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Trip to Switzerland

Hollidaysburg
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Trip to Switzerland

We have airline tickets to leave for Zurich in a week and are planning to spend 9 days touring Switzerland ourselves. At first, we were going to rent a car then we thought about a swiss pass and taking the train. Now I'm concerned about altitude sickness and hiking in the mountains. We are 58 and 60yrs. old. Should we be concerned? I don't see any mention of this in Rick Steves or Frommer's books on Switzerland. Any advice would be deeply appreciated. Thank you!

Michele from Pa

USA

New Delhi, India
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21. Re: Trip to Switzerland

Thanks. You are right.

Anchorage, Alaska
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22. Re: Trip to Switzerland

AKJAIN - please do not write that normally altitude sickness is when travelling on sig sag roads. This is absolutely not true! If other believe you, they could end up very ill indeed because they would ignore the symptoms when visiting a high mountain.

Altitude sickness is caused by a lower percentage of oxygen in the air you breathe and your body reacts to the lack of oxygen. For some people, the reaction can be to just being at 1700 meters and for some it doesn't happen until much higher. It can be a simple sense of feeling unwell but it can be a very serious medical problem if you are not taken care of when the symptoms are severe. It's best to be aware of the symptoms and, if you feel any of them any time you are at about 1700 meters or higher, stop and rest until the symptoms pass and, if they haven't passed in a few minutes, go to a lower elevation and/or seek medical attention as soon as possible. '

It is the lack of oxygen that means pregnant women should check with their doctors and parents of small children should also check if their child is old enough to not suffer ill effects.

The illness one feels when driving on zig zag roads is called car sickness in English and is caused by the inner ear being upset by the constant movement. It can also occur on a straight road particularly if one looks down or at the nearby scenery instead of looking off into the distance which seems to help keep the ear calm.

Anchorage, Alaska
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23. Re: Trip to Switzerland

Sorry - didn't mean to pile on to correcting you, AKJAIN! I didn't see that someone had already done so.

Hollidaysburg
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24. Re: Trip to Switzerland

Thank you.

Melbourne, Australia
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25. Re: Trip to Switzerland

I just came back from SZ (switzerland) trip of 6 days and 5 nights.

I know a lots of people who doesn't know much of SZ always have this questions in mind.

How many days I need in Switzerland??

Many people have little time but wanting to do many things when they plan to go. For all of you in similar situation....here is the valuable information.

Here are the most important places that one should visit when going to SZ first time or for short period.

For all visitors going there I would suggest to buy Swiss pass or Eurail pass so you can move around in SZ without any hassle and its also less expensive. And the best way to see SZ is by TRAIN.

Though hiring car is not a bad option but you spend time looking at the map.

Lets take Zurich as entering point! You can do this from Geneva as well but the opposite route.

What you should cover in 3 days??

1). Zurich - Chur - Andermatt - Luzern ( can be done in 1 day but more will be merrier)- Andermatt is a very scenic and admirable train / road journey. Luzern is more for shopping.

2). Luzern - Interlaken - Montreux ( do with the Golden Panoramic train) - 5 hours journey - put it as one day. You will see typical SZ farm, greenery, farm house , mountains. scenic landscape etc etc along this route. NOT TO BE MISSED when you are in SZ

3). Mount Jungfrau or Mount Titlis ( Jungfrau can be done in a day ffrom Interlaken . Titlis can be done in half day from Luzern) Jungfrau is one of the best mountain visit in whole Europe

What you should cover in 5 days??

All above 1 to 3 + below

4). Montreux - Martigny - Chamonix (you will beautiful landscape and pretty villages along this route base for Mont Blanc. Chamonix is little secluded village and good place to spend few hours if not a day.

5). Montreux - Geneva - Along this route is all lake view and you may find beautiful buildings of UN. UN headquarters in Geneva. Lake geneva is an interesting place to relax.

Bern can be an option and one can visit Bern in half day. Again is the capital city and mostly for building structures.

All above routes can be covered by Eurail or Swisspass.

I hope my liitlw trip and research will help many other tourist .

Goldau, Switzerland
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for Lucerne, Zug, Brunnen
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26. Re: Trip to Switzerland

Hi Sanjaay_Verman and Elizabeth

Sanjaay_Verman's "trip research" needs to be comented.

RAILPASSES: Depending what you want to do and to see in Switzerland other railpasses may be more cost effective. Once you have your program more or less fixed, there is no other way than to do the maths for yourself.

CAR RENTAL: Do not rent cars in early spring or late fall! If you are not used to drive on snow or ice it could be dangerous for you and others who use the same roads. I think train is definitively the way to travel for tourists if there are no specific reasons to use a car. It is a special experience and very relaxing.

MOST IMPORTANT PLACES: Sorry, you missed many if not most of them. This happens if you rush through the country and this is the reason why we recommend to slow down and to do less to see more! You did not touch the Grisons and the Ticino and much more.

1.) I agree with Andermatt, it would also be worth to stay longer there as there are great walks in the area from June to mid-October (depending the weather even longer).

Lucerne is not only a great place for shopping. There is much to do at Lucerne itself and especialy in the area - see Top Questions about Lucerne (right side of your acctual screen).

2.) Goldenpass line is one of the most scenic railway lines in Switzerland (CH). You can use the Goldenpass Panoramic or any train on the track, there are always the same views.

3.) Mt. Jungfrau is even easier to do from one of the mountain villages, for exemple Wengen (carfree), Mürren (car free), Lauterbrunnen or Grindelwald (which is my perssonal preference). As you can see on www.myjungfrau.ch and on different posts on TA there is much more to do and to see in the Bernese Oberland.

4.) Especialy Montreux and Vevey are among my favorits along lake Geneva.

If a tourist wants to visit Switzerland he/she should first read the great help given on the Top Questions about Switzerland (TA Switzerland forum) and then try to find out where he/she would prefer to go. There is unfortunately no general help available.

pore

Hollidaysburg
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27. Re: Trip to Switzerland

Well, its vacation time again and I was wondering about visiting Austria and seeing the Alps from the eastern side. Would train travel on the Euro-rail be just as convenient and on time as the Swiss rail? We really had a wonderful time in Switzerland and would like to visit places we didn't get to last year but I also want to see Austria mainly Vienna and Salzburg. I was also wondering how the Viking river cruises are? It seems to me you wouldn't be able to see as much in the cities if you only have a few hours in each one. Probably have 12 days to work with for this trip in August. Any suggestions?

Canada
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28. Re: Trip to Switzerland

You will not likely now get a river cruise for Aug 2013. The most popular routes sell out a year in advance. If you are interested in Austria, perhaps a do-it-yourself trip is better.

For info on cruises check out cruise critic.

Asheville, North...
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29. Re: Trip to Switzerland

Pore

What would you recommend for a 7-9 day entry and exit from Zurich. We want to spent one day doing some family research at Flaach and then tour a part of Switzerland. We haven't settled on a mode of transportation or where to travel.

West Hollywood...
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30. Re: Trip to Switzerland

Kileysmom, nice posting!

Being prone to AMS (acute mountain sickness) and cerebral edema, here are a few things you may try in order of aggressiveness:

No soda, beer or caffeinated drinks while at high altitude...some people think alcohol is a no no, but it doesn't affect me...

Homeopathic remedy is antacid and aspirin (acts as a PH balancer and blood thinner)

Ginko doesn't work for me, but some people swear by it

Viagra or Cialis (seriously, it acts as a vasodilator to help the blood flow and increase profusion)

Diamox 2 days before high altitude may work, but you will pee like crazy and your digits will tingle. I don't care for diamox...

And if all else fails, have some dexamethasone handy. Some people use it prophylactically, but I use it as a remedy (2 tables twice a day for 2 days when experiencing signs& symptoms. It's a steroid, so you need a prescription. Some people might object to this, and you should study the drug and know your body before using Dex.

Of course, the best remedy of all is to descend 1000 feet when feeling bad!

After 20 years of mountaineering, and being a Wilderness First Responder that is my experience.

Take care and be safe...