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Part 5-Germany, Austria and Switzerland for 3 weeks. Trip of a Lifetime!

Day 19-Boat to Vitznau and cogwheel to Rigi. Perfect weather, not too crowded. Took boat back because we enjoyed that so much. Ramen in the train station and back to the hotel for a nice nap. Hotel Central Luzern solid location, steps from the metro, nice breakfast. Explored old town after naps, Lion monument was being renovated so skipped that. Tonight we Stayed out late. Lots of great pictures of bridges, churches and fun Fri night scene. The art in the bridges is fantastic. Happened to also be holding a night of churches so we listened to some beautiful acoustic guitar. Love stumbling into incredible impromptu things like this. The second bridge (Not Chapel) was riddled with spiders! Spooky! Became obsessed with videoing them. Then, as we walked the old streets, a Spontaneous eruption of a rehearsal for a musical started filling the air. What a nice surprise! We had another Lovely Italian dinner. It was a Wonderful night as we prepare to go home. 3 weeks has flown by!

Day 20
Traveled to Zurich, ate entirely too much free chocolate at Lindts World of Chocolate Museum. Fun experience. Let my inner Charlie run free. Went to Fraumunster church. I’m a big fan of Chagall and loved the stained glass. Went to Lindenhof Hill for the views. Nice day, but not as impressive to me after seeing some of our other stops. I like the quieter, less crowded old towns. Nothing against Zurich, I just love slowing down because we live in a big city already, so I didn’t find as charming personally. Found out my flight home was canceled for tomorrow so had to scramble to fix. Ended up costing the same and we eradicated two connections and scored a direct flight home! Life is good.
Hate to leave but looking forward to our king size beds, great pillows and Mexican food. This will always be the trip of a lifetime! Thanks again to all who provided so much helpful insights and tips over the last 11 months. I hope my report is helpful to someone just starting their planning. Feel free to reach out if I can help in any way and give back.

Day 21
Travel home. Security and customs was a breeze. Only took 90 minutes to get through. Off now to nap and dream about our next visit!

Posted by
5162 posts

Brent, so glad you had a great trip, and it looks like you are joining "the loving all things Swiss" group here. It was fun reading your questions and watching as your planning process evolved. It also sounds like you are a fan of the STP, after you agonized over the dollar and cents of the various passes.
Thanks for taking the time to write such detailed Trip Reports. Have fun planning the next adventure!

Posted by
210 posts

Thank you Pat! Yes, the STP was such a joy to use! Thanks for all of your help and insights along the way

Posted by
78 posts

Wonderful trip report! Your positive perspective on all your adventures is really refreshing nowadays, and your enthusiasm and enjoyment of your whole trip really shines through. Thanks for sharing!

Posted by
210 posts

Chips as we call them in the US and crisps as other parts of the world refer to them as
Look for Paprika Flavored. On sale everywhere. Similar to BBq flavor here but I liked these better.
Look for the Zweifel brand. Very prevalent.

Posted by
2857 posts

As pat said, welcome to the “we love Switzerland” club. 😊 so glad to hear you had a great trip and I appreciate you reporting back as I think the trip reports are a great resource for future travelers.

Also glad you hear you loved wengen and the paprika chips AND the swiss travel pass. So many great things to love about Switzerland!!!!

I’ll have to check out the Hotel Edelweiss and see how to compares to the hotel schoenegg where I stayed last year.
A lot of great info. here. I’ll have to come back and read more closely when I get a break from work.

P.S. For those writing trip reports, instead of creating multiple topics, just add replies to your first post to keep the entire trip report all in one thread.

Posted by
195 posts

Thank you so much for sharing, Brent! Your trip reports were fun to ready and I was really rooting for you and your gelato. ;)
Welcome home!

Posted by
4003 posts

Great report of a fantastic trip. Have it bookmarked as we haven’t been to Switzerland yet.

Posted by
738 posts

Brent your report was great. Brought back wonderful memories of our tips to that region and especially our last trip to Switzerland. As my dad kept saying, another perfect day.
Thanks for posting

Posted by
497 posts

As another member of the “We love Switzerland, cows, STP and paprika chips (oh and chocolate)”, thanks for the great TR. Takes us all back, especially our 2021ers who had to go through a lot of hoops to get there. Been to Wengen 5 times, working on a 6th now in combo with northern Italy. Nice report, thanks.

Posted by
30 posts

Hubby and I are back two weeks from our 17-day Europe trip. The first part was a Viking river cruise starting in Amsterdam, and following the Rhine. It ended in Basel, where we got our Swiss Travel Pass. Setting that whole thing up was a nightmare for me as I found it really confusing, and had to spend a couple hours in the SBB offices to get it working. Thank you to everyone who helped me through it here! Turns out after all my prep time, they told me I should just have bought it there to make it easier!
We are on the fence about taking trains though, but agree that Switzerland is the place to do it. We travel light, but I still can’t get my suitcase on and off the platforms. Then taking transfers is a hassle too, but it’s great for the driver to see everything. Sooo….

We saw Montreaux and other cities we had not been to in previous trips, and had hoped to hike in Zermatt, but we were too early for the snowmelt. We loved Pontresina and Andermatt. I would recommend two nights in Pontresina. We stayed at the Steinbach, and walking in the woods there were fortunate to catch the wild native Ibex! There are so many good hikes in the Andermatt area, and though we’re in our 70s, we were able to enjoy it. (Must have been acclimated to altitude in CO)

Our experience in all the different countries was very pleasant, people went out of their way to help when we got mixed up, and it seemed to us there were fewer beggars on the streets and in public places. Also nice not to run into any homeless camps!

One more thing. We were working with Ricks 2020 Switzerland guide. We cut it up like he said and it really helped! Rick mentioned that people don’t wear baseball caps and visors, but we saw them all over. Maybe they were there for the Americans, but we ARE Americans, and no matter what we do Or wear, somehow they just know!! So at my age, I’m giving up on trying to be anonymous, and wearing what’s comfortable to me! So here we are, planning our next trip! Happy Travels!

Posted by
180 posts

Hello,

Never been to that part of the world. Have no plans at this point. But read all through your 5 part report and really enjoyed it. Thanks for posting.

Posted by
2857 posts

Hey brent, I’m thinking of booking the Hotel Edelweiss in Wengen. The hotel I stayed at last year, Hotel Schoenegg, has doubled in price!!!

Some reviews mentioned a hill to get to town. Did you have any trouble with that? I’m having a hard time picturing where the hotel is located. Thanks!!

Posted by
210 posts

Hi Carrie! From the train stop, you turn right at the Coop and go through a little tunnel and down to the right to get to the hotel. It is a bit of an uphill hike returning from the hotel to the station. But it only takes about 8 minutes. We gave ourselves a few extra minutes so it wasn't hard at all for us. We absolutely loved it there. The staff was amazing. Ask for a room with a balcony facing the Alps. They are very responsive to email on their site.

Posted by
650 posts

Hi Carrie,
Another hotel on the same road as Edelweiss is the Hotel Bären, also family owned and run.
We stayed at the Bären summer of 2021 based on recommendation on the Forum and also requested a balcony. Don’t know how the view compares with the Edelweiss. I know you don’t usually do dinners, but the food is great there.
When you walk under the train tracks (tunnel) you are in a residential/B & B area, away from the commercial area.
I personally did not like the location and did not like walking up to the train station. I preferred walking uphill upon arrival and then an easier walk to catch the train. But that’s just me.

Posted by
2857 posts

Hi Brent, thanks for the additional information. I appreciate it!! The Hotel Edelweiss does have outstanding reviews on Booking.com. I’m staying at the Edelweiss in Murren for a few nights before I head to Wengen, but I’m pretty sure it’s different owners.

Hi Carol, I appreciate your input. I am wondering a bit about the location.

I did really like the location of Hotel Schoenegg. I just sent them an email inquiring about such a price increase from last year. I’ll see what they say. I may wait a bit and look around some more. It doesn’t look like all the hotels have prices released yet for next June.

I have to make sure I can still afford my 1st class Swiss Travel Pass. 😊

Posted by
595 posts

We had quite an up hill walk from our Wengen ferienwohnung, as we were past the Baren and Edelweiss, and it was definitely a significant calculation for us in terms of time energy convenience factors etc,. But the price was too good to pass up for a weekly stay.

Posted by
2857 posts

Hi Rob, I appreciate your input. The hotels in that area do seem to be priced quite a bit lower. I rank convenience very high, so I’ll probably just pay more to find a hotel on or near that main street. But not the Schoenegg. 😊

I emailed Hotel Schoenegg to let them know what I paid last year and that I was surprised prices had increased so much. They responded by telling me I did not pay that price for the room. I couldn’t believe it!!! They basically called me a liar. So, I sent them a screenshot of my credit card statement with the hotel charge on it just so they could see that yes, that is what I paid. Weird!

Anyway, I’m going to wait and look around some more. I probably wouldn’t stay at the Schoenegg now even if I wanted to. 😊

Posted by
2254 posts

Carrie--Wow, I wouldn't stay there either! No matter how great a place is, it all comes down to customer service, and they just shot themselves in the foot with what they did. Good for you for sending the screenshot. Hopefully they learn from it.