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George B

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George B

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May092011

Tour/Activity

Danube Valley Day Trip from Vienna

Vienna, Austria

My Rating
3 star rating: Worth doing

My Review

I have mixed emotions about this excursion. If you are in Vienna for a limited time (three days or less) then I do not recommend this tour. The reason being is that Vienna is a large city with alot to see. This tour will be a distraction from Vienna in this case.

Compared to other cities (Switzerland and Austria) Vienna is much larger, and you will probably want to break up your visits in to city sectors to accomplish the task at hand.

As a trip, the rural landscape and Danube river cruise are magnificent and highlighted by a trip to Melk. The restaurant at the Melk Abbey is good, but not included in the price. Visit the city of Vienna first, and make this a third or fourth day trip if you have that much time.

Our tour guide, Tommy, was excellent. he speaks English, German, and Italian fluently. His knowledge of the area is vast. We took a side trip to Grinsing the next day because he said it was for wine enthusiasts. This was a disappointment. The limited number of wineries are not open most of the time. Do some investigation before you decide to try this.

May062011

Tour/Activity

Salzburg Card

Salzburg, Austria

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

The Salzburg Card is one of the best values in travel today. We got the 48 hr card. Other than eats, we did not pay anything for what we visited. This covers bus fares as well. Just go through the front door of the bus and show it to the driver.

If you are taking an Alpine vacation, do not leave Salzburg off of your vacation. The train station is a bit of a mess at present, but that will improve.

The adjacent bus station is convenient for going to places of interest. Bus route 25 will take you to the highlights. If it is a whirlwind tour, then the cable car at Untersberg (end of bus route), Hellbrunn castle, Hohnenfortresse, and downtown Mozart attractions are musts.

You can redeem your voucher at the information office that is behind the OBB information office at the train station for city cards.

I really recommend the 48 hr card; so, you can take attractions such as the zoo as well. Don't miss this gym of a city. And... don't let the shape of the area around the train station be your first impression of this beautiful city. I am sure it will be beautiful when they finish.

May052011

Tour/Activity

Mount Pilatus Summer Day Trip from Lucerne

Lucerne, Switzerland

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

This is a great trip. There is some construction at the top adjacent to the hotel, but it isn't much of a deterrent.

When you climb to the top of the viewing point, you will see breathtaking scenery that surrounds Mt. Pilatus. You are in the heart of the Alps, and this is truly one of the most beautiful places on earth.

The climb may be a bit of challenge for those with health issues, and I would not recommend going past the level of the hotel.

The cog wheel train that takes you down the backside is a must. Find out if there is maintenance or weather issues involving this train before you make this purchase. It definitely affects the value of the package.

May032011

Tour/Activity

Day Trip to Lausanne, Montreux and Château de Chillon

Geneva, Switzerland

My Rating
4 star rating: Recommended

My Review

I would recommend taking this trip if you have limited time in Geneva. Compared to the rest of Switzerland, many parts of Geneva are dirty. The food is very expensive, and if you are not careful, you will walk right into the middle of the red light district. This is only a few blocks from the train station and next to a school district.

There are beautiful places in Geneva, but tremendous immigration, business, and politics have shaped this city into a place of urban sprawl and challenges not like the rest of Switzerland.

This is why I recommend this tour. When you go to Lausanne, Vevey, Chillon, and Montreux, you will see the true beauty of the Lac Leman area. If you miss these areas, then you have missed the best the area has to offer.

Lausanne is the home to the International Olympic Committee, and it an absolutely beautiful town. This is where you will be dropped off to visit the IOC museum (have to pay to go in the viewing rooms) and eat lunch (not included in the package).

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