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:
  • Fodor's 100 Hotel Award Winners Announced
    by Emily_D Fodor's Editor | Posted on Sep 17, 14 at 01:05 PM
View all Europe activity »
  1. 1 Gift for French business associate
  2. 2 Munich Hotel - Stay at the Westin or Sheraton Westpark?
  3. 3 BEST OF FRANCE ROAD TRIP IN 30 DAYS- MAY 15
  4. 4 Are you following Scotland's upcoming vote on independence?
  5. 5 paris apartment opinion airbnb
  6. 6 from Munchen train to Romerberg
  7. 7 Alterations to night trains routes
  8. 8 Trip Report Trip Report, part 1
  9. 9 Help with logistics of 2 days on the Rhine
  10. 10 Scottish Passport
  11. 11 lauterbrunnen-wengen 4 days
  12. 12 shortened trip to Italy
  13. 13 Looking for Suggestions - 12 Day Agenda for Greece
  14. 14 Air France strike
  15. 15 Trip Report Spain (Practical) Trip Report
  16. 16 Italy tours
  17. 17 Exchanging Large Euro Notes(Currency) in Ireland
  18. 18 Trip Report Rome, and Eastern Europe by older single woman
  19. 19 Amsterdam
  20. 20 Early October 2014 Trip to Mosel Valley and Rhineland
  21. 21 Rheinland-Pfalz Day Pass & Rhine Cruise
  22. 22 Trip Report Sunny September Trip Report
  23. 23 Hurtigruten Cruise excursions alternatives, coast of Norway
  24. 24 2 weeks on Lake Maggiore
  25. 25 Travel insurance, interruption or cancelation?
View next 25 » Back to the top