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Two perfect weeks in Swizterland and Germany

Just back from a sixteen day trip with my dad (80's) who has more energy than me (60) . Many thanks to all on this forum who answered questions and esp to the poster who asked about traveling with 'the mums' to Switzerland and whose report back gave me confidence that our similar iternary would work.
Things learned (or more appreciated ) on this trip than on our last trips to Europe; 1) Hop-on Hop-off tours are our friends!!!! Even in smaller cities , these gave us a great sense of the city and an overview of its history etc, To be honest, while I like an in depth tour , I usually cant remember 1/2 of what I learned. These tours also saved us lots of steps which is starting to be appreciated. Dad and I have crossed the age divide- we know have more money than time and energy!!!
2) One or two things in a day is enough. This trip we were (or I was) more able to pick one or two museums and enjoy time there rather than trying to see more. Spent more time over breakfast and a beer in the biergartens, watched the Glockenspiel twice etc.
3) Festivals in Europe are great!! I was not looking forward to Octoberfest - thinking it would be like St Patricks day in NY city ( my home town). But it was wonderful!!!
4) People are nice everywhere and are esp nice to senior citizens with canes! Dad carried a walking cane which converts to a small seat ( you may have seen them on golf courses). Without asking, security guards showed us to elevators, people gave him a seat and the security guard at a very crowded beer tent at Ocktoberfest in Munich let us in and then a nice group found a seat at their table.
5) Rick Steves is everywhere!!! Saw his book at least twice everyday on other travelers ! and hit the trifecta in Lauterbruennen when we meet 2 couples one night and then the RS tour group the next!!! LOL
6) For us, rail is the way to go and the Coop is a great place to stock up and try new foods.
Now on to the day by day:
Day1: Landed in Zurich and went right to the train station which is literally across the street from the airport exit. Got our Swiss Rail passes activated and grabbed rail maps etc. Got the train to Lucern and took a cab to our hotel Hotel Drei Konig. This hotel was within walking distance of the train but it was worth the cab to not have to find it on our own.Hotel was within walking distance of the old town - very clean and comfortable. Staff very lovely and helpful = nice breakfast as well. We took a quick walk around the old town and stumbled upon a Poster Competition and wine and cheese reception. Hope it was meant to be open to the public! great fun and interesting. Then enjoyed a nice dinner at the hotel restaurant (loved the red cabbage and spatzle) and got an early night.
Day2: Dad and I decided to start the trip right and attend Sunday mass. We went to the Franzkirche (forgive spelling). I find even attending services in a language I don't understand offers an opportunity for quiet, prayer and at least a non tourist activity. Its also humbling and inspiring to realize how many generations have worshipped in these spaces. Well, this church had a pulpit from 1400's and the sculptor was a South German sculptor whose name is exactly my son's. In my church , we call that a God winks moment.
We took a nice hop-on hop-off sightseeing 'train' bus and then walked back to the Lion monument. Waited for the school groups to clear and enjoyed some nice time there. walked a bit of the wall and then enjoyed a fondue dinner by the water End to a perfect day: the British pub Mr Pickwicks had American football on!!!

Posted by
64 posts

Diane, I just want to say that you are awesome...traveling with your Dad... I wish I had that opportunity. Good for you, good for him. Sounds like you have a wonderful trip. I too feel at my age 65 that the Ho Ho buses are my friend... lots of ground covered with fewer steps. Thanks for your travel comments. I only wish I had a travel companion...especially my Dad. Again, thanks for sharing.

Posted by
16941 posts

Waiting for the rest of the story. I feel like a newspaper editor. "What have you written for me lately!"

Posted by
213 posts

Hi Diane,

Really enjoying reading your report! Thank you! We are thinking of Switzerland and Germany next trip; love getting ideas from your report. Your pace sounds just right to me and what a fantastic trip! Can't wait to read the rest! :0)


Posted by
529 posts

Enjoying your report. Glad it went well for both you and your dad. Precious!

Posted by
527 posts

Am enjoying your report, (and wishing I could have traveled with my dad). Looking forward to more! :)

Posted by
7696 posts

Sounds like you and your dad really had a wonderful trip. am enjoying reading your reports (I admit I'm reading them out of order). Good for you!!