Subject: Switzerland
I would highly recommend the Lauterbrunnen area near interlaken. I went for a brief four day visit a few weeks ago and it was wonderful. I took the train from Germany and found that the Swiss rail was more accomodating to those of us with language barriers (the swiss rail service announces everything in three languages; English, French and German.) I took the train from Interlaken to Launterbrunnen and then took the funicular to Murren, which is a little car-less town at about 5,500 feet in the alps. It's a beautiful place with majestic scenery, lots of hiking trails with herds of cows and occasional ibex, waterfalls galore and wonderful cheese and chocolate. I stayed at a b&b run by an english women who's quite knowledgeable of the area (my simple single room was 35sf, roughly $23). the high season is over now so the rates are probably less and there are plenty of hotels all over the place.

Interlaken itself was too touristic for me but you can use it as a springboard to the surrounding areas. Lauterbrunnen is equally traversed by tourists but you can easily find respite by hitting the trails. it appears that most of the travellers travel via the expensive cable trams. If you have the money and are short on time, it's a fast and easy way to reach the tops of various peaks in the area. the old James Bond flick, 'On Her Majesty's Secret Service' was shot on the mountain (Schilthorn) where Murren is based.

bon voyage! michele