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Chopin's Paris and Van Gogh's France: a September journey

Chopin's Paris and Van Gogh's France: a September journey

Old Oct 23rd, 2013, 05:57 AM
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latedaytraveler: Thanks so much for all your contributions! Yes, I meant to say how much I enjoy the whimsy, which is an integral part of Chagall's art. The man and his wife floating over the city is one of my favorites. He conveys what the heart feels through this surrealism.

Next?? Most likely, England, where I'll rent a car (and hope to get an automatic trans).

ParisAmsterdam: Thanks so much for following along, and for commenting more than once!

thursdaysd: Thanks for continuing to read and and for your comments throughout. Yes, I need all the luck I can gather with the driving (especially in England!).
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Old Oct 23rd, 2013, 06:08 AM
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"(especially in England!)"

I grew up and learned to drive in England. But I have spent so long driving automatics in the US I am VERY reluctant to drive in England! Haven't done it several years.
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Old Oct 23rd, 2013, 06:10 AM
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Reflecting on the trip:

As I said at the beginning, I should have saved Bruges for another time. I would have been better off flying nonstop into Paris, which would also have given me more time there. I'm glad to have seen Bruges, though, so I can check it off my list.

Favorite places: Without a doubt the Dordogne & Lot valleys offer gems of beautiful villages and prehistoric cave art. I was completely enchanted and will be back!

Opportunities to step back in time: Visiting Chopin apartments in Paris, Van Gogh's last village of Auvers-sur-Oise, and previous hospital at St. Remy. All visits came with a sense of being transported -- particularly at Square d'Orleans and Auvers-sur-Oise (both visited the same day).

Thank you to all who read and to those of you who contributed comments!
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Old Oct 23rd, 2013, 07:37 AM
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Susan, thanks again for your report, I really enjoyed it!
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Old Oct 23rd, 2013, 09:09 AM
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thursdaysd: In response to... "I am VERY reluctant to drive in England!" If I can't get an automatic, I won't do it. I'll let you know how it goes. I know it's very different -- left side driving and roundabouts. Thanks for this, and all your comments.

Blaise22: Thanks so much for reading and commenting throughout.
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Old Oct 23rd, 2013, 09:38 AM
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I really enjoyed your TR and photos, susan001. When I was in my 20s, I drove a VW bug (standard trans) with 3 screaming passengers from Heathrow to downtown London. The big challenge was shifting with my left hand so I would share your need for an automatic. I am terribly left-right challenged but did fine (despite the screaming) getting around. Things are marked better now and GPS makes directions simpler. Parking was another problem--we racked up tickets. When we went to pay them before leaving the country, we were given dispensation for being honest and for USA's help in WWII! Seriously, that's what the policeman said. This was in 1969.

Yes, the Seward Johnson sculptures were life-sized and he did a life-sized "Boating Party" with a likeness of him at one of the tables. I'll try to remember to find those shot and post them on flickr.
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Old Oct 23rd, 2013, 09:42 AM
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Don't stress about the roundabouts. They are one of the things I miss - so annoying to sit at a traffic light when nothing is going through the other way!

The trick is to get in the correct lane if there is more than one - near (first) lane if you're getting off at the first exit, center lane if you're going further, and then move over to the near lane before your exit. You can keep going round if you're not sure of your exit, lol. And do use your indicators! Here in NC I've noticed people are just terrible about using indicators, but in England peole will rely on you to use them, and to mean what you're signalling.
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Old Oct 23rd, 2013, 11:13 AM
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susan001, I just did a quick read of this report and really enjoyed it. I only looked at a few of your photos but they are excellent and I will go back and see them all. Thank you!
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Old Oct 23rd, 2013, 12:00 PM
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TDudette: Thanks for the story about driving to London with screaming passengers! You make it sound like no problem at all. I have no intention of driving in London, but when I was in Paris, I actually said to the taxi driver, "I bet I could drive in this city. I drive in downtown L.A." He asked me what that was like. "Like this," I said. Thanks for following my report and for commenting along the way. I've enjoyed your posts very much!

thursdaysd: Thanks so much for the instructions regarding the roundabouts, and blinker signals. I'll keep that in mind! Thanks also for your many posts here.

gomiki: Thanks for the kind words regarding the report and photos. I'm glad you enjoyed both.
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Old Oct 23rd, 2013, 12:14 PM
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Susan001, what part of England will you focus on? Will you have an art or literary themed journey? I presume that you have been there before, right?
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Old Oct 23rd, 2013, 01:15 PM
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Hi, latedaytraveler: Yes, I've been to England before, but not since 1988 when I did an English Lit Summer School out of Sheffield. Every other day we had university professors speaking in small groups of 12 in a Victorian home (which included bell ringing tea time). On the off days, we would go, by coach, with host and guide, Arthur, to authors' homes. We went to Bronte country (Haworth), Hathersage (for Jane Eyre connections), Byron's Newstead Abbey, The Lake District (both Wordsworth homes, plus his favorite trail), Chatsworth (Jane Austin connection), Castle Howard, a George Eliot house, and DH Lawrence house. We also made the obligatory trip to Stratford-upon-Avon. All in all, it was WONDERFUL. These hosts have fully retired and are now living in Northumberland (another place I visited with a walking group when the summer school was over).

What I'm considering is renting a car at or near Heathrow, then (after an overnight at a hotel), visiting Highclere Castle, filming location for Downton Abbey. Just have to do that! Then, on to the Cotswolds, visiting a friend in Derbyshire, Bakewell (and Haddon Hall which I loved in '88. The newest version of Jane Eyre with Mia W. was filmed there). Then, after a return visit to Hathersage and Haworth, I was thinking of visiting the ruined Abbeys in Yorkshire, heading to the Lake District, and perhaps Wales, but all of this is sounding too ambitious. I'm not sure if I would drive the entire time, or combine train travel (the longer stretches) with car rental.
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Old Oct 23rd, 2013, 03:49 PM
  #172  
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LDT: I've also been wanting to visit Devonshire and Dorset. One just can't do it all, though. I will start sketching out some rough plans.
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Old Oct 23rd, 2013, 04:59 PM
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Correction: in my piece about the Chagall Museum and the artist, I meant to use the word "deportation," not deportment. Must have been tired!
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Old Oct 24th, 2013, 05:35 AM
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Hi Susan001,

Well, you really covered quite a bit of literary territory in England back in 1988 – what a great experience. I am sure that you will plan out your next venture carefully in order to get in as many highlights as possible.

Do you recall a Fodors trip report within the past year by a stout hearted gal who took several friends to England on a literary junket? It was quite amusing and informative. They went to several places associated with great authors. Perhaps Highclere Castle was included, not sure. I have read that it is very difficult to procure tickets for that site. If anyone can provide a link to that TR, I would appreciate it.

The poster also suggested that she might assemble a similar group next year to “do” New England authors. Many indicated that they would like to tag along. Sounds good. I live not far from Concord, MA “where it all began” and Salem, MA, birthplace of Hawthorne and mecca for thousands of tourists each October following the muse of witchcraft. Beaucoup literary shrines in NE.

Do you plan to stay in London at all? I found the DICKENS MUSEUM (recently redone) and the BENJAMIN FRANKLIN HOUSE quite authentic. If I had wheels (which I do not intend), I would love to meander out to Kent to visit Churchill’s CHARTWELL and Henry James’s retreat LAMB HOUSE in East Sussex, Rye.

No definite plans at this point…
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Old Oct 24th, 2013, 08:04 AM
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Hi latedaytraveler: Yes, I did read that report! I remember they missed Haddon Hall because others weren't as interested in that stop. It had been one of my favorites (filming location of Jane Eyre). I also read a report by a fellow that was entertaining... they went to Rye.

My friend in Derby suggested I might as well pop over to Ireland while in the vicinity. Hmmm. Much to consider.

I also read about the suggested NE literary journey, and I am interested. I used to teach American Lit. I would be keen to visit Emily Dickinson's home.
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Old Oct 24th, 2013, 10:07 AM
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My bucket list is for art galleries/museums of the world. I plan to be in London from 4/21-26 to visit the two Tates and St. Martin in the Fields among other things missed in previous trips there with late DH. Hope your GB trip will be super.

I just looked on your profile to see if you had a previous TR for England and discovered your Lyon/Provence photo trip. Left a quick compliment. That photographer will be coming to DC in 2014.

I can't locate my Seward Johnson photos but here's one link about the 2003 exhibit:
http://www.metroweekly.com/arts_ente...art.php?ak=640
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Old Oct 24th, 2013, 11:25 AM
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TDudette: Thanks for taking a look at my Lyon/Provence report, and for the compliment. I hope your visit to the two Tates and St. Martin in the Fields goes well. I may skip London in favor of the countryside.

Thanks so much for the link. Very interesting article about Seward Johnson's work. What a unique idea!
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Old Oct 25th, 2013, 02:47 AM
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Hi Susan,

Found that link to lovetoroam’s trip report with her book club. Really fun.

http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...d-409028-2.cfm

You would definitely LOVE Ireland, land of saints and poets. Consider it seriously and let us know….
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Old Oct 25th, 2013, 09:37 AM
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Thanks so much for the link, LDT. I will read it again as I prepare. I may do an RS tour of Ireland (combined with travel on my own in England). I'll consider all options. Thanks, again, for your contributions to my TR!
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