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1st Solo Trip - London and Switzerland

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Apr 10th, 2013, 10:37 PM
  #1
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1st Solo Trip - London and Switzerland

Hi. I'm a single girl in my late 30's scheduled to go a 12 days vacation to UK and Switzerland this mid May. Although I've travelled many times to various places, I'm quite anxious at it will be my first time doing it solo. It's also my first time in UK and Switzerland and would like to get any tips and advices on the must sees, must do, must eat and all musts ;-). Is it safe to take the tube anytime of the day? Thanks in advance. Excited to go on this exciting new adventure!
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Apr 10th, 2013, 10:57 PM
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I would say 12 days in either Switzerland or England. You won't have much time in either place with your time divided. That said, on the Swiss side of things, if you enjoy jaw-dropping scenery, get up to the Berner Oberland. It offers the true alpine experience. You can get there by taking a train from Zurich to Interlaken, then another train to Lauterbrunnen. From there, there are a series of lifts and trains taking you to either Murren or Wengen (people on this forum usually prefer one or the other -- my preference is Murren). You could spend 3 nights up there... do some hiking if the weather is good, and then maybe go over to the Swiss Riviera for a whole different experience.

My advice would be to spend the whole 12 days in Switzerland, unless you've already booked your flight -- there's much to see. The eastern side (the Engadine) is also beautiful. And, you might enjoy Luzern, the tourist capital of Switzerland.

There's much to see in England, as well. It depends, though, what your interests are. There is some gorgeous scenery around Yorkshire and Derbyshire (northern England).
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Apr 10th, 2013, 11:38 PM
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London is good and inexpensive place to stay.There are a lot of activities to do and sights to see when you are in London. Each day gives you attractions to visit in one area.
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Apr 10th, 2013, 11:41 PM
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We found the tube to be safe day or evening but like any other big city it's wise to avoid some places late at night (Brixton comes to mind although we had no problem there in the evening.) Just watch out for the football fans. They can be a rowdy bunch!

Sounds like your plans are set for both countries. I would have stuck to London & side trips with only 12 days but May flowers in the BO are beautiful with less tourists than later but you do roll the dice for a bout of bad weather.

Absolutely try the rosti in Switzerland and chip butty in the UK! Delish!
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Apr 10th, 2013, 11:48 PM
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Yes, as Toucan mentioned, the weather in the Berner Oberland region may not be the greatest in May. You may experience lots of rain in both places (London and Switzerland). It's hard to predict.
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Apr 11th, 2013, 02:15 AM
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Yes, generally the tube is very safe, but one can never rule out the possibility of aggressive drunks or sneak thieves. You're more likely to come across annoyingly loud people shouting the odds; but as long as you use your common sense about people and keeping your property safely within your grasp, you're unlikely to come to harm.
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Apr 11th, 2013, 02:34 AM
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TrishSG: have you some specific questions?
It's nce to hear that you intend to go to UK and CH. But what can we do with that?
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Apr 11th, 2013, 06:11 AM
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Thanks for all your responses. @neckervd, sorry I wasn't very specific as I really have a vague idea of what I would do with the limited time I have. So, my question was more of the sites, activities, food and any other stuff I shouldn't miss during my trip. Toucan did answer my query on safety of the tubes during early mornings and late evenings. I'm concerned because I'm joining a short tour for one part of the trip which requires meetup at 6:30 am in Canada water station. If I'm coming from kensington, is it safe to travel at 5am with my luggage?

Many thanks again for all your response.

TrishSG
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Apr 11th, 2013, 05:38 PM
  #9
kja
 
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I don't think you should have any trouble. I'm female and have been traveling solo for years, as have many other Fodorites. You might find some helpful info from our trip reports:
http://www.fodors.com/community/trav...collection.cfm
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Apr 11th, 2013, 08:57 PM
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Kja, thank you so much for sharing this info. I've been reading it and find it really helpful!
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Apr 11th, 2013, 10:00 PM
  #11
 
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Trish, here is my Switzerland trip report from '07... first week of the trip was completely solo:
http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...nd-july-07.cfm

Here is my '08 Switzerland trip report -- completely solo - I also visited the Alsace region:
http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...and-alsace.cfm

These reports may give you some ideas about Switzerland.
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Apr 11th, 2013, 10:04 PM
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Trish -- I accidentally posted my itinerary (second link) instead of the report. Here is the '08 trip

http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...rip-report.cfm

Be sure to read '07 report (or someone else's report of the Berner Oberland region). The weather could be dicey in May, but it may be worth a try.
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Apr 11th, 2013, 10:44 PM
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>>one part of the trip which requires meetup at 6:30 am in Canada water station. If I'm coming from kensington, is it safe to travel at 5am with my luggage?<<

At that time of the morning, you will probably be the only person on the train - or anyone else on it will be some dog-tired night worker. You won't need to leave at 5am, either. You really don't need to be on the Jubilee Line to Canada Water (from Bond St, Green Park or Westminster) till 6 at the earliest, so just factor in how long it would take to make that connection from whichever part of Kensington we're talking about (but trains on Sunday, and trains from Olympia, would be no use to you, they don't start early enough: check the times of first trains at www.tfl.gov.uk, and ask your hotel for advice).
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Apr 12th, 2013, 08:32 AM
  #14
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Susan, thanks or sharing your trip report! It's really helpful.

Hi Patrick, Just the info I need. I think I'll check out the route when I can so I know exactly how much time I need for the travel. Thanks much!
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