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Trip to Europe (seeking advice)

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  • Trip to Europe (seeking advice)

    So I'm going to Switzerland for work in a few weeks, and I will be (hopefully) taking some vacation at the end of my stay there (funds permitting).

    I have never been to Europe and have not traveled much anywhere. Any recommendations on where to go, where to stay, method of transportation - with no 2nd language skills whatsoever? Also, I will be vacationing alone and most interested in doing the touristy things as well as relaxing and enjoying the "Europeness" and food along the way.

    I will be in the Geneva area, so there's a ton of options from there. What to do...what to do?

  • #2
    Nice! I just got back from a trip to Europe (Switzerland, Austria, and Germany), although it was for a few music festivals. There was still a good amount of sightseeing, though. We flew into Zurich, and stayed in Interlaken (a small town northeast of Geneva).

    For places to visit, I think the Swiss Alps are a no-brainer. Junfroujoch (aka "The Top of Europe") is pretty spectacular, and the ice caves are very cool to traverse in. Another popular place in Switzerland is Lucerne, which is a quaint tourist town with a beautiful lake.

    For food, definitely try the different types of Fondue! Chocolate, of course, is also something to get there.

    It'd probably be a good idea to bring one of those small booklets that give you quick translations - they speak Swiss-German in Switzerland.

    Regarding the weather, it can change pretty dramatically (at least, dramatic for a California resident). I was expecting heat and humidity, but it's been raining and storming for about 3 weeks now all over Europe, so there's a good mix of cold weather and hot weather.

    What type of work will you be doing in Switzerland?


    • #3
      Thanks for the feedback....Interlaken is of interest to me as I have read that is a spot to go white water rafting. Never done that before and am interested. I am also trying to decide if a trip to St. Moritz is a good idea, traveling there on the "Glacier Express". It's a very slow train ride with what is supposed to be beautiful scenery.

      As for work, I will be working on implementing new IT deployment technology (deployment of PC's and software) with my company's Euro counterparts.


      • #4
        One of the beautiful things about Switzerland is that everyone there is multilingual an dmost will speak English. If you hapen to know german, swiss-german, french, or italian you are also in good shape.

        A lot of English comes form German, so ordering off menus is pretty easy.

        I'd second the recommendation of Lucerne. A number of years ago we visited there and saw the lake/mountain and it was beautiful. I also got to ski near Junfroujoch and it is nice as well.

        Enjoy your trip!


        • #5
          while in the navy I traveled a bunch in asia, and a few years ago(05) I got to travel in Europe(amsterdam, berlin, london, and then in 07 got to spend 3 weeks in africa (tanzania) including summiting Killimanjaro.

          2 things I would say to dont worry about,
          1. everyone knows english well enough to help or at least enough to figure things out
          2. everyone is friendly enough to be helpful


          pick up a book on the area your going to be in and or do a bunch of research on the web about the area. go hang out in the local bars, talk to people they will tell you what is cool to go see or just go see things that are in the book/internet that look/sound cool. if you get lost/ confused ask someone they will help its kind of amazing.

          as far as food, unless your a real picky eater, you cant go wrong, a lot of places actually have english under the names, if not just ask, it is unbeliveble how helpful/friendly most people are.
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