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Paris - Day trips to mountains possible? Travel by Rail Only!

Paris - Day trips to mountains possible? Travel by Rail Only!

Jul 30th, 2003, 11:01 AM
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Paris - Day trips to mountains possible? Travel by Rail Only!


We will be taking our 9-year old daughter on her first visit to Europe in late October or November. It is only a mini-trip; we hope to do the "Grand Tour" (or some of it!) next summer. She does not need to see all Paris has to offer on this trip; she will be repeating Paris next summer with her cousins.

We have 6 days in Paris. I would love to take a train to the Alps for her to get an idea of their beauty, but the few spots I am familiar with will take too long to travel to. Ideally, I'd like a day trip such as the ones offered from Geneva to Mt. Blanc or Zermatt. One full day is fine, but I cannot spend 2 or 3 days away from Paris due to work obligations.

If we do not have time for the Alps, where can get we get an "Alp-like" substitute that we can do by rail?

Thanks in advance,

Chels is offline  
Jul 30th, 2003, 12:34 PM
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Unfortunately the TGV to Lausanne takes about 4 hours and it would take another three with changes to get you all the way to Zermatt...might be a little shorter if you went to the Bernese Oberland but perhaps someone could suggest somewhere in France near Mont Blanc that might be acceptable and easily and rapidly reached.
Jul 30th, 2003, 08:19 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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A trip to Annecy, beautiful in its own right, would give you a glimpse of the Alps in the distance.
grandmere is offline  
Jul 30th, 2003, 11:00 PM
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Grandmere, I was going to suggest the same thing. I've seen prem fares for €25 pp and there are two morning TGV trains (approx 6:45 and 9 something, I think), but I thought the 3.5 hour train ride each way might be too much for a 9-year-old. Still, it might make for a lovely day.
LVSue is offline  
Jul 31st, 2003, 12:23 AM
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If the two of you sleep well in trains the two of you could take berths in a 3-berth women-only second class sleeper, sharing with an unknown Frenchwomnan (which often leads to good conversation). You would travel thus Board at paris est about 2215, leave 2243, no disturbance at the frointier, wake, wash and dress about 0710, while looking through the window, leave the train at Chur in the eastern Swiss Alps at 0751. Leaved Chur 2116, arrive Paris Est 0646.

The site http://switzerland.isyours.com/e/gui...abovechur.html quotes the Tough Guide thus: Chur is proud of the fact that it?s the only Swiss city with its own hiking and winter-sports area accessible from the city centre. The Brambrüesch mountain rises to 2174m immediately southwest of the Old Town (www.brambruesch.ch) and its affordability and ease of access are the main draws ? the cable-car station is just off Kasernenstrasse, five minutes? walk west of the Obertor. The journey to Brambrüesch itself, a platform at 1600m, is in two sections, with a midway change at Känzeli, and if you?re staying overnight in Chur, you qualify for a fifty-percent discount on the ride. In summer, there are plenty of hiking routes, as well as paragliding over the town (contact the tourist office for details). In winter a low-priced ski pass (Fr.27 for a full day; Fr.14 after 1pm) covers chairlifts from Brambrüesch up to the Dreibündenstein peak (2174m), giving access to 25km of undemanding pistes, a 6km toboggan run from Brambrüesch to Känzeli and such diversions as night-time skiing and snow hikes.
You might start with breakfast in the station buffet, drop bags in station left luggage, go up to the mountains, and then the site http://www.tophotels.ch/chur/index.asp shows things to do down in town, the Museum of Fine Arts, Cathedral, and Town Hall. What you do till 2116 is up to you. Perhaps a hotel offers music with dinner, or perhaps there are films in English.

You could go any evening to a nearby rail terminal to inspect a three berth sleeping car, and decide whether to book one. There is a note on getting the best from sleepers and couchettes at http://www.twenj.com/tipsnighttrains.htm. You could also make night trips to and from Bourg St Maurice in the French Alps, but those trains have only 4-berth couchettes, a bit crowded, no washbasin, and not the real Swiss Alps.

Please write if I can help further

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ben_haines_london is offline  
Aug 4th, 2003, 09:29 PM
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Thank you - I will explore these possibilities!
Chels is offline  

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