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Warm-Weather Alpine Adventures

AAA member fulfills her lifelong wish of visiting Switzerland.

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Glacier Express in Switzerland.

(Photo: GLACIER EXPRESS)

Lynda Takoudes and her husband, Christos, always made travel and important part of their lives.

They often took their family to destinations throughout the United States, as well as Italy and Greece, where Christos was born and still has family. They wanted their four children to understand that the world is a vast and varied place.

When Christos passed away in 2003, Lynda was busy nurturing the next generation of Takoudes, her grandchildren. She still made an annual trip to her “happy place” with Christos’ family in Greece, but for the most part, suppressed her wanderlust. Plus, traveling solo didn’t hold much appeal.

That changed about six years ago when her daughter booked her a group tour of Paris. Since then, she’s become somewhat of a globetrotter.

She doesn’t have a bucket list. She makes her plans as ideas hit her – except for one trip.

“It was my lifelong dream to go to Switzerland because I have been a skier since I was very young,” Takoudes, of Wariwick, R.I., said. “It was unbelievable.”

She rode the Glacier Express train across the country for breathtaking perspectives of the natural beauty of the Alps, including the symbolic pyramid peak of Matterhorn and the Rhine Gorge, called The Grand Canyon of Switzerland.

“There are mountains and lakes and streams, and you see animals all along the way. It was amazing,” Takoudes said. “I loved the mountains with all of the snow.”

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Lynda Takoudes in Switzerland.

(Photo:LYNDA TAKOUDES)

She visited some of the popular ski resorts, of course, but never set foot on a slope – it was summer, and she was wearing shorts. She did stand on a glacier, though, and her group tour later visited a famous spot fed by glaciers, Lake Como in Italy.

“That was fun. I was looking around thinking, ‘where are all those famous people?'” she said. “I say the very expensive houses where they live though.”

Dinner there was an experience worth savoring.

“There’s a very large island with an amazing restaurant, so we all got on a little ferry and crossed the lake to the restaurant …. instead of just going to a restaurant on the road or in the hotel.”

That experience, she said, is a pitch-perfect example of how a tour manager can make a trip more memorable.

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