First time visit

Old Nov 21st, 2000, 08:39 AM
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First time visit

My husband and I are going to Paris next week for the first time. We are interested in some must see sights in the city of Paris. We would also like to take a trip to the French country side and tour a castle. Is is possible to see more than one castle in a day? If we are only able to see one castle, which one is a must see?
Old Nov 21st, 2000, 08:49 AM
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Hi <BR>I have a file on Paris; if you'd like to see it email me. <BR>If you don't have one already, buy a good general guidebook for Paris <BR>(like Fodors) and a map so that you can review the popular tourist sites <BR>and make some choices. <BR>In order to see a castle (if you're thinking of the chateaux in the Loire valley) you'll need a couple of days and a car. The alternative is to take a bus tour run by cityrama or parisvision which include two or three of the populara chateaux. That tour was mentioned favorably in the past on this forum. Info on those tour agencies are in my file. <BR>For a palace, not a castle, closer to Paris, there is Versailles of course, and the chateau at Chantilly is also an easy do-it-yourself <BR>daytrip. Some of your decision will depend on how much time and money you want to spend outside of Paris.
Old Nov 21st, 2000, 09:42 AM
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The one castle to see? No contest -- see Versailles. I'm sure there will be argument over this as many people (myself included) will say that it is too crowded, too big, too touristy. But the reason all that is true is simply that it is the castle to which all others are compared. I can't tell you in my European travels how often I've gone to castles to be told, "these gardens were based on the ones at Versailles", or "the dutchess wanted a ballroom to rival the hall of mirrors at Versailles." You need Versailles as a basis for comparison for the hundreds of castles you may see in future travels (don't you hope?). In addition, you will find so much to do in Paris, you might not want to lose an entire day to go touring elsewhere -- Versailles is simply the closest and easiest as well as the most grand.
Old Nov 21st, 2000, 10:06 AM
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It's hard to say which chateau would be the "best" as they are different and it depends on your interests, I think; some people might be more interested in architecture, and others a particular point of history or person, and others have no special interest at all, just think they should see a chateau. You can see one chateau easily without a car or a bus tour. For example, the one in Blois--it is very interesting, not the most beautiful, but of great historical interest and very easy to do in one day on your own by train from Paris. Personally, I probably liked Chenonceau or Chantilly the best, but part of what was nice about both of those was the gardens which are going to be nothing in winter. I would still recommend Chantilly, however, for the chateau itself is very pretty and they have an interesting little art collection in it so there is more of interest than at many chateaux. Amboise is also easily do-able on your own by train in one day; it's a bit further from the train station than Blois, so you might want to take a cab from the station to the main town/chateau area. Amboise is pretty interesting, also, and so is the surrounding town. If you want to see several chateaux in one day, I agree you need a bus tour or a car. Personally, I think that is too much to handle on your first trip to Paris when you are only there a couple days total, but if chateaux have been your lifelong passion, I suppose it would be worth it, otherwise no. If you just really want to see a chateau while you are in France, I would go to Chantilly, it's right on the RER line now and not that far outside Paris; there is the Horse Museum there also, for added interest.
Old Nov 21st, 2000, 10:08 AM
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Tianna, i found a useful online guidebook at check it out it has all the points of interest and much much more. <BR> <BR>sid
Old Nov 21st, 2000, 08:08 PM
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Elaine, <BR>I am going to Paris in June, and would love to see your Paris file.
Old Dec 2nd, 2000, 08:22 AM
Luis E. Vernon
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Tianna: <BR> <BR>Congrats!! on your impending trip to Paris. It is a city like no other. After having digesting Paris, an easy trip even by train, would be to the western Loire valley town of Angers. It has a magnificent 12th century chateau and a wonderful tapestry known as the Apocalypse tapestry.. a piece woven in the 14th century..still in excellent condition, The trip to Angers is about 2 hrs by TGV from easy day trip. Saumur is also a wonderful town with a mighty chateau perched over the Loire river. E-mail if you'd like more info.. <BR> <BR>Regards.. <BR> <BR>Luis

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