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France for 3 + weeks in October - one home base - where and to do what?

France for 3 + weeks in October - one home base - where and to do what?

Feb 24th, 2010, 01:28 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 60
France for 3 + weeks in October - one home base - where and to do what?

My husband and I have bought our plane tickets to arrive in Paris next October 1st. We are mid fifties professional folk who are reasonably physically fit. He's a techno-wizard and loves computers in his off time too. I'm semi-retired and enjoy cooking, photography and videography. For us, studying French/ visiting France is the major 'couple' hobby.

We plan 3+ weeks in France. We have been to France 7X before and speak French - well B2 level according to Alliance Francaise. We are wondering: where to stay for this long? We like to rent gites rather than go BnB or hotel as we like having a 'home away from home.' And second question - What to do??? (you can't play tourist ALL the time!!). We would like to connect with people and having something to do 'between meals' as he puts it. French immersion? (done that before: in Bordeaux it was fabulous and in Lyon it wasn't so great). Volunteer somewhere? Take another kind of course? What other kind of endeavour do you suggest to provide meaning to the day and get a chance to meet people? We like staying in smaller towns, but within an hour or so of a city.

Your advice eagerly anticipated!!
Lea from Calgary
tansay is offline  
Feb 24th, 2010, 02:19 PM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 14,852
It might be helpful to list the places you're already visited in France.

Stu Dudley
StuDudley is offline  
Feb 25th, 2010, 12:11 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,319
Montpellier is worth researching. It is a university town with a good choice of language schools. Also consider :

Under 10km from the beach with a bus service
3 hrs TGV from Paris
300+ sunny days each year
Still warm in October
Tram system to get around the city
Main line station gives access to Languedoc, Roussillon, Provence coasts - and inland Provence from Marseille or Avignon
A9 autoroute opens up Barcelona to Nice with a rental car
A rental car also opens up the Cevennes and Millau bridge to the north

Photos of the area : http://the-languedoc-page.com/photos...ry/gallery.php

mpprh is offline  
Feb 25th, 2010, 12:25 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 8,156
Were you meaning to stay 3 weeks in one place?
sheila is offline  
Feb 25th, 2010, 06:11 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 60
Thanks for your help gentlefolk! I guess I should have added more details.

Yes we want to stay in ONE place for 3 weeks. Currently thinking of Pau.

We have been to Paris multiple times, Bordeaux, Lyon, and Dijon, and have stayed near Lille, Aix-en-Provence, Nimes, Domme, and Nevers. In each case we have stayed usually 1 week, some places 2. Obviously we have been very fortunate! We rent a gite as our 'home base' and a car and day trip around.

We found the 2 holidays where we were in French Immersion for 2 weeks (Bordeaux and Lyon) a much more memorable experience - a chance to meet and spend time with residents and gain a taste of 'living there' not 'just visiting.'

Now, we are looking to spend 3 weeks in one place to get a greater indepth experience of one area and a taste of 'living there.' We are are toying with the idea of spending several months a year (February-April) in France post retirement. What a dream, eh?!
tansay is offline  

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