Welcome to SP!  -
Areas & RangesMountains & RocksRoutesImagesArticlesTrip ReportsGearOtherPeoplePlans & PartnersWhat's NewForum

What else to do in Europe (other than climbing)?

Regional discussion and conditions reports for Europe. Please post partners requests and trip plans in the Europe Climbing Partners section.
 

Postby gregorpatsch » Fri Apr 11, 2008 2:58 pm

After a few days in Paris, I needed to get out of the city and spent a few days in Biarritz, on the west coast of France, and really enjoyed it. I love to surf...we rented boards and scored some really fun waves there. You'll also be close to the Pyrenees Mts there.
User Avatar
gregorpatsch

 
Posts: 212
Joined: Thu Dec 12, 2002 8:54 am
Location: Charlottesville, Virginia, United States
Thanked: 0 time in 0 post

Postby fatdad » Fri Apr 11, 2008 3:09 pm

I've kind of come around to mountaingirl's way of thinking. I never went to Chamonix because I always thought I'd have time to go and, guess what...never happened. Always wanted to do the Dru (pre rockfall) and the Walker Spur, the Frendo, Mont Blanc du Tacul. Probably not going to happen now.

Still, contrary to some Belgians on this site, Paris is a wonderful city. If you don't enjoy that, alas, you're not in love. Still, spend at least a few good days there and then go to Chamonix with a clean conscience.
User Avatar
fatdad

 
Posts: 1360
Joined: Tue Jul 24, 2007 9:39 pm
Location: Los Angeles, California, United States
Thanked: 80 times in 54 posts

Postby Nikman » Sat Apr 12, 2008 11:51 am

Visit the lake of Genova! It's close to Chamonix so it wont be a big extra journey.
Genova, Lausanne and Montreux are fascinating cities and the lake is one of the nicest in Europe. Jump on a boat or go swimming.
If you head about 50kms north you can add a visit to the Gruyère area. Very nice for hiking, cycling, hanging around small lakes, buying and eating chease directly from the mountainfarmers ...

If you are up for the sea, take the TGV from Paris to Marseille and visit the Mediter. coastline. Go to Monaco and St. Tropez, visit nice beaches and enjoy good weather!
User Avatar
Nikman

 
Posts: 167
Joined: Sat Dec 09, 2006 11:22 pm
Location: Ditzingen, Germany
Thanked: 1 time in 1 post

Postby mattnoland » Sat Apr 12, 2008 12:54 pm

For one so bent on adventure I recommend visiting the dockyards of Toulon after dark. Culture and adventure in one package. Stay sharp.

suggested equipment:
helment
one axe - possibly two
User Avatar
mattnoland

 
Posts: 19
Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2005 11:39 am
Location: San Diego, California, United States
Thanked: 0 time in 0 post

Postby big_g » Mon Apr 14, 2008 5:43 pm

If you don't spend time in art museums near home don't waste your precious time in them oversees. Skip the Louvre, or stroll the gardens/visit the outside after hours when everything else is closed.

Walk through the http://www.restlessadventurer.net/travel/destinations/France/Paris/Catacombs/ instead. Skip the sewer tour. River cruises are always a bit lame but taking the night one when everything else is closed makes sense and the lights are pretty nice. Hike up the Eiffel as has been suggested.

Leave Paris and head to the Bernese Oberland (Interlaken/Lauterbrunen/Grindelwald/Gimmelwald) area of Switzerland. It's even sort of on the way to Chamonix. Bungee jumping, canyoning, paragliding, hiking, climbing. Canyoning in http://www.restlessadventurer.net/sport-rappelling/abseil-trips/Switzerland/Chli-Schliere/ is especially good.
User Avatar
big_g

 
Posts: 182
Joined: Tue Mar 26, 2002 11:03 am
Location: Aurora, Colorado, United States
Thanked: 0 time in 0 post

Postby Moni » Tue Apr 15, 2008 1:57 am

Skip the big cities. So many of the smaller towns in Europe have great older parts, forts, castles, churches that are worthy of exploration without all the hoards of guided tourists. If Rick Steves recommends it, avoid it like the plague!. The food, the wine, the beer, the cheese......
User Avatar
Moni

 
Posts: 2242
Joined: Mon Aug 12, 2002 11:15 am
Location: Spokane, Washington, United States
Thanked: 4 times in 3 posts

Postby mvs » Tue Apr 15, 2008 9:53 am

I'm with Moni. Unless you have a current passion for some aspect of the cultural features, save the cities for a few decades later. My wife and I went to the Dolomites for 3 weeks one year, and didn't set foot in Venice, Florence, Rome, etc. It was the best vacation of our lives. Just mountains, meadows, climbing and relaxing. Another time we spent a week in London seeing movies and sampling Indian food restaurants. Man were we scolded for missing the museums! But we had a hell of a time. You define your trip, you are paying for it. If you want to climb the whole time, then hell yes!

I'm revealing that I'm a cultural boob, but you know, most man-made things evoke only a glimmer of the sense of wonder I receive from natural features. What I do find really interesting is the mountain culture, how people lived in them for thousands of years. That was one museum worth seeing - the "Ice Man" Ötzi. Fascinating...

Have fun!
User Avatar
mvs

 
Posts: 1039
Joined: Tue Oct 23, 2001 7:44 pm
Thanked: 282 times in 108 posts

Re: What else to do in Europe (other than climbing)?

Postby Diego Sahagún » Tue Apr 15, 2008 10:26 am

MountaingirlBC wrote:I fly into France mid-June. Will spend a week doing family stuff with my boyfriend, then we have a week to do whatever we want before he heads home. I plan to meet my climbing partner in Chamonix on the 26th for 2 weeks of climbing. Any suggestions as to how to spend the week before? I hate shopping. Have no interest in sitting in a cafe people watching. We'll spend a day in Paris and go to the Louvre but other than that, I don't have much interest in art/history right now as I figure I will have plenty of time to hang around in galleries & museums when my joints crap out on me. I guess I'm looking for more adventure/nature than culture right now. I'd like to see a little of Italy and Spain too if time permits. Any suggestions?


Canadians, go down to Catalunya, Spain. Pass some days in a house or camping at Costa Brava. There are many beautiful and little sea inlets what you'll enjoy. Villages are very nice too. You could visit the Roman site of Ampuries, Dali Museum in Figueres, Girona or short trip to Barcelona. It's the second city in Spain, it's so cosmopolitan and Mediterranean. There are many places to visit there: Sagrada Familia, Parque Guell. Olympic Village area (modern), Plaza de España, museums... You also have big beaches up of down the city, I know those up, in Arenys de Mar, wich is connected to Barcelona by train. And you always have The Catalan Pyrenees there, not far from Barcelona and Girona
Last edited by Diego Sahagún on Wed Apr 16, 2008 12:39 am, edited 1 time in total.
User Avatar
Diego Sahagún

 
Posts: 14477
Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2001 6:21 pm
Location: Madrid, Spain
Thanked: 503 times in 461 posts

Postby MountaingirlBC » Tue Apr 15, 2008 6:03 pm

Thanks so much for all the great suggestions. I feel like I have some good options now and that perhaps I'm not alone in being a cultural boob. I guess I'm just more interested in natural history than human history. In the grand scheme of things, we humans are just a blip in the fossil record. I guess being a geology student gives me a strange perspective on the history of this planet.

That said, I'm totally getting into the idea of throwing on backpacks and exploring some little villages (especially the ones with cheese! mmmmm I love cheese!) that we can access by trails and trains. My boyfriend won't be up for long days of hiking so this seems like a good compromise. I'm sure it would be easier to rent a car but I kinda like the idea of not having one. Kind of forces you to stop and smell the cheeses.

I'm going to print this thread out and start seeing how many of your ideas I can incorporate into a one week period. Definitely won't be your average/normal european vacation which is exactly what I want.
User Avatar
MountaingirlBC

 
Posts: 928
Joined: Tue Aug 09, 2005 1:58 am
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Thanked: 0 time in 0 post

Postby Diego Sahagún » Wed Apr 16, 2008 12:36 am

I neither like to visit many museums and historic buildings. Prefer the outdoor too though when I'm many days there I don't mind if I visit a town or city. Enjoy the trip, that's the most important thing wherever you are
User Avatar
Diego Sahagún

 
Posts: 14477
Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2001 6:21 pm
Location: Madrid, Spain
Thanked: 503 times in 461 posts

Postby fatdad » Wed Apr 16, 2008 1:22 am

OK, last suggestion since it sounds like you've got it pretty dialed.

When I spent a summer studying in Paris, I and some friends headed south and "discovered" and spent a week at one of the coolest little beach towns I've ever seen (actually one of the coolest towns period). It's called Villefranche-sur-mer, which means friendly village on the sea. It's halfway between Nice and Monaco. We took a train from Nice, hopped off and just wandered through town until we found a nice little inn.

Wonderful beaches with amazing water, nice little harbor with cool little streets with restaurants with outdoor seating, etc. Good seafood, good cheese, good wine. No car needed since you can cruise the town on foot. It was awesome. I'd go back now but the experience might be a little different with a 4-1/2 and 2 year old in tow.

Bottom line, and I think this has been said already, you'll be in France. I don't think you could pick a bad place.
User Avatar
fatdad

 
Posts: 1360
Joined: Tue Jul 24, 2007 9:39 pm
Location: Los Angeles, California, United States
Thanked: 80 times in 54 posts

Postby Charles » Wed Apr 16, 2008 6:26 am

MountaingirlBC wrote:Thanks so much for all the great suggestions. I feel like I have some good options now and that perhaps I'm not alone in being a cultural boob. I guess I'm just more interested in natural history than human history. In the grand scheme of things, we humans are just a blip in the fossil record. I guess being a geology student gives me a strange perspective on the history of this planet.

That said, I'm totally getting into the idea of throwing on backpacks and exploring some little villages (especially the ones with cheese! mmmmm I love cheese!) that we can access by trails and trains. My boyfriend won't be up for long days of hiking so this seems like a good compromise. I'm sure it would be easier to rent a car but I kinda like the idea of not having one. Kind of forces you to stop and smell the cheeses.

I'm going to print this thread out and start seeing how many of your ideas I can incorporate into a one week period. Definitely won't be your average/normal european vacation which is exactly what I want.


good for you! See the place warts, or in your case, cheese and all! Enjoy
Cheers
User Avatar
Charles

 
Posts: 14936
Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2004 9:20 am
Location: Germany
Thanked: 733 times in 549 posts

what else to do ?

Postby papyours » Wed Apr 16, 2008 7:53 am

if you are on your own, I would also suggest to spend a few days in Fontainebleau for bouldering and meeting other people interested in climbing

also, as said somewhere above, you can go for hiking around the Mt Blanc area ( TMB, Aravis, Aosta, ...) which is the best way to get you acclimatised and enjoy beautiful scenery. This would also give you opportunities to meet people and to walk through 3 countries ( France, Italy, Switzerland ...)

if you want more detailed info about this area : have a search on :

http://www.camptocamp.org/
User Avatar
papyours

 
Posts: 17
Joined: Wed Apr 16, 2008 7:41 am
Location: Mons, Belgium
Thanked: 0 time in 0 post

dinosaurs

Postby papyours » Wed Apr 16, 2008 8:18 am

as I only see now that you are a student in geology ( as I have been myself 25 years ago ...), I think that you really have to go hiking around Mont Blanc and especialy go to see the dinosaurs feet marks at the Emosson dam in the Aiguilles Rouges on the Swiss side. The Mont Blanc area is worth to see as a climber but even much more with your geologist eyes !
User Avatar
papyours

 
Posts: 17
Joined: Wed Apr 16, 2008 7:41 am
Location: Mons, Belgium
Thanked: 0 time in 0 post

Postby Diego Sahagún » Wed Apr 16, 2008 10:52 am

MountaingirlBC, almost all towns that I've said to you have train stations. You'd enjoy those calas (little sea inlets), the water is so clear there. You could also go to The Pyrenees and even Andorra, where there are gear low prices. Is your trip in early or late june :?:
User Avatar
Diego Sahagún

 
Posts: 14477
Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2001 6:21 pm
Location: Madrid, Spain
Thanked: 503 times in 461 posts

PreviousNext

Return to Europe

 


  • Related topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests

© 2006-2013 SummitPost.org. All Rights Reserved.