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France - To go or Not to go, that is the Question!

France - To go or Not to go, that is the Question!

Sep 14th, 2005, 04:22 PM
  #1  
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France - To go or Not to go, that is the Question!

So I would for once in my life like to see the Eiffel Tower and those other famous Paris sites. My hubby could care less.

I've told him perhaps we could spend a day or two in Paris and then take the train and spend a few days in the French Countryside. I think I have him intrigued but the truth is, I have no ideas as to where that would be! Ideas? We might fly into Paris, spend a few days in the French Countryside, zoom down to Switzerland for a few days and then out of Germany.

thanks!
iluvs2travel is offline  
Sep 14th, 2005, 04:26 PM
  #2  
 
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I just saw your title and thought "Why, go, of course." I mean, it's France. What's not to eat, er, I mean love?

Outside of Paris...hmm. When do you want to go? Read some threads here as well as the Fodors miniguides online (check out Frommers too) if you want to decide before you buy/go to the library your guidebook.

Bon chance!

Leely is offline  
Sep 14th, 2005, 04:44 PM
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How you could only spend a day or 2 in Paris, completely eludes me. I can and have spent weeks and never have been bored or without things to do and see. Spend several days, then try the Loire, Brittany, Picardie, Normandy for a few days away from the city and still close by.

I thought Switzerland was up not down!
jody is offline  
Sep 14th, 2005, 06:07 PM
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If you plan to go to Switzerland, wouldn't it make the most sense to go to some area that was on the way? I would think Burgundy, probably, or the Alsace area could also work, I suppose. You can get to Switzerland pretty easy from Strasbourg area, I think.
Christina is offline  
Sep 14th, 2005, 08:17 PM
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Alsace would be ideal, seeing how it's right on the border. Lovely area, charming villages, good restaurants.

Here are some of the notes I culled from the board for my recent trip.

Strasbourg. Take the walking tours described in the Michelin guide. We dined at Chez Yvonne twice and enjoyed it. It's a very popular brasserie serving traditional Alsace food in a rustic décor - reserve ahead. Alsorecommend Zum Strissel near the cathedral for an inexpensive lunch.

The charm of Alsace is the countryside & cute villages. The Route du Vin is a good road to use to visit all the villages, but it gets a lot of heavy truck traffic & there's a little too much not-so-scenic commerce on it. There is a prettier and less traveled road that goes from village to village just west of the Route du Vin. It's actually a very well marked bike route that is much more scenic that the Route du Vin. It probably doesn't traverse the entire length of the Route du Vin, though. There are a lot of signposts along this route that indicate the direction to the next town, distances, etc. The best way to find this route is to go to Riquewihr & walk or drive around the perimeter of town until you find one of these signposts - it's actually quite easy to find this route.

Villages not to miss are Oberni, Ribeauville, Riquewihr, Kayserberg, and Eguisheim. There are ramparts around Bergheim and it's fun to walk on the top of them & circle the village, looking down into everyone's back yard. There is a very nice lookout in the town of Zellenberg. Go up into the village & try to find it. There is a viewing table there that's a little hard to locate, but worth the effort. There is also a very scenic lookout in a cemetery just outside of Sigolsheim - it's marked on the Michelin map. Visit Haut Koenigsbourg. We really enjoyed the Ecomusee d'Alsace. It's a collection of old houses that gives an insight into housing in the different periods & rural areas of Alsace. There are a lot of storks nesting on the roofs of the buildings in this Ecomusee.

Colmar is a gem. Follow the walking route indicated in the Michelin green guide & take plenty of film with you. Among the city's touristic pleasures is a visit to the Dominican church which proudly displays Martin Schongauer's magnificent 1473 painting, "La Vierge au buisson de roses". The painting is so vivid, so magnificent, it'll take your breath away.

Here's a pretty drive through some villages, and then into the Vosges. Head south of Colmar going through the villages of Eguisheim (spend several hours in this village - one of our favorites), Husseren, Hattstat, Gueberschwihr, Rouffach, Westhalten, Bergholtz, and then Guebwiller (visit). Then drive to Murbach to see a nice church in a pretty setting. Take the D430 west through Lautenbach and further until it hits the D27. Take the D27 north over the Col du Platzerwasel toward Munster. Continue on to Munster (D27 changes to D10). Stop & wander around in Munster (of cheese fame). Continue on the D10 to Turckheim (visit).

Restaurants. Maximilien at the base of Zellenberg was our favorite. The ambience was very relaxed (we had to talk in a whisper) and the setting was lovely. This is a Michelin 1 star restaurant and the food was supurb. Auberge du Schoenbourg in Riquewihr was also excellent. It is a Michlein 1 star.
RonZ is offline  
Sep 15th, 2005, 02:55 AM
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I somewhat disagree with Jody'd notion that only a couple of days in Paris aren't enough.

I think a couple of days are better than none at all.

If Paris were for everyone then everyone would be living there...lots to see and do in other places as well, especially if you only have limited time...don't be put off from your plan.
Intrepid1 is offline  
Sep 15th, 2005, 03:48 AM
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Our first trip to France we went from Paris to the Loire and I think it is a great place for men who dont know how much they will like France.

However you need a car to get around all the chateaux.

We stayed on the banks of the Loiret at a little place near Orleans called Olivet. I remember it very fondly and went back several times.

All the francophiles I know have their own favourites. With a car one usually 'comes upon' their own special place in France. It's a very easy country to drive in too.

I look forward to seeing your choices.
EmBee is offline  
Sep 15th, 2005, 04:10 AM
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Thanks everyone for the help! I'll let you know what we decide to do.
iluvs2travel is offline  
Sep 15th, 2005, 04:24 AM
  #9  
aj
 
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I had that "must see once in my life" urge
about 6 years ago. It has turned into an must see every year urge. Since 1999 we have been to see the Eiffel Tower and other beautiful sights in Paris and France 5 times. Me careful, if you give in once France may never leave your mind...
By the way hubby thought he could care less and now he really does care!
aj is offline  
Sep 16th, 2005, 06:23 AM
  #10  
 
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I, too, think that 2 days in Paris will not be enough for you. I would recommend more because you will enjoy it so much and you will want to take your time seeing the sights. On my first trip, I also visited the Loire Valley....all those chateaux (castles) you have seen in photos are more amazing in person. You could just choose a few. The gardens of these chateaux are beautiful, too as wella s the countryside. You can find vineyards in the region and a special wines of the area. GUARANTEED---your husband will love France and all he sees! Have fun!
lindasp62 is offline  
Sep 16th, 2005, 07:58 AM
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You could tell him that it's not just about tramping round the famous sights in the company of hordes of fellow tourists, if that's what putting him off. A few hours on one of the tour buses, maybe, to say you've seen something of the grand side of Paris, but the charm of the place is to find some places to sit (and drink and eat) or stroll, and watch people. Maybe he could do some more of that if you want to see more grandeur and museums.
PatrickLondon is offline  
Sep 16th, 2005, 08:18 AM
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Definitely go! A little time in Paris is better than none. If you really want to go to Switzerland, you could think about taking the train from Paris- Annecy, a beautiful lakeside town which is very close to Geneva ( 30 minutes) and Mt. Blanc.
Weadles is offline  
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