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Old 04-12-2006, 10:35 PM   #1
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So this summer I am taking my younger sister to Western Europe for two weeks. She is 17 and I am 26. I would like to do/see something I haven't on my past trips. We're going to be in France~Holland~Germany and I have seen most of the sights and touristy things and am looking for something "different". We like the outdoors, but are willing to try anything. Suggestions? Oh! we will be traveling from the end of May until the second week in June.

Help appreciated.
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Old 04-12-2006, 10:41 PM   #2
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Sorry, I can't help much with europe as all of my overseas has been in latin america BUT I am sure that there will be more than a few answers on here shortly. Are you from Arizona?
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Old 04-12-2006, 11:46 PM   #3
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I have a friend who had a great time biking in the Loire Valley and another one who did the same thing on a Moped (not sure if 17 y/o's can rent, however). Lonely Planet has a great series of books called "Walking in [country name here]" if you're looking for hikes--some are even really close to various cities--I'm wrapped up in the Scotland one right now. I think they've also got a series on cycling. You could also try to find out if festivals or other events are happening in the countries you've chosen. Let's Go guides always do a good job of outlining the annual goings-on. Or hit the big cities but check out lesser-known districts, which are often just as interesting and filled with locals instead of tourists. I've heard that some of the outer arrondissments (sp?) in Paris are good for this.

You could also send your sister to the hotspots while you checked out something farther off the tourist radar, if you're ok with splitting up now and then.

Good luck and have fun!
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Old 04-13-2006, 05:18 AM   #4
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In France, Mont St. Michel is cool, and you could do some walking in the Brittany region while you're at it. Or take a canal boat trip. Those always seem geared to older people to me, but I think it would be cool, anyway.

In Germany, the Eifel region is playing host to the annual German walkathon, the Deutsches Wandertag. The region is in the Rheinland-Plafz, between the Rhine and the Luxembourg border - lots of mountains, streams, pasture land and what not, with a couple of cool but 2nd tier* cities such as Trier and Koln (Cologne) thrown in for good measure. There are a lot of Roman artifacts, museums and buildings in the area, since Trier was a significant Roman outpost. [*Disclaimer: I consider them 2nd tier not because of they're second rate, but because they don't usually appear on the standard: Berlin-Munich, maybe Dresden or Frankfurt itinerary.]

In Holland, by the end of May the tulip fields will be finishing up, but you still might get a chance to check them out. I liked Utrecht (sp?), not always on the tourist itinerary, either. There, I think it would be cool to rent bikes and set off cross country, stopping in the smaller villages and what not for a week or so.

Hope that helps a bit...

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Old 04-13-2006, 05:54 AM   #5
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Check out Interlaken Switzerland. A lot of things to do, like river rafting, skiing, mountain climbing, hanggliding. Check out http://www.balmers.com/en/balmers/summer/ .

I am going there in July.

Something new, just rent a car and try to find your way around little towns in europe.

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Old 04-13-2006, 06:08 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by uninspired@Apr 13 2006, 04:46 PM
You could also send your sister to the hotspots while you checked out something farther off the tourist radar, if you're ok with splitting up now and then.
[snapback]112083[/snapback]
travelling with one person all the time, you will need to split up now and then! its also a good way to find things to do, if you spend a day apart, the next day is usually spent showing your travel buddy all the cool sights you found! (then you feel like a pro traveller guide)
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Old 04-13-2006, 11:52 AM   #7
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There are bike trips and hikes all over the French countryside, as already suggested.

My favorite activity in Amsterdam is a bike trip I took out into the countryside. The entire country is so flat, that it's not tasking at ALL, and the amazing, rustic beauty you'll see just a few minutes outside of the city is breathtaking. The only trouble you might encounter, even in the warmer months, is May, but most of these bike excursions include a handy rain poncho to keep everything dry. The best part of a trip like this is stopping by for food/drink in tiny villages and interacting with the locals, which gives you a far better taste for Dutch life than walking the RLD or coffeeshops of Amsterdam. Definitely worthwhile. Also, if it's in the timeframe, you should check out the gardens at Keukenhoff and see what the whole Dutch flower thing is all about.
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