From Paris to Lucerne

Old Apr 3rd, 2010, 07:27 PM
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From Paris to Lucerne

I will be leading a group of high school students to Europe in March 2011.
On the fifth day of our journey we will drive by private coach from Paris to Lucerne. It's a long day on a bus. Can anyone suggest a stop on the way that might interest teenagers? We probably could not stop for more than 2 hours.


rfk is offline  
Old Apr 3rd, 2010, 10:41 PM
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Viamichelin shows optimum time of drive: 6.5 hours. Realistically, much longer than that because 1) coaches by law can not go as fast as cars 2) you will have to make at least one bathroom break in the am, a lunch break, and probably one more bathroom break before your arrival. As I see it you have 3 options: pre-arranged restaurant, buffet on the autoroute or picnic.

We just did a coach trip from Heidelberg, Germany to Verdun, France WWI sites and did both a pre-arranged restaurant meal for lunch and an auto-route buffet for dinner; buffet meal was pretty uninteresting rather expensive for what you got, but fast. Left at 6 am and returned at 11pm.

Lunch in the restaurant (1/4 chicken, crudités, ice cream and drink) for 10 euros and they had the banquet room set up for us = a little more than an hour from start to finish. Only one bathroom for 40 people so that took another 15 minutes. This option would require more planning on your part.

That evening on the way back to Germany, one stop on the autoroute at one of the major rest stops that has several dining options. We were free to grab a sandwhich to go or eat at the Arches (buffet style/quick in-quick out). If it would have been more "in season" the little hut in the parking lot would have been open for gyros and fries, as well.

When I was 16 on a tour group, the organizers had arranged for the hotel we had been staying at to have a picnic lunch already prepared. It was my favorite because they had used local products that I had never tasted before: We each got a stick of Landjäger sausage, a portion of Vache-qui-Rit cheese, a petit pain/brötchen, an orangina anda piece of fruit. This option would allow you to eat at one of the rest-stops on the auto route (getting potty break out of the way at the same time, and kids buying own treats for the ride) in a semi-controlled environment and if it was raining you could just picnic as you drove in the bus (unless your coach contract doesn't allow that). Not the prettiest of options, but the most practical given the +600 km you have ahead of you.
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Old Apr 3rd, 2010, 10:49 PM
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Oh, to give you and example of the Arches cost: "Main" Dishes run 7-10 euros, so with soup for one of us/cheese & bread for the other plus drinks, it cost us double our much-better tasting lunch.

Go to Viamichelin and see where you will be near for lunch and remember that in France restaurants usually don't open before 12 and usually only serve up to 1:30 or two at the latest. Seems to me like you'd want to get past Mulhouse before stopping for lunch, probably in Switzerland, and I don't have recent experience with their rest-stop/restaurant capabilities.

Good luck!
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