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France Itinerary for early October 2012

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First of all, I cannot tell you how helpful it is to read the advice and travel tips that are on this forum. The photos that are posted, just beautiful! Kerouac - your photos are stunning and a few of them are now used as my computer screensaver as I anticipate my trip to Paris :)... I long to be in your lovely city as soon as possible when I look at them! My husband and i are making our first trip to France - arriving on Oct. 6th. We will be in Paris for 7 nights. We fly back to the U.S. on Oct. 21st. That leaves us with 8 additional nights in France. There are SO many cities that we would like to visit, I am having difficulty deciding on which cities to narrow it down to. We would like to visit Normandy and St. Michel, but Aix En Provence and Marseille are big on our list as well. Dijon, Lyon, Bordeaux and Lourdes.... we can rent a car or the train or both. My question is - if you had never been to these lovely places before, which two or three cities in France, would you recommend that we visit during the 8 additional days? We are interested in a diverse itinerary, we love old churches and basilicas as well as French historical sites, art museums, the beatiful countryside of Provence as well as shopping in outdoor markets. We are both fairly healthy and in our late 40's. I would sincerely appreciate your suggestions. Merci Beaucoup!

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