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

  • Announcements:
  • Writers Needed for Georgia Coast
    by Emily_D Fodor's Editor | Posted on Jul 18, 14 at 03:12 PM
  • Writers Needed for Rwanda and Uganda
    by Emily_D Fodor's Editor | Posted on Jul 18, 14 at 03:12 PM
  • Writers Needed for Zimbabwe, Zambia and Tanzania
    by Emily_D Fodor's Editor | Posted on Jul 18, 14 at 03:11 PM
View all Europe activity »
  1. 1 What do you wish you'd known about Iceland before you went?
  2. 2 Trip Report TR: Solo in LONDON for ten days on unfinished business ...
  3. 3 Advice for first family trip to Europe
  4. 4 to take cash from USA or from ATMs in France?
  5. 5 What NOT TO WEAR in PARIS & ROME?! Women's Fashion Help!
  6. 6 England, Scotland, Ireland, and France... Where do I start?! (three weeks)
  7. 7 Itinerary help Geneva, Lausanne , Montreux or Vevey
  8. 8 restaurants / pubs near British museum / Bloomsbury
  9. 9 Need to get from ship to Venice airport
  10. 10 Madrid—Portugal—Northern Spain—Barcelona by car, need an itinerary...
  11. 11 10 days in England
  12. 12 PRIVATE GUIDES IN ITALY--MASTER LIST
  13. 13 Iceland! Summer 2015 Wanna help with my itinerary??
  14. 14 Speeding ticket in Germany: how do I handle this?
  15. 15 Struggling with Ireland itinerary - help finding off the beaten path gems!
  16. 16 Sigh....Swiss Pass HELP!
  17. 17 A full week in The Netherlands
  18. 18 Itinerey help for a 27 day trip to Europe for April of 2015
  19. 19 Advice and suggestions welcome for 2 month trip
  20. 20 Berlin, Paris, London: 2 weeks, 3 people
  21. 21 December in Munich, Salzburg, Graz, and Budapest
  22. 22 Suggested itinerary for Istanbul??
  23. 23 Dilemma for Switzerland
  24. 24 Drawing courses in Paris
  25. 25 If you had a week in Switzerland...
View next 25 » Back to the top