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Late Sept/ Early Oct Ď25 - stuck could use help

Late Sept/ Early Oct Ď25 - stuck could use help

Old Jun 23rd, 2024, 08:16 PM
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Late Sept/ Early Oct Ď25 - stuck could use help

My brilliant/ terrible idea.
So next year my daughter will graduate from college and my husband turns 60. My thought was to incorporate family trip/ couples/ graduation trip.
My daughter would like to visit the Uk for her graduation trip, England, Scotland or possibly the Republic of Ireland not the UK portion.
My son would like to revisit Florence and ?
My husband would like to visit somewhere weíve never been. We donít have that many trips under our belt, but have been to Italy
( Florence, Venice, Siena, Rome) , Paris, London, Ireland, parts of Spain.
Both of our young adult kids would travel solo for the first time.

My thought was for us all to leave the U.S. around the same time, daughter off to England, son off to Italy and my husband and I somewhere else and then we would all meet up for the last 4 days or so. Hubby and I were considering 4ish days in the Luberon, 4ish days at Lake Orta or lake Maggiore, and then training to Lucerne for 4 days. Total trip time would be 17 days. We also wanted to begin the trip in late September or early October. We generally prefer to travel in fall and my husbandís birthday is October ,but it seems like an odd time for those places. Iíve been thinking about it for awhile now and canít seem to put together any kind of cohesive plan. Although all of those places are on our wish lists and I thought it seemed doable between trains and quick flights,Iím now feeling like I must surely be a crazy person.

I know many of you have been to all of these places. Maybe you can help narrow mine and my husbandís portion down some or offer an alternative for consideration. Many thanks for your guidance.
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Old Jun 23rd, 2024, 09:25 PM
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I don't think it's an odd time for the places on your list. In fact, each place will likely be crowded.

But I'm trying to imagine the logistics in the combination of the Luberon area with the other two destinations. Can/would you fly into Marseille or would you arrive at CDG and take a train south? Would you fly from Marseille to Milan or Bergamo and then train (or drive) to Maggiore or Orta? After Luzern, would you travel to a fourth destination to meet up with the younger ones? And then fly home from where?

It sounds like a lot of moving around over long-ish distances... Each of these hotel-to-hotel transfers will take more than half a day. If you're going to rent cars, you need to add the time needed to rent/return. I would be looking at a smaller geographic area... perhaps the Piemonte area of Italy, one of the lakes and then Luzern.

Last edited by Jean; Jun 23rd, 2024 at 09:31 PM.
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Old Jun 24th, 2024, 05:37 AM
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Jean- thank you for your thoughts. Yes, I may need to leave the Luberon for another time. My thought was to possibly fly into CDG and train to … Avignon ?, take a flight to Milan from Marseille, be driven to whichever lake we decided on, meet the kids in … Lucerne and fly home from Zurich. Initially ,when looking at train/ flight times it seemed as reasonable as visiting Venice, Florence and Rome by train which we have done twice, once as a couple and once with our kids. Now , not so much.
I also thought the summer crowds would have died down a bit by then as has been our experience in the past. Lavender season is June, July, right? The Italian lakes also peak in summer, I thought. Perhaps Iwas mislead by the not always reliable information on the internet. My mistake. Obviously I’ll need to rethink. I appreciate the response.
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Old Jun 24th, 2024, 05:55 AM
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October would be fine, though obviously choose a place that is not swamped is always sensible. Not sure why Northern Ireland is not worthy of a visit, but up to you.

Given where you have been why not go somewhere new like Sicily or Puglia. Sicily especially has the highest density of Unesco world heritage sites and while linked into the cheap flights system of europe also has cheap trains and buses to get around without the crazy car hire problems of the place.

Puglia is a bit more interesting and less visited and a car might be easier but trains and pullman (long distance coaches) are good. While local cheap flights are easy.
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Old Jun 24th, 2024, 06:22 AM
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Switzerland in late Sept/October is a beautiful time to visit, my favorite time in fact. And it will be much busier than you might expect, especially in places like Lucerne. So, definitely not an odd time.
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Old Jun 24th, 2024, 06:24 AM
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It sounds like a wonderful celebration, we still treasure the trips we have taken with our children. You are doing a great job planning so early, I think your feelings about where you want to go will emerge as you react to advice.

What kind of trip do you prefer? Outdoorsy, hiking, relaxing, city energy, beach? Water vistas, mountains, rolling hills? History, museums, fine dining? 17 days is a great amount of time, I would vote for a combination.

Where do you envision for the celebration spot when you all reunite for 4 days? Since you are so open, maybe start plugging in some flights and transportation options, where are the easiest flights to and from where you live? Also, within Europe, sometimes a location gets too complicated to get to and it is better saved for next time. You have a lot of moving parts with trying to coordinate 3 schedules, so maybe your celebration location should have good backup travel options for everyone, Enjoy!
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Old Jun 24th, 2024, 07:25 AM
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The weather is usually lovely until the end of October or even the beginning of November. September can still be quite hot. No guarantees.
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Old Jun 24th, 2024, 12:02 PM
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Bilboburgler - Northern Ireland is definitely worthy of a visit, but that portion of the trip is strictly my daughter’s preference as it’s her graduation trip. Who knows? It’s early and I can’t get anyone to commit to anything. 😆 That is part of the reason I’ve struggled so much, I think. Where were you referring to when you wrote “ choose a place that is not always swamped”?

We enjoy history, walks, people watching, museums, music, quaint towns, cosmopolitan cities, and my husband and I enjoy good food with the occasional fine dining thrown in for good measure. Last year we were in Girona for the flower festival and were lucky enough to get a reservation at El Celler de Can Roca for dinner. It was Kismet as we had been waitlisted and weren’t expecting anything to come of it. We also find beauty in gardens, sunsets, architecture, many different landscapes. We’re not much for water sports, vigorous hikes, or doing the same thing everyday which is why I thought that combination of paces would give us some different experiences.

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Old Jun 24th, 2024, 12:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Cjar
I thought that combination of paces would give us some different experiences.
One doesn't need to combine places to experience different things. Sicily, for example, has both Greek and Roman ruins, Norman-Arab-Byzantine architecture, cities and awesome scenery (among other things). Switzerland has cities and towns throughout its (diverse) French, German, Italian, and Romansh regions. Etc. I think many Americans fail to appreciate how Europe's history of changing boundaries and empires / rulers has resulted in large differences in geographically close regions. I actually like seeing those differences much more than jumping from country to country. YMMV.
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Old Jul 14th, 2024, 04:33 PM
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Kja- I know what you say is true. I guess I had just hoped to fit many of the places we’d like to see into this visit, but the more I looked at it ,the more I realized it was too much. I have since amended the plan for my husband and myself to

1) fly into Paris 2-3 days. We’ve visited before so we can relax a bit and explore places we didn’t see last time or maybe take a daytrip to…or maybe catch a train the next morning
2) train to Dijon
3) train to Lyon
4) train to Geneva with a daytrip to Chamonix/ Mont Blanc
5) train to Lausanne and then ferry to Montreux to catch Golden Pass express to Interlaken
6) Express to Luzern
7) fly back to US from Zurich
We may cut Dijon and I haven’t worked out how many days each spot yet and may yet cut locations. Suggestions please. Our goal is to see beautiful landscapes, eat good food, enjoy great architecture, and take some gentle walks.
Please offer any thoughts you feel would be helpful.
Our kids will join us in Geneva til we fly home.. My son will be coming from Italy, exact location yet to be decided and my daughter from ????. As you can see, still a work in progress. Thank you to everyone who has or will chime in.
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Old Jul 14th, 2024, 05:11 PM
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No need to take the Golden Pass -- any train should work.
I'm not a fan of Interlaken. Consider going into the Bernese Oberland instead, or stay elsewhere on the lake.
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