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Trip Report Dordogne/Paris June 2012 - first some observations

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First, many thanks to everyone who helped me plan this trip, you were an invaluable resource. Just some observations, and then I'll do a separate trip report.

1) I still love traveling to Europe in June. I think the long days are the biggest draw for me, I love leaving restaurants at night and it's still sort of light outside. When I'm in an unfamiliar place, that may not be well lit, those long days are special. And it's much less crowded.

2) No matter how much you research the weather - it may not cooperate. But it doesn't have to ruin your trip. The Dordogne was about 10 degrees cooler and rainier than usual during our stay. I think most of Europe was socked with bad weather. But cooler is better for walking around, and it never rained nonstop ALL day. So we stayed flexible. If it sun came out, we went straight to a garden or to the river to canoe. If it was rainy, we went inside a castle or chateaux. You're still on vacation, not working, and in FRANCE.

3) I was very pleased with Sarlat as a base - we stayed there 6 nights, then 2 more in Figeac. Everything was very accessible, and not far away at all. The old city is beautiful and large enough that there were plenty of (non-touristy) restaurants. The Saturday market in Sarlat was fabulous (we are not market chasers and didn't go to any others).

4) We bought a chip for France for our Garmin and it worked great. Turned out that our rental car had a GPS, but the two were not always in agreement and I think the one we brought was more updated. So on one hand we had the American lady mangling French words, and on the other, a French lady having a heart attack when we didn't follow her directions (TURNER A DROIT! TURNER A DROIT!).

5) How I wished I had stayed strong and listened to everyone and NOT let my husband drive us to Paris. Let's just say the words "overturned tractor trailer" and let you imagine the worse. I told my husband that we were definitely taking the train next time. You may all say a very loud "I told you so".

6) In Paris, we liked staying in the 10th, along Canal St Martin, a new area for us. Four days was not nearly enough, and I've decided that sometime we need to rent an apartment for a few weeks.

7) Food was uniformly wonderful, produce so fresh, everything presented so nicely. We're still grumbling (as always) that there's no good bread to be found in the US.

A soon to follow trip report will let you know where we stayed and what we did. It was a wonderful trip, and again, thanks to everyone who helped with the planning.

Alice

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