I don't have a particular format, just jot random notes as I go. I do look back on my other Trip Reports to see how I organized them, as well as using the eval form from the RS office and the thread that was posted a few months ago with the link to the old eval form. There are some things on there that don't feel relevant to me, so I leave them out. Are you doing a scrapbook this year? I loved yours from last year!

https://community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/tours/here-is-the-old-tour-evaluation-format