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Could you put a link here for your France trip report?

Could you put a link here for your France trip report?

Jan 7th, 2009, 05:47 AM
  #61  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 10,301
Here's our 2008 Christmas in Strasbourg trip report:

http://www.fodors.com/forums/pgMessa..._name=jamikins
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Jan 7th, 2009, 05:48 AM
  #62  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 10,301
And our May 2008 trip to Brittany

http://www.fodors.com/forums/pgMessa...133771:7908769
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Jan 7th, 2009, 06:01 AM
  #63  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 13,775
Paris, November 2008:
http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...2&tid=35168836
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Jan 7th, 2009, 06:16 AM
  #64  
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 207
December 2008 in Paris, with a day trip to Strasbourg
http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...2&tid=35174092


November 2007 in Paris: Velib’, Paris Walks, and Great Food
http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...2&tid=35089931

October 2005: Provence and Paris
http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...2&tid=34693539
Rumseydog is offline  
Jan 7th, 2009, 06:37 AM
  #66  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 12,069
Looks like my LW posted the link to our Dordogne/Provence trip report back in April. But for the sake of completeness, here is an older report from a Loire Valley trip we took 9 years ago. Be advised: some things may have changed since then...

http://www.onelittleworld.com/loire_1.html
mr_go is offline  
Jan 7th, 2009, 06:54 AM
  #67  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 19,826
Blogs about my two most recent trips:

August 2008: starts at http://autolycus-london.blogspot.com/2008/08/ouf.html

November 2008: starts at

http://autolycus-london.blogspot.com...part-deux.html
PatrickLondon is offline  
Jan 8th, 2009, 06:03 AM
  #68  
yk
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 24,197
Adding a few trip report links.

Christmas 2008
Merry Christmas and Bonjour from Paris 2008! by tcinct
http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...2&tid=35175292

Paris - Christmas, New Years with a family of 6! by MomDDTravel
http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...2&tid=35175428

Paris at Christmastime - Trip Report by NYCBella
http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...2&tid=35175227

Was it nice in Nice in December 2008 ? YES! by Underhill
http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...2&tid=35173511

Thanksgiving 2008
MlleFifi's week in Par(ad)is, with a side trip to Nancy by MademoiselleFifi
http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...2&tid=35171555

Paris Trip Report: 11/27/08 – 12/4/08 by clemson91
http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...2&tid=35171169

November 2008
The 8 Day Bread and Yogurt Diet – A Paris Trip November 2008 Report by sherry_toly
http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...2&tid=35169285
yk is offline  
Jan 8th, 2009, 07:40 AM
  #69  
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 6
Excellent idea. here's one I did recently...unfortunately in full text (no link). I hope it's helpful anyway.

This trip report is way late...my apologies; I've wanted to post it for awhile...but I hope it's helpful to others and serves as a belated thank you to the many who helped with my own trip planning.

--My wife and I really loved Burgundy. We had been to Paris before, and in planning this trip, I wasn't really sure where else to go. I researched a number of other destinations in France. But, in the end, we were very happy we chose Burgundy; I'm planning our next trip (2010) to include it again.

--We spent 6 days in Burgundy, first part of our trip, before moving onto Paris for the final 8 days. We were there the first two weeks of July.

--We found Burgundy very convenient to Paris, both driving and by train. On arrival at CDG, we rented a car for our travels through Burgundy. We dropeed it off at Beaune, our last stop, and took the train back to Paris. Very easy.

--Weather was very nice; mostly warm (not hot) and some partly cloudy days, some cool evenings; some sporatic rain. One day was pretty rainy and cool. But, nothing major. it was a nice fit for our travels through the Morvan.

--Most of the places we visited were mostly all local people, which was really great. Very few people speak good English, which is also great. Most of Burgundy is working-type, residential communities...unless you get into the Cote d'Or area (Dijon-Beaune-South) which is much more tourist oriented. that was our perception.

--We did not use bases for day trips...many tend to suggest this approach...instead we decided to go from one spot to the next and really liked that. we felt we were able to see more and drive less. it's all personal preference. We liked being in a new spot each evening and experiencing them at some length...late afternoon, evening and the next morning.

--I should note that we didn't go for the wine or wine tasting...although we had our share with dinner at night. it seems many go largely for that (especially around the Cote d'Or area). We went for the counrtyside and historic sites. we were not disappointed.

--We are definitely going back to Burgundy on our next trip to France; likely will only spend a few days in Paris and a mojority in Burgundy and maybe some other nearby destination (maybe Alps/Annecy).

--Day 1: Arr CDG from LA late AM; easy customs, baggage retrieval and rental car process...no more than 30 minutes total. We drove about 2 hours to Auxerre. Easy drive...avoided Michelin route which takes you close to Paris...using the south and east route from CDG mostly on N105, A5 and A6 suggtested by another post here. It worked really well...fairly easy drive...once we figured out the roadway signs didn't include directions (south, east, etc) but town/city destinations. Our first driving learning experience.

Auxerre's really a pretty good sized city. it's standard commercial on the outskirts heading into town, but once in town, is very nice. It's mostly locals; I don't think we encountered any other tourists. It's a good first stop after arriving at CDG given its proximity. It's a great place with a great old town with winding, narrow streets, lots of old buildings and churches, etc...and the Yonne River flows through it. Everyone we met was very friendly.

We stayed at the Le Parc de Marechaux which is highly rated here and on other sites. Nice, historic, old inn maybe a 10 minute walk from the main central town and 15 minute walk from the riverfront area. very easy to get around without a car. make reservations directly with the hotel. we had a very nice room overlooking the garden in the back...definitely the way to go. hotel personnel were all very friendly.

http://www.hotel-parcmarechaux.net/

--Day 2: Had breakfast at a cafe/boulangerie in the town square next to City Hall; very nice and very good. enjoyed the outdoor tables, the clear skies and the locals going about their daily tasks. very nice way to start the day. We walked around the old town a bit more before getting on the road.

We drove to Chablis (about 1/2 hour) and walked around a bit. A very nice, but quiet village. From there we took mostly small "D" roads (Michelin Guide) to Noyers, which is a great drive and a wonderful old village. We walked around the village, and along some of the outer streets along the river. Very nice...would like to spend more time here, perhaps over night some time. From there we drove to Montreal along small "D" roads, through small villages and beautiful countryside. We encountered maybe 5 other cars on our travels. We drove onto Avallon before stopping to visit Vezelay. Vezelay is a nice stop, but very tourist oriented. That night we stayed in Avallon, had a great dinner at Relais des Gourmets (see link below)and walked around the old town. Again, aside from the hotel and restaurant, the town is pretty much all locals.

Hotel: http://www.avallonvaubanhotel.com

Restaurant: http://www.relaisdesgourmets.com

The hotel was fine...2 star; pretty basic; good location; nice people; looks better on web site than in person; but a good option.

The restaurant is highly rated and right up the street from the hotel. A number of hotel guests were there...we saw them before and after. Good food; really specializes in full course menu, but a la carte was fine. We had an 8:00 reservation on a Friday; no one else was there and the staff seemed surprised they had customers, although they acknowledged the reservation. I guess we were a bit early for normal dinner seating. by the time we left around 10:00, it was full.

The old town with the clock tower and town square are very nice; there were a few locals walking around, but generally was a very quiet walk through the old, narrow, cobbled streets.

--Day 3: We had breakfast at a cafe in the old town on a small town square; it was Saturday and the local market was in full swing right in front of us. it was really great. all locals getting their weekend goods. we would defintely go back to Avallon...likely stay at a small country spot just outside of town that gets high marks here.

http://www.moulindesruats.com/english/index.shtml[/url]

From Avallon we drove about 1/2 hour to Semur-en-Auxois. it's a very nice, very old town. we walked around quiet a bit, took lots of pictures and enjoyed the scenery. We would consider staying there next time if we could find a good spot. Again, very local, but a noticable increase in tour buses through the town.

We moved on from there to Flavigy, where they filmed the movie Chocolate. I was skeptical, but my wife wanted to see it and it's pretty close to Semur. it was a great little village, on a hilltop, a few shops and restaurants, etc. We sat outside a small town square cafe and had omelettes for lunch...really nice. The few people we encountered were very frinedly, but it was a very quiet village...especially considering it was Saturday afternoon. From there we drove to Chaueauneuf and onto Autun, which was quite a trek (about 1 1/2 hours on D roads) but very nice countryside.

Autun turned out to be one of my favorites. it's in the middle of nowhere; very local; very old; pretty decent size town (larger than Avallon but smaller than Auxerre). We stayed at a great inn...Hostellerie du Vieux Moulin...on the edge of town, next to a stream and park (see link below), and around the corner from the Roman arches at the entrance to the city built in 50BC by Ceasar. it was a pretty basic country inn, but had nice character, a very nice location, great people running it and supposedly a great restaurant on the first floor. It was a less than 10 minute easy drive to the central part of town.

Hotel: bourgogne-hebergement.com/hebergement/hotels…

We hung out and had a drink late that afternoon at the town square, which had a local band playing, locals dancing and everyone sitting around having a good time. it was very momorable. we had diinner at a small creperie next to the old cathedral in the old town and walked around old town a long time. again, mostly local residents our for a Saturday evening...although it was still pretty quiet. Autun is very high on my list of return visits.

--Day 4: Had breakfast at the inn since we figured most cafes are not opened on Sundays in small towns; we saw some on our drive out of town, though. good idea next time.

We drove about one hour southwest, through parts of the Morvan and some beautiful hilly, very rural countryside. We derove through Cormatin and Brancion, stopping along the way to enjoy the scenery. We made our way to a small country inn (country chateaux)...Chateaux DeMessey...near Ozenay and Tournus. This was one of the highlight of the trip; my wife still talks about it; and we're definitely going back.

Chateaux DeMessey: http://www.demessey.com

it's a very quiet, tranquil retreat. it has a couple of large main buildings (winery and restaurant/hotel), with an out-building down the hill next to the stream. that's where we stayed...wonderful. We had a duplex room, with living room and kitchen downstairs and a bedroom and bath upstairs. it looked out onto the stream and casual courtyard where we had a bottle of their wonderful red wine and takeout pizza from Tournus, and where they serve breakfast in the AM. it's truly one of the most ideal spots...and the people running it are really very nice and gracious.

We spent most of the afternoon there...aside from a brief trip into Tournus (about 10 minute drive) to look around and pick up the pizza and smoe snacks. being Sunday, not much was open or happening, but it was worth a brief walk around the old town. the rest of the late afternoon and evening were great at DeMessey eating, drinking, walking around the grounds, talking with the bulls that guard the entrance, etc.

--Day 5: After breakfast at DeMessey (provided...and very good) at outdoor tables along the stream, we spent a few hours back in Tournus walking around the old town and riverside area. very nice, but it's a pretty small and local spot. we really enjoyed it, though, and wouldn't mind spending more time there.

From there we drove north for an hour or so to Beaune. it's not a very picturesque drive at first on the N6 until you get past Chalon sur Saone and reach the Cote d'Or area. from there it's major vineyards and small wine villages in that entire area. We took the scenic route through La Rochepot which was very pretty.

We stayed in Beaune our last night at the Hotel de la Paix, about a 5 minute walk from the town center. it was a nice spot, a bit more modern than most other spots, very nice and accommodating people.

Hotel: http://www.promenades-gourmandes.com/paix.htm

there are a lot of lodging options in Beaune; we were very happy here given its proximity to town and the train station...and the owner and staff.

Beaune is definitly a major wine tasting and tourist stop; it was much different than anywhere else we visited. we're glad we did it, but would not likely go back. I did have a great dinner there (Beef Burgundy) and some very good wine, and the sights in the old town were pretty nice. it's definitely worth a visit; and it's very highly recommended by most who are on TA. but, it's all personal preference.

--Day 6: We walked around town, had brunch at a cafe at the market place. We dropped off the rental car and were able to walk to the train station from the hotel. From Beaune, we took a direct train to Paris...via Dijon but no change of train...very simple and easy.

Next Time: We would defintely do Ozenay, Autun and likely the northern Burgundy area around Avallon again...and likely spend several days at one or two of the stops (definitely at Ozenay). I also want to see Beaujolais, which is only about 1/2 hour south of Ozenay. The countryside around Ozenay is also worth spending more time exploring. The D roads are great...and where we spent most of our time...but they are very small and not always easy to find. Road markings are not always the greatest...but that's part of the charm.

So, this is probably more information and more personal opinion than anyone cares for or is looking for. I hope some of it is helpful...and it's wonderful to re-live our special days in Burgundy.
jacknyoc is offline  
Jan 8th, 2009, 09:54 AM
  #70  
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 219
I lived in France for five years and took lots of photographs, mostly in the South West and the Pyrenees. One of my favourite areas is the Cirque de Lescun.

http://www.jeremytaylor.eu/lescun_winter_1

I also have special pages for both optimists and pessimists.

http://www.jeremytaylor.eu/france_for_optimists

http://www.jeremytaylor.eu/france_for_pessimists


JeremyinFrance is offline  
Jan 13th, 2009, 08:10 AM
  #71  
yk
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 24,197
A Duty Nobly Done — Anselm and Margriet in Flanders and Picardy
by AnselmAdorne, November 2008

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...2&tid=35174756

yk is offline  
Jan 31st, 2009, 11:54 AM
  #72  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 23,074
Normandy, Loire, Paris driving trip in 9/2006 (with a little Belgium pre-amble)

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...2&tid=34872556

And the specifics about driving a rental car in France:

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...2&tid=34866860
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