Europe Forums

Start a new topic Change Forum
Advanced search

Trip Report Chopin's Paris and Van Gogh's France: a September journey

Jump to last reply

I returned a week ago from a fabulous three week trip which started in Bruges, Belgium and ended in Nice.

About me: I just retired last June from high school English teaching. I've been a student of piano for 3 years, and have loved the music of Chopin most of my adult life. Having recently read Chopin in Paris, I was determined to get to at least a couple of his apartment buildings (still standing) while in Paris. I was not disappointed.

About the trip: I decided to include Bruges in this trip by stopping there first. If hindsight were as good as foresight, I would have skipped Bruges this trip and flown nonstop to Paris. I went to a great deal of trouble (missed trains included) to get to Bruges, with terrible jet lag upon arrival in Brussels. Lesson learned!

From Bruges I went straight to Paris for 5 nights.

After Paris, I joined a Rick Steves tour in Chartres that went through the Loire Valley, Dordogne, Carcassonne, Arles, Les Baux, and Nice. The fact that I did an RS tour might be met with some vitriol on this forum. At the time it seemed a reasonable way to see an area (Loire and Dordogne especially) not well serviced by public transportation. Would I do another tour? More on this later. I usually travel independently.

Not wishing to rent a car this trip, I also booked a day tour of the Lot with a private driver/ guide who lives in the region. That was the best day of the trip!

Where I stayed: In Bruges I stayed at a beautiful bed and breakfast place called Huis Koning, located right on a canal. The hosts couldn't have been nicer! In Paris, thanks to advice from LateDayTraveler, I stayed at Rue Dauphine, which couldn't have been more conveniently located -- a 3- minute walk to the Seine between Orsay and Notre Dame. I enjoyed my stay there. The hotels on the tour (beginning in Chartres) were fine: some more charming than others.

Favorite days on the trip: Visiting Chopin's and Sand's residences at Square d'Orleans in Paris, visiting Van Gogh's Auvers-sur-Oise, exploring the Lot region with a private driver, visiting the cave art at Rouffignac, and a visiting Van Gogh's asylum at St. Remy.

All in all, this was one of my favorite trips ever -- I largely attribute this to the beauty of the Dordogne and Lot regions, and an opportunity to step back in time to view the worlds of Chopin and Van Gogh.

178 Replies |Back to top

| Add a Reply

Sign in to comment.

Recent Activity

  • Announcement:
  • Writers Needed for Japan
    by Emily_D Fodor's Editor | Posted on Mar 26, 15 at 02:38 PM
View all Europe activity »
  1. 1 Seville Holy Week - Behind the Scenes!
  2. 2 11 day Swiss and Italy
  3. 3 Needed: a nice beach break in Spain!
  4. 4 3 Star Hotel or B&B recommendations for Venice, Florence, and Rome Needed
  5. 5 Madrid night life – nice bars to relax and enjoy music?
  6. 6 Gift for my European Friends- How about Hershey?
  7. 7 Best town for 3 nights on the Costa Brava?
  8. 8 First Trip to Italy - Could use some help!
  9. 9 Train tickets within Italy
  10. 10 Bavaria area to Hallstatter to Croatia, Berchtesgaden and Munich
  11. 11 Bavaria area to Hallstatter to Croatia, Berchtesgaden and Munich
  12. 12 What is the perfect day in Bruges?
  13. 13 France Tourisme - Is it a reliable tour company?
  14. 14 18 days driving trip Rome>Spain>Rome
  15. 15 Cycling in Southern France--Flat terraine
  16. 16 Trains from Brussels to other Belgian cities/towns
  17. 17 Trip Report MaiTaiTom's Paris When It Sizzles; Paris When It Fizzles Anniversary Trip
  18. 18 Hotel in Istanbul
  19. 19 Hoping to stay cool this summer - any comments on my northern itinerary?
  20. 20 A taste of Scotland and Ireland
  21. 21 Mont St. Michele?
  22. 22 Siciliy - travel from Taormina to Siracusa via public transportation
  23. 23 Norway and Denmark Itinerary Critique Please
  24. 24 Trip Report Our first trip to Europe
  25. 25 Best driving map for Greece?
View next 25 » Back to the top