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Brussels, Geneva and where in between?

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Sep 13th, 2010, 02:16 PM
  #1
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Brussels, Geneva and where in between?

Scrambling to arrange sudden trip in a few weeks! Husband has 2-day conference in Brussels ending on a wed. then 5 days to spend wherever, followed by 3 day conf. in Geneva. I'm suddenly able to go. Places we've been in Europe - Paris, London, Vienna, Budapest, Prague, Bruges and Amsterdam. One suggestion is Zermatt - beautiful scenery, up the Matterhorn, great food and relaxation. I suppose train from Brussels to Zermatt and then train to Geneva. But thinking maybe we should take advantage of being there to see some fabulous city -- Venice? Munich? Barcelona? Strasbourg? What would you do? Many thanks!!
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Sep 13th, 2010, 02:27 PM
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Barcelona or Venice if you can find some plane flights within your price range. Otherwise Strasbourg/Basel might be a good choice.
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Sep 13th, 2010, 03:06 PM
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Wow - Europe is your oyster - soooo many options! Just a few thoughts off the top of my head:

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On your last day in Brussels take a late flight to Barcelona - for example, Vueling flight VY8991 leaves BRU Int'l at 9PM and gets into BCN at 11PM. Don't worry, they'll still feed you, dinner doesn't start til 10PM and nightclubs open around midnight...

Indulge and relax for a few days, lots to see and do, and great night life!

Then - for something a bit romantic and different - splurge on the luxury night train Elipsos (www.elipsos.com - goes all the way to Geneva) where you have your own "roomette" with bathroom and shower if you book Grand Class - see if you can make that happen, it runs Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays.
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Or sleep that last night in Brussels, celebrate with a real Belgian feast (quality as good as the best of France, portions as big as the best of Germany...you'll need a midnight walk around the Grand' Place to digest...).

Then fly to Geneva and from the airport train station take the train to Montreux on the Swiss Riviera, settle in for three nights and relax by the lakeside. Go up to the Rochers de Naye (www.fusions.ch/naye/), stop in Glion and Caux above Montreux, visit the Chillon Castle, take a boat ride if the big public boats still run by the time you get there.

Book a night in Zermatt, take an early train from Montreux like the 7:05 that gets there by 9:52 - and make sure you go up to Gornergrat Kulm for even better views and such, it's awesome up there.

Stay one night so you have another day should the weather be iffy on the arrival day, and also to give yourselves time to enjoy.

The day before your husband's Geneva event begins, take an afternoon train from Zermatt to Geneva, takes just under 4 hours.
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Or fly to Madrid late on the last night of your Brussels stay, and the next day fly to Granada, settle into a nice hotel in the picturesque town, and visit the Alhambra twice - once in the early morning as soon as you can get in, then again late in the day. The different light makes it a whole new experience, and it is well worth two visits. However - book ahead on the website and stick to your allotted time window for entrance.

Fly to Geneva the day before the events begin. It'll take most of the day to get there.
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Or rent a car and simply gallivant all over Belgium and Southern Holland - no need to book ahead, take it as it comes, avoid the expressways and stick to secondary roads. There are lots of discoveries waiting, and visit cities like Gent/Gand, big Antwerpen/Anvers (diamond capital of the world, and an intriguing harbor where you can take tours), Tournai/Doornik, Mechelen/Malines, Brugge/Bruges, and many little treasures in between.

Then fly to Geneva the day before you begin events there.
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Sep 13th, 2010, 05:20 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2003
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Strasbourg, Colmar and the wine road would make a great stop in between. Sorry to be negative about Basel - but I have a client there and have been numerous times - the sidewalks roll up at 6 pm and there is practically nothing to do.
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Sep 13th, 2010, 07:56 PM
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nytraveler has a good point re Wine Road - Riesling harvest season in the next few weeks - check out the Rhine stretch from, say, Koblenz up to Bingen or thereabouts, there could be some wine festivities and other fun. And Cologne is always good, and visit some of the Rhine castles...
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Sep 17th, 2010, 07:31 PM
  #6
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I thank you so much and I am gob-smacked that there are replies! At first the trip was off, now it's on, now we are booked to spend Mon. Tues. Wed.in Brussels (husband at meetings --what should I do?) Actually we will have Monday together in Brussels but will be fighting the jet-lag. Rest of the time he is meetings and i will be on my own.

So.. Tues and wed I am on my own in Brussels, staying adjacent to grand place -- Windsor hotel i think? fly out of Brussels on wed. at 8:45pm to Rome -- NO IDEA where we will stay there but omg I get teary just thinking that i am going to Rome. I'm going to Rome. Where the heck will I stay and what will i do? Fly out of Rome on afternoon of the 11th of October to Geneva and then home to Canada on 14th. Any suggestions about Brussels, Rome or Geneva would be most appreciated. I will do some homework on my own but any tips would be so welcome! I am truly gob-smacked!!! But mostly I am touched by your suggestions and the thoughtfulness of them. I will save them all.. but for now it is Rome. Thank you.
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Sep 17th, 2010, 10:11 PM
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Hi canadiangirl222,

So you'll have 11-14 Oct in/around Geneva? DalaiLlama above mentioned Montreux, and that's where I personally would go, too. Especially since you'll have been in only big European cities, you may be ready to slow it down some and see a smaller town.

Here are links to my "reviews"(w/photos) of my favorite things to do from Montreux:

Montreux old town
http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserR...reux_Vaud.html

Lavaux
http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserR...reux_Vaud.html

Promenade Fleuri
http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserR...reux_Vaud.html

Morges
http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserR...rges_Vaud.html

Gruyeres
http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserR..._Fribourg.html

Saanen
http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserR...wiss_Alps.html

Gstaad
http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserR...wiss_Alps.html

The lake is particularly beautiful in Oct, when the sun is shining, flowers are blooming, and there are far fewer tourists. I didn't include the castle of Chillon on my list, nor the possibility to rent a bike to ride the Promenade or the vineyard trails.

Have fun!

s
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Sep 27th, 2010, 02:05 PM
  #8
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Thank-you S - now with Rome built into our trip, I have 2 days in Geneva with husband in meetings. We were here very briefly several years ago and we did escape to lovely Montreux after meetings finished - I also did bus trip to Mont Blanc. Probably will find enough to do in Geneva I would think, wouldn't you? But I'm open to any suggestions! Thnx. Now posting with few questions about Rome.
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