Marilyn Foster: Come see the best Germanic countries

Cheers! When thinking of the beautiful Germanic counties of Switzerland, Austria, and Bavaria, I immediately think of the wonderful village squares where you can sit outside in the shadow of the cathedral or town church and enjoy a stein of ice-cold beer as you watch the locals rush to and fro.

These countries take pride in their beers and their no-nonsense farm-to-table foods, both of which I enjoy, especially the many varieties of wurst.

At the last Chamber Travel Club meeting, I found myself fascinated with the Collette itinerary that will take us to the best of the Germanic countries departing Reno on Oct. 10, so I just had to make my reservation to join those already signed up. I loved the fact we’ll be staying at the same hotel in Bern for four nights and Innsbruck for four nights, eliminating the need for packing and unpacking. It’s far more restful when you can stay in the same location and there’s some free time to explore each city on your own.

After landing in Zurich, we travel 90 minutes to Bern, the capital of Switzerland and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where we’ll spend our first four nights. The well-preserved Old Town is more than 500 years old and sits in a beautiful country setting. Here you’ll see the famous Zytglogge, a medieval tower serving as guard tower, prison, clock tower and meeting spot. The mechanical moving figures on the astronomical clock charm visitors on the hour. We’ll enjoy a city tour and then have time on our own to sit in the Village Square.

On Day four, our day trip from Bern will take us along of the shores of Lake Geneva to board the Golden Pass Panoramic Train to enjoy the amazing scenery between Montreux to Gstaad. On Lake Geneva, we’ll tour the legendary, medieval Chateau de Chillon. Day six, we’ll drive about 90 minutes to Lucerne to enjoy a leisurely paced tour of the Old Town taking in all the famous sites. That night, upon return, we say farewell to Bern as we enjoy dinner at one of its famous eateries.

Then, it’s on to Innsbruck, Austria for the next four nights. This will be our base camp as we tour parts of Austria and Bavaria. We’ll enjoy a day tour of Salzburg, birthplace of Mozart and some of the sites shown in the film, “Sound of Music.” There’s a dinner included at the 1,200 year old St. Peter’s Restaurant located within the walls of St. Peter’s Abbey and reputed to be the oldest restaurant in Europe still owned by the monks. There’s some free time to explore this great city on your own and you’ll really get the “Sound of Music” feel at the included traditional Tyrolean folklore show.

With a day on your own in Innsbruck, there’s plenty to see. Those beautiful Swarovski crystals can be seen at the Swarovski Crystal World. Or, plan time to see some of the beautiful churches, the gardens, the zoo, or take a trip on the funicular to take some fantastic photos.

Since we’re staying four nights in each of the two cities, most of the sightseeing will be done by motorcoach. It appears most of the day tours are about 90 minutes in each direction from the hotel.

The tour ends with a visit to Oberammergau, site of the 2020 Passion Play, before we head to Munich for our flight back to the U.S. Since we end in Munich and don’t see any of the sites, you may wish to stay an additional day or two in this unique city.

Included in the double price of $3,999 per person are round-trip air from Reno, all airport transfers, free parking at the Chamber, 8 nights hotel, breakfast daily and four dinners, all transportation and guided tours. Price includes $100 savings if booked by April 11. That’s good beer money!

Come join me for a scenic tour of these safe countries. For information, go to the Chamber’s Travel Page at or come into the office at 1900 S. Carson Street.

Marilyn recently celebrated her 90th birthday in Vietnam and loves to travel anywhere and everywhere.


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