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England - France - French/Swiss Alps in 10-12 Days

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Hello potential repliers!

I'm in the process of creating an itinerary for my 1st trip to Europe scheduled for August or September of 2014. I greatly appreciate any feedback/advice you can share.

Here's what I'm looking for:
- Visiting a friend in London, so I'm planning on arriving there and spending 2-3 nights
- I love everything French, so this would be my main focus in my travels. I'd like to spend ample time in Paris and take occasional day trips from a home base in Paris
- Hiking and exploring scenic summits is another love of mine, so I would like to experience the Alps (the question is where)

Other notes:
- I'm traveling alone and will rely on public transit only (not renting a car)
- Love the arts and plan to visit museums and catch any music I can

Need advice on:
- Should I travel to Switzerland for the Swiss Alps or travel further in France for the French Alps and possibly cross over into Italy?
- If I explore the French Alps, is it realistic to plan to see the French Riveria as well?
- Where to hike? Best day hike for mountain scenery, waterfalls, glacial lakes, wildlife, and wildflowers?
- What city should I fly out of?

Thank you so much for your help!

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