Having second thoughts about Swiss itinerary

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Judy52
Judy52
82 posts
active member
May 10, 2018 - 7:35 AM

I have now come up with another possible itinerary that doesn’t include the Centovalli route and duplicates the GEX which we did five years ago, but that doesn’t matter:

Wengen 5 nights

Lucerne 3 nights (set in stone)

GPEX to Lugano 2 nights

Palm Express to St Moritz 2 nights

GEX and Lotschberger to Murten 3 nights

(this will use up our 15 day STP)

Appenzell 3 nights (will get the free Appenzell card)

Are three nights too much for Appenzell? Originally I thought we’d only spend two nights there and it would form part of the 15 days of the STP. But if we now add the two nights in St Moritz to the itinerary, the Appenzell stay won’t be covered by the STP but will be covered by the free Appenzell card.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
5172 posts
expert
May 10, 2018 - 9:41 AM in reply to Judy52

Hi Judy-

Appenzell itself will not consume 3 days, in my opinion.

There is certainly enough to do if you use it as a base for day trips.

There is some nice hiking in the hills around the area, and over toward the Bode and along the Rhine.

map.geo.admin.ch/?topic=ech&lang=en&bgLa yer=ch.swisstopo.pixel karte-farbe&layers=ch.bav.ha ltestellen-oev,ch.swisstopo.swiss tlm3d-wanderwege&layers_visi bility=false,true&E=27 50523.69&N=1249242.84& zoom=5

and

map.wanderland.ch/?lang=de&route=all&bgLa yer=pk&resolution=100& season=summer&layers=W anderland&E=2748407&N= 1242250

Once on a jet lag day we rode out from Zürich, had a nice lunch in Appenzell, then walked an easy and pleasant trail to Gais (7 or 8 km) and took the "train" to St. Gall then, rail back to Zürich.

You can visit Säntis and the Seealpsee, as well as Ebenalp --

www.momstotszurich.com /2014/09/ebenalp-seealpsee-hike.html/

And, across the "Bode" ( der Bodenseee, Lake Constance.) ,

the Zeppelin Museum in Friedrichshafen is worth the trip.

You could explore the Taminaschlucht.

www.myswitzerland.com/ de/tamina-schlucht-baederkultur-und-naturspektakel.html

www.schweizmobil.ch/de /wanderland/routen/rou te-0937.html

The restaurant in the restored building (Altes Bad Pfäfers) which held the thermal baths is pretty good. Their wine list includes a pleasant Müller-Thurgau white from a nearby vineyard....Portaser is the region name, I think. It is from from Weinbau Burghof ( Robert Schwitter) the highest vineyard in the region ( but not in Switzerland). I'd not seek it out because it is nothing special....unless they have the Auslese. That has a lot of character and is worth getting, when they have it.

And, of course, St Gall.

Check this thread, which should have a few more pictures in the next week or so, if I can get to it befre I go to Switzerland in late May.

www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/activities-in-st-gallen#hRjtxaDW9mqS6v8 AAFcRTQ

I don't know how much territory is covered by the Appenzell card, but I'm guessing that some of those things will not be covered.

Slowpoke

Last modified on May 10, 2018 - 10:18 AM by Slowpoke
Peterli
Peterli
640 posts
top member
May 10, 2018 - 2:06 PM in reply to Judy52

Hej !

You asked << Are three nights too much for Appenzell? >> and I would answer "not at all". The attached map (OSTWIND Tarifverbund) shows the 15 zones of the Ostwind Transport Association where you are free to travel. I would also refer you to this page about some of the benefits of the Appenzeller Card. You can download a pdf on the page for more complete details of its benefits. The cable car ride up to the Säntis is not covered ( I believe, nor is it covered with the STP) but it is really worth it is you are blessed with clear weather. Check the Roundshot panoramic camera mounted up there. Right now (Thursday, 4:00 PM) it is covered in clouds so a trip would be a waste. I will get back with a few other comments/suggestions later today.

Last modified on May 10, 2018 - 2:09 PM by Peterli
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Slowpoke
Slowpoke
5172 posts
expert
May 10, 2018 - 11:33 PM in reply to Judy52
Judy52
Judy52
82 posts
active member
May 11, 2018 - 2:23 AM in reply to Slowpoke

Thanks All

So it looks as if St Gallen is covered by the Appenzeller Pass. If you stay there, do the hotels give you a pass like the Appenzell hotels do?

Also, we could stay in either St Gallen or Appenzell. We‘d do a day trip to whichever one we don’t stay in anyway. Is one preferable to the other as a base? I won’t be hiking as I have problem feet, so it will just be wandering about the towns and hopefully going up a mountain in a cable car if the weather’s good enough.

Peterli
Peterli
640 posts
top member
May 11, 2018 - 3:40 AM in reply to Judy52

Hello again,

Regarding the Appenzeller Card, I think you would be most wise to check with the place where you want to stay to see if they do provide the card. Note that this does not have to be a hotel. The following is a copy/paste from their description of the card: Pure holiday enjoyment! You can look forward to receiving a present – as long as you spend three nights or more at the same accommodation provider in Appenzell and the surrounding area. The Appenzeller Holiday Card is our gift to welcome you. It will be given to you as a present on your arrival by most hotels, mountain inns, holiday apartments and Bed & Breakfast establishments. Ask for your Appenzeller Holiday Card when making your reservation and enjoy Appenzell and its surroundings! Straightforward, generous, close to nature, surprising, genuine and hospitable – that’s Appenzell! As for your question about whether these are provided by establishments in Saint Gallen, I suspect that the answer is "no" but I am not sure. Of course, it doesn't hurt for you to ask.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
5172 posts
expert
May 11, 2018 - 5:02 PM in reply to Judy52

<<"Also, we could stay in either St Gallen or Appenzell. We‘d do a day trip

to whichever one we don’t stay in anyway. Is one preferable to the

other as a base?">>

This may help:

www.thecrazytourist.co m/15-best-things-st-gallen-switzerland/.

Appenzell is quite small, and the main square is not all that far from the train station:

map.search.ch/?pos=749258,243972&z=25 6

Slowpoke

Last modified on May 11, 2018 - 5:02 PM by Slowpoke
Judy52
Judy52
82 posts
active member
May 11, 2018 - 9:21 PM

Thanks. It looks as if the Appenzeller card isn’t available if you stay in St Gallen though, so that means we’ll have to stay in Appenzell.

1960man
1960man
653 posts
top member
May 11, 2018 - 10:56 PM in reply to Judy52

The Appenzell Card is great, but only given to you if you stay in Appenzell canton (Ausser Rhoden AR and Inner Rhoden AI) . We got one when we stayed in a lovely private chalet two summers ago. That was for one week and we certainly didn't manage to do everything - so 3 days is not really enough...

The railway and postbus validity in the zones of the Ostwind Tariff is limited to the zones through which the Appenzeller Bahnen railways pass, that is why St Gallen and other places in St Gallen canton are included.

Tourist-wise, the card gives you free beer tasting and brewery tour, museums, three cable car , swimming , tennis, summer toboggan etc etc:

www.appenzell.ch/en/ac commodation/appenzelle r-card.html

The problem with the Appenzell area transport-wise this year is that the Appenzeller Bahnen railway network is undergoing huge change. Sadly in my opinion it is changing from a bucolic Swiss light railway into a boring modern-style transit system. This includes replacing a characterful winding rack section out of St Gallen with a tunnel, and old trains with city type trams. The changeover means St Gallen - Teufen railway section is closed all summer until October, making the St Gallen - Appenzell trip disjointed. Some similar modernisation is taking place on the other section of the AB from Herisau including some piecemeal closures.

Judy52
Judy52
82 posts
active member
May 11, 2018 - 11:59 PM in reply to 1960man

Thanks for letting me know that. I guess it will still be possible to go btween Appenzell and St Gallen though, even if a bit of it is replaced by a bus. I think we’ll still stay in Apenzell for three days to give us a little taste of the area.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
5172 posts
expert
May 12, 2018 - 12:18 AM in reply to Judy52

The tain station is easily reached.

Slowpoke

Judy52
Judy52
82 posts
active member
May 12, 2018 - 1:53 AM in reply to Slowpoke

We have actually decided on a slightly different itinerary now. We’ve decided to go from Locarno to Brig even though the Centovalli train probably won’t be running as ending up in St Moritz after the Palm Express puts us at the wrong end of the country.

Wengen 5 nights

Lucerne 3 nights

Lugano/Locarno 3 nights

Thun 3 nights

use 15th day of STP to get to Appenzell

Appenzell 3 nights (free pass)

I checked travel times and if we had one perfect day of weather it would be quicker to get to Zermatt to see the Matterhorn from Thun than Murten. We’ll still do a day trip from Thun to Murten/Avenches one day though, possibly two days if the weather isn’t good.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
5172 posts
expert
May 12, 2018 - 7:35 AM in reply to Judy52

HiJdy-

Glad to see that you are putting the timetable to good use

Also, as this thread progresses, we are getting a better idea of your priorities. And, with the STP, you have the very nice feature that you can change your mind without worry about cost after you see the lay of the land. Or, if the weather is bad. Bern is a nice town for a visit on a cloudy or rainy day, because of the arcaded streets in the old town.

Thun is a very good location for the travel that you plan. Maggie Horswell, who posts frequently on this forum, has used it as their base for many years I used to use it for meeting friends at a convenient travel location; in nice weather, we enjoyed a lunch on the terrace of the Hotel Ferienhof, beside the river, so I have good memories of Thun. A walk around the old town, and beside the river was nice. Never made it into the castle(s).

www.myswissalps.com/th un

www.myswitzerland.com/ en-us/historic-schloss-schadau-schadau-palace-thun.html

For the Roman ruins, Avenches is quite nice. I've walked or hiked around the area several times, when I had weekends free while working in Geneva, and one impression that sticks from walking is just how large the Roman Town Aventicum used to be. You don't have to walk to where the old outer walls were, but you can figure it out. It was really quite large.

Kaiseraugst, another major Roman site, is not totally out of reach. 12 minutes from Basel. A couple of hours from Thun. You are on a major rail; line on that route, and have frequent service on ICE trains with restaurant cars. Some go on to Berlin.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ Augusta_Raurica

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ Kaiseraugst

Slowpoke

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Judy52
Judy52
82 posts
active member
May 12, 2018 - 8:59 AM in reply to Slowpoke

Thanks Slowpoke, it’s nice to have this itinerary validated by someone. I think I can now book accomodation and be finished with agonizing over the Switzerland part of our trip. Next to organize is Austria and then Germany.

1960man
1960man
653 posts
top member
May 15, 2018 - 11:28 PM

Your plans are coming up as some of the best I've seen on this site! You are including Suisse Romande and some excellent sites away from the major 'tourist traps'

Locarno - Domo by road will be as scenic as the railway, and probably more comfortable - the 'panoramic' trains on the Centovalli railway are a poor design.

Domodossola - Thun can be one train without changes if timed right

Similarly, Thun - Fribourg can be done on an S-Bahn train passing through Bern without having to change in the very busy main station, then take the bus 544 from Fribourg station across some lovely Swiss green countryside to Avenches (and you can enjoy travelling through the village of Misery...)

Likewise Thun - Zermatt is a piece of cake, about 1 hour 50 mins. If you have seen the Lotschberg mountain route on the Domodossola - Thun day , you can save time on the Zermatt day by speeding through the Lotschberg base tunnel.

A couple of my 2016 Appenzell pics for you.

Last modified on May 15, 2018 - 11:50 PM by 1960man
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Judy52
Judy52
82 posts
active member
May 15, 2018 - 11:36 PM in reply to 1960man

Thanks1960man

I finally booked all of our hotels last night after agonizing over reviews, so I now need to get used to thinking about Austria.

I don’t suppose there’s a website like this one for Austria? myswissalps has been so useful.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
5172 posts
expert
May 15, 2018 - 11:42 PM in reply to Judy52

<<"I don’t suppose there’s a website like this one for Austria?">>

Why would anyone want to go to Austria?

Just joking, of course. Vienna impressed us immensely, and Austria is generally cheaper.

But, I don't know of a web site of this design,, and with this responsiveness , for Austria.

If you find one, let us know.

Slowpoke

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