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Paris in Oct. with cathedral-city day trips? Where to stay?

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Plan to stay approx. a week in Paris in Oct., and take daytrips by train (no, driving isn't feasible) to Rouen, Amiens, and Chartres. Is this overly ambitious? Is it possible to combine any two of these into one day -- perhaps by a guided bus tour? Will be coming from Brussels, but no direct trains from Brussels to these cathedral towns, so assuming Paris is good hub for the wheel.

We hope to stay ca. $100-150/night or less, and will be getting to and from the various gares on foot or by Metro. Have been happy staying on Left Bank but should we be looking elsewhere to facilitate getting to train stations?

Have NO experience with renting a flat for a week, have only done 'value' hotels. Grateful for any suggestions about how to arrange a reliable, decent week's stay at a flat -- Paris seems to have a lot, but I've also read about some bad experiences.

I guess this is two categories of question, so whatever you might suggest (St. Cirq? et des autres?)

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