Austria/Switzerland

Courtesy of the American Spouses of Brunssum Travel Information Guide

Place: 
 
Salzburg and Innsbruck, Austria; Appenzell and Lucerne, Switzerland

Time of year you went and weather:
 
 
April 13-23, 2003 (Easter break)

Directions (Driving): 
Leaving from Stuttgart, we took the A8/E52 toward Ulm/Munich (Munchen), around Munich change to A99/E52 toward Salzburg–this changes into the A99/E45/E52, then get back on the A8/E45/E52, change to A10/E52/E60 once in Austria, then get on A1/A10 junction/E60 heading toward Wein (Vienna), then A1/E55/E60 toward Salzburg. Exit on the B1 and head down to Salzburg. It was about 2 hours to Munich from Stuttgart and another 1.5 hours to Salzburg.
From Salzburg, we took the B20, to the B20/B21, to B21, to B305, B21, B178/E641, B312/E641, B178/E641, A12/E45/A60 to Innsbruck and B177? To Oberperfuss–you’d have to get directions if you stay at the apartment. From there we drove on the A12/E60, to S16/E60, B190, B80, B191 into Lichtenstein, take the Rheinstrasse toward Eschen (we had lunch there) and then head out on same road to Switzerland border, and take the B13 road north which changes to the A13 road, around Oberreit you’ll head toward Appenzell. We took a more scenic route and wanted to stay off the interstate since we only had a pass for Austria. We left Appenzell on the 8 road, then the 16 road, then 8 road, at the A53 junction head toward Rapperswil, get off the A53 after about 4 miles onto the 8 road again, go right onto 17 road/8 road, get on the A3 (toward Zurich), exit at Wadenswil, near Sihlbrugg get on 4 road/E41, then A4a/E41, to A4/E41, exit Kussnacht/Immensee, turn left on 2 road, right 2b road, then head for Weggis, around Lake Lucerne. We left Lake Lucerne and went through Zurich, then up to Heidelberg.
Austria and Switzerland require a “pass” (in sticker form) to drive on their interstates–not required for driving on lesser roads. If you don’t drive on the interstates, you need not get a pass, but don’t get caught on the interstate without one. These passes can usually be purchased at fuel stations near the borders.
 
All routes can be found at http://www.viamichelin.com/
Where you stayed: 
      ~  Salzburg, AU:  Haus Wierer (Verena) – Moosstrasse 128a, A-5020 Salzburg phone: 43-662-828727, email: wierer@aon.at (Great view of mountains-10 minutes by bus to center–easy to catch busses)
      ~  Innsbruck, AU at Hannelore Hörtnagl, Dickicht 6a, 6137 Oberperfuss, phone: 05232-81981, email: studlerhof@utanet.at (Wonderful Farm Apartment!–5 minutes from Innsbruck and a lot better view)
      ~  Appenzell, SW at Landgasthof Hargarten Hotel. They had to change locations on us, so all I have is an email of contact@hauslydia.ch (same owners of both places) and the POC is Reto Mock. (Wasn’t impressed since we got moved; if we had stayed in Appenzell, would have been very nice. We got moved to the middle of nowhere about 15 minutes from Appenzell due to computer mess-up.)
      ~  Weggis, SW at the Budget Hotel, Herr Swierstra, Porstrasse 29, CH6353 Weggis, phone: 041-3901131, email: info@budgethotel.ch (Cheap place to stay around Lake Lucerne; nothing spectacular, but affordable and clean. Weggis is a nice town to walk around too and easy to catch boat to Lucerne.)
      ~  Heidelberg, GE, at the military base. Phone is 49-6221-795403, email is guesthouse@26asg.heidelberg.army.mil (Nice place to stay; I think they take reservations 10 days out. Good point to go exploring Heidelberg from as well.)
My one big recommendation for anyone traveling over in Europe is to stay at Bed & Breakfasts, Guest homes, or Apartments. We generally found hotel chains to be higher, and less personable. We always had a great host, wonderful views and generally close or in the middle of where we wanted to be. 
Good links to try:
Things to do:
      ~  Salzburg:
              –  A Sound of Music tour is well worth it. Besides getting a view of all over, you go to places that you’d miss otherwise and have great guides explaining the “unknown” facts about the movie–it was a lot of fun.
              –  Walking around Salzburg is wonderful–the place is beautiful.
              –  We also went to Hallein and went through the salt mines.
      ~  Innsbruck:
              –  Besides seeing the “old town” buildings, which were pretty, we went to the Museum of AnatomyThe museum comprises an extensive collection of skeletons, skulls and large glass jars containing preserved bodies that illustrate the evolution of man. The most valuable exhibit is the skeleton of the giant Haidl who died in 1491/4. Also on display are painted skulls from the ossuaries in Hallstatt, Pürgg, Ebbs and Galtür.
Institut für Anatomie der Universität Innsbruck
Müllerstraße 59
A-6020 Innsbruck
fon: +43.512.507.3051
      ~  Appenzell is a very scenic, and very Swiss, village. It was fun walking around and seeing all the neat homes there. Worth a stop.
      ~  Weggis was a nice, clean town to walk around; Lucerne was the big, modern city that we also walked around. The boat ride gave us a chance to see other small towns along the banks of the lake and an enjoyable ride.
      ~  We just drove through Zurich, but it’s very cosmopolitan.
Any recommendations for traveling with children, which attractions they enjoyed, which ones did they not enjoy.
Our kids enjoyed the Sound of Music tour–we watched the movie when we got home so it was fresh in their memory of all that they had seen. We also went through the salt mines by Hallein; the kids had fun dressing in the white uniforms and licking the salt in the mine. They also had a good time at the Anatomy Museum–I was pregnant so I could show them all the developing stages of a fetus–I don’t want to know how they got a hold of those babies; they also saw every possible view of every body part which they thought was really cool. They also liked that Magdalena would give them a pony ride for a LONG time any time they asked (Oberperfuss farm apartment)–they also liked seeing the cows get milked, gathering the eggs and feeding the chickens, and petting all the farm animals. A very nice lady gave us a local tour of Appenzell, as well as gave each of the kids a handful of chocolate eggs (it was Easter)–this was out of blue as we walked past her home and just said hi to her. In Lucerne, the kids enjoyed the boat ride across the lake. They also liked the video games that were at McDonald’s.
Switzerland is expensive!
Restaurant tips/recommendations:
Mostly watched for places where other families were seated and that they had a kids’ menu, of course, watching the prices as well. Most meals were very affordable–stay away from any American chain restaurant as they’re VERY EXPENSIVE compared to local places to eat. Switzerland charges for everything, i.e. if you ask for your pizza to come out on plates, versus the pan it was baked on, they will charge you for placing the pieces on a plate!! Small hidden charges like that add up quickly. McDonald’s is always a favorite with the kids.
Websites you used or found helpful in planning this trip:
For camping places and holiday parks try: http://www.keycamp.com/

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