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Avignon TGV Station Question

Old Mar 20th, 2005, 11:21 AM
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Avignon TGV Station Question

I am taking the TGV from Nice to Avignon on Sat. June 4. I am being picked up for my tour at 4:30pm. The TGV arrives at 1:30pm. The tour leader said there is no luggage storage. He said there is a bookstore & cafeteria there. I also understand that it is not near town. My question is what can my cousin & I do for the 3 hours besides eat, look at the bookshoop & watch our luggage??

Also - after the tour we are renting a car from the TGV station & driving to Carcassonne where we have 2 nights booked at the Hotel DonJon. We have one free night before we need to drop the car off in Cannes. I would like to visit Arles and then stay somewhere between there & Cannes & be able to get to Cannes to drop the car by noon. I don't want to spend much more than 100 Euros for a nice place.

Any suggestions??

Thanks - have become addicted to this board this week.

cobbie is offline  
Old Mar 20th, 2005, 11:25 AM
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Dance. Under the bridge.

Sous le pont
d'Avignon
l'on y danse
l'on y danse...
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Old Mar 20th, 2005, 11:31 AM
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While I haven't been to Avignon in a few years, I took the train from Avignon to Paris. I thought I remember that the train station is right outside the old city walls. Much depends on how much luggage you have -- yuo could do a bit of walkin gand have a meal if you are not lugging too much.
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Old Mar 20th, 2005, 11:38 AM
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The TGV station is aoutside of town now--not in town.
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Old Mar 20th, 2005, 11:41 AM
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The Avignon TGV station is really not near much of anything. The "bookstore" is just one of those Relais newsstands that also carried books. There are two or three sandwich/salad-type places.

There's probably a bus you can catch into town from there, but I'm afraid I've never done that and don't know anything about it. There's an Information Desk right in the center of the hall, though, where you could ask. Otherwise, I don't think you have much choice other than to stay at the station.

Are you going to take some kind of tour beginning at 4:30 pm and on that same day drive to Carcassonne? I hope not, because unless it's a very short tour, the car rental place will probably be closed when you get back.
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Old Mar 20th, 2005, 11:41 AM
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Robespierre,
I thought you were supposed to dance on the bridge--

"Sur le pont d'Avignon...."
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Old Mar 20th, 2005, 11:47 AM
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Any chance you could come in a day earlier and take a taxi into Avignon and enjoy an evening there before you tour starts?

You will be completely bored for 3 hours there - nothing to do.

If you packed lightly, you could take the bus or cab into town and do a bit of sightseeing.
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Old Mar 20th, 2005, 12:02 PM
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marcy

http://www.avignon-et-provence.com/a...nts/stBenezet/
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Old Mar 20th, 2005, 01:12 PM
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I'm assuming that the tour that starts at 4:30 is a multiple day tour. In that case, I would just stick it out at the train station.

If it is a tour for only the Sat. when you arrive, if you pick up your car immediatly at 1:30, normal rental agreements won't charge you any more to pick it up then instead of after the tour, since you plan to return it before 12:00 several days later. If this is the case, you could drive to St Remy or Avignon for a visit.

I'm guessing that the 4:30 tour is for several days in Provence, and that is why you are driving to Carcassone instead of just staying in Provence for the entire time.

Stu Dudley
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Old Mar 20th, 2005, 01:20 PM
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Well, as an option to sitting around the train station, you could take a ten minute walk and visit the French version of a "Mall"... where the Carrefour grocery store is located.
Otherwise you could take the shuttle bus to the main train station (takes about ten - fifteen minutes) and take a short walk up the main street of Avignon. I'm not sure about the no luggage storage....seems to me I've seen lockers there - but small ones.

Patricia
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Old Mar 20th, 2005, 01:31 PM
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Are others going to be picked up at the station? Ask the tour group to pick you up at the Avignon station in town.
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Old Mar 20th, 2005, 01:44 PM
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We are taking a one week tour of Provence - based out of Gordes. After the tour we will go to Carcassonne for 2 nights - then one night where we have not decided where to stay then two nights in Cannes before flying out of Nice.

I didn't do enough research before booking the flights to Nice. Figured since we were touring Provence we should fly there only to find out the TGV ride is actually shorter from Paris. O well - the flights are already booked/paid for.

The tour guy said if people are coming into the station before 4:30 he might be able to pick us up earlier.

I have considered taking the non-TGV which is 4 hours instead of 3 and arriving at the regular Avignon station where supposedly there are lockers for our luggage & then we could walk around a bit. There is evidently a bus between the two stations.

We will visit Avignon on our tour.

Any ideas on a place to stay between Arles & Cannes??

Thanks!
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Old Mar 20th, 2005, 02:11 PM
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If you decide to take the train to the old station, the shuttle bus (navette) runs every 15 minutes between it and the outer TGV station (sometimes called Courtine). It leaves from a stop across the street from the stationójust inside the gatesóand costs about a euro, which you pay the driver.

Be sure to get a map of the old city so you can find you way around--and back to the shuttle stop. Avignon is very compact, but the Palais des Papes is huge (and dismal), so I wouldn't recommend trying to see it in the little time you will have. Our favourite spot is at one of the many outdoor cafés facing the wonderful carousel in Place d'Horloge.
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Old Mar 20th, 2005, 02:22 PM
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If you take the shuttle to the old train station, there is a luggage room, very large individual lockers, on the right side (as you face the station). It's very convenient and not expensive.

2 years ago, we returned our rental in the train station in the morning, left our luggages in the lockers and walked into and around Avignon until our train departure for Barcelona that evening.
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Old Mar 20th, 2005, 02:27 PM
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BTW, the lockers are in a room that is watched over by a station caretaker (the person who you pay to for the lockers) and the bags go through an x-ray machine (much like the airport security screening) before they are allowed to be stored in the lockers.
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Old Mar 20th, 2005, 07:52 PM
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The shuttle bus between the station in Avignon and the TGV station takes only 5 minutes and costs a euro. Very easy to travel between stations. The TGV station is in the middle of a vast nothingness. There is no bookstore or anything else there. The station resembles a giant airplane hanger and I swear it is always cold inside no matter the season.

Larry J
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Old Mar 21st, 2005, 04:36 AM
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LarryJ, that's a perfect description of the Avignon TGV station. The French have started calling these semi-rural TGV stations "betteraves," or beetroots, to signify their remoteness. They also compalin that some of them are not connected to the TER system, hence the need for shuttle buses or taxis ...

Anselm
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Old Mar 21st, 2005, 09:19 AM
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The advantage to these stations is that it allows the TGV's to arrive at their destination more quickly. A TGV cannot barrel through a town to the station because of noise pollution and the obvious dangers. A more remote station means that the TGV can remain at full speed for the maximum amount of time and the track can be straighter as the stations were built to accomidate the track.
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Old Mar 21st, 2005, 09:35 AM
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MorganB, that's certainly the reasoning SNCF has used up until this point. However, there was an article in Le Monde last May titled "La SNCF va renoncer aux 'gares-betteraves' pour les futurs TGV." The essence of the story was that the SNCF is now planning to place future TGV stations closer to communities and to provide a direct connection to the TER system.

Anselm
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