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Challenge: Top 5 Weekend Getaways from Paris

Challenge: Top 5 Weekend Getaways from Paris

Old Oct 20th, 2000, 07:04 AM
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Challenge: Top 5 Weekend Getaways from Paris

We are in the final 6 months of our year-long stay and want to make sure we have maximized our time here not only in the city of Paris but in the neighboring countryside and other countries.

The challenge is to give us your reccomendations of Top 5 Weekend Trips starting from Paris. Preferably, use either auto or rail but air is acceptable. And, if there is a hotel or B&B of note, please include name & location.

We encourage you all to brainstorm and be creative and fun. Destinations off the beaten path receive double credit!! The reward for your efforts is nothing but our thanks and maybe the confidence that it's for the greater good that you reveal all!!!

Thanks. Stephanie.

Old Oct 24th, 2000, 01:22 PM
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Great idea--but how about letting us know the places you've already visited since you arrived. I've always wanted to spend a weekend in Nancy myself.
Old Oct 24th, 2000, 06:34 PM
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Amsterdam!! A short trip via train and a good chance to stop in Brussels before you get there. I did a four-day weekend. Leaving from Paris and stopping in Brussels for a night and then heading on to Amsterdam. The flying pig hostel is the "coolest" place to stay. You meet tons of really fun, laid-back people from all over the world. It is the cleanest, but definitely "the" place to stay. Make sure you do the bicylce trip around Amsterdam. There are morning and afternoon trips that take you throughout the city and the surrounding area to see some beautiful wind mills and countryside. The Anne Frank museum/house is a must along with the Van Gogh museum. I can't remember the name, but you have to have pancakes at the famous pancake house--ask anyone, they will direct you. The bulldog is a fun hangout. Spending some time in the red light district will broaden your horizons a little bit. But don't get caught up with the drug culture and red-light district because Amsterdam is a beautiful city with tons of canals, great architecture, and good shopping. Enjoy.
Old Oct 25th, 2000, 12:26 AM
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I'm similarly wrapping up a 2-year stint with my wife and 2 young daughters in Paris. Here are my top 5 picks -- all by car or train in under 3 hours, mostly family-friendly:

(1) Deauville (Hotel Normandy);
(2) Bruges;
(3) Champagne region;
(4) Loire Valley (Chateau de Chissay);
(5) London (One Aldwych).
Old Oct 25th, 2000, 07:36 AM
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For a neat chateau - south of Brive in the Dordogen. You can take a train from Paris to Brive. Chateau d'Arnac. Not palacial but more fortified, huge rooms, owners are great (English) but Jill cooks a great French meal. They have a web site, just do a search and you'll find it. Very pleasant location and chateau.
Old Oct 25th, 2000, 10:20 AM
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If you haven't been to Honfleur yet, it is charming! We stayed at the Hotel l'Ecrin, and enjoyed it very much.) An easy drive from Paris - we stopped and saw Monet's home/gardens in Giverny on the way.

I also recommend Angers (Hotel du Mail) and the central Loire (Hotel le Fleuray, near Amboise.) You can fit in a stop at the magnificent Chartres cathedral heading either to/from the latter.
Old Oct 25th, 2000, 10:55 AM
Beth Anderson
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I would vote for

Normandy, especially the D-Day beaches area (but it is all beautiful),

Loire Valley

Giverny and Les Andelys, which is nearby.

Go hiking in the Alps. (might be a LONG weekend though).

go on a canal/barge cruise. have not done that yet, would really love to, especially after reading Elvira's posts re: Venice...

Old Oct 25th, 2000, 02:10 PM
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Bruges, Annecy/Lake Annecy, Chamonix area, Deauville, Loire valley
Old Oct 26th, 2000, 04:54 PM
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Stephanie,Do NOT bother going to NANCY! I did...it's my name! It is an ugly post-war industrial town where even the industry has left! Loved the Alsace area though.
St. Malo...the walled city on the north coast of Brittany. Stay in the Hotel Elizabeth <just inside the walls> It is an easy car trip from there to Mont St Michel <Thetown/monastery/church> built on an island off the coast . Just over the border in Normandy.
From St Malo easy drive to Dinan and Dinard.
Chartre....gorgeous little village...amazing cathedral! N
Old Oct 27th, 2000, 09:23 AM
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Nancy--did you do all the Art Nouveau landmarks when you were in Nancy--they're the reason I've wanted to visit the town.
Old Oct 27th, 2000, 12:17 PM
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I don't agree with Nancy about Nancy at all, I think it's a wonderful town to visit. It's not ugly at all IMO overall; in fact, I think it's more attractive than many European cities of that size. It is not a small town, of course, so there are parts of it that are ordinary. First, it has a wonderful central town square (Place Stanislaus) that is more impressive than many cities in appearance and from an urban planning point of view, and a beautiful public park area in the center of town. I am also interested in the Art Nouveau movement which is why I went there, at is was the center of one of the main schools; in addition to the Art Nouveau museum devoted to L'Ecole de Nancy, you can do an Art Nouveau architectural walking tour, there are superb examples of this style of building in that part of the city. Nancy also has an active and very good performing arts community, with many good performances, both orchestral and operatic, as it is the regional capital. Finally, they have one of the best regional museums in France for French history/archeological type stuff, a museum of Lorraine folklore and arts, as well as a good fine arts museum. If you have no interest in arts, architecture, museums, or performning arts, then I don't think you would like so much, but I spent only a day trip there (I was staying in Strasbourg) and wished I did have a whole weekend. Their Art Nouveau museum was the best I've ever seen, better than the Alphonse Mucha in Prague, for example.
Old Oct 28th, 2000, 02:26 PM
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I saw this recommended by one of the top UK food critics (I think - it was ten years ago at least). Drive from Paris down the most scenic route (not detailed) to Vezelay. Take a leisurely stroll around the village, and pause a long while in the C12 basilica. Spirits suitably uplifted, check into L'Esperance. At dinner, seek the advice of the sommelier concerning lesser known Burgundies. He claims you will bless him for that advice.
Old Oct 30th, 2000, 01:23 PM
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Thanks so much for the feedback on Nancy--sounds just like what I imagined.

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