10-31-2012, 09:05 AM
Location: Oklahoma City, OK
Join Date: May 2012
Mein Auto: 2012 550i M-sport
Glad to help out. Hopefully I can answer more of your questions.
I did avoid Zurich altogether as I had been there before and also wanted to avoid a big city. However, I did make a 2 hour stop in Luzern to see the Lion sculpture and to grab an afternoon snack. Luzern is a great city, in fact I really wanted to take the tram up to Mt. Pilatus, but it was pretty cloudy on the day I passed through, so we skipped it.
Here is the route I took from the Grindelwald / Lauterbrunnen / Interlaken area. A8 towards Spiez, then south on 223 towards Kandersteg. This will take you through the Lotschberg Tunnel (train car hauler). Here is a video to give you an idea what to expect.
Upon exiting the Lotschberg Tunnel, we continued south on the 509 (which might be the only option) then made a turn to the west on Route 9 which we took all of the way to Martigny. This drive down Route 9 is a highway drive, but it takes you down a valley called Valais, which has some pretty rich Roman history with some cool structures and vineyards along the way. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valais After lunch in Martigny we drove on to Geneva. The only reason we took this route was because we had plans to stay with friends in Geneva, I would have liked to go even further into the alps and visit Zermatt, Matterhorn, etc. I DID drive both ways through the Mont Blanc tunnel as we made it a day trip from Geneva. I didn't stay in Cormauyer, but I would like to on my next trip. I like your idea of doing Grindelwald-Martigny-Aosta-Courmauyeur-Chamonix-Annecy. You would have some fabulous views in each place.
As far as Grindelwald is concerned, we stayed two days, I would have liked to stay more, but it's not cheap, and we had a long list of other places to visit. I would plan to have two full days in Grindelwald. The popular thing to do in Grindelwald is to take a train ride that goes from Grindelwald up to a place called Klein Scheidegg. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Klein_Scheidegg From there you get on another train that will take you (literally) through Mt. Eiger to the top of the alps to a station called Jungfraujoch which sits above 11,000 feet. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jungfraujoch This is about 5 hours round trip from Grindelwald to Jungfraujoch and back. You can get some great brawts and beer at Klein Scheidegg, and enjoy some breathtaking views the ENTIRE time.
Here is a link to Parkhotel Shoenegg. http://www.parkhotelschoenegg.ch/de/home/index.html I think we paid about US$500 per night, but it's in a great location, has a great hot tub, steam shower, sauna, pool, etc. Which you will want after walking around the alps.
You could probably find a good overnight place in Martigny, personally I wouldn't stay there. Not that it's a bad place….....but I prefer to be in the mountains, not in a valley. An alternative might be to go to Zermatt and stay there, then you could take a peek at the Matterhorn (weather permitting).
I wish I could help you with places to stay at Courmauyer, like I said I didn't stay there, but I will next time I'm in the region. I remember seeing some quality hotels along the way. We had dinner there and it was phenomenal….....wish I could remember the name of the place. I'm not doing a very good job selling Courmauyer with these vague details, but I invite you to do some research….....I think you will be impressed.
Hope this helps.
2012 550i M Sport
(June 2012 ED Link
Dark Graphite Metallic II, Oyster / Black, Cold Weather, Convenience, Luxury Seating, Premium Sound, Paddle Shifters
Last edited by GermanRoots; 10-31-2012 at 09:10 AM.