Hi Monica -
Here is where I am and how I would do it if I were doing it myself, without a car. There are problems with it, and so I am still trying to solve them. I'll note them at the end.
The four constraints or issues that are affecting my planning are as follows:
1.- Serious jet lag upon arrival, and possibly for the next day or even two
2.- The need to be at some airport at a time that gets you a flight to Athens for a 1230 flight on the 15th.
The sooner you can pin down that flight from Switzerland, the better we can think about the 14th. A quick check suggests that you'll have to fly on the 14th. For example, a flight from Zürich at 1655 arrive 2230 via Munich. I'l assume that you have to be at the airport at 1455. Dirct flights are avaialble, and are more expensive
3.- In any rural region, the villages are usually too far apart for walking. The local transport works well, but tends to run once per hour. So, for example in the Emmental, the problem is how to put together the pieces to maximize enjoying the towns/villages/ local attractions while minimizing travel time.
4.- Opening hours of restaurants at inns... so called " die Rühetage" or "rest days." The owner is often the chef, and they need some time off or time for shopping. managing, organizing, etc.
What I would do if I were making the trip:
With those constraints, even with jet lag, I'd stay 2 nights in Sachseln, realizing that that the Gasthaus would be open for a room, but probably not for dinner on Monday night. ( I'm checking).
I'd transfer to Wengen, and stay there for two nights.
On the 13th, I'd catch a train/bus to Affoltern, have lunch at the show dairy, take the bus to Sumiswald, walk around the area a bit -hopefully run up to Trachselwald, and stay at the Bären for one night.
14th - take public transport to the airport. Fly to Athens
Here are some details, including what I think could be a problem with that. You may judge how important these issues are :
1.- For you, on your first trip, I would not recommend dealing with jet lag, getting your room at the Gasthaus Engel because I don't jknow there check in time when someone will definitely be there, and finding dinner nearby. The Kreuz, up the road about 200 meters says that their restaurant is open every day, but it adds one more complexity. It is not as charming as the Engel. Lots of pilgrimage visitors to Flüeli-Ranft stay at the Kreuz.
www.kreuz-sachseln.ch/cmsfiles/d okumente/Kreuz_Wissens wertes_englisch.pdf
Since you have plenty of time to get to Sachseln, even with a walk around Luzern, that might all work out, unless jet lag interferes.
If it is too much for your relaxed travel aims, I'd think about staying in Luzern, aty higher cost.
2.- The train from Sachseln over the Brunig to Interlaken ( Change for Lauterbrunnen/Wengwn) runs once per hour. You will be about 5 minutes walk ( downhill), from the hotel to the station. Trains are at 0628, 0728, 0828,etc. and take an hour and 1/2 approx. as far as Interlaken Ost, plus a 44 minute ride to Wengen ( every half-hour). I'd have no trouble catching the early train....would jet lag still be an issue for you? How early would the Engel provide breakfast?
3.- On the morning of the 13th, I 'd leave Wengen at 0903, arrive Affoltern, Dorf ( near the show dairy) at 1214, have lunch, walk around the village abit, and catch a bus to Sumiswald Ost at 1414 ( or later- twice per hour) for a 24 minute ride to Sumiswald ( change at Affoltern Weier station) . Walk 150 level meters to the Bären, check in; walk around the village till dinner. If the schedules work, I'd take the bus from Sumiswald, Post to Trachselwald, the nice village shown in that Panorama and poke around there. ( After a mid day hiatus, there is at least hourly service back and forth between Sumiswald and Trachselwald). The trip takes about 4 minutes.
There is no longer an inn in Affoltern i. E.
If you include Trachselwald, you get a nice sample of small village Emmental.
I don't know where you would leave your luggage while at the dairy. Possibly, you could go first to the inn in Sumiswald, then to Affoltern at some modest cost in time available for Trachselwald. I'd check the bus schedules. And ask the dairy by e-mail.
If you do not include Trachselwald, there are other places that would give you more of that exposure, but they would be hard to combine with the show dairy. Trubschachen and Trub, pehaps with a stay in Langnau might work).
However, the Bären is a very special place...it is one of the few large traditional Emmental Inns still surviving ...a long history, and well- integrated with the community. One of Switzerland's special authors and philosophers, Jeremias Gotthelf, hung out there to collect characters for his stories about the region, for example. The rooms are very nice.
Morning of the 14th, take the bus and train to Zürich Flughafen. There are many choices; some would take you through Bern, other through Zürich. Possibly , you could stop and look a round, but that might be pushing it.
Your reactions to this 5 night plan?