Is it possible just to skip the witcher 1 and go right into 2 or will I miss a lot of story?
You can play the Witcher 2 without playing 1, but you will need to open the journal and do a lot of reading. Even then, you will miss some of the flavour.
Personally, I enjoyed TW2 more than TW1, but YMMV. Still, both were fantastic. The games are different in many ways. The mechanics in TW1 are a bit old school for an RPG (not surprising as when the game came out, the old school was the "in" school). TW2 is more modern. TW1 had a deeper story and was a longer experience but the running around before getting to Vizima and the back and forth in the swamps was a bit boring, though somewhat expected of RPG's at that time. TW2 is beautiful and the gameplay experience is, IMO, much tighter, while the learning curve is unnecessarily steep.
If you can handle playing an older game, you should consider playing them both in order. However, if the older RPG experience is not for you, look up some of the "what came before" videos on YouTube and take a look at the Witcher wiki then jump into TW2. And read, read, read the journal!