Courier July Courier - Page 44

COMPASS Germany and Switzerland COMPILED BY PAT HENDERSON Bernina Express at Alp Grum Station Your source for Swiss rail adventures Rail Source International owner Carmen Metcalf got hooked on rail travel in the 1990s when she worked for a tour opera- tor in Switzerland that specialized in train packages. That experience made such an impact that, when Metcalf decided to open her own tour company in 2006, she knew she had to focus on rail tours showcasing the country she loved. “Switzerland always exceeds the visitor’s expectations,” she says. “Pictures don’t make up for sounds of the cow bells and church bells; the smells of the sausages grilling, the fresh The 11-day tour includes rides on three scenic routes—the Glacier Express Panoramic, the Golden Pass Classic and the Bernina Express line—as well as tours of the Lavaux wine region and La-Chaux-de-Fonds, which is known as the capital of Swiss watchmaking. Metcalf also customizes a number of packages annually for FITs. “A very typical and popular itinerary is flying into Zurich and taking a direct train to Lucerne for a couple of nights to visit Mt. Pilatus,” she adds. “Then it’s on to Grindelwald or car- crusty bread and hundreds of different cheeses; and the breathtaking views on top of the mountains.” The main itinerary she recommends for groups starts and ends in Zurich and goes to Pontresina, Zermatt, Montreux, Bern and Lucerne via Switzerland’s efficient rail system. free Mürren for two or three nights where clients get to see a lot of waterfalls, hike through the mountains and do other thrilling activities such as rolling down the mountain on a trotti bike.” To learn more, contact Metcalf at carmen@rsiworld.com or visit rsiworld.com. The Appina of your eye Since Appina Travel opened its doors in 2002, the family-owned tour company has helped thousands of travelers discover Germany’s history, traditions, landscape, cuisine and art. “We pride ourselves in being able to show groups a hidden side of Germany and take them off the beaten path,” says Luis Lintner, Appina’s managing director. “It always makes us proud to have groups come and end up surprised at how Germany is so much more than bratwurst, beer and the Berlin Wall.” He recommends the following tours, which reveal unique aspects of German culture. The Automobile Industry of South Germany Lovers of Porsche Museum, Stuttgart 42 July 2017 German cars can experience the country’s renowned automo- tive culture during visits to factories and museums in southern Germany that are dedicated to Audi, BMW, Porsche and Mercedes. From Baroque to Bauhaus This week-long itinerary highlights a range of architectural styles found throughout Germany. Travelers will see Baroque buildings in Würzburg, explore Munich’s sleek mod- ern structures, tour the Bauhaus School buildings in Dessau and dis- cover Berlin’s blend of concrete-slab and postmodern architecture. Having a Feast in Germany On this tour, groups take a tasty journey across Germany. As they visit the different regions, they will discover local specialties such as fish in the north, beer in the south, wurst in the east and wine in the west. Contact Lintner at luis.lintner@appina-travel.com or visit appina-travel.com to find out more.