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Messages - VacationLover

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Destination Guides And Trip Planning / Re: Switzerland Master Thread
« on: June 26, 2018, 12:10:50 PM »
anyone know specific details on this?
Apparently, for regular trains this will work on its own, however this wont give you all the discounts on the mountain trips (cable cars, lifts...) that the regular travel pass will give. for that you need to have the half pass as well.

Stoos, Rigi, Brunni and some others are free with the travel pass, does anyone know if they are free with the one day saver pass without the half fare card?
correct. This is only a free travel pass not a halbtax like the other travel pass

Destination Guides And Trip Planning / Re: Switzerland Master Thread
« on: June 26, 2018, 12:07:32 PM »
ok so just Read thru 132 pages of information in anticipation of my upcoming trip to St Moritz in August. So much great and useful information as well as delightful entertainment in the form of debate over Celsius vs Fahrenheit and more.
I had a few questions:

1. what is the story with beer in Switzerland? in USA all non flavored beers that are not made in a plant that also makes flavored beers are kosher. Is this also true over there? Are there any beers known to be ok or problematic?
2. a friend of mine recommended the Margunz scooters. Has anyone done those?
3. I am going to be staying at the Kempinski. will I need to bring/buy converters to use American plugs for outlets?

thank you very much!
3) Yes in all of Europe [besides UK] you will need an EU  adapter. If you have a 110V you will also need a converter to 220V

Why not both? Otter Cliff/Cove/Point is one of the most beautiful areas smack in the middle of the park. Cannot be missed.

Schoodic is amazing too, but it's an hour and a half or so away. If you have the time, absolutely go for it.
Thank you! I think in a short time of 5 hours there is definitely no time for both. I guess will do Otter.

Hi @Something Fishy,

I am going IY"H next week to Acadia NP for about 5 hours. Driving from Portland.

What would you recommend - should I drive to Schoodic Peninsula or Otter Cliff?

Destination Guides And Trip Planning / Re: Switzerland Master Thread
« on: March 22, 2018, 02:22:28 PM »
Wife and I are going to be in Milan for a week in April and want to go north into southern Switzerland for 2-3 days. Any suggestions of where to stay and what to see? Spg properties? Thanks for the help!
Cheap Kosher hotel

BTW, maybe consider this Kosher hotel in Italy -

On The Road / Re: Best (cheapest) place to have windows tinted in NYC?
« on: March 06, 2018, 10:15:03 AM »
I need help passing inspection due to tinted. Any advise how to pass in Brooklyn?

PM's accepted. TIA

Goods For Sale/Trade / Selling 2 SPG nights cat 1-5 asking $500 OBO
« on: February 21, 2017, 12:27:06 PM »
Selling 2 SPG nights cat 1-5 asking $500 OBO.
Please PM.

Trip Reports / Re: Vacation Lover's Italian "Dolomites" Trip Report
« on: December 14, 2016, 06:42:49 PM »

Trip Reports / Re: Vacation Lover's Italian "Dolomites" Trip Report
« on: December 13, 2016, 08:17:15 PM »
Pictures are incredible... what kind of camera did you use?
Simple T5i with kit lens. And all pictures are original as taken. Didn't "enhance" color etc...

Trip Reports / Re: Vacation Lover's Italian "Dolomites" Trip Report
« on: December 13, 2016, 08:14:56 PM »
What an amazing trip report!! Breathtaking pictures!! I'm happy the weather worked out for you, it looks like you had a wonderful time!

I know what you mean

P.S. Great tips at the end, thanks!
LOL. Only you who was there would understand what it feels like... thanks for your TR it pushed me to try this.

Trip Reports / Re: Vacation Lover's Italian "Dolomites" Trip Report
« on: December 13, 2016, 02:08:28 PM »
Warning! Long installment ahead

Part 2 of 2

When we arrived to the hotel we checked in and went to eat supper in the dining room. The food was great every day.

The hotel is nice and modern. Easily a 4 star. The only downside of this hotel is the Bathroom... while they wanted to present a modern style hotel, they installed in ALL bathrooms square toilets. I think it is enough to stop here... Oh boy is that uncomfortable...

View from our room

Monday morning we headed out to "Saas Pordoi" about a 30 minute drive from the hotel. The road is as winding as can be. I've driven plenty, in many countries, but let me tell you, the drive here (in the Marmolada area) is not easy. Not only do you have to fully concentrate with both hands on the wheel while making 350 degree turns on steep and narrow roads without gates - but you have motorcycles passing you at approximately 140 km. And here and there some thrillers zoom by with bicycles...

BTW at the end of this trip I felt much more comfortable to drive in the area. It takes some practice but everyone can learn the techniques how to navigate the roads and/or pass trucks on those 10-mile-no-exit winding roads.

We parked, bought a ticket, the price for ALL attractions in the area was a joke against the price you pay at popular attractions in Switzerland.

Saas Pordoi is unique with its rocky surface and interesting formation as you can see on the pictures. It really reminded us of when we visited the Grand Canyon in AZ. When you get up you have really nice views around but you have to be veeery careful where you walk. (There are some gates, but not everywhere). It doesn't matter if it's a hole in the surface or a 900 foot cliff. No gates.

After Saas Pordoi we headed to Saas Sella. We followed Google maps until we arrived to the destination. When we arrived I was a bit confused. I expected to arrive to a cable car entrance with a nice big parking lot. Instead we arrived to this hut on the side of the road.

So we parked on the side of the road to check it out. Turns out that this is a restaurant on the Sella Pass (way) from here you can take many hikes. Aha so We made peace with the situation and decided to go for a stroll. We hiked for 5 minutes and decided to rest on our mat. As we sat down our eyes met a stunning mountain right in front of us. Pictures DON'T do justice at all.

Note the people on the bottom right side

It was a such a lovely view and quite all around. After hanging around we saw a cable car a few miles down and decided to check it out. On the way I stopped for a minute to photograph some cows and my car

When we arrived there we saw narrow carts where people have to squeeze in and stand throughout the ride... we paid, and were literally pushed inside this narrow cart standing, not being able to turn around or move. It felt like being caged in for some 10 minutes.

We later found out that this is indeed the Sella Pass but this cable car is known here as "Sassolungo". On top there is nothing to do for poor hikers. This place is made for the experienced and adventures climbers. But we did enjoy the view and headed back down. Then drove back to the hotel.

After a full breakfast we left towards Latemar We were to stop on the way at Lake Karersee which is one of the most photographed spots in the Dolomites. And for good reason. A blue lake surrounded by evergreen trees with rocky mountains in the background. Unfortunately the sun didn't play along nicely with the exposure of the camera, plus my ND filter stayed in the car.

Nevertheless, it was a surreal scene and was worth the stop, despite the overloaded parking lot and hundreds of tourists pouring in. Assuming because this place is free of charge...

Afterwards we drove towards Latemar mountain hoping to enjoy the famous mountain slide Unfortunately for us, despite the tens of hours of research I put into this trip I had mistaken the entrance and went here Meaning that we went to this mountain but to a totally different entrance which was about a 2 hour walk or 45 minute drive from the mountain slide (Alpine slide)

Despite the mistake we decided to check it out. Here too like yesterday this place is meant for the real mountain hikers. after resting a bit we decided to go back down.

After Latemar we drove to (can't remember the name... sorry. somewhere near Bolzano) As the hotel recommended, it was to have an incredible view. The view did not disappoint. It was spectacular! If you want to go here make sure to go in the afternoon, when the sun shines on the rocks. It was a really enjoyable place.


Afterwards we walked across the street in search for a gift shop, and spotted those people playing the Swiss horn. (Which is one of the hardest musical instruments to play) then went to Bolzano for some shopping

Somehow I found this name funny

On the way home we kept our eyes open for one more cable car... when we saw a sign "Carezze Ski-king of the Dolomites" okay so will check it out. Here too the place is meant for the professional mountain climbers. But we actually enjoyed more than we thought because the rocks were right in front of us.

Note the cows

Plus since it was late in the afternoon the effect of the sun resulted in some cool photography...

Afterwards it was time to go back to the hotel where I took this picture

Today is on the agenda the highlight of this trip. A visit to the actual Marmolada then we were to drive to Venice. Return the car and visit the city for a supper in Gam Gam.

For Marmolada I will let the pictures talk even though its hard to comprehend the magnificent, stunning views.

Afterwards we drove to Venice. And took Alilaguna "for the last time probably" ate supper, I recommend the Pita plate, it was really cool. Then took a Bus to the Hilton hotel. Thursday we woke up early, went to the airport, and flew back home with UA.

Here are a few tips I am happy to share.

1) If you are planning a hiking trip, get yourself a folding mat. I bought this and it was such a hit. We were able to sit down EVERYWHERE. On small sharp stones or on snow, on wet grass or on anything. Anywhere. Anytime.

2) If it's hot outside and your water bottle gets heated from the sun, but you really want cold water: Buy a 1.5 litter water bottle. Spill out about a third. Put it in the freezer laying on the width. If the cap is blocked by water than tilt the bottle more upwards. Let it freeze overnight. The next morning fill up the missing third with cold water. This should last you throughout the day for 2 people and will stay cold.

3) You love hikes but are bored when resting? Or don't know what to do in a rainy day? We brought along a badminton set and really enjoyed it. The only problem was that high up was pretty windy.

The end.

Trip Reports / Re: Vacation Lover's Italian "Dolomites" Trip Report
« on: December 13, 2016, 10:36:02 AM »
I found some pictures taken on the way to the hotel.

Credit Cards / Re: Purchases That Work For Amex Platinum Travel Credit
« on: December 06, 2016, 09:28:10 AM »

Trip Reports / Re: Vacation Lover's Italian "Dolomites" Trip Report
« on: November 30, 2016, 07:18:37 PM »
Nice start! How was Delta J?
Laying position was great. Sitting however was not so comfortable I felt like the seat was bent forward,  I didn't know why... I later looked at the pictures and realized that my head rest was bent forward throughout the flight  :'( what a pitty. Service was just as expected KSML Stogal wasn't edible.

Compare to UA. United may have slightly better service. Sitting position was certainly better... but laying position doesn't get all the way flat.  Delta does get 180 degree flat. Plus Delta' s pitch was 2 inches longer than UA.

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