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Amiens or Reims ... Senlis or Beauvais

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Mar 18th, 2015, 04:34 PM
  #1
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Amiens or Reims ... Senlis or Beauvais

Appreciate your wisdom .. I have time for one trip outside Paris in addition to Chartres. Where shall I go ........ ?
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Mar 18th, 2015, 05:51 PM
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We did a cathedral tour of these cities last year after watching a PBS film on the building of the great cathedrals. All were interesting, but we found Reims to be more interesting than the others. You can also visit Ike's WWII headquarters there and, of course, the champagne houses.
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Mar 18th, 2015, 05:56 PM
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I have only been to Reims, but we spent a few days there last summer, which we thoroughly enjoyed. We did a tour at Veuve Cliquot, which was a highlight. The WWII headquarters museum that Bedar mentions above was very interesting.
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Mar 19th, 2015, 03:34 AM
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I loved the gardens of Amiens - you take a small boat and visit the gardens use for growing vegetables etc - very funny. City is nice too.
Reims is great and yes, champagne helps. Senlis is a fabulous small town - gorgeous for one day and some very good restaurants.
Seems Provins also qualifies.
Beauvais - never been there, cannot comment.
enjoy.
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Mar 19th, 2015, 06:35 AM
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So many options...

- The Loire castles are just one hour (by TGV) away.
- Chantilly is a beautiful castle with an outstanding art gallery (second best in France, after the Louvre).
- Fontainbleau is a magnificent castle.
- Rouen is a quaint little town which is a nice diversion from Paris.
- Beaune is a little more than two hours from Paris (TGV) and you may spend a day in Bourgogne - with the spectacular Hôtel-Dieu and wine-tasting in the ruins of an ancient church (Marché aux Vins)!
- Auxerre is charming old town and 1:39 away from Paris.

Just one tip: Do not take a car for a daytrip unless it is a Saturday or Sunday. Otherwise you will loose much time in traffic jams just to get out of Paris and back into Paris again.
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Mar 19th, 2015, 10:17 AM
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It seems like you are interested in cathedrals so you might want to look into Laon as well. Laon is a medieval hilltop town and the town itself is beautiful and worth a visit in its own right, even if it didn't have a cathedral. If you want you can see a brief video I made when I had the cathedral all to myself and there was some incredibly beautiful organ music playing (only inside views though):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BYmu...ll7vqMGJEukkoQ

http://www.laon-tourism.co.uk/
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Mar 19th, 2015, 11:25 AM
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Reims if into Champagne tours would be the best town and the town itself is also very nice - others have nice cathedrals but so-so towns.
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Mar 19th, 2015, 11:35 AM
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They are all comparable, but there are obviously some differences. If you have visited Notre Dame in Paris and been impressed with the architecture but hated the crowd -- Reims is for you. Same cathedral without the people.

Meanwhile, the cathedral in Amiens is the largest cathedral in France. From 15 June to the 3rd weekend in September, the front of the cathedral is illuminated at night with a vision of how it looked when the statues were painted (!).

Senlis has a nice medieval center and is one of the towns the most used for period movies. All they have to do is throw a little straw and manure on the cobblestones, and the illusion is perfect. It has a remarkable medieval festival at the end of September with hundreds of costumed participants.

I have not yet had the opportunity to visit Beauvais.
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Mar 19th, 2015, 11:38 AM
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Beauvais is the tallest cathedral in France I think. It is sweet but the town is ordinary to the hilt.
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Mar 19th, 2015, 11:43 AM
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Thank you all. I think I've settled on Reims, but the other trip is still up in the air. Senlis would be wonderful but apparently it is hard to get to -- no direct train. Does anyone know how long the train/bus trip takes? Laon sounds interesting but I am intrigued by Troyes. Anyone gone there? I have done chateaus in the past and they're not my choice for this trip. I prefer wandering interesting old towns -- and dropping by a cathedral of course.

I appreciate your "flaneur" wisdom; you've all made great trips ! Thanks for your help.
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Mar 19th, 2015, 11:57 AM
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What about Provins?
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Mar 19th, 2015, 05:11 PM
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To get to Senlis you take a train from Gare du Nord to Chantilly, which takes 25 minutes. The one way fare is 8.70€. Use www.voyages-sncf.com or www.capitainetrain.com for train schedules. The buses for Senlis are just to the left when you exit the train station and you want bus #15 for the direct route (without transfers). To get bus schedules use http://www.oise-mobilite.fr/ The direct buses take 25 to 30 minutes.
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Mar 19th, 2015, 07:04 PM
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It's been awhile but I've been to Reims and Senlis. The one that really lodged in my memory is Reims. I agree with kerouac.
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Mar 19th, 2015, 07:18 PM
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When I took a day trip to Reims last fall, I arrived back at the train station with a couple of hours to wait. For a flat fee of 1 Euro something for a set period on the bus, I got on the first one that came along and rode to the end of the line, walked around a bit and took the return bus back to the train station. Later I looked up on a map where I had been and it was out in the country, close to the WWI combat lines. Interesting way to kill a couple of hours.
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Mar 20th, 2015, 04:34 AM
  #15
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Good suggestions. Reims seems a top choice and I'll check out Provins. Thanks FMyTours for the help getting to Senlis. I'm looking foward to it.
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