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Switzerland

June 5-12, 2016




After saying goodbye to our travel companions in Frankfurt at the end of our Germany tour, we continued via the Autobahn to Switzerland. After our arrival in Zurich, we welcomed a few more guests to our group and we gathered for a welcome dinner at your hotel.
Switzerland consists of 26 cantons and has a population of approximately 8 million people. It is the birthplace of the Red Cross and home of many international organizations including the second largest UN office. Four languages are spoken in Switzerland: German, French, Italian and Romansh.

Zurich

Walking tour in Zurich


Vaduz

Vaduz, Liechtenstein


Julier Pass

Stop at the Julier Pass


In the morning, we enjoyed a walk in Zurich's well-preserved Old Town with its medieval guild houses, and taste the traditional Chocolate Pralines at the famous Sprungli Confectionery. Next, a scenic drive following Lake Zurich and Lake Walen through the high Alps to the tiny Principality of Liechtenstein with a stop in its capital Vaduz. Vaduz is overlooked by a castle that is the official residence of the Prince of Liechtenstein. After the break, we continued our drive and ascended the Rhine Valley into the mountainous Grisons, a canton where three of the country's four languages are spoken.





The 7,504-foot Julier Pass, an important Alpine road since Roman times, leads to the Engadine. This valley is considered by many as the most beautiful mountain area in the world, with deep-blue lakes, airy larch forests that turn golden in the fall, mountain peaks exceeding 12,000 feet, and quaint villages with massive white stone houses in the characteristic Grisons style. Afternoon arrival in ritzy St. Moritz.

A gradual change of scenery as we descend towards the enchanting shores of Italy's Lake Como and continue on to the southern tip of Switzerland. The vegetation south of the Alps is Mediterranean: chestnut groves, vineyards, and olive and fig trees make us forget that earlier today we were within walking distance of glaciers. In the afternoon we arrived in the popular subtropical resort town of Lugano. Here we had time for a lunch break, shopping, or a stroll under the arcades of Via Nassa or just sitting in a cafe at the Piazza Riforma enjoying a drink and watching the crowd.
Afterwards, we checked in at our hotel and got ready for a boat ride crossing splendid Lake Lugano followed by dinner at a traditional "grotto" restaurant.


Dinner

Dinner at a "grotto" restaurant at Lake Lugano


Stresa

Stresa with Isola Bella


From Lake Lugano to the Italian shore of Lake Maggiore for a break in elegant Stresa. Most of us joined a boat ride to the enchanting Isola Bella. It is a privately owned island named in 1630 by Carlo Borromeo III after his wife Isabella. We continued over the Simplon Pass into the Swiss Valais, an area renowned for its excellent wines and great mountain resorts. To reach the most famous of them, we left the coach behind in Tasch and boarded a mountain train to climb the last few miles up to car-free Zermatt, a picturesque cluster of rustic chalets beneath the Matterhorn.

Most of us joined an optional tour to the Klein Matterhorn. We started with a cable car ride to the top of 12,739-foot-high Klein Matterhorn, the highest sightseeing point in Europe. It is an area of breathtaking mountain landscape of glaciers and permanent snow of the surrounding Alps. After we came back from our tour, we descended via mountain train to Tasch where we met our bus and continued through the vineyards and apricot groves of the lower Rhone Valley, and arrived at beautiful Lake Geneva for our overnight stay.
hotel at Lake Geneva

Our hotel at Lake Geneva


Bern

Bern


Lauterbrunnen

Lauterbrunnen


The first stop was the Swiss capital of Bern. Our guided tour started at the Bear Park, followed by a panoramic view of the city from the Rose Garden. Next, we enjoy a walking tour through the beautifully preserved medieval Old Town. At the end of the tour, we witnessed the hourly parade of painted figures in the Clock Tower.
The highlight of the day was a special lunch at a traditional Swiss Working Farm, to provide a chance to see how people in Switzerland live in the mountains.



Afterwards, we continued to Interlaken. The city is dominated by the impressive view of the Jungfrau massif with its group of three famous peaks: the Jungfrau, the Monch, and the Eiger. Then, there was a chance to stay in Lauterbrunnen or to join a trip into the heart of the nature: the Truemmelbach Falls. The falls are an awesome thunderous roar of the water as it rushes past the visitor inside the mountain. The falls are Europe's largest subterranean waterfalls and are located in the Lauterbrunnen Valley, often called the valley of 72 waterfalls. We continued our tour over the Brunig Pass to picturesque Lucerne. In the evening, we enjoyed dinner with a folklore party in downtown Lucerne.
On our walking tour in the morning, we visited Thorwaldsen's impressive Lion Monument, dedicated to the Swiss Guards who protected the Royal House of France during the French Revolution, and ornate patrician houses of the walled Old Town. Then we crossed the famous covered Chapel Bridge to the Jesuit church. Afterwards, another true Swiss experience: a trip to the top of Mount Pilatus, the "Guard of Lucerne". Our farewell dinner with wine was a great way to say "Auf Wiedersehen".

Lucerne

Dinner with folklore party, Chapel Bridge, at the Mount Pilatus station, the world's steepest cog railway




Group Picture
Group Picture


What our clients said after the tour:

Dear Kerstin,
All 20 trips I have taking with you have always been wonderful. This Germany and Switzerland trip beats all my expectation. Amazing that you personalized this Germany trip to include your hometown Dresden. I loved your hometown, so unique. Switzerland tour through many scenic route was awesome. I enjoyed every minute of this trip. We had so much fun. Also, you prove once more you care for all your clients. Thank you. Looking forward to traveling with you again. Fondly, Lillian

Kerstin,
We wanted to tell you how much we really enjoyed the tours and we learned somethings about those countries Many thanks for your wonderful work to arrange them for us. Diane and Tony

Kerstin,
Karyl and I really enjoyed our tour very much in Germany and Switzerland all because of your excellent plan. That is something we will never forget!!! Kerstin, thank you very much! Mike and Karyl

Hi,
I enjoyed beautiful Switzerland tour. Had wonderful time with other toursits and sightseeng. You are excellent tour agent, Thank you so much. Rozella


Fundraising Poster

We would like to thank the following people for their donation:
  • Janice Lemanski
  • Bridget Ford & Lucille May
  • Frank Tipson
  • Eleanor Arbri

Contact Kerstin's Deaf Travel to book your next tour or cruise by sending an e-mail to kerstin@kerstinstravel.com



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