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SWITZERLAND / ITALY / FRANCE

Walking Below and Beyond Mont Blanc: Switzerland, Italy and France

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Switzerland

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Walking/Hiking

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Road Scholar
Program #15870RJ
13 Days | 12 Nights
ACTIVITY LEVEL: Moderately Challenging
Love to learn in a small-group setting? This collection of programs has at most 10-24 participants.
See our Small Group programs.
EasyFor people looking to exercise their minds more than their bodies. There’s minimal walking and not too many stairs.
ModerateThese programs get you on your feet and include activities such as walking up to a mile in a day through a city and standing in a museum for a few hours.
ActiveFor people who enjoy walking as much as two miles a day, perhaps to explore historic neighborhoods or a nature trail.
Moderately ChallengingFor hardy explorers who enjoy a good physical challenge, spending most of their days on the go.
ChallengingGet ready to keep up with our highest-energy group. These demanding — and rewarding — programs are for seasoned outdoor enthusiasts.
Discussion Board

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Harry Jones Aug 19, 2014 at 02:07 PM

I am on the Sept 10 trip and will arrive in-country Sept 8 and spend some time on Lac Lemon at Montreux. I am not sure yet whether I will go back to the airport to join the group or just proceed via Bex and the BVB to Villars and meet the group there. Email me at hjones@prodigy.net if you are arriving independently and need info on the Vaud area.


Laurie Broberg Aug 19, 2014 at 11:13 AM

I am flying on British Airways out of Logan in Boston and arrive in Geneva at 10:55 for the late September trip. It looks like I might see some of you in customs or at the pick-up point.I was assured that RS would wait for those of us who made their travel arrangements with RS. They did wait for some of us in Paris last year so I am not concerned. There will be phone numbers in your final packet that you can call if your flight(s) are delayed. I got my final packet by email this morning.
Gary Garton Aug 19, 2014 at 01:45 PM

Hi Laurie,
Gary Garton Aug 19, 2014 at 01:51 PM

I'll be arriving Geneva via KLM Airlines at 11:05 a.m. that day so will be slightly later than you if all is on time. I understand there's a couple also flying in at 10:55 a.m perhaps on the same flight as you but I don't know who they are. I called RS yesterday and you're right. If we booked the entire trip, including the travel, that RS will definitely be waiting for us at the airport and will not leave without us. So, I guess that's one advantage of having booked it all thru RS. I'm sure we'll probably see each other at customs, but simply won't recognize just who we are. I haven't received my final packet as yet but hope to soon. I'll be in Yellowstone for a couple weeks starting this weekend so it will probably come then while I'm gone. I look forward to trekking the Alps with you.
Laurie Broberg Aug 19, 2014 at 02:30 PM

We will have badges by then so will be able to find fellow RS travelers
Gary Garton Aug 19, 2014 at 02:49 PM

That will be great to have badges right off the bat. I'm assuming most of us will be landing in Amsterdam, initially, on the way to Geneva. It seems as though every flight from the states to Europe has to make that required stop in Amsterdam. I know that's where I'll make first landfall.


Christine Brown Jul 18, 2014 at 06:53 PM

Is anyone else flying out of JFK on September 10 on Swiss Air flight 23? If so, I would like to hear from you. Maybe we could meet prior to the flight.


Kathleen Cavanaugh Jul 16, 2014 at 09:42 PM

Gary: I'm on the Sept. 10th trip and also leave from Mpls. I leave Mpls at 2:55 pm on KLM dutch. KL 60458.; I'll be driving in from near Willmar . Maybe we can catch each other at the airport. I've only made a couple of trips with RS, but have never had a problem connection once in Geneva. We'll be on our own in Amsterdam, but as i remember, things are will marked and easy to get around. Looking forward to the trip!
See you in Mpls:)
Gary Garton Jul 17, 2014 at 09:31 AM

Kathleen: I'm with the Sept. 24th group so won't have a chance to travel with you out of MSP. I'll be flying Delta nonstop to Amsterdam and then connect to Geneva via KLM. It sounds like I, too, will be on my own in Amsterdam but I understand now that RS should have a place to meet at the airport in Geneva. As I understand from others, most signage at the European airports will be in English as well as their home language so that certainly will help. I've always traveled with my wife so when I lost her a couple years ago it hasn't been near as much fun for me. I'm not nuts about traveling alone as you might gather. Safe travels to you! Gary


Gary Garton Jul 16, 2014 at 06:07 PM

Did you have any problems catching up with the RS group once you landed at Geneva? I think my only concern is just meeting up with the rest of the bunch in a timely manner. This is my first time traveling alone without that second pair of eyes and ears so am abit apprehensive. I would hope we'll be given very detailed instructions before departure. Anyhow, any information would be helpful. Always take a raincoat when hiking the mountains as weather at altitude is much different than in the valleys. Am glad they give us plenty of time to acclimate to the altitude although I'm used to these elevations and higher so that's the least of my worries. Gary
Lori Nitchals Jul 16, 2014 at 07:14 PM

I went two days early to recover from jet lag before the trip began. I stayed at the Starling Hotel because they had a restaurant on site and free shuttle to and from the airport. Being widowed, I understand completely how traveling alone can be a bit nerve wracking. This was my second European trip, so I am not an experienced international traveler!


Dianne Jul 09, 2014 at 09:56 AM

I had wondered whether I REALLY should take a raincoat with hoodie and lightweight fleece and a second pair of shoes (suitable for hiking) and a hat. Glad I did. The altitude was less of a problem than I expected, probably because the tour's designed to spend several days at altitudes around a mile high before actually going up to the 11,000 + foot level. So: the altitude was less challenging on this trip that our hiking trips in Yosemite and Peru.
Gary Garton Jul 10, 2014 at 07:52 PM

What you experienced and what you were glad you had brought with you is exactly what I have planned to bring in September. I have hiked mountains in the western U.S. for many years and know the vagrancies of the mountains. Especially lightweight raincoats and certainly an extra pair of hiking boots are both a must. Thanks much for sharing your thoughts. I want to hike the Alps in the cool of the fall. Fact is, if there's some new snow I would be very happy as the cooler the better. You can figure from my tone that I'm a resident of a far northern state and love it!


Beth Bachmann Jun 20, 2014 at 07:49 AM

Hi...I am getting very excited for we are leaving next week!!! One new question that I have is whether or not trekking poles need to be packed in checked baggage vs. carry-on. My poles have blunted metal tips. Any feedback would be appreciated. I know that Lori said that she is checking hers but is it required?
Lori Nitchals Jun 20, 2014 at 10:13 AM

According to the airlines site, yes it is required. They could be used as weapons.


Gary Garton Jun 19, 2014 at 09:53 AM

I'm signed up for the 9/24 trip and am wondering just when I will get the final billing statement for the full amount owed from RS? I could call RS but am just wondering if anyone out there might have an idea. I'll pay by check to save RS the credit card fees. Is there anyone else out there heading out with the 9/24 tour? I haven't seen many mention that date on this discussion board so far. I'm traveling as a single, which I would rather not have to do, but I have no choice. As the time gets closer I might be jumping in here asking for travel tips from all you international savvy travelers as I'm new to the European scene.
Gary Garton Jun 19, 2014 at 11:24 AM

Thanks for your messages and tips, Aila. I must make more use of this website and my account information more than I do. I'm glad to hear that you're with our tour group and I'll be looking forward to meeting you. Where are you flying out of? I'm flying out of Minneapolis non-stop to Amsterdam and then to Geneva.
Gary Garton Jul 01, 2014 at 08:20 PM

Hi Aila,
Gary Garton Jul 01, 2014 at 08:25 PM

I don't live in Minneapolis but my daughter lives in one of the upscale suburbs of there so I go over often and visit. She's bringing my buns up to the airport the day Ieave as I won't park my car at the airport for two weeks. No, I live 250 miles from the airport in the wilderness of northern Wisconsin. I travel alot throughout North American but don't know a darn thing about European travel so am just alittle apprehensive about it all. I walk, hike, cross country ski and run alot so the physical end of it should be a breeze. I'm climbing a 11,000 foot mountain in Wyoming next month and that, too, should be a snap. Anyhow, I'm alittle dismayed that we haven't heard of more leaving on the date that we're leaving. I hope they have enough to fill the trip or, otherwise, our anticipation will be for nothing. I'd still rather be hiking in the fall than the summer any day!!! Gary
Aila Long Jul 02, 2014 at 07:47 AM

I have noticed that not all the people use this discussion board so hopefully the trip will go on.


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11 nights of accommodations
28 meals: 11 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 10 dinners
10 Expert-led lectures
17 Field trips
3 Hands-on experiences

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