Geneva plus 4 days

Old Feb 12th, 2004, 01:52 PM
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Geneva plus 4 days

My husband and I will be in Geneva in the early fall, and will be traveling with our 11 year old son. I would love to get suggestions for day trips that I can do with the 11 year old while "Dad" is in meetings. Also, we plan to add about 4 days after the meeting to go up into the mountains. We are not interested in high end shopping, and would prefer to see the charming towns, castles and scenery. Would it be a good idea to fly into Geneva and out of Zurich, perhaps spending time in Gimmelwald for a few days? Thanks!
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Old Feb 12th, 2004, 02:19 PM
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You will probably have more fun if you drive over to France. I've lost the names of the towns I visited for street fairs, but these events are fairly common. They are daytime family affairs, like county fairs in the USA 50 years ago -- kiddie rides and all the rest.

Another option is a day trip on a ferry in Lac Leman. Also go swimming in the lake. It is the sweetest water you have ever been in. The jettee has a protected swimming area, lockers (bring your own lock), and a snack bar.

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Old Feb 12th, 2004, 02:34 PM
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My favorite day trip while in Geneva last Sept. was taking the train to Montreaux (sp) and going thru the chateau du Chillon. It is a fantastic castle right on lake Geneva. Gorgeous views of the water and Alps and the sun shining on everything!

Also an hour and a half drive into France to the very pretty town of Annecy. Really nice old town.

You can take the train from Geneva to Zermat also! Or up to Interlaken.

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Old Feb 12th, 2004, 08:37 PM
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Another vote for Chateau de Chillon. It's just an amazing castle - the real deal & I'm guessing a kid might love it. Suits of armor and all.

If it happens to be a Saturday morning, there's a great open-air farmers market in the town square in Vevey (a train stop or so before you'd get to Montreux - 5 min. walk from the station), lots of fun besides good food (pizza slices etc.). Stroll along the quai (lakeside), watch the swans.
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Old Feb 12th, 2004, 11:17 PM
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I can't be of much help for day trips, but within Geneva, there are quite a few places that your son should find interesting.

Maison Tavel is a good historical museum with armor and weapons, as is the Art & History Museum. The natural history museum is also very good, with lots of bugs and, I think, the world's largest collection of tigers.

The Red Cross Museum would also be very interesting - a little heavy, but well worth a visit. There are a lot of multimedia displays and very moving exhibits like a very small cell that you can enter that has footprints of something like 18 people on the floor, so you can see how some prisoners were kept.

If your son likes science, you might consider a trip to CERN - something I always wanted to do, but never managed. It's about 30 minutes from town and they offer tours (it's home to what I think is the world's largest particle accelerator).
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Old Feb 13th, 2004, 12:59 AM
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Agree that Chateau Chillon and Montreaux are great day trips as is Annecy. Also, take the paraperhique up to the Saleve Mountain just over the border in france; great hiking and great views of the Alps and Geneva - bring a picnic. My kids love doing that! There is a great waterpark at the other end of the lake called AquaPark you son would love - about an hour ride. You should also go to Mont Blanc, the highest mountain in Europe for more fantastic hiking and amazing views - I am assuming your son enjoys the outdoors; if not, these ideas may not be suitable for him. Closer to town, there is a great park by the lake and old town... with a pond, lots of trails for biking or walking and a big playground. Oh, and do take a boat ride on the lake, especially if it is clear... amazing views!
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Old Feb 14th, 2004, 08:28 AM
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There are quite a few harvest and wine festivals in August/September in the Geneva-Vaud area, and Octoberfests in the Swiss/German area. If you can swing it, flying out of Zurich will afford you many opportunities to traverse the Alps and probably spend some time in Lucerne or the Bernese Oberland. The scenery is breathtaking. Don't leave out a trip to the Olympic museum in Lausanne. WIth some preparatory reading, your son will absolutely love it. As you know, or will discover, the Swiss have an incredible rail system, and special cars for tourist trains. There's nothing like going up a mountain on the Swiss railroads.
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