Paris and Geneva

Old Mar 21st, 2005, 04:06 PM
  #21  
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There are two things that I have learned through this experience.

One --the generosity of strangers is overwhelming and heartwarming.

Two --- Always check the best rate on the internet for a hotel ---and then call directly. Almost without exception, that rate will be met or exceeded. And nothing can match personal contact. Two voices ---two Human Beings connecting --- I can't tell you how kind people have been, and the "extra's" that have been included simply because we've connected. Honestly -- the financial gain is great --but the human contact before your arrival is something else!!

O.K.--- My boys would say "Mom -- get to the point!!"

We are booked four nights at Hotel de Buci. I am thrilled. We were in Paris only once, on our 25th wedding anniversary. This year we will celebrate our 30th. (I was a child bride-) We stayed at Hotel de Fleurie and tried to stay in Paris an extra night ---found hotel de Buci and fell in love ---couldn't change our flights!!

**sidenote -- shared mussels and wine with the wife of Monty Python's Terry Jones!! She is a scientist and a delight! Totally impressed with my Canadian experience as a television newscaster ---only as we said goodbye did she reveal her husband's fame!!!

I will review all of your messages and plan our time in Paris. We will arrive at 8:30 am (weary from Canada) and have Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and part of Wednesday in Paris. I will be on my own Wed. while my husband is in meetings.

On Wed. we take the TGV to Geneva. Now..some of you have said that that trip is amazing..my husband will not be free until the 7:10 train, but that will be in the dark. He is suggesting ( I am married to a gem!!) that I travel earlier, first class - 2:38pm to Geneva ---check in at the hotel --and he would arrive just after 11pm.

I will book that tomorrow --- should I grab a bite or eat on the train? We are booking on first class.

We are booked for 2 nights at Hotel du Midi. On Thursday March 31st, I will be on my own in Geneva. The next day, Friday, My husband's meetings end at approx 3pm.

My plan, based on all of your wisdom, is for us to catch a train to Montreux. I have 2 nights booked at Hotel Eden au Lac -- a double room including breakfast for 210 S.F. but likely not a view of the lake. That's ok. Breakfast is included!

So we'll arrive in Montreux Friday night ---have dinner somewhere? Spend the next day doing whatever I glean from your previous kind messages --- sleep in our hotel on Saturday night ---and catch a train at 7:19 to the Geneva airport, where we will begin our journey home via Frankfurt, London and finally to our home in Canada's capital city, Ottawa.

When I scan your messages...I'm almost tempted to stay one extra night --- a third night in Montreux. It's hard because I'm reading your notes and trying to envisage an area that I've never visited.

Regardless, I thank you. I never imagined myself on a "chat-line" --but this is something quite different. Almost without exception, when I read one of your postings, I think...now there's a nice person. I know that if I happened to be sitting beside one of you on a plane, or a train or in a cafe... I would like you.

I am an atrocious speller due to my journalistic shorthand and I apologize!

Thankfully,
Susan

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Old Mar 21st, 2005, 04:29 PM
  #22  
 
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Susan, I hope you love Montreux as I do.

There's a great little Italian restaurant right at the base of the cobblestones that go up into the Old Town (name escapes me... but the bar next door is called Il Barretto).

You could take the bus (or train) to Vevey for the Saturday morning farmers market if you're up early.

And remember on your way to the airport, don't get off at Geneva(!) that is only downtown, the airport stop is the last one "termini".

Best regards, Susan
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Old Mar 21st, 2005, 07:13 PM
  #23  
 
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s1a2r3,
The TGV between Paris and Geneva doesn't have deluxe views, so a night trip is fine - it's the run from Geneve - montreux that is really beautiful!
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Old Mar 21st, 2005, 08:36 PM
  #24  
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Forgive me for being a ding-bat!!

Andre...what is IMO?

radiofanatic --who or what is a dh??

Haven't booked the tgv yet -- haven't a foggy clue what those initals stand for but I do know it's the high speed train twixt paris and Geneva.

Really? No great loss to travel at night? I was looking forward to a fabulous view, but I expect it will be best to travel earlier regardless ---check in and have all settled by the time my husband arrives.

And who knows...I might meet one of you on the train!!

Susan

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Old Mar 22nd, 2005, 12:37 AM
  #25  
 
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I've learned on this forum :
IMO = in my opinion - IMHO = in my humble opinion
dh = darling husband

Swissle is right. The landscape on Paris - Geneva route is not bad, especially Rhone valley regions are bit nicer but the great view is Geneva-Montreux. In Montreux, besides visiting Chillon Castle, consider taking a mountain train to Rochers-de-Naye (2000 meters)on a sunny day. I had magnificent view from there twice last year all over the Alpes. The train leaves from the main railway station.

Also, I agree with Swissle about Geneva being a small city (they call it the smallest international city in the world.). Suze called it "a huge .. city" but I find it a bit misleading to some (sorry suze ). It's just a city with a population of about 200'000. Berne, the Swiss capital is even smaller.

Anyway, I hope you will enjoy the whole lake Geneva region.
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Old Mar 22nd, 2005, 06:33 AM
  #26  
 
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Susan,
One more thing for your day alone in Geneve. Take a mouette (little boats that cross Lac Leman) ride (the price is included in a regular transportation ticket) from Geneve-Plage to Perle du Lac. (if it is sunny and sort of warm), The Perle du Lac restaurant is good and the surrounding park(s) are lovely, You can't leave the area without a good fondue - a good place is Chateau d'If in Vesenaz, a ten minute bus ride (E or G) from the Rive. There is also a good, nontouristy fondue place near but not on rue des Eaux-Vives, called Au Bon Vin I think.
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Old Mar 22nd, 2005, 07:16 AM
  #27  
 
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Au Bon Vin is correct as far as I remember. A place run by a somewhat blunt madame but well known by the locals for serving a great fondue.

On my previous post, after "sorry suze..", I thought I had put a smiley (winking one - but that does not show right even though it does on the preview.
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Old Mar 22nd, 2005, 07:19 AM
  #28  
 
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Never mind, I see the smiley now.
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Old Mar 22nd, 2005, 07:48 AM
  #29  
 
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kappa, i understand statistically it is not so darn gigantic. i guess my comparison was if i was solo with a day to tour on foot, i would pick one of the smaller towns (those are easily do-able) over attempting to see all of Geneva myself.

i thought of another thing to mention in reading about going out on the lake. find a restaurant that serve fille de perche (lake fish). yum.
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Old Mar 22nd, 2005, 12:29 PM
  #30  
 
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s1a2r3,

IMO was already explained to you, TGV stand for Train à Grande Vitesse (translation: high speed train).

If I understand correctly, you will be travelling from Paris to Geneva on March 30th on the 19h10 train. The best fare currently available on that train in 1st class is the non-flexible "Atout Première" for EUR 70 per person, so EUR 140 total for 2. In 2nd class, the lowest fare available on that train would only cost 1 EUR less per person, however it is the fully flexible/refundable normal fare.

Once again: book on sncf.com, select ticket pickup in France and choose the option to PREPAY and collect your tickets at the station. They will be available for pickup from the time you book until departure time at any SNCF station in France or any of the numerous "Boutiques SNCF" sprinkled around town, all you need is ID and the card you used to pay for them.

There are snacks available on the train in the bar car (no full meal service available on the route unfortunately), so have a nice lunch ;-)

Hope this helps,
Andre
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Old Mar 22nd, 2005, 12:40 PM
  #31  
 
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"Is there some compelling reason to leave Paris for Geneva?"

So the city with the highest quality of life in the whole world is not good enough for ira !
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Old Mar 22nd, 2005, 02:17 PM
  #32  
 
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<Yes...there are meetings in Geneva which is the reason for our departure from Paris.>
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Old Mar 22nd, 2005, 03:36 PM
  #33  
 
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I know that Suze. I had quoted ira for saying that! and I provided her with my compelling reason for visiting Geneva!
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Old Mar 22nd, 2005, 03:39 PM
  #34  
 
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Suze ! I just figured it out! you thought I ment that Paris is the city with the highest quality of life !
Not according to the latest international Mercer report. Geneva and Zurich tied for the first spot!
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Old Mar 22nd, 2005, 04:10 PM
  #35  
 
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I didn't know that little tidbit about Geneva, but am not surprised!
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Old Mar 22nd, 2005, 05:26 PM
  #36  
 
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http://www.mercerhr.com/summary.jhtm...FCIIQKMZ0QUI2C

It is unbelievable how most American tourists visiting Switzeland leave Zurich or Genevea as soon as they land in them to go hiking in mountains, not knowing that they are missing out on these cities, where the whole world dreams of living!
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Old Mar 22nd, 2005, 06:48 PM
  #37  
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Hello all!

I'm in the countdown and can't believe all of the help you've sent. I didn't even know about the most recent messages --- it's either my computer or the web-site that is not showing me when some of you have added your thoughts.

I will peruse all in the a.m.

Meantime, thank you all ---oh, Andre? I thought if I splurged for first class on the TGV I might get a meal---or the option to buy a lovely one? I'm still thinking of booking a tgv mid-afternoon to see some of the view, even though it's clearly not the most spectacular.

Goodnight.
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Old Mar 23rd, 2005, 01:33 AM
  #38  
 
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There is unfortunately no full "at your seat" meal service on the Paris-Geneva route. This is offered on other routes in 1st class only, but costs extra. In any event, it's hardly a gourmet experience... As mentioned, you can always purchase snacks (salads, croque-monsieur etc.) in the bar car.

Since at this point in time 1st class is the same price as 2nd for the train you want to take, it's a no brainer - but book those "Atout Premiere" fares fast, they will probably sell out soon. I would spend the extra time in Paris and travel together to Geneva, but it's your call.

Hope this helps,
Andre
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Old Mar 24th, 2005, 05:59 AM
  #39  
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O.K. --I'm set to go!!!

Took your advice Andre and Booked the train tickets together. I'm sure I'll be grateful for a few extra hours in Paris!

Only problem with the booking is that at this point we are in separate cars. I booked my self the non-refundable and cheaper First Value, and my husband the full fare because there is always the chance his meeting will be delayed. I ended up having his travel agent book these tickets because RailEurope couldn't get them mailed to me in time, and the SCNF site was in French, which I unfortunately do not understand! I'm hoping we might be able to change the seating at the station.

Thank you all so very much ---I can't imagine having this planned this trip without your help. We will get the very most out of Paris, Geneva and enjoy the added delights of Montreux and area!

Merci and Au Revoir!
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Old May 4th, 2005, 12:13 PM
  #40  
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We had a wonderful time --everything went very smoothly thanks to such great advice from so many of you.

-We loved Hotel du Buci - can't imagine a better street on which to be situated in Paris.

- 2 favourite restaurants: Restaurant Des Beaux Arts and Fish --both very close to Rue de Buci.

- came THIS close to having my bag stolen while eating at L'Atlas on Rue de Buci --we were eating outside and I'd taken the bag off and set it right beside my leg on a little window ledge. I glanced down and a man's hand was on the bag --fingers ready to grab the handle ---I reached down and pulled it from his grasp and he stood up and quickly disappeared into the crowds on the sidewalk. He had obviously seen the bag, and sat down right behind me so that he could take it. I learned my lesson well!

- First thing we did in Paris was take the boat tour along the Seine --wonderful!

- Hated to leave Paris and was grateful for advice to delay my departure until end of day and travel with my husband. I would have regretted giving up one minute in that marvelous city.

- Very satisfied with Hotel du Midi in Geneva ---fabulous meal at Relais de L'Entrecote.

- And the BEST advice of all, was to take a side-trip to Montreux. Thoroughly enjoyed the train ride and fell in love with the entire area. Hotel Eden au Lac was lovely ---excellent breakfast and spacious room --not on the lake side because it was out of our price range, but on one end of the hotel which gave us a view of the mountains. Only downside was noisy casino patrons in the wee hours!

-excellent restaurant in Montreux -La Locanda.

-One full day in Montreux and the weather was absolutely gorgeous. Morning walk along the beautiful promenade to Chillon Castle which we loved. Afternoon train ride up Rocher de Naye, which we would recommend to anyone, especially on a clear day.

And so...I thank you very much. This is a marvelous resource for travellers and I certainly appreciate the generosity of those who take the time to help!
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