France with 15 year old

Nov 17th, 2008, 05:52 PM
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France with 15 year old

My husband and I are doing a barge trip in Burgandy next fall. After that my 15 year old niece is joining me to travel for 10 days. Probably no car. I am trying to decide where to go for that time. I have seen Paris and we could do that....but wondering where else she might enjoy.
kokjo is offline  
Nov 17th, 2008, 05:57 PM
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have you asked her? she might have some ideas, and that might open some interesting conversations, and she maybe should do some research as to what's available.
Momliz is offline  
Nov 17th, 2008, 06:32 PM
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I would do a few days with her in Paris then get a car and do the Loire Valley - driving in France is so easy - maybe do a western swing and hit Mont St Michel.
GoSox is offline  
Nov 17th, 2008, 06:45 PM
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Engage and involve her in the planning, she needs to have a personal stake in the choices, otherwise it becomes a drag to "go wherever auntie said we're going..."

Also think of the not-so-obvious not-so-touristy things, like visiting not just museums etc. but different kinds of shops (Gal. Lafayette, Printemps etc.), do the roller-skating tour in Paris or the Segway tour, take her to a Salsa nightclub where language is no barrier and she'll feel oh-so-grown-up, to the fleamarkets (Marché aux Puces) - teach her about being pickpocket-proof (and heed all that good advice yourself - read up on it at for example).

Let her plan out a day and guide you once she's figured out the Métro. The more fun she'll have, the more fun you'll have.
DalaiLlama is offline  
Nov 17th, 2008, 08:08 PM
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Ancient curmudgeon starts to stir...

"In my day, a 15 y.o. wd have given her eye-teeth to see France....
"Molly-coddlin' the young...
"Just give her a good swat upside the head if she doesn't like what you've chosen..."

Down, boy. Down, boy.

(OK, I'm done now.)

tedgale is offline  
Nov 17th, 2008, 10:59 PM
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With 10 days, I think even the most diehard Fodor's Parisophile might agree that there is time to move beyond Paris to explore other places, especially if you are eager to do so.

I think to ask your niece is an excellent idea. There is a world of difference between a trip to Switzerland for hiking and muesli and discovering beautiful Amsterdam or hip Antwerp, or going to the British Isles. But surely you can come up with something you'll both be excited to give a whirl.

By the way, maybe because I'm tall, I already felt largely grown up at 15, and if an aunt thought she should steer me into shopping trips in Paris instead of letting me stay at the Louvre until they chased me out, it would have been a huge misunderstanding. This teen might want to go to Shakespeare & Co. 15 year old girls can be brainy.
zeppole is offline  
Nov 17th, 2008, 11:02 PM
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I should have asked: Are you determined to stay in France the whole trip? If you speak French and your niece does too or is learning it, sounds great (although you could add parts of Belgium), otherwise it might be fun to get a contrast.
zeppole is offline  
Nov 17th, 2008, 11:06 PM
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If you're starting in Burgundy you have to do wine. A good starter book, a sip or two and a vineyard or two will make her feel sooooo sophisticated when she gets home. Incidentally, there's a very good book called "Wine & War" which has a lot about how the wine houses cheated the Nazis

Have her see Chocolat, and follow the river a bit yourselves.

sheila is offline  
Nov 17th, 2008, 11:25 PM
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I got the impression that kokjo is going to Burgandy with her husband for a barge trip, and after the barge trip is over, her niece is joining her.

Maybe because I was raised in California, I had drunk wine frequently by the time I was 15, which isn't to say that this 15 year old wouldn't like a French wine tour (although I doubt I would have at 15) but that 15 year olds often already have had more than a few "grown up" experiences and have developed a sense of sophistication.
zeppole is offline  
Nov 18th, 2008, 01:15 AM
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I don't know where your barge trip is ending but if you're meeting your niece near Dijon, don't forget take her on the Owl's trail. I'm sure she will enjoy following the steps (and you too!)and discover Dijon history and architecture.
Enjoy and welcome to Burgundy!
cocofromdijon is offline  
Nov 18th, 2008, 02:52 AM
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When people ask here for advice on what to do, a frequent response is to ask them to give an idea about what sort of thing they find interesting -- art, food, architecture, history, whatever. Otherwise advice tendered might be wide of the mark.

I see no reason to regard a 15 year old differently. If you want good suggestions, then you need to tell us what sort of thing she likes. And then work some sort of accommodation with your own preferences.
Padraig is offline  
Nov 18th, 2008, 05:11 AM
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I would hop on a cheap airline (ryanair, easyjet, whatever will get you there) and spend a few days in Venice. I would think that would really appeal to a 15 year old girl.
kelliebellie is offline  
Nov 18th, 2008, 05:29 AM
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So the way to give a 15 year old girl a holiday in France is to go to Italy?
Padraig is offline  
Nov 18th, 2008, 05:35 AM
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The question was, "but wondering where else she might enjoy."

Plus, Padraig, when exactly were you last a 15 year old girl?

kelliebellie is offline  
Nov 18th, 2008, 05:39 AM
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15-year-old girl or no 15-year-old girl...I think the heart of this query is: Where is best to visit for 10 days in France with no car (besides Paris)?

I'm not sure I have a good answer for that question. But I do think that is the primary condition that needs to be addressed. (Assuming that the question "why no car?" is off the table.)
mr_go is offline  
Nov 18th, 2008, 07:31 AM
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PalenQ is offline  
Nov 18th, 2008, 07:37 AM
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kelliebellie asked: "Plus, Padraig, when exactly were you last a 15 year old girl?"

There was a time in my life when I was very interested in 15 year old girls. That's why I know that there are great differences between individual members of the class, and that one can not make general judgements about what they might like.

Some of them did not like me. It took an effort for me to understand that.

Some of them seemed to like me. That was even more surprising.
Padraig is offline  
Nov 18th, 2008, 08:24 AM
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I'm hoping you are talking about when you were fifteen...
kelliebellie is offline  
Nov 18th, 2008, 08:28 AM
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The Loire Valley isn't a bad idea, but probably not the best choice without a car. I just think there are a lot better places.

I think some days in Paris are in order, and then I'd go to Lyon or Avignon/Provence. Avignon is a fun city, and there is lots to do there or in immediate environments without a car -- by train or bus. Lyon also has a lot of students.

I think the idea of wine tips and tours for a 15-year old, to "get her started" is ridiculous.
Christina is offline  
Nov 18th, 2008, 08:37 AM
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Fifteen year olds can be VERY different - some almost grown and some very immature.

Agree you need to talk to her about what she wants to see - get her to do a lot of the work.

As for wineries - if she's not used to wine I'm not sure this would appeal. (My step-daughters were always allowed a little wine with meals - and we continued that in europe. But wineries weren't even on their lists.)

Also - her languge skills will make a big difference - 10 days in a country with a language yuo don;t speak at all may be a bit much. Which is she studying?
nytraveler is offline  

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