Geneva

Not really sure why I was looking at Geneva but after having found flight for £100 for 2 people I booked it with easyJet. It was only for 1 night, so I went about finding a hotel. I found Hotel Lake Geneva and although it was in Versoix, about 15 minutes on the train from Geneva, and the train stopped just at the back of the hotel. Because it was just for 1 night a bit more money was spent and the room with a coffee machine and a lake/mountain view was booked. Got to say – totally worth it.

View from the hotel room
View from the hotel

Lake Geneva has to be one of the most picturesque places I have ever been. The hotel is a 3 star but way better than most of the 4 stars I have stayed in. The room was spacious and modern. The view was just perfect. The shower was hot and power. Just a really nice hotel. We ordered room service, something which I have never done, it was fairly quick and the food was great. Very expensive, but everywhere and everything is expensive. 

Geneva is a lovely city, with beautiful views of the river and lake, and history and architecture to match. It is quite flat and is easy to walk about, although it has a fantastic public transport system.

geneva
Geneva

 

We went on a little tour train that cost about 10 Swiss Francs each but we definitely wouldn’t have got around to seeing some of the sights without it.

Versoix was a lot smaller and quieter than Geneva and that meant you could meander around without the crowds. 

versoix
Versoix

It is definitely worth a visit, but be prepared to spend money, and the plugs aren’t the same as the 2 pin European ones, so check for adaptors before you come. Or like us, you will be wandering around a supermarket trying to find one.

One thing you do get for free is public transport. At the airport you get 80 minutes free from the time of your ticket to get to your destination, and your hotel will then give you a ticket for free public transport (within the zone 10 area in my case) for the duration of your stay. 

boats
Lake Geneva

I would love to go back and explore the places around the lake a bit more.

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Cologne

I booked a impromptu trip to Cologne in Germany. After getting a taste for city breaks and exploring, what better place to go than one with a Lindl Chocolate museum.

We got to the museum for opening and were treated with chocolate as we got our tickets. There is a lot of information in the museum about chocolate and we did browse but I have to admit we didn’t read everything. We were to eager to see the chocolate and were drawn to the wonderful smell. It was a great few hours spent watching the process and sampling the chocolate. Well worth a trip. 

Lindt Chocolate Museum
Lindt Chocolate Museum

We then went on a river cruise. The Rhine runs all down through Germany so you can get large boats with bedrooms for the longer trips, but we went on a short return one, this a great way to see a different view of the city. 

River Cruise
River Cruise

We wandered around Cologne, heading for the cathedral first. A large, impressive gothic building with a mass of flying buttresses and gargoyles. The blackened stone adds to its gothic look. 

Cologne Cathedral
Cathedral

As we were in Germany we wanted to sample some the local food and went for a curried Bratwurst. It was delicious I have to say. The curry sauce was a similar taste to what you would get in a British chip shop. We also wanted to try schnitzel, but found this a lot harder to come across. 

Curried Bratwurst
Curried Bratwurst

We stayed at the Mercure Hotel Severinshof. There was a tram stop right outside, so if you wanted to get to different parts of the city it was easily accessible. The room was very nice, as was the rest of the hotel. We didn’t eat there but we did have a drink in the bar. It is worth noting that you have the option to not have your room cleaned or towels changed and you can get a free drink at the hotel bar.

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Rome

City visits never really appealed to me before, this is mainly because I’m lazy. The thought of having to walk for ages or up a big hill just doesn’t appeal to me. But one place was always on my bucket list – Rome. This city has always fascinated me, the ancient buildings and rich history. So when I was looking for a weekend away to a city this one was the place that interested me the most. I spent 3 nights here and usually when I am planning holidays I spend hours looking at the hotels and the reviews. But this time it was about the places I wanted to visit, so it was a new experience for me. My main one was always going to be the Colosseum. The symbol of all things Roman for me. I stayed at  the Hotel Flavia, it was not far from the main attractions and close to shops and restaurants. It was very nice, and although the room was small it was fine for what I needed, as I wasn’t planning to spend a huge amount of time there. For the transfer to and from the hotel to the airport I used a company called Welcome Pickups that my sister had used before and they were fantastic. I got sent a picture of my driver and a WhatsApp when I landed letting me know he was waiting. He was holding a board with my name on it and insisted on carrying my bag to the car. It was very stress-free, and a great start to the break. He was waiting outside my hotel way before my pickup time and was in no rush. I have booked the same company for a visit to Amsterdam in 2020.

I haven’t done many city visits, I live near Bath and Bristol, and have visited London, but Rome was just amazing, you don’t have to far to see a fountain or a huge Roman building. The architecture is stunning and you need to keep your camera on hand. The food, as expected was fantastic. You cannot beat eating a pizza in Rome.

Trevi Fountain
Trevi Fountain

We had booked tickets for the Colosseum but we got a refund as it was free the weekend we went. We got there want queued for opening and although the line looked long it went down very fast. 

Colosseum
Inside the Colosseum
Colosseum
Outside the Colosseum

 

 

 

 

 

As I’m not a fan of walking, we got to metro to Vatican City, it cost about 2 euros and was easy to work out. We went in the Vatican museum, and then slowly walked back across the city to our hotel. This was a great way to see loads. We walked for a bit then stopped, either just to take in the views or for a latte or food. 

St Peter's Square
St Peter’s Square

Make sure you book online tickets for anything you want to visit, the line to buy tickets for the Vatican Museums was massive, and I mean massive! So plan ahead, and you will get to see more and not waste your time stood about.

Gelato
Gelato
Pizza
Pizza

 

I went in March and the weather was sunny with clouds, about 21 degrees and was pleasant for walking about in jeans and t-shirt.

Eat as much gelato, pizza and pasta as you can. Everything I had was amazing, the Italian’s know how to cook so take advantage of it.