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Switzerland and More: Europe by Train and Foot

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For three weeks in June and July of 2000 we explored Europe with our kids, who were nine and six at the time. The majority of our trip was spent in Switzerland, but we also visited Germany, Italy, Luxembourg and France. Our transportation was primarily by train, with a few buses, gondolas, chair lifts and boats thrown in for good measure. We relied on a Swiss Pass Family Card, which provided unlimited train, bus and boat travel throughout the country. We also used a pass for Luxembourg trains and buses and bought Metro passes during our time in Milan and Paris.

Seeing things by foot by spending many of the days hiking in the Alps and even trekking to two different huts for overnight stays were major highlights of the trip. Our other accommodations were almost all hostels, which gave us the opportunity to picnic and cook to save the costs of going to restaurants every night. It was the first multi-cultural international trip for the girls and they greatly enjoyed the experience.

Day

Date

Location/Activities

1

10 June 2000

Overnight flight from Los Angeles to London, via Chicago

2

11 June 2000

Fly from London to Munich, Germany; Visit with friends and walk around the city center

3

12 June 2000

Visit Andechs Church and beer garden outside of Munich

4

13 June 2000

Take the train from Munich to Lucerne, Switzerland, via Zurich

5

14 June 2000

Ride the train to Fluelen and take a three hour steamboat back to Lucerne; explore the old city and city walls

6

15 June 2000

Take the train to Meiringen and visit Reichenbach Falls; continue on to Grindelwald, Switzerland

7

16 June 2000

Day trip hike to Kleine Scheidegg, continuing to Wengeralp; Take the train back to Grindelwald

8

17 June 2000

Overnight hike to Swiss Alps Hut; Take train to Murren, via Lauterbrunnen; Hike through Gimmelwald and up 2,000 feet to the hut

9

18 June 2000

Hike down 2,000 feet and take the bus and train to Interlaken; change trains and go to Kandersteg, Switzerland; Ride up a chair lift and hike to a mountain hut overnight

10

19 June 2000

Go back to Kandersteg and catch the train to Brig; change trains and ride to Zermatt, Switzerland

11

20 June 2000

Day hikes from Zermatt; Sandy and Kristen hike 1,000 feet up to Fluhalp Hut; Darren and Lauren hike 3,000 feet up to Hotel du Trift and beyond

12

21 June 2000

Day trip to Saas Fee via the train and bus; Take a gondola to Hannig and view the scenery

13

22 June 2000

Family day hike to Zmutt, Zum See and Blatten before going back to Zermatt

14

23 June 2000

Take five trains through beautiful Switzerland and Italy scenery to Lugano, Switzerland

15

24 June 2000

Take boat along Lake Lugano to village; Afternoon train to Milan, Italy; visit the Duomo Square

16

25 June 2000

Milan sightseeing; Visit La Scala Opera House, Duomo Cathedral and view Last Supper painting; Take an all-night train to Luxembourg

17

26 June 2000

Arrive in Luxembourg in the early morning; Take the bus from Luxembourg City to Vianden; Explore the castle and ride a chair lift to view the city below

18

27 June 2000

Continue Luxembourg visit; Take bus to Diekirch and tour the National Military Museum; Ride the bus to Beaufort and view the castle

19

28 June 2000

Tour Larochette Castle in Luxembourg; Take the bus to Ettelbruck and walk around the city

20

29 June 2000

Luxembourg; Day hike in ‘Little Switzerland’ from Berdorf to Mullerthal; visit the Abbey Museum in Echternach

21

30 June 2000

Take the bus from Echternach to Luxembourg City; ride the train to Paris, France; Meet Sandy’s parents and see the Eiffel Tower

22

1 July 2000

Paris city highlights; visit Notre Dame and bookstores; Ride the Metro to La Defense; Climb to the top of the Arc de Triomphe

23

2 July 2000

Explore Paris; Tour the Musee d’Orsay; ride the train to Versailles and visit the palace

24

3 July 2000

Sightseeing in Paris; Visit the Louvre and Paris Opera House; Take a Seine River cruise; watch the Eiffel Tower light up and sparkle at night

25

4 July 2000

Fly from Paris to Los Angeles



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