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My Dream Vacation to Switzerland

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Jesse Kosher

on 22 November 2012

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Transcript of My Dream Vacation to Switzerland

SWITZERLAND If I had to choose my ultimate travel experience, my destination of choice would be Switzerland. My Dream Vacation: MOTIVATIONS: WHY I AM GOING To experience my hobbies of mountain biking and camping in some of the most beautiful mountain ranges in the world. To learn about the history of the country where my family comes from. To explore areas of the world I have never experienced in person. To learn about the culture and traditions of Switzerland. Where?
• Switzerland (Europe).
• Arrive in Zurich. With Who?
•My father.
•We are currently very close and we hope to strengthen our bond throughout the trip. When?
•Summer (middle of July)
•This is the best time of year to experience the biking and hiking terrain. What?
•A 2 week journey across Switzerland to experience the culture, nature, and outdoor athletics. To meet new and interesting people. My Travel Goals Improve on my existing mountain biking skills.
Expand my knowledge of nature.
Try as many new experiences as possible (sports, food, music, etc.)
Appreciate the beauty of the landscape.
Strengthen the bond with my father (my travel partner).
Befriend other tourists who have similar interests. ARRIVE DEPART The Route I will arrive in Zurich and stay put for several days. I will then visit Schauffhausen (in the north) and Appenzell (in the south-east). Then, I will head west to Lucerne, Bern (the capital city), Gruyères, and Geneva. This map shows the planned route through the country of Switzerland. Packing List Preparing For The Vacation Prior to booking flights and hotels, my father and I will research what each region in Switzerland has to offer. We will then plan our route through the country, ensuring to take advantage of all the possible experiences.

Once our travel plans have been determined, I will proceed to purchase airplane tickets and book our hotel accommodations. My father and I truly appreciate a beautiful view from a hotel. This is made easy in Switzerland with all the beautiful mountains and landscapes. CUISINE URBAN
WILDLIFE ACTIVITIES HISTORY One of my primary motivations for traveling to Switzerland is to partake in my favourite activities and hobbies. For as long as I can remember, I have always appreciated nature and enjoyed camping with my family. I have also been a fan of mountain biking since I was a child. The landscape in Switzerland provides the most amazing nature hike trails and bike routes in the world. I will have the privilege of experiencing the world class terrain. Uetliberg On the second day of the trip I will visit Uetliberg, which is a mountain in Zurich. I will ascend to the top of the mountain to see a beautiful view of the Alps and Lake Zurich. I will take the Denzlerweg path to the summit. This is a difficult hiking trail that takes much time and requires hard work. This is the beautiful view from Uetilberg. Lucerne Excursion Mountains Pilatus, Rigi, and Stanserhorn are three mountains in Lucerne. All of them are equipped with cableways, which allow for easy access to the peaks. However, I enjoy a challenge and will attempt to climb a section of Pilatus. I will take one of the most difficult routes that does not require cables or harnesses. Pilatus has several summits, but I will ascend to Tomlishorn, which is the highest point on Mount Pilatus. This is a situation in which I am a tourist and also the guide. After my hiking excursion in Zurich, I will travel to Lucerne. Lucerne is known for its numerous mountains and scenic views. I will partake in various activities during my stay near Lake Lucerne. Lake Lucerne Mount Pilatus and Lake Lucerne Gitschital Bike Route Before leaving Lucerne, I will take on my first mountain biking challenge of the trip. I will ride the Gitschital Bike Route, which has breathtaking sites along the Reuss River. This difficult trail will also lead me through forests and alpine meadows. The Gitschital is 24 kilometers long and will take several hours to complete. I will also take time during the ride to observe the beauty of Switzerland, especially from the Stotzigen view point (the highest point of the trail). Napf Bike Route I also plan on riding the Napf Bike Trail, which will be my most difficult mountain biking experience of the trip. I have put in much practice over the years and now I will be able to apply the skills I obtained . Completing the grueling trail will be one of my greatest accomplishments and a moment I will never forget.

The Napf will lead me through the Emmental hills and will take almost an entire day to complete. One of the greatest rewards of the journey is the scenic panorama of the Bernese Alps and Gantrisch region. View from the Napf Bike Route Rafting on the Sarine/Sanne River White Water Rafting In between Bern and Geneva, I will stop in an area known as Château-d'Oex. This region offers various white water sports.
I will choose to raft down the Sarine River, which is located in the Swiss Alps. This will be my first time white water rafting. I will probably be very nervous, but with some encouragement from my father I will take on the wild experience.
I also plan to participate in canyoning, which is traveling through canyons, rivers, and rapids by way of swimming and hiking. This is another new sport that I will attempt to take on. I am fortunate enough to have my first canyoning experience in one of the most incredible settings in the world. People canyoning in the Swiss Alps One of the major reasons Switzerland is my dream vacation destination is because of the ideal terrain for outdoor sports. I will take advantage of this by participating in many activities that I could not do at home. This includes white water rafting and canyoning. In addition, although I mountain bike and take nature hikes at home in Ontario, the hills do not compare to the massive mountain ranges of Switzerland. Accommodations Although the outdoor attractions are my favourite, there are still many amazing tourist attractions within the major cities of Switzerland. Since my trip will be two weeks long, I can experience all of what Switzerland has to offer. Landesmuseum On the very first day of my dream vacation I will visit the Landesmuseum (Swiss National Museum) in Zurich. The Landesmuseum is a great way to begin the trip as it will introduce me to the history and culture of the Swiss people. I believe that educating myself early in the journey will help me understand and appreciate where I am traveling and what I am seeing. Bahnhofstrasse and Niederdorf While in Zurich, I will be sure to visit Bahnhofstrasse, which is one of the most upscale and expensive shopping streets in the world. Although I may not be able to purchase any of the extravagant items, it is still interesting to browse through the exclusive shops.
I will also visit Niederdorf, which is the old town in Zurich. This area has many interesting boutiques and is known for its restaurants, bars, and nightlife. This is an area where I can take in the real Swiss culture. The vibrant atmosphere of Niederdorf. Appenzell Half way through my two week vacation, I will be staying in the Appenzell region. Within this area, I will spend most of my time in the Appenzell Village, which is known for its gorgeous painted murals and car-free streets. Appenzell Beer Factory One of the most interesting tourist attractions in the small village of Appenzell is the Appenzeller Bier (Swiss beer) factory. Although the factory is not very large, I will participate in the tour which exhibits how the hand crafted beer is brewed. Another interesting aspect of this tour is the outdoor portion. The guide will lead us to the fields where the malting barley and hops are grown. Appenzell Beer uses home grown ingredients, making it the true Swiss beer.
My father and I often drink local beers at home in Canada. Tasting the domestic beer of Switzerland while looking out onto the mountains will be an amazing experience. Blue Balls Music Festival During my short stay in Lucerne, I will attend the Blue Balls Music Festival. This is a concert of various music styles presented in beautiful venues by the shores of Lake Lucerne. The annual festival is only one week long (during the summer), and I will fortunately be able to attend. The music and stage locations leave the audience in amazement.
Since I was a young child, I have had an appreciation for music. I have played piano for many years, and have recently started to learn guitar. The Blue Balls Music Festival is known for its variety of music genres, including classical music and mainstream artists (such as Van Morrison and Billy Idol). Attending this concert is very entertaining, but also very meaningful as I have grown up listening to these bands. One of the beautiful stages at the Blue Balls Music Festival in Lucerne. Bundeshaus While in the capital city, Bern, I will take a tour of the Bundeshaus. This is a Renaissance palace where the Swiss Parliament is located. I have viewed the parliament buildings in Canada and the United States, and it will be interesting to compare the different styles. The Swiss parliament buildings (Bundeshaus) Bern Historic Museum Another major attraction in the capital city is the Bern Historic Museum. I will take a tour of this museum, making sure to spend extra time observing the Albert Einstein exhibits. He lived in Bern while developing many of his famous theories, and a section of the museum is dedicated to his work. This will not be the most exciting part of the trip, but will certainly be educational and interesting. Museum of Fine Arts Another popular attraction in Bern is the Museum of Fine Arts. Even though art is not my passion and I have never visited an art museum, I am eager to take on the new experience. This museum displays artwork from some of the greatest and most renowned artists of all time. I am most excited to view the works of Pablo Picasso that are displayed at this museum. After hearing about Picasso for so many years, it will be interesting to judge his work for myself. Grand Chalet in Rossinière After leaving Bern, I will make a quick stop in the Riviera-Pays-d'Enhaut region. This is where Grand Chalet of Rossinière is located. This old chalet was built in the 18th century and was the home of many Swiss painters. I intend on visiting the Grand Chalet's small museum about its history. There are also performances of traditional Swiss song and dance that I will attend. This visit will expose me to authentic Swiss traditions and culture. Grand Chalet in Rossinière A short drive from Zurich is the medieval town Schaffhausen. This is the home of Rhine Falls, the biggest natural waterfall in Switzerland. I will take a boat tour to get up close and personal with the powerful waterfall. I am eager to compare this experience to the 'Maid of the Mist' boat tour in Niagara Falls. Rhine Falls Although the urban attractions are a key part of the trip, I am most excited for the nature adventures, as they are what interest me the most. Switzerland has one of the most amazing landscapes in the world and I will have many opportunities for nature excursions. Early on in the trip, while in Zurich, I will visit Höllgrotten Baar. This tourist attraction is a series of underground stalactite caves. Today, these underground caverns are well connected and lit by electricity. This is one of the most unique natural formations in Switzerland and I look forward to exploring. Höllgrotten Baar Höllgrotten Baar Bärengraben (Bear Pits) While in Bern, I will be visiting the Bärengraben. This pit was a major tourist attraction and the home to many bears. In 2009, the laws were altered and the animals were given a new and more fitting home called BärenPark. I will be visiting the old grounds of the Bärengraben to witness how the wild bears used to live. Additionally, I will visit BärenPark to watch the powerful animals in action. A bear roaming the grounds of BärenPark. Ricola Herb Gardens One of the most beautiful areas I will visit is the Ricola Herb Garden in the Canton of Bern. The famous cough drop company Ricola is based out of Switzerland and focuses on using herbal ingredients. I will visit the gardens where the 13 natural herbs are grown. I will have the opportunity to explore the grounds and taste the fresh herbs straight from the garden. After seeing a photograph of the landscape, this is a place I am eager to see in person. Ricola Herb Gardens. Gruyere Pays-d’Enhaut Nature Park One of the most beautiful camping grounds and landscapes to explore is the Gruyere Pays-d’Enhaut Nature Park. There are many pathways throughout the valleys and hills that lead to beautiful sites. It is also common to come across wildlife, such as the chamois, which is a goat-like animal native to Switzerland and other mountainous regions.
What I find most intriguing about this experience is that you can explore the grounds without a tour guide. My father and I will roam the vast area on our own and make it an authentic camping trip. We will stay 2 nights on the Bellerive campground. This is a much more inexpensive option compared to a hotel. A chamois in Gruyere Pays-d’Enhaut Nature Park. Lake Geneva Region (Vaud) One of the most beautiful areas of Switzerland is the Lake Geneva Region, which is locally known as the Vaud. I will be embarking on a full day tour of this area. This includes a guided tour through the rolling hills and vineyards of some of the most exclusive wine making companies in the country. The Lake Geneva Region provides tourists with some of the most spectacular nature hikes and trails. I will take the opportunity to view this area and how it differs from the other regions in Switzerland. Lake Geneva Region, known as the Vaud. Just like any other vacation, I will bring ordinary clothes, personal care products, and necessary travel items (passport, boarding passes, and money). However, there are more important items that I will bring on this vacation. This includes:
Biking attire (Dry-Fit shirts and shorts meant for cycling).
Helmet (Although I will be renting bikes, I will bring my own helmet, which is top of the line).
Proper hiking shoes (I will be hiking on difficult terrain).
Raincoat (I will be on many outdoor excursions and must be prepared for the worst weather conditions).
Camera (I want to capture the incredible journey to share with friends and family). Cost of the Trip Zurich Appenzell Lucerne Gruyeres Geneva Romantik Hotel Säntis Hotel St. Gotthard Hotel Eden Hotel Des Alpes Hotel Cailler I will take direct flights to and from Switzerland. I will arrive in Zurich and depart from Geneva via Air Canada.
Since I will be visiting numerous cities across the country, I will be staying in several hotels.
For the majority of the trip I will stay in 3 or 4 star hotels, which have nice sized rooms and fair prices. I will not be spending too much time in the hotels, as I will be very busy with tourist activities. This is a list of the following hotels I will stay at: However, in Bern, I will stay in a 5 star hotel that costs over $500 per night. This luxurious experience will last for only 2 nights. Hotel Bellevue Palace provides beautiful rooms, exceptional service, and one of the finest restaurants in the city. This will be the most luxurious hotel I have ever stayed in. Hotel Bellevue Palace Of course an amazing vacation filled with physical activities, culinary experiences, and beautiful hotels is not free. This is a breakdown of what my two-week dream vacation would cost: Flights
Hotels & Campgrounds
Meals (approximate)
Extra Spending Money $1894.30
$500.00 Total $8244.30 Considering the length of the stay and the amount of entertaining activities that I will partake in, this is a reasonable amount of money to spend on my dream vacation. Throughout my journey across Switzerland I will become educated on the country and its past. Many of the buildings are rich in history and are very meaningful to the Swiss people. In addition, the architecture of buildings built centuries ago leaves tourists in awe. Churches There are many buildings that catch the eye, but none quite like the churches throughout Switzerland. I will be visiting the Fraumünster Church to view its beautiful architecture and learn about its deep history. The church dates back to the year 853 and is one of the most recognizable landmarks in the country. I will also visit Grossmunster church and St. Peter’s Church in Zurich. All three of these churches have gorgeous structuring and interesting tours explaining the history. Fraumünster church at night. Endingen After leaving Zurich, I will arrive in Endingen for one of the most meaningful chapters of the trip. This was one of the few areas where Swiss Jews were allowed to settle. I have family from this area and I look forward to visiting their homeland. I also will visit one of the synagogues (Jewish temples) that remains in Endingen. Learning about family history will strengthen the bond between me and my father. Old synagogue in Endingen. Chapel Bridge Chapel Bridge is the oldest wooden bridge in Europe and is one of the main tourist attractions in Switzerland. This bridge is related to and named after St. Peter's Chapel, which is located near by. Another historical aspect of the covered bridge is the series of paintings dating back to the 17th century. I look forward to walking on the bridge and examining the historical art pieces. Chapel Bridge in Lucerne Artwork on the Chapel Bridge Castles of Bellinzona Another interesting attraction that I will spend time exploring is the area of Bellinzona. This is the location of medieval architecture (gates, towers, walls) and enormous castles. The deep history of the castles of Bellinzona will be explained during the lengthy tour I will take. Bellinzona dates back to 590 and there is written record of the Romans using this fortress as protection. I am enthusiastic about going on an expedition through the castle grounds, as it looks like a set from a Hollywood movie. It is extremely rare to find a location like this back at home. The beautiful castle grounds of Bellinzona When it comes to food, I am always willing to try something new and exciting. I love cooking and experimenting with flavours. As I travel through Switzerland, I will be sure to take in all the local cuisine. Of course, the specialty foods in Switzerland are cheese, chocolate, and wine.
Other than my regular meals, in which I will eat various foods and local dishes, I will take on several other interesting culinary experiences. Wineries in Bern Some of the greatest and most expensive wines in the world are produced in Switzerland. I will be sure to visit the Klötzlikeller, which is the most famous, old wine tavern around. It is an authentic Swiss experience that is recommended for all tourists and wine fanatics.
Another 'must-visit' location is The Swiss Wine Bar, which offers a selection of over 400 different bottles of Swiss produced wine. This is one the most recognizable wine bars in the country. Gruyères One town that I will be sure to visit is Gruyères, in the Gruyère District. This small town is famous for its cheese production. I will specifically go to Fromagerie de Démonstration, which is a dairy farm where they exhibit the process of making the world famous cheese. I am excited to taste the product in its highest quality.

Additionally, I will order a cheese dish called raclette. This is a traditional Swiss specialty that is served all over the town of Gruyères. Aging cheese in the town of Gruyères. Cailler Chocolate Factory The Cailler factory is the oldest chocolate factory in Switzerland, and is a leader in innovative techniques for producing chocolate. They also have some of the world's finest chocolates for sale in the gift shop. I will take a tour of the factory to learn about the process of creating delicious chocolate. Then I will indulge in the sweet treats that make the Swiss famous. Assortment of Cailler chocolate products in the factory Lake Geneva Region Vineyards My last culinary experience of the trip will take place in the Lake Geneva Region (Vaud). There are four separate regions within this area that have special soils and climate that are specific to certain types of wine. The main types of wines produced in this area are Chasselas, Gamay, and Pinot Noir. There are 28 different labels that come from the Vaud, and I will taste the majority. I will explore many of the vineyards and wine making facilities in order to gain a better understanding and appreciation of the wine making process. Vineyards and wineries in the Vaud Conclusions References After spending two weeks in Switzerland I will return home to Toronto. I will have numerous stories and pictures to share with my peers. I am always excited to share my experiences with those who are close to me. Throughout Switzerland, there is unique culture, history, and tradition. I will have a much better understanding of the country after this trip. Lastly, I am grateful for having my father as a close friend and travel partner, and this trip has the potential to be our fondest memory. Trip Itinerary: https://www.expedia.ca/Details?action=UnifiedDetailsWidget%40showDetails&rfrr=&c=ae6cf57b-c879-4a01-9079-8d81f6aa051d& Rhine Falls: http://www.zuerich.com/en/Visitor/tours/excursions/rhine-falls-with-stop-at-the-airport-details.html#detailsChurches: http://www.zuerich.com/en/Visitor/Experience/Attractions/Grossmuenster.html#detailshttp://www.zuerich.com/en/Visitor/Experience/Attractions/Fraumuenster.html#detailsDistricts: http://www.zuerich.com/en/Visitor/Experience/Attractions.htmlUetilberg: http://www.zuerich.com/en/Visitor/Experience/Nature/Uetliberg.html#detailsHollgrotten: http://www.zuerich.com/en/Visitor/Experience/Nature/Hoellgrotten.html#detailsLucerne: http://www.myswitzerland.com/en/lucerne.htmlBear Pit:http://www.myswitzerland.com/en/bern-bear-park-the-erstwhile-bear-pit.htmlhttp://www.gourmantic.com/2010/12/15/bear-pits-of-bern-barengraben-and-barenpark/ Wine tasting in Bern: http://www.gotrotting.com/food-drink/bars-cafes/bern/swiss-wine-bar/Napf Bike Route: http://bikeland.myswitzerland.com/en/routen_detail.cfm?id=315733&tour=route&art=regionalGitschital Bike Route: http://bikeland.myswitzerland.com/en/routen_detail.cfm?id=346815&tour=route&region=004&art=allRicola Herb Gardens:http://www.ricola.com/en-ch/World-of-Herbs/Ricola-Herb-Gardens/Ricola-Herb-GardensCastles of Bellinzona:http://www.myswitzerland.com/en/interests/excursion-summer/historical-switzerland/castles-palaces/unesco-world-heritage-the-castles-of-bellinzona.htmlSwiss Flag:http://www.worldflags.me/Flag.asp?Country=SwitzerlandRafting:http://www.riviere-aventure.ch/rubriques-en/en_rafting.phpCanyoning: http://www.riviere-aventure.ch/rubriques-en/en_canyoning.phpLake lucerne picture: http://www.agia.ch/chalet/content/daytrips.htmlPilatus: http://www.pilatus.ch/en/the-mountain/geology/Mount Pilatus picture: http://www.high-end-travel-switzerland.com/Mount-Pilatus.htmlBlue balls music festival: http://www.blueballs.ch/index.php?id=346http://www.luzern.com/en/festivals-events/top-events/blueballsGrand Chalet: http://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/culture/A_home_for_aristocratic_artists.html?cid=31198Swiss national museum: http://www.musee-suisse.ch/e/zuerich/dauerausstellungen/index.phpBahnhofstrasse: http://www.myswitzerland.com/en/bahnhofstrasse-zuerich.htmlNiederdorf: http://worldradio.ch/wrs/programmes/weekender/djs-disco-and-family-fun-in-zurichs-old-town~print.shtmlAppenzell: http://www.myswitzerland.com/en/appenzell2.htmlAppenzeller bier: http://www.appenzellerbier.ch/en/produkte/schweizergerste.htmlFine arts museum: http://www.kunstmuseumbern.ch/en/visit_0-129.htmlBern historical museum: http://www.bhm.ch/en/exhibitions/einstein-museum/Rhine Falls: http://rhinefalls.com/Hotel Bellevue palace: http://www.bownsbest.com/bellevuepalace.htmBellinzona castles: http://www.bellinzonaunesco.ch/castelliunesco/en/Chapel bridge: http://www.myswitzerland.com/en/old-city-chapel-bridge-water-tower-lucerne.htmlCailler chocolate: http://www.myswitzerland.com/en/interests/excursion-summer/museums/technical-museum/cailler-chocolate-factory.html By: Jesse Kosher
250515935 By: Jesse Kosher 250515935
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