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Help me decide-train back to Paris from Dordogne or drive?

Help me decide-train back to Paris from Dordogne or drive?

Old Jul 28th, 2008, 06:45 PM
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Help me decide-train back to Paris from Dordogne or drive?

In October my Mom and I will be in Paris for 3 nights then we will take the TGV train down to Angouleme where we will pick up a car and meet up with some friends for another 3 nights.

We are now trying to decide whether or not to take the train or drive back to Paris for our final 2 nights.

As of right now, costs seem to be equal between 2 return train tickets or keeping the car another day plus gas and tolls, so that's not a concern.
Time wise, it's an hour's drive from where we will be to the train, plus 2.5 hours train back to Paris.
Driving looks to be 5-6 hours, longer with stops. I thought we could stop at Chartres and maybe someplace else which catches our interest.

I've been all over France, but Mom has not, so I thought driving back could give her the opportunity to see more.
But is driving back crazy? Is the route boring? I think it could be fun. Maybe we should just get back to Paris as fast as possible. I'm really torn.
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Old Jul 28th, 2008, 09:01 PM
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Depends on what you find interesting. We're driving Paris - Dordogne, spreading it over 3 days. No sign of an autoroute for any part of it - but that's just one of our little idiosyncracies! Obviously if you plan on doing it in 5-6 hours you'll have a different idea.

We plan on loitering around the Loire a little, walking in some "plus beaux villages de France" like Angles-sur-l'Anglin, St-Benoit-du-Sault, Mortemart and St-Jean-de-Cole, stopping for some sombre reflection in Oradour-sur-Glane, sampling pate in Thiviers and truffles in or around Sorges (an interesting truffle museum there), and a whole host of other things.
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Old Jul 28th, 2008, 09:45 PM
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Twoflower-
Thanks for the reply. I wish we also had three days to meander, but unfortunately, we don't.
I didn't mean to imply we'd do the drive in 5-6 hours, but rather most of the day, with stops.
It's really hard to decide. There's so much to see and do in Paris, I'm tempted to try and be back in the city by noon on the train. OTOH, there's so much to see on the way.
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Old Jul 29th, 2008, 12:09 AM
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If you manage to get a PREM ticket, you may discover that it is less expensive than the car if you take into account the extra day's rental and the cost of a full tank of gas.
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Old Jul 29th, 2008, 04:37 AM
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If you would strike out for Chartres and make that your stop it could well be worthwhile. I don't know how accurate your driving time is but if correct, Chartres is really worth the stop. And for your mom to see the countryside would be nice, although you will have done that in and around the Dorgogne. But if you can get to Chartres for Malcolm Miller's noonish (usually 12:45, I think, IF he is there) tour, do that, and then return your car at Orly. Taxi into Paris from there --the taxi queue is just across the street from the building you return car rentals. couldn't be easier.
But otherwise, I would take the train.
If you do the drive and Chartres, print out an exact map to get you from there to Orly.
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Old Jul 29th, 2008, 05:03 AM
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Hi K,

From whence will you be departing if you take the train?

Have you looked for PREMS fares at www.voyages-sncf.com?

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Old Jul 29th, 2008, 06:16 AM
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Yes, I've been watching the SNCF site as soon as we could purchase tickets 3 months in advance. Unfortunately, there don't seem to be any super-cheap PREM tickets available for our return from Angouleme. As of right now, the cheapest tickets are about 45 euro pp which is why the cost is about the same as keeping the car an extra day and driving back.

Grechen, thanks for the tip about Chartres. I don't know if we'd be able to get there by 12:45 though.
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Old Jul 29th, 2008, 11:36 AM
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He has a later tour also and it isn't far back to Paris. So don't be held to that time--and you can just see the cathedral and town on your own. But Mr. Miller's tours are legendary and worthwhile.
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Old Jul 30th, 2008, 08:31 AM
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I don't know your actual dates, so I checked a price for Oct. 9 from Brive-la-Gaillarde (which makes sense if leaving from Sarlat), and a one way ticket on that day to Paris can be had for 17€.
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Old Jul 30th, 2008, 09:31 AM
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Michael-
Thanks.
Anguouleme is probably our best best. We will be in a town called Grandes Brassac. While Perigueux is closer, Angouleme offers a straight shot, no change of trains, via the TGV. If we take the train, the goal is to get back to Paris as early as possible to be able to have an "extra" day there.
I am now leaning toward taking the train as I think driving back may just be trying to fit in too much in too short of a time.
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Old Jul 30th, 2008, 09:41 AM
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Same date, 22€ from Angouleme via TGV. An earlier train might be available from Limoges (closer to Grand Brassac), but it would not be a TGV.
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Old Jul 30th, 2008, 11:27 AM
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Michael-
Thanks for looking. I wish those 22 euro fares were available for my date (which I'd rather not broadcast here).
Unfortunately, the lowest rate for my date is 45 euro pp, BUT, that's currently for a 1st class PREM ticket, so I just might take it!
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Old Jul 30th, 2008, 12:33 PM
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The prices I gave were for second class. I do not see any need for first class on these trains, in either case the seats are reserved.
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Old Jul 30th, 2008, 02:28 PM
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My prices were also for 2nd class for my dates and times. I agree that 1st is not usually worth it, especially for a 2.5 hour trip.

The 1st class rate I found is one of those unusual occurances when 1st class PREM can be cheaper than the lowest price 2nd class available.
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