Bert and Idabelle Mills, Untourists of the Week: Swiss-o-philes at the core

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1. Tell us a little bit about your most recent Untour.

We stayed at the Esther apartment in Frutigen, hosted by wonderful people. Peter was amused when I asked to see his “bomb shelter!” We selected Frutigen in part because we desired to reach the Valais, Zermatt, and Lake Geneva area yet be close to the hiking in the Lauterbrunnen Valley.

We did get to Lausanne for a walk along Lake Geneva to a village named Lutry, where we had a terrific lunch, but that was pretty much all of our effort in that area. We did do a repeat of various hikes and some new ones. This included a bus trip from Spiez to Aeschi for a splendid overall view of the Thunersee and a hike up to the suspension pedestrian bridge in Frutigen where one member of the husband-wife team refused to take the return trip; this necessitated a return hike to Frutigen!

We always try to “save” a trip to Bern for rainy days, and we did that again, but we also extended our rainy day adventure for a repeat visit to the Basel Zoo, a wonderful zoo.

We had interesting Untours “partners” on our two-week visit—of course, meeting them on the trains and on the Untours planned experiences.

Esther—where they stayed

2. Why did you choose to go there?

Even before we “found” Untours, we discovered that we just liked Switzerland enough to return and return and return. We have an aversion to driving because it limits opportunities to experience, and the transportation system is just superb. The people are friendly and helpful. When one of our credit cards failed to work in a Migros store, a woman asked if we spoke English and said she would “pay for our groceries.” The hiking opportunities are endless and easy to handle.

3. What is your favorite Untours memory?

It occurs to me that Idabelle and I would not have one single Untours memory that would be favorite, but our favorite would be a collage of some eight different Swiss Untours.

4. How is taking an Untour different from other ways of travelling?

The Untourist has to depend on his/her abilities and interests to plan adventures and activities to meet them. There is the independence of “doing your thing” that is the hallmark of the experience.

5. If you could describe an Untour in just three words, what would they be?

Independence, planning, support


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