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Old 01.06.2015, 20:36
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First family overnight trip after moving to CH?

We are moving to Fribourg for one year, starting in the middle of August (our kids are 9 & 11). Before the boys' school starts, I'd like to do a quick trip for one or two nights to take advantage of summer weather and a freer schedule. I am trying to balance the Switzerland "wow!" factor with keeping the expense in check.

I am thinking of Lauterbrunnen, perhaps with a stop at the Ballenberg Open Air Museum on the way back (if we rent a car rather than go by public transport). What do you think?

We also plan to do several day trips & hikes during this time from Fribourg as well (e.g. Gruyère, Lausanne), but I wanted to plan one venture "further afield."

Other ideas welcome; I have looked at the family friendly sticky; looking for prioritizing help. Thank you!
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Old 01.06.2015, 20:48
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Re: First family overnight trip after moving to CH?

You could go to Loèche-les-Bains spa resort at the end of the Rhône valley- amazing scenery, spas and the cable car up to the Gemmi for a walk by the lake, Or over the St Bernard pass (instead of Tunnel) to Aosta Valley, or go to Ticino, Lugano and the lakes. The list is endless.
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Old 01.06.2015, 20:50
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Re: First family overnight trip after moving to CH?

You might want to consider buying a day ticket for unlimited public transport, as when you are driving a car you simply cannot easily take in the views without stopping, which isn't always possible.

From Fribourg you could take the train to Lausanne, then go east towards Brig. Then from Visp back through the tunnel to Spiez, then to Lauterbrunnen, visiting Bern on the way home & back to Fribourg.

http://map.search.ch/Fribourg..Lausa...me_type=depart

The Ballenberg museum might be better left for when you can understand German, as it is all about the Swiss farmers' way of life.

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Last edited by Sbrinz; 01.06.2015 at 21:11.
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Old 01.06.2015, 21:08
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Re: First family overnight trip after moving to CH?

Thank you, Sbrinz - very helpful. I was thinking of renting a car for the flexibility, but perhaps I'm just not used to how flexible & efficient Swiss public transportation is. I also don't yet have a sense of cost comparison, given that we are a family of four and that we will no doubt get the half fare card, but I don't yet have a thorough grasp of the best way to manage train travel from a cost perspective.

Are you suggesting that route in order to have more variety of what we look at from the train windows?
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Old 01.06.2015, 21:17
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Re: First family overnight trip after moving to CH?

There are some great special offer leaflets at your local station to give you ideas. Also, most Communes/Gemeinde (town halls) sell day tickets at a very reasonable price, about 38CHF each (not sure about children)- so depending on dates you could get 2 lots in a row, and stay overnight somewhere.

BTW in Switzerland, rail and bus match very well. For instance, all the villages in the valleys off the Rhône valley are reachable by train to either Aigle, Sion, Sierre, and then the bus from the train station (that waits for the train to arrive) and up. If you go to Verbier, you take the train to Martigny, then another small train to Le Châble and then the bus or cable car up, etc.
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Old 01.06.2015, 21:28
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Re: First family overnight trip after moving to CH?

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Thank you, Sbrinz - very helpful. I was thinking of renting a car for the flexibility, but perhaps I'm just not used to how flexible & efficient Swiss public transportation is. I also don't yet have a sense of cost comparison, given that we are a family of four and that we will no doubt get the half fare card, but I don't yet have a thorough grasp of the best way to manage train travel from a cost perspective.

Are you suggesting that route in order to have more variety of what we look at from the train windows?
From Fribourg, you will see two large lakes and lots of mountains in a 5.5 hour train ride.

Car hire isn't cheap here either... You can get the children's cheap ticket/passport valid for one year.
http://www.sbb.ch/en/travelcards-and...dchildren.html

Bern is a lovely city to visit.

Are you fixed on Lauterbrunnen for the mountain views? The mountain Niesen Kulm might be more convenient,

http://www.niesen.ch/en/news/?oid=1845&lang=en

https://www.google.ch/maps/place/Nie...d5f7d44d5fe3ea

At present there are special offers from the BLS railway company, http://www.bls.ch/e/bahn/fahrkarten-...usangebote.php
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Old 01.06.2015, 21:32
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Re: First family overnight trip after moving to CH?

when we arrived we took two weeks and drove all over the country with my son (then 8). it was august and the first stop was brig. we went to the bath/water park and stayed in a woman's house within walking distance. my son loved it, the water park was small but just enough. exploring brig was quite fun as there was a festival going on and it was just beautiful to take a few walks around.

from there we took the pass and headed into italy. if you can spare 2-4 days- that's what i would recommend. driving the pass was incredible, views just gorgeous and a good wake up to the place where you'll be staying- plus then you can show them how easy it is to get to italy (or anywhere else!)

and i would take a car- and just explore, stopping where you feel like. we found our favorite spots that way. train is great when you know where you are going- but if you want to discover, especially the countryside, then a car gives a bit more flexibility. enjoy!
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Old 01.06.2015, 21:45
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Re: First family overnight trip after moving to CH?

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You might want to consider buying a day ticket for unlimited public transport, as when you are driving a car you simply cannot easily take in the views without stopping, which isn't always possible.

........

The Ballenberg museum might be better left for when you can understand German, as it is all about the Swiss farmers' way of life.
I agree on travelling by rail.

I visited Ballenberg and enjoyed it, even though I understand very little German. I wouldn't put it top of the list of places to visit though. It really needs a full day, and more
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Old 01.06.2015, 21:45
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Re: First family overnight trip after moving to CH?

You might want to consider "sleeping in straw" if you google this you should get the website that lists the farms in Switzerland which offer bed (in the hayloft or other suitably adapted building in the farm) and breakfast.
It is very reasonable and my children love it. Some farms also offer mattresses for a small extra charge if you want a slight more comfortable nights sleep. Most of the farms are in the most beautiful location. We stayed one above Lake Thun. Mountains behind us and lake in front. A BBQ area, large room for during the day if it rained, fridge to keep next day's picnic in. The kids feed the baby animals with milk. It was wonderful.
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Old 01.06.2015, 21:54
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Re: First family overnight trip after moving to CH?

http://cailler.ch/en/maison-cailler/...n/information/
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Old 01.06.2015, 21:56
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Re: First family overnight trip after moving to CH?

I second the vote for the cailler factory, and the adventure of going by train...
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Old 01.06.2015, 22:12
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Re: First family overnight trip after moving to CH?

Plenty of other ideas here, http://www.myswitzerland.com/en-ch/home.html?gclid=CJ684q-Z78UCFdPKtAod31oAgw

Fribourg is also a good place to live in! http://www.myswitzerland.com/en-ch/d...l?regionid=013
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Old 01.06.2015, 23:17
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Re: First family overnight trip after moving to CH?

One Family Trip could go for Example to the Rhinefalls. There is a youthhostel directly nearby, historical an nice http://www.youthhostel.ch/de/hostels/dachsen. There is a little museum and on the other side of the river, there is a park, whre the kids can climb on trees http://www.ap-rheinfall.ch/
Nearby there is Schaffhausen to visit, with the Munot http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Munot

Another and very Swiss thing to do is, to visit the 'Rütli'. It's where Switzerland has been founded as the leaders of the regions of Uri, Schwyz and Unterwalden met conspiratorially and set up a federation treaty, and other followed later. You go there by boat on the Lake of Lucerne. In Lucerne you could visit the Lions-Monument, the Gletschergarten and the Burbaki-Panorama http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bourbaki-Panorama , maybe there is a concert at the Hall https://www.kkl-luzern.ch/ , you go by boat to Gersau, where there is a yoth-hostel (again) directly on the lake http://www.youthhostel.ch/de/hostels/gersau (you can make reservations for absolutely nicest rooms), you visit the Tellsplatte by boat, and go over to the Rütli... and back to where your car is.. Coming back to Fribourg you could drive through the Emmental http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Langnau..._Bauernhof.jpg (more Swiss, you die) and have some 'Meringues' in the Kemmeriboden-Bad http://www.kemmeriboden.ch/ and listen to the sad stories of deceived love in other times.. you can sleep there (defintely no youth-hostel). The Arvenholz-room is timbered in Swiss stone pine and has a very nice smell. A Stöckli is a little house, mostly one room, where the old parents went, when their eldes son took over the farm. The next day you could visit the cheese-factory-museum in Affoltern im Emmental http://www.emmentaler-schaukaeserei.ch/

There are some other possibilities.. if you are in Fribourg, why not visit the Fondation Pierre Gianadda http://www.gianadda.ch/ in Montreux (my third preferite museum in Switzerland,) and afterwards the Chateau de Prangins http://www.nationalmuseum.ch/d/prangins/ near the Lake of Geneva and then the parc naturel du Haut-Jura http://www.parc-haut-jura.fr/ in France..

And there are some nice possibilities near Fribourg for inbetween. There ist the Museum for Watches in La Chaux-de-Fonds http://www.ville-de-la-chaux-de-fonds.ch/en/musees/mih , the park with buildings on stilts, as they would have been some millennias ago, in Gletterens http://www.village-lacustre.ch/, The Castle of Grandson with his history of Charles the bold.. etc.

But coming back to Lauterbrunnen and the Museum of Ballenberg.. On this trip you could first visit the Blausee http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blausee...er_Oberland%29 and have some nice trouts for lunch. Then go on to Lauterbrunnen with it's famous waterfall, to the Trümmelbachfälle http://www.truemmelbachfaelle.ch/ , they are qute impressing, too. over to the Ballenberg-Museum. After that you could visit Interlaken, quite hip, especially some hotels, as the well known Victoria or the Bellevue in Art Nouveau . If it's kids program, have a swim in the Burgseeli in Riggisberg nearby http://www.interlaken.ch/de/naturstr...burgseeli.html, the Lake of Thun is one of the coldest. By returning on the other side of the lake, there are the Caves of Beatus http://www.beatushoehlen.ch/ , a fish-reataurant in Oberhofen (Ländte) where the make typical swiss fish, Felchen and Egli.. A castle with not so well cured exposition in Thun, but the castle is singular.. Some food in the Bären in Münsingen..

Enjoy.
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Old 01.06.2015, 23:25
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Re: First family overnight trip after moving to CH?

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There are some great special offer leaflets at your local station to give you ideas. Also, most Communes/Gemeinde (town halls) sell day tickets at a very reasonable price, about 38CHF each (not sure about children)- so depending on dates you could get 2 lots in a row, and stay overnight somewhere.

.
For children the best thing to get is the Junior card. It costs 30 chf for a year and means the children travel free of charge everywhere on transport covered by the GA/AG ( buses, trains, boats etc) as long as they are accompanied by one parent ( or grandparent if you choose that option).

In summer the commune travel cards sell out very quickly ( especially for weekends) so it will take a bit of forward planning to get them.
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Old 01.06.2015, 23:29
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Re: First family overnight trip after moving to CH?

Thanks- can you use the childrens' card if the adult is using a Commune/Gemeinde reduced ticket?
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Old 01.06.2015, 23:32
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Re: First family overnight trip after moving to CH?

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Thanks- can you use the childrens' card if the adult is using a Commune/Gemeinde reduced ticket?
Yes it makes no difference what ticket the adult has, the child goes for free if travelling with them. If the parent(s) chooses to travel in first class, for example, the child(ren) travel in first class with them for free.
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Old 02.06.2015, 00:36
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Re: First family overnight trip after moving to CH?

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We are moving to Fribourg for one year, starting in the middle of August (our kids are 9 & 11). Before the boys' school starts, I'd like to do a quick trip for one or two nights to take advantage of summer weather and a freer schedule. I am trying to balance the Switzerland "wow!" factor with keeping the expense in check.

I am thinking of Lauterbrunnen, perhaps with a stop at the Ballenberg Open Air Museum on the way back (if we rent a car rather than go by public transport). What do you think?
I think nature is the best part Switzerland offers to 9-11 year olds. Near Lauterbrunnen is the Aareschlucht, which is where the river originates. Amazing terrain with a very adveturous paths through caves, tunnels and cliffs. Avoid restaurants, pack sandwiches or sausages to grill. The nature paths have plenty of fire pits for grilling.
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