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zurich or brussels or paris in february?

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zurich or brussels or paris in february?

Postby toni » Wed Aug 12, 2015 8:07 am

Hi there,
Looking to trade in some miles for a European trip. We are locked into February due to work schedules. We aren't skiers. We've never been to any of the 3 listed but they appeal to us for beauty, ability to get around, trains etc. Any thoughts? Just looking for opinions and you guys are always helpful!
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Re: zurich or brussels or paris in february?

Postby loria » Wed Aug 12, 2015 9:34 am

PARIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Hands down. there is a ton to do Zurich and Brussels are pretty small and just don't have the access to all the amazing art.... Musee D'orsay, Louvre, Picasso, L'orangerie the Rodin museum-- just to name a few.... and a morning strolling on Isle St Louis... notre dame, monmartre I could go on and on....
< leaving on the 22nd of march...but too lame to figure out the ticker thing again!>
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Re: zurich or brussels or paris in february?

Postby watergirl » Wed Aug 12, 2015 10:00 am

I went to Paris, Brussels & Amsterdam a few years ago in February. I might be stating the obvious but it was very cold! So we couldn't do many of the activities normally associated with these cities: outdoor cafes and beer gardens, strolling through plazas and parks, etc. So being relegated to indoor activities, I would agree with Loria that Paris, with all the museums, is the place to go. You didn't say for how long you were going, but you might want to consider taking a train ride to Brussels- you can pretty much see that whole town in a couple of days. And it's a friendlier place than Paris. Never been to Zurich So can't speak to that.
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Re: zurich or brussels or paris in february?

Postby loria » Wed Aug 12, 2015 4:46 pm

i know of a wonderful place to stay in Paris if you would like to check it out
< leaving on the 22nd of march...but too lame to figure out the ticker thing again!>
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Re: zurich or brussels or paris in february?

Postby toni » Wed Aug 12, 2015 9:24 pm

Thank you for the input!

This sudden trip idea came about because Delta announced a Europe mileage sale, with round trip tickets going for 40k+ or 87k for business/first to several different cities from a number of US cities. That's a big savings, and I had a lot of miles to use.

I do want to see Paris, but we are small town people and after thinking about it it intimidated me somewhat for this trip since we would be there 10 days. I have a friend who used to live in Austria and she told me today that Belgium has the best chocolate :lol: That and the fact that we can catch a train to Paris for a few nights makes it work. I think I can handle my first trip to Paris for 2-3 nights to see if it whets my appetite for future trips. :) I'm sure it won't be long enough, but I didn't want to overwhelm myself too much LOL.

So we've booked Brussels and will plan a side trip to Bruges and to Paris! I'm so excited!!
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Re: zurich or brussels or paris in february?

Postby shoemak38 » Thu Aug 13, 2015 11:49 am

Hi Toni,
the problem with northern Europe in February it's a damp cold that seeps into your body. Something to think about why not do a low-cost carriers down to Marseille and to the French Riviera for a couple days as it will hopefully be warmer and also give you a break from all the indoor activities
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Re: zurich or brussels or paris in february?

Postby toni » Sat Aug 15, 2015 9:07 am

Thanks for the heads up; surprisingly, the weather in February in Brussels should be better than our weather here at home! :o Anything is better than last year which averaged 10 degrees for the month and we had lows of -22 :x :x :x
So I'm hoping we'll be good.

It will be fun for us to learn the train system; we tried it before in Italy but this will all be new and we like to learn new things :)

Now I need to start researching hotels, how to use the ipad if wifi is not available and making sure we have a phone that will work over there. Didn't do that for Italy and had a situation where we needed one. Lesson learned!
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Re: zurich or brussels or paris in february?

Postby nothintolose » Sun Nov 29, 2015 12:35 am

Toni - did you book this trip? I am interested to see where you picked. We were in Belgium last year in addition to the Netherlands, Germany and Austria. We started in Amsterdam and traveled by train and ended in Vienna. We hit lots of cities in between. Ghent and Antwerp are cool in Belgium. We got off the train from Amsterdam and left our luggage in the train stations for both and walked around each city. Definitely glad we did! The train station in Antwerp is GORGEOUS! The chocolate is amazing, and the beer in Belgium is AWESOME too!!!

This year Paris was one of our stops. We always go in October though. We went to Paris over Thanksgiving in the late 90's and froze our butts off but we are from the South so we don't do well in cold weather.

I can't wait to see where you picked!
"Eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow we die" - Dave Matthews Band
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Re: zurich or brussels or paris in february?

Postby toni » Sun Dec 27, 2015 10:40 pm

Hi there nothintolose,
Sorry for the delay in posting; I don't get back to this forum as much as I used to. We did book the February trip, flying into Brussels for a few nights, going to Bruges for a day, Thalys train to Paris for a several nights in a hotel across from Notre Dame, back to Brussels for some more time and then a day trip on Thalys to Amsterdam.

I was actually in the online process last month of booking the Thalys train tickets to Paris when the attacks occurred. What a terrible awful thing for them. The whole Belgium Paris connection has concerned my husband I admit. I try not to worry about things.

We decided to check out Amsterdam due to the canals (we loved Venice). We fly through Amsterdam on the return. Probably due to attacks our flights have been changed a number of times, more than any other flight we have ever had.

I am sooo looking forward to the beer and chocolate! We aren't food critics, but we are all about local foods.

We will be down in your area meeting friends for the new year. I really enjoy New Orleans :)
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Re: zurich or brussels or paris in february?

Postby nothintolose » Sun Apr 24, 2016 12:43 pm

toni - apparently I check it even less than you. How was the trip???
"Eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow we die" - Dave Matthews Band
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Re: zurich or brussels or paris in february?

Postby toni » Sun May 15, 2016 5:09 pm

Hi there; it was a great trip! Though we were horrified to see what happened in Brussels in March. We had a wonderful time in Brussels; spent 3 nights at http://www.ledixseptieme.be/, explored the city and overindulged in chocolate (practically a chocolate store on practically every corner and multiple ones in the tourist sections) and beer (my new favorite beer-a sour cherry lambic they call kriek).

Explored Bruges for one day, though that was rainy, went to Paris for Valentine's Day for two nights, staying right across from Notre Dame at http://hotelnotredameparis.com/, back to Brussels for 4 nights again at the Dixseptieme, and took a one day trip to Amsterdam.

Whew, it was a whirlwind, but so much fun! We really enjoyed Brussels; Bruges was picturesque to walk around, but the weather wasn't the best, Paris was too busy for us (which we had concerns about initially so that's why we only did 2 nights there) and Amsterdam was lovely too. We would definitely go back to Brussels and Amsterdam; I think Paris is great for the highlights, but again, for us, just too busy. We enjoyed Brussels and Amsterdam for all the walking; less traffic that there was. Don't get me wrong, there's so much to see and do in Paris, you could easily stay for weeks; we walked/subwayed all over the place; it was like opening a Vogue catalog to see all the stores lined up on shopping row!

February was a tough month to go weatherwise, but it was warmer by a few degrees than at home; dressed appropriately we were fine. I did forget to dress warm enough for Amsterdam and was freezing there; but they have wonderful hot chocolate in several places and the people were lovely; one waiter at a restaurant saw how cold I was and gave me a mug of hot water to hold while he prepared my hot chocolate! So very sweet of him. Cat/dog people that we are it was interesting to see cats in the bars in Amsterdam and dogs in a more upscale restaurant in Paris!

I'll post pictures sometime; we accomplished what we wanted to do by seeing areas we'd never been to and checking out places we thought we'd like to explore for future longer trips. It was a little worrisome at times with the police presence and while we were at the Gare du Nord train station in Paris there was a controlled explosion of some sort it seemed; sadly again, witness what happened in Brussels in March. The people we met were warm and welcoming; it was a great trip. Now, luckily I've just booked a BVI trip for August so something to look forward to!

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Re: zurich or brussels or paris in february?

Postby nothintolose » Thu May 26, 2016 1:30 am

toni - thanks for the update! Loved your thoughts and info! The pics of the lit up Grokte Markt in Brussels brought back wonderful memories!
"Eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow we die" - Dave Matthews Band
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