Author Topic: Switzerland and Venice trip report  (Read 9281 times)

Offline VacationLover

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Re: Switzerland and Venice trip report
« Reply #30 on: October 30, 2014, 09:57:21 PM »
You're gonna leave us hanging for 2 weeks ?
I'm actually going Sunday to AZ - Sedona and the Grand Canyon, so won't have time. also to write/edit/insert photos, takes a lot of time, much more then you can image  ;)

Offline VacationLover

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Re: Switzerland and Venice trip report
« Reply #31 on: October 31, 2014, 12:23:08 AM »
WOW!!  Nice tr!! and we thought we did switzerland.... :D
You are really brave for a guy who's scared of heights...or then again, maybe you always thought you were..... ;D
Where in Switzerland were you? If you think that so far you saw the nicest, hang on for 2 weeks and then you'll see the real stuff! Wengen!

Offline morgs

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Re: Switzerland and Venice trip report
« Reply #32 on: October 31, 2014, 07:36:48 AM »
Where in Switzerland were you? If you think that so far you saw the nicest, hang on for 2 weeks and then you'll see the real stuff! Wengen!
We were in zurich (free night at the PH of course :D) and then in Davos for Shabbos-we hiked in Jakobshorn on Sunday which is pretty high up with amazing views. (when i said we thought we did Switzerland I meant did it as in checking it off the list-but since your tr I unchecked it from the list ;D....) eagerly awaiting the rest!!! Enjoy your AZ trip!!

Offline clear thinker

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Re: Switzerland and Venice trip report
« Reply #33 on: October 31, 2014, 09:47:26 AM »
Wow absolutely amazing TR thanks for sharing!
It really looks like you rocked that trip!

Offline bubble347

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Re: Switzerland and Venice trip report
« Reply #34 on: October 31, 2014, 04:07:06 PM »
Beautiful pictures, what camera did you use?
Watch this inspiring video.

Offline VacationLover

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Re: Switzerland and Venice trip report
« Reply #35 on: November 01, 2014, 08:32:37 PM »
Beautiful pictures, what camera did you use?
I guess you didn't really read every word ;) a Panasonic lumix LX5,

Offline bubble347

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Re: Switzerland and Venice trip report
« Reply #36 on: November 02, 2014, 07:55:01 AM »
I guess you didn't really read every word ;) a Panasonic lumix LX5,
Indeed, I was too captivated by the pics.
Watch this inspiring video.

Offline Isng

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Re: Switzerland and Venice trip report
« Reply #37 on: November 08, 2014, 09:15:21 PM »
Wow amazing TR!!! Can't wait for the second part

Offline VacationLover

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Re: Switzerland and Venice trip report
« Reply #38 on: November 12, 2014, 07:54:50 PM »
Here is the second and final part.
Because of the many questions we received regarding the pictures, I will repeat: we took along our Panasonic LX5 Camera and all photos featured here are from our own snapshots; nothing is downloaded from other sources.

Wednesday
We took a train to Zurich Airport and flew ZRH-VCE (Venice) round trip on Swiss Air, booked with United Points. The flight was short, about 45 minutes, with great entertainment - Mr. Bean’s videos… after every joke all passengers aboard burst out laughing... it was really funny.


View from the airplane, see the mountains blend with the clouds.

Arriving in Venice, we were immediately hit by the extreme humidity. The sun is very strong there and the air is sticky and wet. We took an Alilaguna Shuttle Boat which was nice and cheap, to San Marco – the main square in Venice. From there we had about a 5 minute walk to the Westin Europa and Regina Hotel, booked with 10k SPG points + 150 Euros. The hotel from the outside looks old and shabby, but the inside is beautiful. We got a regular room with no view, but spacious and comfortable. When we arrived, the air condition was already working in the room (in most hotels in Europe you have to put in a card in a slot in order to put on the lights or air condition. You can put in any card, not only the room card) and we were so excited to see the fridge fully stocked with neat rows of drinks and snacks, as we were so exhausted and hot from the heat outside. We didn’t think twice, and started drinking bottle after bottle. The next day we were informed that each bottle costs 10 Euros! That was real bad news as we already drank half a dozen of them. So the next day we ran from store to store with empty bottles in hand, trying to find identical bottles to replace the ones we drank.




The Westin Hotel; our room and bathroom


View from The Westin Hotel

Venice
Venice is a very interesting city and really crowded; not with residents but with Tourists, Hotels and Fashion Shops. The language (Italian) is a strange one. Masses people are on the streets, coming and going, flashing camera everywhere. There are almost no attractions there. You just roam around the streets and observe the city. There are absolutely no cars to be seen! The police, Ambulance, UPS and what not, are all boats. Instead of asphalt roads it’s either water canals or slim sidewalks (I was surprised at the lack of safety there; almost no gates by the water). In the canals there is boat traffic and lots of boat honking, all as if they were cars... Strollers have a difficult time navigating, because after every few blocks there is a little bridge made out of steps that you need to climb up and down with no alternate route.


Ambulance


Police


Gas Station


Delivery Boat (I was ready to see some boxes slip in the water…)


Typical Bridge in Venice


Gondola Boats Parking Area

Since it was getting late in the day, we began our way in search for the Chabad Shul. 45 minutes later we finally found it. After davening, we proceeded to the Restaurant Gam Gam for supper. However, they were all full so we went to a restaurant across the Shul. (I don’t remember which hechsher it has) We didn’t trust the Hechsher for meat so we ordered Italian Pasta which had a ‘eww’ taste; more spice than anything. After Davening Maariv, we went back to the hotel and warmed up some of our frozen food.

Thursday
We were told by a friend to go to Lido - an island next to Venice. We went there by the local taxi boat, ACTV. We rented a 4 wheel bike and biked around the city. Since Lido is surrounded by beaches on all sides, it isn’t the most spiritual place to go. I would rather recommend going to Murano. The only nice thing about the trip to Lido was the relaxing boat road and beautiful view of the sea.

Arriving back to San Marco, we went shopping for souvenirs. There are loads of peddlers on each corner, selling everything you can want. We had fun bargaining. (You just need to be firm and keep bargaining. These salesmen are desperate to sell their stuff and they end up giving you the price you want.) We then packed, checked out of the hotel, took a boat to the airport, and flew back to Switzerland. We arrived to Zurich at night, and stayed overnight at Holiday Inn Express near the airport.




San Marco


Standing in San Marco Square


The Water Canals


Police patrolling in San Marco

Back to Switzerland
Friday we went back to the main train station at the airport and headed to Wengen. The ride took more than 3 hours, with 4 transfers in the middle. The last train ride from Lauterbrunnen to Wengen is exceptionally scenic and gorgeous.






The beautiful scenes on the way to Wengen.

Wengen
Wengen is a very nice little town situated on a steep mountain. You can find some houses with one side underground and the other side two flights up. Cars are not allowed in the town to keep the environment clean. There is even a 2% tax on everything in the town for the clean environment. There are more hotels in Wengen than private houses as it’s basically a tourist town. (Engelberg is also a tourist town but there are a lot of people that live there all year and that makes the place cheaper). The drawback of Wengen is the entire town is made of steep roads and it’s very hard to walk (climb…). Even though we are quite young, our feet hurt all the time.


Wengen. Note the tall Palace hotel in the center


How many floors does this little house have??

We stayed in the Palace Hotel which was rented out by Tour Plus. The price was expensive and the hotel is not nice at all, (maybe a 2 star), but the food was super good! Shabbos was a hit with such delicious food and breathtaking views; it was a real Oneg Shabbos. Here is a link to Tour Plus:
http://en.tourplus.co.il/2014-e-summer-vacation-wengen


The Palace Hotel


Looks like one cloud is stuck there

Sunday
Sunday we went to First, Grindelwald, about a 45 minute train ride. There was not much to do there besides hiking, but the view from there was spectacular. Every mountain has its specialty that others don’t have. Upon asking around what this mountain offers, we were told to hike a specific route and that will lead us to a "beautiful" lake. (I want to add that almost every hike in Switzerland is marked very clearly, with signs about every mile that update you how much longer you still have to walk)


Maze of tracks








View from Grindelwald


Hiking to the lake


The path to the lake

We hiked for about an hour with high expectations. Along the way there was a dramatic cliff right off the 3 foot wide path, and shockingly no gate there. We finally arrived to... this simple lake, and besides a restroom there was absolutely nothing to do there. We headed back with much disappointment. We wanted to do the Zipline but it was too windy so it was closed. After taking the chairlift down to the middle station, we rented Trotti Scooters and went riding down the rest of the mountain. The Trotti path is very winded and steep and ends in the city. (I think the Trotters by the Titlis is more enjoyable, but by First it has a nicer view.)


Why can’t they put a gate?


The lake. Note the people on the right side


Zip Lines


Trottibike Sign

Monday
We wanted to go up the Jungfrua which is officially called "Top of Europe”. But it was rainy and foggy with only 5 meters of visibility, so we went to Bern and strolled the streets, went shopping etc. Late afternoon when we returned to Wengen, the sky cleared up, so we took the train up towards Kleine Scheidegg and went down by the Männlichen stop and hiked down. This hike was my favorite one. Really nice and relaxing and of course free :)


Hiking from Männlichen to Wengen


The signs on the way

The views on the way are unbeatable! If you’re in the area I would definitely recommend a hike down from Kleine Scheidegg or Männlichen to Wengen.


Sunset view from the Palace Hotel


Sunset on the Jungfrau Mountain


Just in case you wondered how they plow the snow on train tracks.

Tuesday
The next day was rainy again so we went to Interlaken and tried to walk from the East Station (Ost) to the West Station but we gave up in the middle and walked back to the East, and chose some souvenirs on the way. Then we picked up a brochure to see what else we can do in the area. We decided to do a little mountain called Heimwehfluh. That mountain was not a good choice as it’s meant for kids. There was a Mini Train Museum and a cute little park. The only good activity was a short mountain sled (alpine slide) to the bottom. Then we went to an indoor little park called “JungfrauPark Interlaken”. That park was definitely a good choice for a rainy or foggy day. It has indoor exhibits and a sky ride. We watched a 3D Panoramic IMAX of the Swiss Alps. It was beautiful. Then we headed back to Wengen and packed our stuff. We checked in our suitcases to the Train Station and they sent it to the airport for us. It was a great service, as it would’ve been quite impossible to hop on and off trains with all our luggage. Wednesday we took the train to Zurich and checked into our Hotel near the airport. Then we had some extra time so we went shopping in a local mall. Thursday morning we flew back to JFK with A”A.


Mini Train Museum


JungfrauPark

There are 2 major things we didn’t get to do – top of Jungfrau and Saas Fee. I guess we’ll need to return a different time.

Let me know how you would like future Trip Reports, Short and to the point? Long and detailed? A lot of photos? Videos?

Up next – our trip to AZ and the Grand Canyon. I hope to post it in a few weeks.
« Last Edit: November 12, 2014, 09:47:06 PM by VacationLover »

Offline sillypainter

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Re: Switzerland and Venice trip report
« Reply #39 on: November 12, 2014, 08:12:53 PM »
Very nice. I'm sure we all love more pictures.

Btw, did you get a discount or unlimited pass for the rail?

Offline Yaalili

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Re: Switzerland and Venice trip report
« Reply #40 on: November 12, 2014, 08:14:11 PM »
Beautiful pictures you have, there is no gate there for a reason. Look up places in Norway from super flyer.

Offline VacationLover

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Re: Switzerland and Venice trip report
« Reply #41 on: November 12, 2014, 08:19:22 PM »
Very nice. I'm sure we all love more pictures.

Btw, did you get a discount or unlimited pass for the rail?
Our pass gave us 7 unlimited days for bus/train/boat (we chose the dates). plus for 30 days - including that 7 days - it gave us half price for bus/train/boat + most attractions.
« Last Edit: November 12, 2014, 08:43:50 PM by VacationLover »

Offline Yehoshua

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Re: Switzerland and Venice trip report
« Reply #42 on: November 12, 2014, 08:21:04 PM »
Wow,  I just read/found this TR. Amazing job! I love all the pics!

Offline 12HRS

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Re: Switzerland and Venice trip report
« Reply #43 on: November 12, 2014, 11:05:42 PM »
Let me know how you would like future Trip Reports, Short and to the point? Long and detailed? A lot of photos? Videos?

Just like you did!

Offline TimT

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Re: Switzerland and Venice trip report
« Reply #44 on: November 12, 2014, 11:12:43 PM »
Wow. Paradise on earth.