To celebrate our son graduating from university (with honors!) I'm taking him for 9 days in Switzerland. He is a Swiss citizen (through his mother, who - sadly - won't be able to join us this trip, but will on the next), but he has never visited there. This will be my second visit. He and I are both multi-lingual, my German and French are incredibly weak. We are both strict vegetarians. Since this is a celebration, we do intend to splurge a bit. I want to be able to do some hiking, some exploration by boat, and some leisurely strolling and sitting with lakeside views.
So, with all that in mind, we'll be making a summertime trip lasting nine days. My thought was to travel by train for the whole trip, ideally using only the SwissPass. I thought we might use certain cities as hubs, and move out from them each morning to explore. I really want him to see some of the mountain views and pastoral scenes in the Oberland that I loved when I was there. I'm an amateur photographer, and I want to take LOTS of pictures :D.
I don't want to move around to too many cities, for fear that we'll miss opportunities for adventuring because we were so busy travelling. I was thinking:
Day 1 - Arrive Zurich early morning, train to Lucerne
Day 2 - Lucerne
Day 3 - Interlaken
Day 4 - Interlaken
Day 5 - Interlaken
Day 6 - Montreux
Day 7 - Montreux
Day 8 - Zurich
Day 9 - Zurich
Day 10 - Fly Home in the morning
Obviously I can shift this depending on when trains run (for instance, is there an afternoon/evening train from Montreux to Zurich?).
So, my first questions are broad:
- Is this, generally, a viable itinerary?
- Is there anything I should likely shorten or lengthen?
- Should I substitute another city for Montreux?
- What's the best use of my time in Interlaken?
- I was thinking hikes on Day 3 and 5, and then a boat trip of some kind on Day 4? My goal is to maximize scenery. I welcome all suggestions.
- Obviously the Chateau de Chillon is a must-see in Montreux. Anything else there that's a must-see?
- Any good boat trips?
- I was thinking Lucerne would be a nice place to just introduce him to the country, and I welcome some suggestions there as well. I remember enjoying the parks there a lot.
Thank you for all your help!