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Dordogne 10 days, Paris 4 days, June 2012 - trip report - Part 1

Dordogne 10 days, Paris 4 days, June 2012 - trip report - Part 1

Old Jul 16th, 2012, 04:10 PM
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Dordogne 10 days, Paris 4 days, June 2012 - trip report - Part 1

Let's see. First air transportation. As always, I follow fares for MONTHS and then finally bite the bullet and never look back, I don't want to know. And we're willing to pay more for direct flights when we can get them. AND I refuse to deal with 6 a.m. flights. We flew from Dulles to Toulouse via Amsterdam, then direct from Paris to Dulles. All uneventful, we and our luggage emerged unscathed.

Car - this was the first time the rental car had a GPS in it. We had bought a chip for France for our Garmin, could probably have managed without (although our Garmin seemed more updated than the one in the car PLUS it was easier to program). Manual of course, automatic is much more expensive. Took diesel, which is cheaper.

Lodging - We stayed 6 nights in Sarlat at LesCordeliers, a lovely B&B right outside the old city. I'd seen lots of recommendations and everyone was RIGHT. The owners were so helpful, even did some laundry for us (gratis). Help with information, nice room, good breakfast. http://www.hotelsarlat.com/

We then spent two nights in Figeac, stayed at Hotel des Bains. It was fine, our room was huge, it was right across from the old city. We didn't take the breakfast but walked into town for coffee and croissants. http://www.hoteldesbains.fr/index-gb.htm

We had a one nighter at a nice B&B in Bourges because my husband insisted on DRIVING to Paris, but, believe me, you don't want to do that. Really.

Since the hotels in the Dordogne were so inexpensive (really, I was surprised), I decided we could spend more than we might normally in Paris, the average per night of the trip would still be about what I like to stick to. So in Paris, we stayed at Le Citizen Hotel, along Canal Saint Martin in the 10th. It also gets rave reviews and it's fabulous. Completely different from the homey places in the Dordogne, this is ultra modern, very design conscious, design books artfully placed everywhere, including in your room. Staff were so helpful and pleasant. They had a little cocktail hour at 6, with nibbles and wine - it was nice to mix and mingle with other guests. The bed was heaven. But pricey. http://lecitizenhotel.com/

Money - just want to remind folks to check what percent their charge cards charge you for money exchange, it can vary a LOT, and it will cost you a LOT if you don't find a card with a good rate. Also be sure to tell them before you leave where you're going, or that smart credit card computer might decide that that charge in France must be the result of a stolen card.

Clothes - we had lots of layers and were able to deal with the widely varying weather. Things are much more casual these days, when we first started traveling to Europe, jeans and sneakers were frowned upon, but no more. That being said, you don't want to look like a schlump, so ditch the "I'm with Stupid" t-shirt. Oh, and you really don't see very many people wearing shorts.

Part 2 will focus on what we DID, now that I have the structural stuff all noted.

Alice
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Old Jul 16th, 2012, 04:55 PM
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Thanks, Alice. Waiting for more.
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Old Jul 16th, 2012, 05:02 PM
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Waiting for more as well. We leave for our first trip to France on July 28 & will spend one week in Paris, & 1 week in Loire Valley & then meeting my daughter's boyfriend's parents. So, people really don't wear shorts in the summer in France??? We will be there late July & early August so I've been planning on bringing more shorts than anything else; also 2 pairs of capris and 1 pair of jeans & 1 pair of long black slacks. Should I re-think this?
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Old Jul 16th, 2012, 05:28 PM
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Looking forward to your report!
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Old Jul 16th, 2012, 05:43 PM
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Well, the weather was not THAT warm when we were there, but even on warm days, I didn't see shorts OR capris - skirts, short and long and long pants. Tank top, jeans and sandals. I had brought a pair of capris and ended up not wearing them. Now Paris might be different than the countryside and July/August might be different than June. Just my observation, check around more in the forum.

I wore lightweight jeans (of various colors) and black pants.

Alice
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Old Jul 17th, 2012, 04:42 AM
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Anxious to hear more of this trip, to help my memories our a similar one last year!
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Old Jul 17th, 2012, 05:28 AM
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You seem to travel as we do---your flight details hit a nerve. We are flying Chicago--Paris--Toulouse and then Paris--Chicago. We were happy with our price and, I agree, don't look back. Then Air France sent an email and MDH checked out the price. Yikes! $500 less for 2. I wish he hadn't done that. Oh well, I told him that was probably for a few single seats in the middle that were left over.

Love your B&B in Sarlat. Hope our apt. is as nice.

Patiently waiting for the details of your day to day activities and restaurants.
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Old Jul 17th, 2012, 07:05 AM
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Part 2 won't be for a few days, working today and out to a Nationals game tonight. Should have time tomorrow night, though.

I will say though, we had to be flexible because of the weather. So I saw some things I hadn't planned on and missed some I had. Which is perfectly fine, you can't be rigid about your schedule. I often see folks share upcoming itineraries that are planned down to the hour and wonder how that eventually works out for them. I just keep a list of places in the area I'm interested in and go from there. I might get a recommendation from someone in the B&B for something else, or not be able to do something because of weather. So it goes.

Alice
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Old Jul 17th, 2012, 07:24 AM
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Great start, Alice - looking forward to more.

And GO NATS!
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Old Jul 17th, 2012, 04:49 PM
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Alice--I am looking forward to your report as I am in the very initial stages of planning a trip to the Dordogne. I have been looking at Les Cordeliers in Sarlat. Since the hotel is outside the old city, is it not as difficult to drive in/out of Sarlat as others on this site have reported? Is the hotel within walking distance of the old city?
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Old Jul 17th, 2012, 06:06 PM
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Yay! Looking forward to the rest. A vacation in the Dordogne is really a vacation. I love it!
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Old Jul 18th, 2012, 04:48 AM
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Les Cordeliers is literally across the street from the old city. And maybe we didn't have traffic because it was June, but it was never an issue for us. Neither was parking. DIRECTIONS on the other hand could be tricky, the GPS was a great help.

I highly recommend Les Cordeliers, one of the nicer B&Bs we've stayed in over the years, and very reasonably priced.

Alice

ps It was a great, nail biter of a game but the Nats WON!
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Old Jul 18th, 2012, 05:45 AM
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We would like to go to the Dordogne staying in Sarlat later next year so look forward to hearing more
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Old Jul 18th, 2012, 08:01 AM
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Must tell you that we are wearing shorts (not Daisy Dukes, but Bermuda-type shorts) and capris now, here in the Dordogne. It was just too damp and cool when you were here. Today it's 32 (91 F.) at my house near Castelnaud-La-Chapelle.
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Old Jul 18th, 2012, 10:24 AM
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Just as La Tour stated....shorts were the norm last September when we were in the Dordogne. It was very hot and jeans would have been unbearable.

I am looking forward to reading more of your report, too, Alice. We ( six of us) all loved the area. I am eager to hear about Figeac as we plan to visit that area next year.
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