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Driving from CDG Airport around Paris and on to Le Mans

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May 10th, 2002, 07:11 AM
  #1
Barb
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Driving from CDG Airport around Paris and on to Le Mans

I'm picking up our rental car in Paris after my 8 AM arrival, and will be headed for Le Mans for the 24 Hours Race. I'm traveling with my brother who is in a wheelchair, so we won't have the luxury of wandering around on foot. I want to buy several items for our trip--a cooler chest, a folding lawn chair,electric extension cord,, bottles of water, fruit, etc.

We don't have a particular time we want to arrive in LeMans, so we plan to sightsee on the way. We'll be spending 3 days in Paris before we go home, so I would prefer suggestions on the outskirts of Paris, or on the way to Le Mans. I think we will try to see Versailles on the trip back to Paris, since that will be a Sunday, and we'd like to see the fountains. Another place I've thought of is Chartres (on the way to Le Mans) My brother is an architectural CAD draftsman, so he finds architecture(old and new) very interesting.

One of the places on our list to see is the Arche at La Defense and the surrounding buildings. I have heard there is a large Auchan store near La Defense. At some point during the morning, I want to find a hypermarchet to purchase the items we will need. Does anyone know of a store or location that would be easy to find after leaving the airport, or would the area near La Defense be best?

Any other suggestions for the route leaving CDG, or sightseeing ideas will be welcomed.
 
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May 10th, 2002, 10:36 AM
  #2
Aimee
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Barb needs our help but I never driven in Paris.
Anyone?
 
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May 10th, 2002, 10:37 AM
  #3
Vincent
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You land at 8h00, which means you'll be on the road at about 9h00, ie stuck in rush hour traffic (which is later in France) until about 10h00. If you are coming from the States, it means that for you it'll be the middle of the (sleepless) night . In such conditions, do you think it will be safe to drive in a strange environment, having to cope with notoriously reckless French drivers ? Personnally, I'd spend that first day in Paris and leave for Le Mans the day after. Anyhow, if you persist in your original idea, you'd better stop at the hypermarket as close as possible to CDG (to let the morning flow get thinner). There is a Carrefour hypermarket in Aulnay sous Bois, 5 km away on the autoroute, there might be one in Villepinte, even closer. Do a search on Carrefour's or Auchan's web sites, asking for departements 93 and 95. Then go to viamichelin.com to get the driving directions. If you really feel tired, you can stop at any of the cheap motels on the autoroute (Formule 1, Premiere Classe and the lot), where you can crash for 20-30 euros.
 
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May 10th, 2002, 08:17 PM
  #4
Barb
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Richard-Thanks for the input. I know from reputation that French drivers are aggressive, but I live in Atlanta, and we have our own "Peripherique", our Perimeter highway, rt 285. If you can drive on this highway at rush hour, you can drive anywhere!

I especially like your suggestion about finding the hypermarche early while traffic is still bad. I also want to buy one of the prepaid cell phones--do you think the hypermarche sells them the way our Sam's Club and Costco do?

Any thoughts on my idea about seeing La Defense? I am usually able to get enough sleep on the plane to make it
through the first day pretty well. In March, we flew to Rome on almost the same timing, and I did fine all day, then went to bed at 10 PM and slept like a baby!

The LeMans race begins at 10 AM on the day after we arrive, so we want to make it to Le Mans by nightfall.

Any other comments pertaining to finding my way around Paris and south on the A-10 would be appreciated. Thanks, Barb
 
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May 12th, 2002, 10:09 AM
  #5
Barb
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Vincent--I see by re-reading my post that I called you Richard. It must have been a late-night brain lapse. Thanks for the input. I found a website for Auchan, but it is in French(of course) and high school was a very long time ago. I could only find the location at La Defense. I couldn't find a site for Carrefour, but I will look up the 2 communities you mentioned. Also, I have learned that the race begins at 4PM the day after we arrive, but we will still need to get to our lodging. Any input on my cellphone query? Thanks again, Barb
 
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May 12th, 2002, 12:39 PM
  #6
Lynne
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Barb:
Don't worry too much about finding a
hypermarche - both Auchan and Carrefour
advertise heavily along the roads -
and let you know what exit to take.
 
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May 13th, 2002, 04:33 AM
  #7
Vincent
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Yes, all hypermarkets sell prepaid cell phones. Buy the pay as you go ones, they shouldn't be more than 80-100 euros. You can do a search on one of the three networks' sites: Orange (the French one, not the British network), SFR, Bouygues Telecom (all in French I'm afraid). To go to La Defense, it's quite straightformward... with a good map. I recommend you buy a Michelin Ile de France one before you leave (available through Amazon). Basically, from Roissy it's the A1 towards Paris, then branch off to A86 towards Nanterre, La Defense, then the boulevard circulaire in La Defense.
 
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