help w/ normandy plans

Jun 3rd, 2007, 08:32 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 43
help w/ normandy plans

Hi everyone,

I've noticed that in the travel reports that include Paris and Normandy, everyone does Normandy first. We are going to do Paris first and need a little help w/ the details.

We are planning to leave Paris on a Monday late morning and have a 2pm flight back to the US on Thursday. We'd like to see Giverny and do 2 days for D-day/tapestry +/-MSM before heading back.

I was planning on renting a car Monday, driving to Giverny, staying the night in the area, do Tue+Wed in Bayeux and then take the train to CDG after dropping the car off in Caen. However, I can't find any trains on from either Bayeux or Caen to CDG (Rouissy 95).

Any suggestions on how to make my way to CDG from Normandy for a 2pm flight w/ minimal stress? Any suggestions on improving the Paris-Giverny-Normandy outward part would greatly be appreciated, too!

rhk06 is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2007, 08:40 AM
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There are no trains from Normandy to CDG. France's rail system is a hub-and-spoke layout. The west is served from Gare St-Lazare, and to the north from Gare du Nord.

The "minimal stress" approach would be to return the car at CDG on Wednesday and spend the night at an airport hotel.

You could also ride the last train from Caen to Paris Wednesday evening, spend the night in the city, and make your leisurely way to CDG in the morning.

In no case do I recommend spending the night before a flight in another town. There are too many things that can go wrong. I like to have at least two ways to get from where I sleep to the airport.
Robespierre is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2007, 10:26 AM
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You can also drop the car in Rouen and take the train back to CDG...
amwosu is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2007, 10:28 AM
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Actually, I meant drop the car in Rouen and take the train to Paris. Robespierre is definitely the expert and I agree that you should probably stay in Paris the night before.
amwosu is offline  
Jun 4th, 2007, 01:42 PM
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Thanks for the advice. I thought I was being a bit ambitious and you confirmed it. that being said, my wife is now excited for another evening in Paris!
rhk06 is offline  
Jun 4th, 2007, 01:46 PM
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I stayed at the Chateau de Ermononville the night before I had to drop my car and my son at the airport for a morning flight. It is a quiet little town and the chateau has had guests like Ben Franklin and Joan of Arc passed through as well (a few years before Ben was there). It isn't expensive. Nice to watch the swans gliding through on the lake behind the property while eating dinner with just the two of us in the dining room.
amwosu is offline  
Jun 4th, 2007, 02:06 PM
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Only about 20K from CDG and 15K from Senlis. Definitely shabby but well located and more fun than an airport hotel for your last night.
amwosu is offline  
Jun 4th, 2007, 02:27 PM
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I'd suggest the following:

On Monday, rent car in Paris, drive to Giverny, visit Monet's house/garden, drive to Rouen and spend the night.

On Tuesday, drive to Caen, tour Peace Memorial (museum), drive to Bayeux and spend the night. See what you can of Bayeux after arrival, including Tapestry if at all possible.

On Wednesday, drive the D-Day beaches and visit the American Cemetery above Omaha Beach (if, as I assume, you're American). Spend the night in Bayeux.

On Thursday, leave early and drive to CDG, drop rental car and check in for your flight.

Leave MSM for another trip.
Jean is online now  
Jun 4th, 2007, 02:57 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 240
Here's what we did -

Stayed in Paris for 4 nights, right downtown. Then, first thing in the morning, we hopped the train for CDG and picked up the car there. (A bit of a panic wondering if we had the right train... confusing). The car rental was in Roissy, just across the expressway in the hotel area.

From there, we drove to Giverny via the "Ring" expressway around Paris; and stopped into Rouen to see the catheral and the official Joan-of-Arc spit location. By then, it was getting late and off to MSM. We stayed in the Mont itself. A nice evening wandering the (closed) town to see the sights.

The next morning we went up to the abbey, only to find it closed for some fancy "do" featuring the Prime Minister and a bunch of other officials, announcing the effort to save the tidal flats from filling in. We backtracked to Bayeux for some tapestry viewing, and then back to MSM by the afternoon after the bigwigs had departed; it was relatively uncrowded.
From there we drove down to the Loire, spent overnight at Saumur. We spent the next day visiting various chateaux - Azy-le-Rideau, Chennonceau, and Chambord.

Unfortunately, we ran out of time and missed the fork in the Auoroute, so couldn't get to Chartres.

We drove back to CDG (Again, via the PAris ring expressway) and droped the car off. From the car rental drop-off at a hotel near CDG, there's the free shuttle to CDG; and a free shuttle from there to our hotel.

I found a deal on hotels, I paid $160 CDN for the Hilton right at the Airport. (Now I can tell everyone I stayed at the "Paris Hilton", although technically I suppose it's the CDG Hilton.)

It was worth it not to have to hassle with the commuter trains or traffic to get our 9AM flight the next morning. We took the shuttle bus that night to find and verify our departure terminal...
MD is offline  
Jun 5th, 2007, 01:13 AM
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You could also drive back from Normandy to Senlis and spend the night there before your flight. At the Hostellerie de la Porte Bellon, for example (but don't dine at the hotel). Senlis is one of the most charming towns in France, about 30 minutes from CDG airport.
Dave_in_Paris is offline  
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