Busman’s holiday suggestions welcome!

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This topic contains 28 replies, has 13 voices, and was last updated by  Bunnahabhain 17 Feb 2013
at 19:48
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Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 29 total)

  • Anonymous

    SwissExPat
    Participant

    In 2012 I flew 106 flight sectors. Many of you probable are the same.

    Am planning a holiday in July/ August of this year and not anything long haul but ex Switzerland.

    Thought maybe to London and Caledonian sleeer to Scotland and visit the highlands. Thought maybe scandanavia but am afraid of the high cost of liquor!

    Anyone with other suggestions for a weary Busman?


    canucklad
    Participant

    Hi SwissExPat

    Caledonain Sleeper is a definate shout, after the Highlands, don’t forget that Edinburgh is festival city in August…

    Although be warned…..4 seasons not just in one day, but i’ve experianced it all within the hour!!

    And to be slightly un-patriotric to my Scottish routes…Lake Bled in Slivenia…outstanding!1


    LuganoPirate
    Participant

    I’d suggest Nordkapp to see the midnight sun, though you don’t need to go that far north to see it. You can only get so far by train and then rent a car, or else drive from Switzerland. I did it a few years ago and it took me 4 days to get there, but well worth it.

    True, booze is expensive, but you can take a couple of bottles of your preffered tipple with you. If its of interest to you or anyone else, I’ll describe the route we took?


    ImissConcorde
    Participant

    I enjoyed an excellent Norwegian Line cruise for 10 days last August. Copenhagen – Rostock (Germany) – Tallinn – St Perersburg – Helsinki – Stockholm – Copenhagen.


    excessbaggage
    Participant

    We took the Caledonian Sleeper from London to Fort William last year. I didn’t think the cabins were great, but the views from the breakfast car in the morning were truly spectacular, and worth the cost of the ticket itself.

    The Highlands are simply stunning – we walked around the Ben Nevis foothills, visited Glen Coe and the Devil’s Staircase, took a boat ride across Loch Lomond and stayed in Balmaha – a wonderful trip and highly recommended.


    AnthonyDunn
    Participant

    Hi Swissexpat,

    Well within a day’s drive from where you are but really worth trying is the Croatian/Dalmatian coast. You can start at Split or Dubrovnik and there is a great network of inter-island ferries. Or have you sailed before? In which case a local boat charter and island hopping around Viz, Korcula, Miljet etc. is an incredibly relaxing way to see what has to be one of the most spectacular coast lines anywhere.

    This could equally apply to the NW coast of Scotland where boat charters should be available: both the inner and outer Hebrides and the coast of Scotland itself.

    Hello SwissExPat

    As you seem to be looking north, what about the west coast of Ireland using Galway as a base. Or the spectacular Antrim coast including the Giant’s Causeway and views of the Mull of Kintyre. And you never know, you may be lucky with the weather!


    VintageKrug
    Participant

    I would be cautious about the Caledonian Sleeper – everyone I know who’s done it says they won’t do it again, though they were pleased to have “ticked the box”.

    You might be better off getting to Edinburgh on the Orient Express, departures 3rd and 17th August:

    http://www.orient-express.com/web/uktr/search_uk.jsp

    Though a cruise round the Fjords sounds perfect for that time of year:

    http://www.cunard.com/destinations/regions/baltic-norway-fjords-cruises/


    BigDog.
    Participant

    SwissExPat, you will get more informed and accurate information on the Caledonian Sleeper and other rail routes from here

    http://www.seat61.com/CaledonianSleepers.htm#What s the sleeper like

    Seat61 has won many travel site awards including Favourite Travel Website in the 2012 Telegraph Travel awards.


    Inquisitive
    Participant

    SwissExPat, you could try Genoa or Lake Como in Italy. During August those places feels like heaven. You do not even have to carry much luggage. Your wallet with credit cards and some cash is enough. Once you reach there, you can even manage without any clothes.


    Papillion53
    Participant

    Good morning SwissexPat

    Whilst I would always encourage anyone to come to Scotland – thinking here of some fabulous hotels and smaller places which are wonderful restaurants with maybe a couple of bedrooms but serving the best of seafood (well what doesn’t get shipped off to Spain!). But you’re still driving and that to me does still offer a bit of stress!

    I would absolutely agree with VK and recommend a luxury cruise. My choice would be Seabourn or Silversea – all inclusive, including all your drinks with champagne etc. We have cruised both and without a doubt for a tired businessman who travels a lot, and is busy, busy, busy, I have never seen my DH so relaxed. Literally no or little phone signal, and nothing is too much trouble for the wonderful staff on board either of these lines. I have a northern route cruise on my “list” which includes St Petersburg.

    If you are a “foodie” then try Oceania, by all accounts the best food at sea! not all inclusive but you can buy drinks packages – we have not tried them but will be later this year!

    It is a great feeling to arrive, unpack once, and your floating hotel will magically transport you to your next port of call.

    And sometimes air is included also. We have a fabulous luxury cruise travel agent we use and would recommend booking that way rather than direct with the cruise line. That’s of course if we’ve persuaded you to try the high seas!


    VintageKrug
    Participant

    Seat61 is a good site, but I’ve just conferred with a colleague about the Caledonian Sleeper, and this was the feedback:

    – like going back in time
    – fairly basic on board
    – better for staying up drinking rather than sleeping
    – staff have been on the First Class Bar for decades, and quite some characters
    – difficult to sleep as it judders through points and stops still often before clunking back into life
    – can be very cold on board while sleeping
    – cost comparable to flying


    excessbaggage
    Participant

    My personal experiences regarding the comments above:

    – like going back in time

    Not sure what he means here – the cabins are smart, if basic. The breakfast car is a little dated, but comfortable

    – fairly basic on board

    I would agree with this – there is also very little difference between the standard and first class cabins, other than you get more space as you have a cabin to yourself rather than shared bunks. I travelled with my girlfriend, and we got adjacent cabins, allowing us to have a connecting door left open, which increases the feeling of space. First class passengers also get a (fairly basic) amenity kit, and breakfast included in the breakfast car or your cabin.

    – better for staying up drinking rather than sleeping

    I would agree with this, although waking to the views is a fantastic experience.

    – staff have been on the First Class Bar for decades, and quite some characters

    Unable to comment on this.

    – difficult to sleep as it judders through points and stops still often before clunking back into life

    I would agree with this.

    – can be very cold on board while sleeping

    I would agree with this.

    – cost comparable to flying

    I don’t think you are comparing like for like here. SwissExPat has already stated this is for a holiday, so the travel on the Caledonian Sleeper would be for the experience (views, overnight travel in a cabin which some may love the experience of, etc). If price is the determining factor, you can always just get a sleeper seat on the train.


    LuganoPirate
    Participant

    VK, what a wonderful description. I’d go on it just for the way it’s been described, down to earth characters and going back in time! Fantastic!

    SwissExPat, if you’re thinking Lake Como, then consider Villa D’Este. Nothing cheap about it but really quite amazing. Eat in the grill room, by the pool or in the myriad of restaurants round the lake. A visit to Villa Ballabio is a must and the hotel can arrange to do that with one of their own boats. It’s about 2.5 – 3 hours by car or let the train take the strain instead!

    If you do go, and dates co-incide, we can meet for dinner. Hopefully we’ll do better this time than a McDonalds!!!

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