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Best way from Bruges to Normandy, and a question about reserving taxis upon arrival in Paris train stations

Best way from Bruges to Normandy, and a question about reserving taxis upon arrival in Paris train stations

Nov 16th, 2007, 06:35 PM
  #1  
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Best way from Bruges to Normandy, and a question about reserving taxis upon arrival in Paris train stations

Oops, accidentally posted this in the lounge. One more try.

I'm helping my brother plan a trip to Belgium and France next June. They want to go from Bruges to Normandy (Bayeux), where they will rent a car. I looked at the train schedules, and it looks to me like all of the trains have to go through Paris: arrival at the Gare du Nord, then to Normandy from the Gare St. Lazare.

First question: how much time would they need to allow to get from one station to the other?

Second question: Last time we landed in Montparnasse from Rennes, we were astounded at the line for the taxis! Has anyone else had this experience? It took an hour in the line. There was a sign somewhere else for "reserved" taxis; does anyone know how to do this? Seems like a good idea, especially if they're transferring to catch a train.

Last question: I looked at mappy.com and they say it would take 4 1/2 hours to drive from Lille to Bayeux (in my experience it always takes longer). Has anyone done this drive, and how long did it take?

Many thanks for all your help.


Iwan2go is offline  
Nov 16th, 2007, 06:40 PM
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By RER E (commuter train), one can get from Gare du Nord to Gare St-Lazare in 7 minutes for 1,50€.
Robespierre is offline  
Nov 16th, 2007, 06:41 PM
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Meant to say that it's always taken longer for our journeys than mappy's estimated driving times. (I've never driven from Bruges to Normandy, just Tours to Mt St Michel).
Iwan2go is offline  
Nov 16th, 2007, 07:18 PM
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Brilliant, Robespierre! Can you tell I've never switched train stations?

About the cab lines - anyone had the same experience waiting (if no longer needed for this trip, perhaps another time to get from the train to our hotel)? Know how to reserve ahead?

Thanks.
Iwan2go is offline  
Nov 17th, 2007, 07:55 AM
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This past Sept, we went from Rennes to CDG on the TGV, then TGV from CDG to Brussels, then on to Brugge. The TGV tickets were real cheap - we even went first class. See if there is a reasonable schedule in reverse.

Also on the same trip, we went on the THALYS from Brussels to Gare du Nord, then the RER to our hotel next to Montparnasse - no problems and the connections were easy & efficient.

Stu Dudley
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Nov 17th, 2007, 09:09 AM
  #6  
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Robespierre,

I looked at the RATP site www.ratp.info/informer/anglais) and couldn't see the E RER line listed as an option (I typed in Gare du Nord to Gare St Lazare). Can you tell me please - am I looking in the wrong place? I don't see that line listed on my Paris par arrondisement map either (although it's an old map).

Thank you for your help.
Iwan2go is offline  
Nov 17th, 2007, 09:30 AM
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In terms of driving from Lille to Bayeaux - we've never done that - but have found that it always takes us less time than Mappy suggests. Mappy is based on speed limits. Perhaps you drive slowly - or dont allow for pit/potty stops?

The one thing to remember is - in France once you're off the major highways you can run into both 3 lane roads (not fun if you don;t enjoy playing chicken) - as well as farm vehicles and other obstructions. (In most countries we have found the drivers of these either pull over to let you pass or gesture when it's safe. This doesn't seem to happen in France.)
nytraveler is offline  
Nov 17th, 2007, 11:45 AM
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This past Sept we took the train from Rennes to Montparnasse. We arrived on a Wed at about 4pm with the plan to take a taxi to our apartment in the Marais.

The taxi line was so bad I convinced my husband to drag our luggage onto the metro. We saw no taxi's arriving to help move the line and I thought we would be there well over an hour. At the rate the taxi's were appearing we could still be waiting there

I would definitely find a way to reserve a taxi or take the metro. Deborah
DeborahAnn is offline  
Nov 17th, 2007, 12:35 PM
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iwan2go - Maybe you didn't click "station" in the "Departure" and "Destination" boxes? I just tried it, and it worked fine.

To download all the latest maps in .pdf form, start at http://www.ratp.info/orienter/tous_plans_pdf.php - Métro (avec rues) is a Paris street map with all the rail lines superimposed on it, and IdF (communes) covers the entire train network within Île de France.
Robespierre is offline  
Nov 17th, 2007, 01:09 PM
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Got it! I didn't click "station" in the box. Thanks!
Iwan2go is offline  

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