A little France after London?

Old Mar 11th, 2012, 02:57 PM
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A little France after London?

I am debating several different tack-ons for a post London trip. Of course there are places in England that I've yet to visit, but we had a big England trip less than a year ago, and I was sort of thinking about the Eurostar to Lille, picking up a car and traveling to the Pierrefronds castle that Kerouac showed us, then Reims/Epernay and Fontainebleau. We would then spend a night in Paris, I guess.

I wonder if that is a crazy itinerary... probably is.

I had thought Lille because we wouldn't have to drive out of Paris, but renting a car at Gare du Nord would cut down driving time.

As would training to Reims and using it as a base for Pierrefronds, and Reims. We would have to get a car there.

If anyone has ideas, I'd more than welcome them, including where to ditch a car after Fontainebleau.

This trip would be in October and only give us 5 days and 4 nights in France.

This is confusing me as much as it is you. Sorry, but need fresh brains.
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Old Mar 11th, 2012, 03:20 PM
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You can drop your car off at Fontainebleau and train back to Paris. I believe there is an Avis rental agency next to the train station in Fontainebleau. In order to make the best recommendation it really depends on what you most want to see and do. I get that Pierrefonds is certainly on your list and it seems like Fontainebleau is too but I'm not clear on how much Lille and Reims really interest you other than as a place to get a car.

If Pierrefonds is on the list and you don't want to drive out of Paris then take the Eurostar to Paris and then take a local train to Compiègne and rent a car there. Compiègne is less than 15km from Pierrefonds and worthy of exploration in its own right.

I do lots of exploring in the countryside around Paris (on my bike) and have loads of reports with lots of photos if you want to glance at them to get some sightseeing ideas. Here are some links to my reports:

Pierrefonds, Compiègne, Crépy-en-Valois and the Picardie countryside and villages: http://tinyurl.com/7edejbz

More Picardie villages: http://tinyurl.com/3wdcb4c

Laon, WWI sites and even more extra beautiful Picardie countryside: http://tinyurl.com/3co8u28

Crécy-la-Chapelle, Coulommiers and Brie countryside and villages: http://tinyurl.com/dx8kr39

Provins and Brie Countryside and villages: http://tinyurl.com/7xa5eok

Vaux-le-Vicomote and Brie countryside and villages:
http://tinyurl.com/6cau3rv

Fontainebleau, Barbizon, Milly-la-Forêt:
http://tinyurl.com/6aksvbd

Moret-sur-Loing, Montigny-sur-Loing, Bourron-Marlotte, Grez-sur-Loing and Nemours: http://tinyurl.com/c6deuw5
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Old Mar 11th, 2012, 04:33 PM
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This is really helpful, FMT. I will explore all these websites tonight.

Reims is very high on my list for the cathedral. I'm a bit of a cathedral lover. And speaking of such, doesn't Laon have a good one, or am I confused?
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Old Mar 11th, 2012, 04:37 PM
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I forgot to say that I was only considering Lille in order to avoid Paris on the way to Pierrefonds and Reims.
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Old Mar 11th, 2012, 04:42 PM
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Laon has a fantastic cathedral that served as the model for the much more famous cathedrals in Reims, Paris and Chartres. Here is the tourist office website:

http://www.tourisme-paysdelaon.com/

http://www.ville-laon.fr/fr/decouvrir/index.html
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Old Mar 11th, 2012, 08:01 PM
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FMT: I've been looking at all your wonderful pictures. Thank you so much for them and for your good suggestions.

I have just found that the train from Paris to Compiegne leaves from Gare du Nord, which would make this trip a bit easier, especially the London to Pierrefonds leg.
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Old Mar 12th, 2012, 03:47 AM
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Here are tourist office websites for some of the paces I mentioned. Check them to find out all about what to see and do and where to eat/stay. Also, check the hours of places you want to visit, such as Pierrefonds, to make sure they are open when you visit:

Reims: http://www.reims-tourisme.com/

Epernay: http://www.ot-epernay.fr/

Château of Chantilly (wonderful fairytale château, famous art collection): http://www.chateaudechantilly.com/fr/
http://www.chantilly-tourisme.com/

Senlis (small medieval town can be combined with a visit to Chantilly):
http://www.senlis-tourisme.fr/accueil-senlis.php

Fontainebleau:
http://www.musee-chateau-fontainebleau.fr/
http://www.fontainebleau-tourisme.com/

Château of Vaux-le-Vicomte (the château after which Louis XIV based his garden renovations for Versailles and IMO one of the most elegant château in France):
http://www.vaux-le-vicomte.com/
http://www.vaux-le-vicomte.com/en/vi...aires_plan.php

Compiègne: http://www.compiegne-tourisme.fr/

Château of Pierrefonds:
http://www.pierrefonds.monuments-nationaux.fr/
http://pierrefonds-tourisme.net/ot/Bienvenue.html
http://www.compiegne-tourisme.fr/Le-...errefonds.html

Crécy-la-Chapelle (small charming renowned artists village):
http://www.cc-payscrecois.fr/Crecy-la-Chapelle,203.html

Moret-sur-Loing (charming walled medieval village/artists village):
http://www.ville-moret-sur-loing.fr/rubrique.php?id=189

Barbizon (famous artists village, can be combined with Fontainebleau):
http://www.barbizon-tourisme.fr/

Milly-la-Forêt: http://www.milly-la-foret.fr/Office-...isme-du-canton

http://www.milly-la-foret.fr/

Crépy-en-Valois: http://www.valois-tourisme.fr/

Provins: http://www.provins.net/
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Old Mar 12th, 2012, 07:25 PM
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Oh my, what a wealth of information and choices. Thank you so very much.
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Old Mar 13th, 2012, 04:00 PM
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I can't wait to explore those links too! thanks!
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