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I'd like some suggestions, please!

  1. helenathegreat profile image87
    helenathegreatposted 8 years ago

    In exactly a month, I'm heading to Europe for a few weeks.  We'll be going to Madrid (with a day trip to Toledo), Berlin (where I've lived briefly), Geneva, and Paris.

    Do any of you well-traveled hubbers have suggestions for cool places to check out in any of these cities?  Obviously I'll be reading all the travel guides and whatnot, but if you have personal experiences with a restaurant or historic site, I'd love to hear 'em!

    1. robie2 profile image92
      robie2posted 8 years ago in reply to this

      Geneva in pretty but b-o-r-i-n-g. I'd suggest a day-trip across the French border to the town of Annecy in the Haute Savoie. It's only an hour or so away from Geneva by car. Beautiful medievil French town with canals,cafes, and good french food.....on the banks of a beautiful lake--lots of lovely nature around the lake, even a funicular as I remember, which your brother might enjoy.

      1. Princessa profile image86
        Princessaposted 8 years ago in reply to this

        I agree with that, Annecy is absolutely gorgeous.  It was in Annecy that I decided that I wanted to move to France!

        1. robie2 profile image92
          robie2posted 8 years ago in reply to this

          I can see why--Annecy is soooo magical. I spent two weeks there in the summer of 1980. It was heaven.

    2. 60
      Jaywalkerposted 8 years ago in reply to this

      Hi Helena, Couple of years back I had been to Paris. Lived at a small hotel near Boulevard Magenta. Visited a restaurant called the 'Cave', in the same area which I think was a lebanese run place. The food was good, especially the beef steak. Some of us took the sight seeing bus. It cost just Euro 25 per day and the nice thing is that you can stop off at a place you like and take the next bus. You don't have to   take the one you began with. You can buy the tickets for the daily sight seeing bus at your hotel or most stores. I stayed for a long time at the Louvre. The entry charge is pretty steep, but it is worth the money.

      Have a good trip!  Best wishes from Jaywalker

  2. Marisa Wright profile image93
    Marisa Wrightposted 8 years ago

    Helena, is there a reason why you've chosen those specific places?

    Personally, if I were going to visit only one place in Spain, it wouldn't be Madrid.  It would be Granada or Seville, and preferably both!  Madrid is a Northern city - for me the true Spain will always be the hot-blooded South.

    Geneva - pretty lake but I would be staying in Lucerne, which is less of a big city and still has the most beautiful lake for an excursion, plus the sadly beautiful Lion monument and the splendour of Mt Pilates.

  3. helenathegreat profile image87
    helenathegreatposted 8 years ago

    Thanks for the reply, Marisa!

    I chose Madrid because several of my friends have spent a huge amount of time there within the past few years, and I couldn't stand hearing about it anymore... I just had to go!  Have no fear, though, I definitely plan on returning to Spain as soon as I can to check out the south, especially Barcelona and Seville.

    We threw Geneva onto the itinerary because this is my little brother's first trip to Europe (my boyfriend and I are taking him), and he wanted to see natural beauty in the middle of all the historic beauty (I had intended to take him to Rome, where I've never been either).  My father recommended to us Geneva, and it was pretty easy for us to add it in there, whereas Lucerne is a bit harder to get to (we're too young to rent a car).

  4. solidamerica.com profile image60
    solidamerica.composted 8 years ago

    When you go to a country like Spain ( EspaƱa ) people speaks Spanish, it will be a good idea to learn some sentences before you arrive there, also maybe you can find out over there where is the The Sudarium in the Cathedral of San Salvador in Oviedo, Spain ( just in case you might care or if you believe in that). But I suggest you to try to learn as much of Spain foods and drinks and how are they related with cities and country traditional. smile

  5. Shirley Anderson profile image85
    Shirley Andersonposted 8 years ago

    I've been to Spain, almost everybody spoke English.  There is a large British population there, too.

    Loved seeing the mountains and sea at the same time in Benelmadna, the party atmosphere of Torremolinos, and beautiful mountain villages of Rhonda.  The castles in Granada are worth seeing, as well.

    Wherever you go, have a wonderful time!

    1. Lissie profile image85
      Lissieposted 8 years ago in reply to this

      Shirley you were in the only part of Spain the English go to - in Madrid they made do with my bad Spanish - which means there was little English - but a huge amount of goodwill. Take a phrase book and a smile - and don't start talking in English and expect to
      I like Madrid - sure its not southern Spain - but its really - Spanish - Toledo is very touristy - I skipped it - Salamanca is interesting if you like ruins - maybe 2hr by train.  Train is the way to  go - we dont hire cars in Europe and we are old enough to hire! (just)! You can actually hop on the high speed TGV and go south to Cordoba - again only about 2hrs on the fast train-  a gorgeous town with lots of Moorish architecture - a taste of the south!

      1. Shirley Anderson profile image85
        Shirley Andersonposted 8 years ago in reply to this

        Figures, but I'm glad it worked out that way for the language barrier issue.

        Excellent travel suggestion, Lissie.  The train sounds a million times safer than driiving while there - it was scarey being a back seat passenger going through mountains with narrow roads and no guard rails.

        One side note....don't waste your time on a day trip to Gibraltor.  It was neat standing on the rock looking at Africa for 3 minutes, but there's nothing else there except a LOT of bronze plaques.  On the upside, depending on where you're coming from, you can see the Costa del Sol en route.

        Everything aside, it is beautiful and very old with a lot of character, I'm so glad I got to see it.

  6. Shirley Anderson profile image85
    Shirley Andersonposted 8 years ago

    One note I just remembered.....I couldn't get a piece of toast in Spain to save my life.  Every time I asked for it, I got melba toast.

  7. Stacie Naczelnik profile image88
    Stacie Naczelnikposted 8 years ago

    While you are in Geneva, check out the local food!


    Honestly, though, it could be kind of boring, but worth it for a short trip.  The beauty should make it worth seeing.  You can always rent bicycles and explore the countryside (that's what we always did).

    Oh yeah, and send me back some chocolate.

    1. robie2 profile image92
      robie2posted 8 years ago in reply to this

      well I gotta agree about the chocolate--and the fondue too<drool>  and Geneva is clean and beautiful--don't want to give the place a bad rap( even though I have to admit it doesn't stir the blood like Paris, for example:-)

  8. Marisa Wright profile image93
    Marisa Wrightposted 8 years ago

    I agree Geneva is boring.  Why not take a train from Geneva to Lucerne?   Trains in Europe are fast, clean, safe and everyone can admire the scenery (whereas when you're driving, the driver misses out!).  The trip from Geneva to Lucerne had the most amazing mountain and lake vistas - we spent the whole trip running from one window to the other "ooh"-ing and "aah"-ing.

  9. francetales profile image80
    francetalesposted 8 years ago

    We really got off topic. She is going where she is going. However, if it were me, I would have chosen Barcelone in Spain and then taken the TGV to Paris and stopping for a few days along the way in Perpignan, Toulouse, the Perigord anywhere, Bordeaux, and ending in Paris. The southwest of France is the most beautiful part of France.

  10. MrMarmalade profile image85
    MrMarmaladeposted 8 years ago

    Paid all our hotel bills in Sydney went around the World and had a great time.
    Arrived in Venice, Spent all the excess money on Venetian glass. A whole ship load.
    Then to Rome to be told we had not paid the Hotel. Despite us showing receipts for the one night stay in this oh so famous hotel. Rang my manager in Sydney asked for money to be sent to the bank in Rome by the following morning. Went down to bank at 10.00 am sat and waited for non existing money . Bank closed for lunch for two hours. No money. Signed several pieces of paper to Hotel about payment. Rang Sydney for more money to be sent to Singapore.
    Had $US20.00 to take taxi to airport. Arrived in Singapore, went to the bank walked out with $AUD within 5 mins.
    Arrived back in Sydney waited for six months for the money sent to Rome to come back to our bank in Sydney.
    Result we will never go to Rome again and Italian banks are useless.
    Too much resting

    Hope you deside never to go to Rome.
    Have a good holiday

  11. ellebreigh profile image60
    ellebreighposted 8 years ago

    Hi Helena!

    I'm going to Paris in a month as well! I went a few years ago and did all the tourist-y stuff and now am just going back to take in all the culture and walk around the city.

    I got a great book that I definitely recommend for you; get the DK Paris Eyewitness Guide. It is full colour and it tells you cool places to go other than the normal tourist spots... shows you cool side streets and beautiful residential courtyards.

    Check it out!