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It's hot, but it's Europe: travels from Amsterdam to Paris, tiptoeing through the heat wave

It's hot, but it's Europe: travels from Amsterdam to Paris, tiptoeing through the heat wave

Old Aug 11th, 2006, 04:41 PM
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It's hot, but it's Europe: travels from Amsterdam to Paris, tiptoeing through the heat wave

At last, July 13 arrives and we leave NYC for Amsterdam, the beginning of a 2 1/2 week trip. This trip was wonderful, but exhausting, yet I wouldn't have left out any of the places we saw-however, I also don't think I'll schedule a trip quite as hectic again!

more to come...

Our itinerary: Amsterdam, Bruges, Normandy/Brittany, and ending in Paris.

The trip and accommodations:
-Amsterdam - 4 nights/Maes B&B. Train to:
-Bruges - 2 nights/Verhuulst B&B
Train to Lille to pickup car for 7 days.
-Rouen-1 night/Hotel Cathedrale.
-Honfleur-2 nights/Cour St. Catherine B&B
-Bayeyx-2 nights/Les Remparts B&B
-Le Mont St. Michel-1 night/Auberge St. Pierre
-Dinan-1 night/Hotel Arvor
-Rennes-1 night/Hotel Kyriad Rennes
-Paris-4 nights/Hotel Monge

As you can see, we covered a lot of ground in a short period of time. I had mixed feelings about it, preferring longer stays in a few places. It was hard picking up and going from place to place, but I'm not sure that we would've gotten to see some of the sights that I'm glad we got to.

We arrived in Amsterdam and the weather was still in the 60s, but over the 4 days we were there, we felt the rising temperatures. By the time we arrived in Bruges, the temperatures have hit something like 37 degrees centigrade. But for us, it never seemed intolerable; we live in NYC, and believe me, you can't breathe in a NY heat wave. We find the days hot, but dry, and it cools down to a comfortable level at night. And we did NOT stay in places with A.C.!

About us: Dh and I are both in our still-youthful 50s. This trip had been planned for well over a year as a graduation gift to myself. At 53, I have just received an MSW, and after two years of student life, I wanted to indulge in a European adventure before beginning the next phase of my life. It's an excuse, really, to travel. DH and I do enjoy traveling and it doesn't take much for me to find an excuse to do it. Of course, convincing DH that we can afford it, after my two years of life-as-a-fulltime-student and his business slowing down is another thing, but we both decide to go for it.

Our style: Given our changing lives, I have been especially frugal on this trip. I tried to keep the cost of accommodations to less than 100 euros. I did manage to do this everywhere except in Amsterdam, where the cost was 105 euros/night. Not bad at all. The downside, of course, is that I sacrificed having A/C in almost all the locations. I banked on the fact that Europe is generally cool in the summer, and rarely goes beyond the low 80s. Ha! What a joke on me! The surprisingly good news, though, is that it really did cool down enough at night, and we never found it difficult to sleep.

We stayed in several B&Bs, which I loved. This was a wonderful experience, getting to have a more intimate and personal connection in our travels. It's also generally less expensive, especially since it includes breakfast. In Amsterdam and Bruges, in fact, the breakfasts were large and plentiful, and we could not let our hosts down by limiting our intake! I will go into more detail about the different accommodations when I talk about each location.

We are not serious "foodies", so we look for recommended restaurants with modest prices. We generally ordered from a menu (at least in France), which includes an entrée (appetizer), plat (entrée), and dessert. Dinner cost between 8 euros per person to 30 euros per person, with most between 19 euros and 25 euros. We were pretty diligent about keeping within the budget this year. Don't look to us for haute cuisine, although we did eat pretty well and had a few standout meals.
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Old Aug 11th, 2006, 04:42 PM
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Amsterdam:

Overall impressions: We enjoyed the city a lot, but were overwhelmed by the bicyclists! This is a city of cyclists, and everyone rides old-fashioned clunkers of bicycles at a steady, aggressive pace. Cyclists are constant and ride as if there are no other people around. They do not stop for people, they do not stop for cars! There are few lights and fewer rules-except to get out of the way! We did find it exhausting, as it felt like a constant onslaught. This was unexpected and we weren't quite mentally prepared to deal with.

Amsterdam is an easy walking city with many different charming areas, and much life around the canals. Loved being able to wander, and overall, the city is less a collection of specific sights and more a feeling of ambience that grows over time. It was fun getting the feel of the different canals both night and day. We discovered street markets, the flower market, and lovely little cafes. We passed the "coffee houses", but did not partake! We both got a kick out of the idea of buying some kind of illicit substance from a menu, but have grown beyond actually wanting to try any.

We loved the architecture of the city, and found the city oddly familiar. Everyone speaks English. Almost everyone does, anyway. And so many signs are posted in English that it's sometimes doesn't feel so "foreign". Museum signage, for instance, is written in both Dutch and in English. As New Yorkers, we saw the influence of the building style on our own architecture, and reminded ourselves that NYC was once called New Amsterdam. Highlights of our stay included riding the Canal Boat line throughout the city canals, getting off and on at the different sights. Seeing the city from the water was a wonderful way to experience it.

We saw the Anne Frank Museum, Rijkmuseum, and Van Gogh museum. I'm glad I saw the Anne Frank Museum, but know that it has no furniture in it. We went at the end of the day when the crowds had thinned out, but as we climbed up into the house, it did get congested. Although it doesn't have any furniture, there are photos and a few personal details that are especially moving-seeing the marks made by their mother indicating Anne and her sister's growth over the time they lived in the house was moving. I did find it meaningful to think about it as THIS house and what took place here.

Loved the Rijkmuseum. Although a great deal of it is still closed, the part that is open is as much as I can handle in one museum visit anyway. It provided a good beginning to appreciating the history of Amsterdam. There were also some great paintings from the Dutch Golden Age. TIP: We got into the museum quickly because I had ordered the tickets on line and printed them before we left. We passed a big line with them.

Van Gogh Museum- wonderful, but even though we bypassed the line going in (I bought these tickets on line, too), the crowds were such that it was sometimes difficult to enjoy the art. Still, it is a superb museum and worth a visit.

We found Vondelpark to be a bit of a disappointment. Nicely laid out, but surprisingly dirty. Too much garbage thrown into the lake and throughout the park and there were way too many bicyclists to be able to relax and enjoy the park.

Red light district: We could not go to Amsterdam without seeing the infamous Red light district. We were both a little bit mixed about viewing it, both seeing the women in the windows as well as the voyeurs. That makes us voyeurs, too, no? There were lots of sex shops and coffee houses, pot aroma wafting into the street. It is weird to see women selling their "wares" in the windows, and then watching the men ogling the women. Made us both feel a little icky, but we were glad to finally see what it was all about.

Dh is a pipesmoker, so we went by Smokiana, a neat pipe shot that also houses a small museum. We missed the museum, but if you are at all interested in pipe lore, definitely make a stop.

Day trip: Dh was exhausted, tired of cyclists and wanted to go for a day somewhere that was easy. Ken recommended Hoorn and another town, but we only got as far as Hoorn. It is a Dutch resort Harbor town that was once upon a time a significant port but is no longer. Dh liked the relaxed atmosphere, I found it dull. It was a break, though, from hectic Amsterdam.

Transportation: the tram is great, but it worked out that we either were on the Canal Boat (we had a 24-hour ticket) or we walked. As was recommended to me, one 15-strip strippenkaart lasted the two of us for the 4 days we were there.

Dining: We had no standout eating experiences in Amsterdam. Well, maybe the apple cake at an unknown café somewhere in the Jordaan. Scrumptious apple cake with fresh cream at an otherwise unremarkable café.

Meals: We ate at the Pancake Bakery, which was adequate without being particularly noteworthy. Also, the De Reiger Café, a bar-restaurant in the Jordaan, which is striving to be a more upscale restaurant and doesn't quite succeed but is pretty good for a "brown café". We had a rijstaffel at Long Pura in the Jordaan area. It was good, but at 30+euro per person, way overpriced for what it was. In fact, it was the most expensive meal of the trip, and value-wise, not worth it. I had wanted the "experience", but did not find the food special enough to warrant the high prices. Our best meal was at the Thai restaurant next to our B&B, Top Thai. Fresh, well-prepared tasty food and reasonably priced. Best meal of our visit to Amsterdam.

Accommodations:
Maes B&B-I can't say enough good things about it. Great location straddling the Old Center and the Jordaan, a lovely hip area with lots of small shops. Ken and Vlad are wonderful hosts and made us feel as if we were staying in a home away from home. They will do whatever they can do make you feel comfortable. They have two separate buildings a few doors apart housing Maes and the Heren B&Bs. A computer is housed in Heren, so there is a key available 24/7 to access it whenever one wants. Breakfast is a large affair, with breads, cakes, cheeses and spreads, fruit and yogurts, and I believe that Vlad would feel greatly insulted if one left his table less than full. Vlad was like my Russian grandmother (Eat, eat...) but with a great sense of humor. Ken is a counterbalance to Vlad's dramatic, emotive style, but no less warm and welcoming.

Maes is NOT for everyone. They do not lock doors. Also, know that B&Bs in general do not change towels or sheets unless you request it. We had a comforter without a top sheet, but with the increasing heat of July, we asked for and received sheets. We had a fan in the room, and despite the heat, we had no difficulties sleeping.

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Old Aug 11th, 2006, 04:47 PM
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Funny, I'm putting in edits, but it's not working....I ended by saying more to come, but here is the next installment....

Brugge

Transportation: Train from Amsterdam to Brugge. There was one change, but it was as easy as can be. Train announcements are made in several languages, including English.

We loved Brugge, and we were there at the height of the heat wave. We spent two nights there. The day we were there, I think, hit 37C or 38C. But you know what? It was manageable. We walked slowly, had lots of stops in cafes, and went to a museum. We even managed to climb the Bell tower and did NOT find it bad. And of course, we had to have chocolate-but had to eat it quickly before it melted! Such are the sacrifices of the heat.


Brugge is beautiful and is easily walkable. One full day gives you enough time to wander the city. The museums and sights are secondary to the sight of the city itself.

Activities: Great market in Markt on Wednesday morning. Went to the Musee Groenige and saw Dutch primitives, including Bosch's Last Judgment. Went to the Church of Our Lady and saw Michaelangelo's Madonna and child. Naturally, bought some chocolate. We tried Dumont and the Chocolate Line. I thought the Chocolate Line was especially good. But I could only eat so much, because it was melting as quickly as I bought it!

Views of the city and surrounding area from the Bell Tower were excellent, and we were also treated to a close-up listening to the carillon since we were right up there at 2PM. Nice breeze from the top, too. Took a half-hour tour of the canals, a pleasant way to relax and see a bit of the city. Went into the Bejinhoff, listened to recorded music. Lots of sitting and relaxing by the canal.

Dinner- First night: Moules frites one night near Burg Square. Good but expensive for what it was (21-22 euros/person for moules frites). Good dark beer. The next night, we had a comfort-food dinner at a local pub (47? Ganzestraat) that was not bad, but at 8+euros/person it was the cheapest meal of the trip! The
plats were okay (white fish and brochette), though dessert (proffiteroles) was really good! It also has a B&B that looked like it might be good for those wanting very basic accommodations. Definitely not haute!

Accommodations: B&B Verhulst. Another great Fodors discovery! Thank you, Wren! We loved the B&B, and Benno and his wife Frieda were wonderful hosts. Benno is a retired businessman, he and his wife run a truly lovely, elegant B&B that is close to the center yet on a very quiet street. Excllent hosts. Benno's creative energy is impressive and he has a sly sense of humor; he gives us something he has written about what it means to be Belgian, which is clever yet, informative. Frieda exudes an easy warmth.

Our room is large and comfortable, tastefully decorated with a few choice antiques, and they provide a fan, which is much needed in the heat. Nighttime cools down enough, but the fan helps. Breakfast here wins the award for the trip, with enough options to fill us all up for the day. Benno makes eggs, and there are meats, pastries, fruit (cooked and fresh), bread, jams, and yogurt, cheese... I lost track of everything on the table. Weather was cool enough in the morning to sit and eat in the garden. All of this felt luxurious, but the price was not: 80 euros/night.

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Old Aug 11th, 2006, 04:55 PM
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Normandy

We left our comfortable B&B with a little sadness and took the train to Lille, where we picked up a car through Auto Europe. The car is a Hertz car, and there is a little confusion-changes I made in pickup didn't come through and our car is at another office. After calming down a bit, and making ourselves understood in French, it turns out the office is just about 10 minutes walk-but for a few moments there, I'm ready to lose it. Dh stays very cool, we walk to the office that is located in the train station, and we are given the keys to our Peugot. We are on our way!

And oh, my god! Did I forget how much of a challenge it is to navigate! As Dh is the designated driver, I'm the navigator by default-and it can be a tough job at times! Just acclimating to remembering to keep the overall destination in mind, but to constantly stay focused on midpoints that will move us in the direction of the end goal.... I sit there with two or three maps, juggling between them, trying to determine where we need to be. Our first stop:

Rouen

Finding a large city is generally easier than finding a small town! This is a great understatement, but it helps to keep it in mind when making the quick transition to driving a car. At last, we come to Rouen, and follow the signs for the city center. We are staying at the Hotel de la Cathedrale. I know that we have to park in a lot a few streets away, but we are told we can pull up to the hotel to drop off our luggage. Right! We find it, and it is right behind the Cathedral, and is primarily a pedestrian street. Our car also starts to make very strange noises, which we're both a little nervous about. But Dh maneuvers his way through the street, and at last, we are parked for the night.

The hotel has an attractive courtyar d and entrance, but the rooms are pretty basic. The bed, well, I've slept in worse, but it's not the most comfortable, either. Still, we're there for one night and it is adequate and within the budget.

Rouen was a quick stop for two reasons: I wanted to see the spot where Joan of Arc was burned and we could then drive the Route Des Abbayes the next day on our way to Honfleur.

We both enjoyed Rouen, and this was the first town where we came across a medieval city with so much of the half-timbered buildings. There is a lot to see in Rouen, but we were there late in the day, so we just walked into the Cathedral, and over to view the Gros-Horloge (clock) and the Place du Vieux-Marche, where Joan of Arc was burned at the stake.

There is nothing that says "Jeanne D'Arc" except a small plaque and a cross, but standing there gives me chills. I thought about this young woman whose vision led her to save her people yet lose her life. Standing in places that have such historical importance is thrilling to me.

Dinner was in a creperie a few doors down from the hotel. The crepes were great! And I started in on my daily dose of cidre. I LOVE the cider! This is one of my favorite drinks, and every day in our travels through the region, I have at least one glass.

From Rouen, we are finally getting into the heart of the area. First, however, getting out of Rouen is memorable (in a horror show sort of way). Not only are we going to a smaller town - remember how I said it's hard to figure out the direction to a smaller town-but I'm complicating it by looking for a smaller road. My husband is patient, to a point. After an hour or more of driving around the city- and I mean ALL around the city! - we finally pull into a gas station, where dh finds one of the younger employees speaks English well enough to explain to him exactly where we want to go. We take off, relieved, knowing that, at last, we are going in the right direction.

Suddenly, we hear sirens. And there are 4 gendarmes on motorcycles surrounding us! And none of them are smiling at us! Oh, sh___! What is happening??! Our little bit of French helps us to understand that Dh went through a red light! And this is no small error, as they proceed to lecture him, stating that a fine is 90 euros and would be 4 points on a license. They ask him what he thinks he was doing, and Dh, with the worst accent imaginable, tells them "Je suis perdu". Dh is so absolutely contrite, and says "yes" to just about everything they say to him, whether he understands it or not. These 4 policemen are sitting and talking among themselves, sometimes shaking their heads at us, and I just sit and stare at one with tears in my eyes, hoping that they take some pity on us dumb tourists who just completely missed the light. Finally, they wave us off with a warning.... And we are both tremendously relieved. Everything is better now, now that we don't have a ticket!

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Old Aug 11th, 2006, 04:56 PM
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Route Des Abbayes/Jumieges

The drive is an easy and meandering one, but I expected a lot more in the way of beautiful scenery from what I had read on the board. The Michelin guide says it's especially attractive during apple blossom time. I found the drive, for the most part, underwhelming. Not until we got nearer Honfleur did we find the scenery becoming more interesting, with some rolling hills and a sense of the countryside. A stop in Caudebec-en-Caux was not that interesting to us, either.

Jumieges, on the other hand is well worth the stop. It's a magnificent ruin, and we spent some time walking the ruins and the garden behind them. We had a wonderful home-cooked lunch, too, in the square above the abbey. Dh still talks about his chicken cooked in cider and I loved my tart with camembert. Good, local food.

Honfleur

Arrival in Honfleur is also a challenge, but we get to town without any difficulties. I think I'm beginning to get my navigator head on straight, at least. As we get into town, it's a hard town to navigate, with hilly, one-way streets. Fortunately, we are staying at the Cour St. Catherine, and the directions that Liliane Giaglis provide manage to get us exactly to the front of the B&B! I still don't know how we did it, but we are there, and Madame G. takes charge of the car, and parks it. We don't see it until we leave, two days later!

Our room is quite long, with a spacious bathroom . We are under the eaves, and high up, so there are nice views over the rooftops and we have a good view of the courtyard. Very pleasant and relaxing place - it deserves the glowing reports that I've read on Fodors! The Giaglis are also classy and gracious hosts. It is an excellent place to hang about, to relax in, and to use as a base. We're only there for two nights, so we use the time to explore the town. The time is just enough, though I wish I could've had a few more days there to explore the coast north of Honfleur. The only odd thing I discover is that there is no shampoo here. Staying in any bed and breakfast, you learn to roll with it, and realize that not everything that you're used to will be provided. On the other hand, the towels are changed daily and I have access to her computer for emails, and the comfort level is otherwise high.

Honfleur is a delight. The feeling of the town is special: there is the port, with the many restaurants around the old dock; the Egllise St. Catherine, a church entirely constructed in wood, that is open and airy, and unlike any other church we've seen; the streets, filled with a million different shops (Dh's heart sinks as mine soars!). I love Honfleur! It's a great place to spend a few lazy days.

During the afternoon of the day we arrive, Dh and I are standing near the quay, and before he realizes it, a bee bites him! The bite begins to swell and is quite painful, and we head over to the nearest pharmacy. I'm amazed at how helpful and patient they are; the young clerk helps out until the pharmacist, an older woman, takes over and hands us a spray and a tube of some kind of antihistamine. Dh is a bit cranky and in a bit of pain, but is otherwise not letting this annoyance interfere with enjoyment. By the next day, the swelling is down and it doesn'( hurt anymore! Thank you, mme. pharmacist!

The heat wave begins to break the one full day we are in Honfleur, but it's drizzly during the day, so we go to every museum in town! The one museum that is a MUST is the Erik Satie museum. It's an old-fashioned high-tech museum, and tries to present Erik Satie's work in a nontraditional fashion. Just imagine a giant pear with wings greeting you as you walk in the door of the house that he was born in! The ethnographic museum was interesting, if you need to spend time in a museum. We had gotten a pass that covered all the museums, and with the rainy weather, it was a good thing to do. But not the kind of museums that you are "required" to go to.

There was a GREAT Saturday market, too, just in the square around the Eglise St. Catherine. I think this was my favorite market of the trip, although each market was my "favorite"!

Dinner the first night was at Bouillon Normand. We both had the 16 Euro menu, and for that, we got the 3 courses: entrée, plat, dessert. I liked the place, did not love it. Our entrees were excellent (very fresh oysters!) and my dessert, a sensational tarte des pommes. And I had a pear cider that was to die for. But I don't remember what either of us ate for our main meal. I think they were very well prepared, though not very exciting.

On the other hand...we had the MOST WONDERFUL meal of the trip on our second night at Au P'tit Mareyeur. I can't sing this restaurant's praises enough. The food was outstanding, the service was impeccable, and the prices were unbelievably modest. I write in my diary for that evening...
"I had the Bouillabaisse de Honfleur, and it was simply the best I've eaten. The saffron-based soup was extraordinary, and so much was in it, I couldn't finish it-fish (salmon, mackerel, white fish), langoustines, mussels, conch, and some other stuff...and the toasts and butter that were served with it were SO good. Michael had the 21 euro menu, with pork medallions and potatoes-a small dish, but superb. Came with an amuse-bouche, oysters (delicious), cheese (camembert) and dessert. With a 5-euro supplement, he had the gateau with pistachio ice cream-HEAVENLY! I had a little extra - apple sorbet with calvados- I couldn't finish the calvados, but it had an interesting taste. Finally we finished off with a coffee-and the total bill was 54 euros! Can you tell how much I loved this meal? And this doesn't even give justice to the service, which was perfect-not hovering, but still attentive.
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Old Aug 11th, 2006, 05:01 PM
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This is all I've had a chance to write so far. Too long? Too detailed? Does this need to be briefer? Or is it okay? I'm trying to give a flavor but also give information on some of the practical things (dinner, accommodations) that I always find helpful.

I have some family concerns (an ill father) that may prevent me from finishing this immediately, but I hope to get it done soon!

Paule
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Old Aug 11th, 2006, 05:11 PM
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Thank you for your report. I am enjoying it. It is just perfect. Do not change anything.

I'll be in that area in a couple of months and I am rereading it a couple of times.

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Old Aug 11th, 2006, 05:22 PM
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Hi Paule, It is so nice to hear about your travels. (reminiscing) I think you are doing a great job describing too! Can't wait to hear the rest!
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Old Aug 11th, 2006, 05:55 PM
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Thanks for the nice words! I appreciate it!

Wren, I've thought of you throughout my trip, and did say hello to Benno for you! I told him that your experience was the reason I stayed there, too. The positive one, I mean!

Trip report continued....

Pays D'Auge and the Caen Memorial

We were a little sad leaving Honfleur. Staying at B&Bs is so much more personal than staying at hotels, and I feel like I'm leaving another set of friends. But we are off, and Mme. Giaglis gives us directions. I hope to stop in Trouville, then take a drive through the Pays D'Auge before we arrive in Bayeux.

Almost immediately after leaving, we get lost. We're both convinced that the directions were in absolutely opposite directions, and we're both a bit irritated with each other.

We arrive in Trouville, but what a mistake it is. It's Sunday morning in July, and there is also a market day. We sit in traffic for about twenty minutes and give up the idea of parking.

After much frustration, we finally find the roads to the village of Bevron D'Auge. Along the way, the countryside becomes increasingly more of what I expect of the Normandy countryside: farmhouses spread out among gentle, rolling hills. But that navigation thing is still a challenge-finally, I pull out my Michelin guide, which spells out the turns. Without it, I would not have been able to find the twists and turns of the smaller roads as well.

Before arriving at our destination, we turn off before Clermon-en-Auge to find a tiny chapel, Chappelle de Clermont, hidden by the woods but with a lovely panorama behind it of the region.

We finally arrive at Bevron D'Auge, a charming village with a square surrounded by lovely timber-framed houses. It is so pretty that it looks like a movie set. It also has a very upscale feel to it, with a few antique shops and class restaurants. Neither of us was in the mood for a large meal on a warm Sunday afternoon, although there were many families who were doing just that. We stopped in one of the shops and picked up some goodies and ate a picnic lunch before going on our way.

Next stop: Caen. We're getting tired, but dh says he's game for visiting the Memorial, even though I know he can easily pass on a large museum. We find it pretty easily (although we did get off the circular road around Caen too early and ended up driving through much of the town.

For those of you who think budget, know now that the Memorial is 17.50 euros per person. Dh looked at me with one of those "Do we really have to do this?" but didn't give me a real hard time; after all, we were there, so what else were we going to do?

I found it worthwhile, and appreciated the background to the War, relating what was going on in Germany as well as in the rest of Europe as a prelude. Then we saw the movie about D-Day. That was excellent. The images were very powerful, and set up the visual and emotional experience for the following day, when we visit the beaches. Dh found the movie very worthwhile, but was less interested in the actual museum. He's fairly knowledgable about the war but has a low tolerance for an overload of information. Still, I do recommend it.

My only frustration with the display was that it was not always linear. Finding the American soldier's experience, for instance, was not necessarily presented in a linear timeline, but was in a separate area. Things are sometimes grouped by theme instead of seen in sequence.

Our visit to the museum worked out perfectly, because we were not supposed to check into our B&B in Bayeux until after 5:00pm.

and still more to come...
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Old Aug 11th, 2006, 06:33 PM
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I am really enjoying your trip report Paule!! Thank you!
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Old Aug 11th, 2006, 06:38 PM
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Hello progo, although I have never been to any of the places you visited I am so enjoying your trip report. Personally I think your report is perfect, a lot of details is good, especially for anyone that is planning on visiting the places that you did.

Some of the food descriptions is making me so hungry LOL!

I do hope that your father will recover from his illness progo. And congratulations on acquiring your MSW.

And giving yourself a graduation present, good for you!! We all need to treat ourselves to something wonderful now and than.
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Old Aug 11th, 2006, 08:52 PM
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I'm enjoying every word of your report. Your descriptions of Amsterdam and Bruges bring back wonderful memories. I had to chuckle at your comment about Amsterdam, "We loved the architecture of the city, and found the city oddly familiar." I'm also from New York.
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Old Aug 13th, 2006, 09:32 AM
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Hello Progol. Thanks for the trip report. Because of it, I am now in the process of booking a reservation in Bruges at Verhulst with Benno. Can I ask by what means did you book the reservation. It doesn't appear that one can do this over a secure web form. Did you just call him? Thanks.
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Old Aug 13th, 2006, 10:13 AM
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Great trip report, progol! Bookmarking for the Amsterdam and Brugges info...
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Old Aug 13th, 2006, 10:29 AM
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I love this report. It's the personal observations and the descriptions that give the flavor of the places visited and also an insite to who you are. Frankly I don't see the value in posting: we drove to such and such, saw this museum that museum...just like a list. So big deal. This type of report is what makes it interesting and peaks MY interest about the places you visited. Thanks and looking forward to the rest.
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Old Aug 13th, 2006, 11:24 AM
  #16  
blh
 
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Thanks for the trip report - am reading with much interest as we are planning a trip to Normany/Brittany/Paris in the spring. Please continue as I am making notes on accommodations and restaurants as you seem to travel in much the same way we do (and at about the same level price wise). I'm anxious to read the rest - so please continue when you can!
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Old Aug 13th, 2006, 12:09 PM
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Congrats on the MSW. My empathies for your ill father. Your trip report is enjoyable from my end...keep up the descriptives, it's entertaining and informative!
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Old Aug 13th, 2006, 12:51 PM
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Progal,

Nevermind on the question earlier. I have gotten in touch with Verhulst and have made our reservation. Can't wait. We are also looking into Mae's in AMS. Thanks for the great write up. I can see your MSW skills already showing through in how well you document and your ample visit notes! Congrats on the degree, btw!
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Old Aug 13th, 2006, 01:48 PM
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Very nice trip report, thanks!
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Old Aug 13th, 2006, 02:17 PM
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I will be staying at Remparts in Sept and can't wait to hear more; did you see the Tapestry, where did you eat, etc. We then go on for a night at MSM, but at Les Terrasses and then onto Paris for 5 more. Sending positive energy your way. Hope you dad is doing well.
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