Picasso in Lucerne
The Collection Rosengart recently opened its doors in Lucerne. The 20th century collection focuses mainly on two important 20th century artists, Paul Klee and Pablo Picasso. The museum owns more than 100 works by Klee from all periods of his life. The Picasso collection, however, concentrates on works done after 1938. The collection contains other major names including Cezanne, Monet, Matisse, Braque, Leger, and Miro. From April through October, the museum is open daily from 10am to 6pm, from November to March 11am to 4pm.
Best Western Discounts
Best Western Swiss
Hotels now offers last-minute specials at its online Best Western Hotel Discounts. Discounts range from about 5% to 30%.
InterConti Hotels 50% Off
Info: InterContinental Hotels & Resorts Directory. Click on "offers."
World Heritage Status for Jungfrau Region
The Swiss alpine region of Jungfrau-Aletsch, including the 24-km-long Aletsch glacier, is the first natural area in the Alps to be awarded World Heritage status. The Jungfrau-Aletsch joins such World Heritage sites as Yellowstone National Park, the Serengeti, the Grand Canyon and the Great Barrier Reef.
Swiss National Exhibition
Switzerland's first National Exhibition since 1964 runs until October 20. For the first time, the exhibition is held not at a single venue, but spread out over a region, the Land of the Three Lakes. The event combines a lakeshore exhibition and floating platforms at Bienne, Morat, Neuchâtel, and Yverdon, along with a passenger ship for the Jura. Activities include concerts, shows, musical clubs, and "funparks." Rail and speedboats shuttle among the various venues. Event tickets are discounted with the purchase of a Swiss Railpass to $31 for a one-day ticket and $76 for a three-day pass. Children under 16 are free with a parent.
Reserve Panoramic Coaches
Several international trains connecting Switzerland with major European cities offer Swiss panoramic coaches with very large, curving windows. Seating on these panoramic cars can be requested when booking. Here are some routes and train numbers which offer these cars:
Seats on these panoramic coaches can be reserved from the U.S. for $11. In Europe the reservation charge is about $3.
Frequent Flyer Award Tips
Exchanging frequent flyer miles to get an airline ticket can be tricky and frustrating. Tim Winship, a columnist for Smarterliving.com, says "award seats" generally come available in airline computer reservation systems 331 days prior to the flight, making that date the best opportunity to exchange your miles for tickets.
On the other hand, it is sometimes easier to book within two weeks of a desired flight because that is about the time unsold seats may be made available as award seats.
If you don't mind traveling on Christmas or Thanksgiving, Mr. Winship says that while award seats are tough to come by on dates near major holidays, they are often available on the holidays themselves.
And finally, he recommends Deltas Award Travel Tips, which each week lists city pairs with the most award availability over the next three months.
Factory Stores in Switzerland
Zürich-Lugano-Milan-Verona-Venice, trains #355 and #354 (opposite direction). Basel-Lucerne-Lugano-Milan-Genova-Nice, trains #345 and #344 (opposite direction). Basel-Zürich-Innsbruck-Salzburg-Vienna, trains #163 and #162 (opposite direction). Chur-Zürich-Basel-Frankfurt Airport-Cologne-Amsterdam, trains #2 and #3 (opposite direction); Interlaken Ost-Bern-Basel-Frankfurt Airport-Cologne-Amsterdam, trains #104 and $105 (opposite direction).
Whole World Half Price promotion is available seven days a week through 8 September 2002. The 50% off deal includes breakfast and is being offered at about a dozen Inter-Continental hotels in Germany, Austria and Switzerland plus hotels in Prague, Budapest and elsewhere in Europe.