Swiss Mission Reunion Tour
Arrival into Zurich Airport. What a wave of memories will hit us as we navigate the Zurich airport once again. We will check into our Zurich hotel and have a quick orientation and overview of the tour at 11am. After orientation were off to Switzerland's largest city Zurich. We will begin with a picnic lunch on the steps of the Limmat river. After lunch we will board the Limmat river boat that will take us through the old town of Zurich and right out onto the lake. After our river cruise we walk down the famous Bahnhofstrasse with a stop at the world renowned Sprungli Chocolate confection store.
We will visit the three main cathedrals in Zurich with our first stop at the Fraumunster and the beautiful Chagal windows. We will then stroll through the alleyways of Zurich up to the top of Lindenhof where we will have towering views of the city. Then it's back down to the St.Peters cathedral boasting Europe's largest clock face. And then of course the largest Grossmunster where Switzerland great reformation began.
A nice stroll down Niederdorfstrasse will show the charm of this beautiful city and lead us right to our restaurant for the evening. After dinner we will take a quick funicular ride up to the University to get a great view of the city below. Then it's back to the hotel for a good night's sleep.
After a delicious Swiss breakfast were off on the trains for St.Gallen. This eastern Switzerland city has so much charm and so little tourists which is even better. We will stroll through the quaint old town to the world renowned Abbey Library. St.Gallen's library boast a large collection of books that date back centuries. We will then see the large baroque Catholic church that was once the former Abbey there in St.Gallen and visit the neighboring Protestant cathedral who stands at the footsteps of this Catholic complex. We will then have a delicious lunch that should include a Olma Bratwurst along with the open air market of goods.
We will then hop on a train headed for Germany. That's right we need to experience Germany on this tour as well. We will take the train to Konstanz, Germany from St.Gallen. This ancient German city is rich with culture and historical significance within Europe. We will visit the shorelines of the Bodensee and see the satirical statue Imperia who stands as a beacon to all entering the ports of Konstanz. We will walk through it's large old town overflowing with shops and food vendors on our way to visit St.Mary's Cathedral. You will then have a few hours of free time to shop around Konstanz or maybe just sit and enjoy a gelato. We will have a real German dinner in Konstanz before taking the train back to Zurich that night.
After a good breakfast we will check out of our Zurich Hotel. We will have our bags shipped with the Swiss train station all the way to our next village we will be staying which will be Wengen. Today is Sunday so we will be attending church in Zollikofen right next to the Temple. How great it will be to sit in those pews once again and hear Swiss German being spoken from the pulpit!
After sacrament meeting we will leave Zollikofen and head into Bern, the nation's capital. This city has retained so much of it's old world charm which makes it a UNESCO World Heritage site. We will visit the Parliament, the Chindlifresser fountain, the Zytglock, the tallest Catherdral in Switzerland, the Aare river, and lastly the Bern Bears. After enjoying the city we will board our trains for Wengen where our hotel is located. The train ride alone up to Wengen is about as magical as you can get with it's amazing views of the Lauterbrunnen Valley below.
We will pick up our luggage at the Wengen train station and then check into the hotel and have a delicious Swiss dinner.
After breakfast we will all board the train with the first stop in Lauterbrunnen. This surreal backdrop was the inspiration for Tolken's Rivendell. The cascading waterfalls are sure to take each of our breaths away. We will take the cable car up to Grutschalp and then the small cogwheel train into the village of Murren. It is here we will take in the surrounding views and have a nice lunch in the village. (Fondue might be a good choice!) After lunch we will walk from the village of Murren to the village of Gimmelwald. This downhill walk provides views of the towering Alps along with wildlife and an occasional Swiss cow. We will take one of the best cable car rides in Switzerland from Gimmelwald down to Stechelberg. We will then visit Trummelbach Falls, this hidden gem found in the side of the rising cliffs is spectacular to see.
After this busy day exploring the Alps we will return to Wengen for a great dinner.
Today will be a very long day but one that will be sure to amaze. We will get an early start as we begin our journey to see the Matterhorn. This train ride will take us through valleys, tunnels, and steep gorges as we travel to the Swiss Italian border to the village of Zermatt. Here we will board the Gornergrat cogwheel train and climb up to 10k feet to the Gornergrat viewing deck. The views of the Matterhorn from this vantage point are far better than any found in Disneyland. We will eat lunch up top and enjoy the views.
On the way back down for those who are up for a little hiking we will hike from Rotboden down to the next station. For those who are not up for hike we will meet you at the lower train station where you could sit and enjoy the views until we arrive. We will then have a nice city tour of the village of Zermatt and you will have time for some souvenir shopping there in the village before boarding our train back to Wengen where our delicious dinner awaits.
Hopefully you brought some red to wear on this day because we will be celebrating with the Swiss on their National Day! After a great breakfast we will first head to Schyinge Platte where we will ride the old narrow cogwheel train. At the top of Schynige Platte we will have amazing views of the big three and the lakes below. We can also stroll through the Glacier gardens and enjoy the Swiss nature.
Our next stop will be Interlaken where the party has already begun. The strong aroma of Raclette will permeate the air as food stands dot the city. We will have an amazing lunch filled with cheese, breads, potatoes, and bratwursts! After strolling around Interlaken and taking in the sights we will get ready for one of Switzerland's largest National Day parades that will showcase everything Swiss.
After the parade we will head to Unterseen where we can view several performances from Yodeling and Alphorns. We will then head back to our village of Wengen where we will be served a delicious Swiss dinner and celebrate.
In the evening Wengen offers a small festival that includes music and fireworks that we can attend.
After breakfast we will check out of our hotel and shipped our bags once again with the trains to Zurich. Today we will have the best of both worlds, the views of beautiful Alps and strolling through an incredible city. We will board the Goldenpass train in Interlaken that will take us 2 hours through the Brunig pass and on into the city of Luzern.
Once in Luzern we will visit Chapel Bridge, Jesuit Cathedral, Old Town, the impressive Lion's Monument, and lastly the Hofkirche Cathedral. This city is such a great one to end the tour, it is quintessential Swiss with it's beautiful city, lake, river, and Alps all rolled up into one.
After over lovely day in Luzern we will board our final train back to Zurich where we will pick up luggage and check back into the Zurich Hotel. We will have one final delicious group dinner together and discuss past memories and the new ones we just created.
This is the final day of the tour and we will once again have to say our goodbyes. I will help those who have decided to fly back home to navigate the airport and get them off. For those who have decided to stay a few extra days your Swiss Rail pass included in the tour has one final day on it. I wanted to include this so that you could take a day at the end of the tour and venture off to where ever you might want to go. If your plans are to stay an extra day or two please let me know and I will extend your reservations at the Zurich hotel at cost.
I hope it doesn't take us another 20 years to do this again! 2018 can't get here fast enough!
$1998 Per Person (Based on Double Occupancy)
Not included:Beverages with meals, (laundry, phone calls, room service), gratuity.
Tour Dates: July 27-August 3, 2018
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