Been to Epernay or Provins?

Old Jul 31st, 2000, 03:30 AM
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Been to Epernay or Provins?

I'm thinking of these two places for day trips from Paris. Has anyone been to these towns? Your comments and suggestions please! I'm looking for places within a 2 hour train ride.

I've already been to Chartres, Fountainbleau, Versailles, and Reims.
Old Jul 31st, 2000, 04:32 AM
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Within the past couple of months I think, there was a brief posting about Provins, try doing a search here on it.
I believe there was some mention of some medieval buildings which sounded very interesting.
Old Jul 31st, 2000, 05:58 AM
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Thanks Elaine, I'll do a search!
Old Jul 31st, 2000, 08:36 AM
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What about a trip to Lyon or to Dijon?
Both these cities are within two hours of Paris by TGV.Trains leave from Gare De Lyon and looking at an old Thomas Cook timetable they seem quite frequent. Lyon is a very attractive city and you will find plenty of information about it on the web or in guidebooks. We spent 4 days there and enjoyed it thoroughly. You could find plenty to see on a day trip. Dijon is a city we have always meant to visit but we have not managed to get there yet. Quoting the Lonely planet guide:"Dijon is one of the most appealing of France's provincial cities, with an inviting centre graced by elegant buildings from the middle ages and the renaissance."
I have been to Epernay because our son works in wine, but all I remember was a pretty ordinary town with lots of champagne cellars where people spend time tasting bubbly.
Hope this info helps.
Old Jul 31st, 2000, 08:45 AM
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Hi Annie,

I have been to Dijon (forgot to add that to my list of ‘been there.’ I’ll check out Lyon in my guidebook. I think I’ve narrowed it down to 2 day trips: Rouen and Provins. But there is time to read about other places! Yes, Epernay is a champagne town, probably similar to Reims where we were last year. We went to one champagne house and went on the tour and sampled their champagne. Thanks!
Old Jul 31st, 2000, 02:29 PM
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We drove over to Provins while in the Loire. There was an ancient grain storage tower ruin and not a whole else except for lots of local teenagers trying to sneak a kiss behind their schoolmasters backs.
Old Jul 31st, 2000, 03:34 PM
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If you go to Epernay, make sure to stop at Moet Chandon for the tour and tasting.
Old Jul 31st, 2000, 04:40 PM
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I wouldn't bother with Epernay, unless chamapagne tasting in the cellars is high on your priority list. The town offered little else of interest.

Provins is worth a half-day. It is a "working class" town set on the valley floor, with a medevial-walled city (complete with moat) sitting on the ridge above. The upper town is quite the tourist haunt on weekends. (Several streets of craft shops, lots of outdoor restaurants, a jousting competition in full armor for the kids, and several interesting churches and towers from the middle agesto explore. (Parisians are very busy buying up all the old houses and converting them into shops or homes for weekend-getaways.) We spent an overnight and did find it quaint.

Dijon is,of course, a large city but it has a "small town" feel with interesting shops, markets, museums, churches and street life ---it is quite a lively place that I wish we had more time to explore than just a "half-day" --not quite enough time. I would give it high marks for a return trip.

Lyon is lovely, if you want to spring for the TGV fare. Pesonally, I think it is a bit pricey for just a day trip. Plus, Lyon is worth an "overnight" if you are going that great a distance.

Another place you might want to consider is Troyes. The medevial center is quite remarkable. Very Germanic with narrow, cobblestoned streets lined with medevial gabled buildings that lean in all directions. It's got great stores, friendly people, wonderful squares with tons of outdoor dining and good, free folk dancing presentations on weekends. It also has acres of outlets stores _ French-style_ on the "outskirts of the city proper! I was pretty amazed to see all the traditional American outlet stores mixed in between the French designer names.

Going north of Paris, Chateau de Chantilly and its adjacent parks and royal stables is also an interesting day trip. Another town we really enjoyed north of Paris was Senlis. It can be combined quite easily with Chantilly for a full day trip.

Those would be my recommendations within your two-hour limit.

Old Jul 31st, 2000, 04:51 PM
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Thanks Georgine for your information. I definitely don't want to spend a lot of money on trains (TGV), so will take Lyon out of my list of choices. Troyes sounds interesting, especially the outlets for my travel partner! She's hoping to do some shopping in Paris.

Can we do Chantilly and Senlis by train or would we need a car? I'll have to read up on that too!

Thanks everyone for your suggestions and comments.

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