Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

Itinerary help – Paris & ? - April 2010

Itinerary help – Paris & ? - April 2010

Jan 7th, 2010, 01:20 PM
  #21  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,138
I've found that renting travel videos from the library can be really helpful in narrowing down trip ideas. Would your husband sit with you through a couple of videos (preferably with a glass of French wine in hand), to see what he thinks of Provence, the Loire Valley, and other locations? Or, if he's a techy type of guy, go to some websites about the possible areas. I've even viewed youtube videos of locations.

In making decisions, I suggest that people look at previous vacations, and what they've enjoyed about them. If he likes the party atmosphere (I assume by "Carnival" you mean cruises), then maybe he would prefer big cities with a people-oriented feel, such as you might find in the 6th arr. (or 4th?) in Paris. If that's the case, maybe the small towns of Provence aren't the most enjoyable place for him. Maybe downtown Nice, though I haven't been there, so I wouldn't know what the vibe there is like. If you were going to Italy, I would think the piazzas of Rome might suit his tastes, or even better, the plazas of Barcelona. (You could take a cheap inter-Europe flight from Paris to Barcelona, then back.)
Lexma90 is offline  
Jan 7th, 2010, 01:25 PM
  #22  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 201
Lexma90 - no, Carnival as in the pre-lenten celebration...

He's occasionally sat through a Rick Steves show on PBS with me...
Truffles is offline  
Jan 7th, 2010, 02:09 PM
  #23  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 290
Brussels, Bruges and Ghent...leisurely and easy,fun and interesting...just my 2 cents...have a blast
gregeva1 is offline  
Jan 7th, 2010, 06:31 PM
  #24  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 205
Do you like to dance while at "carnival'? If so, find Kerouac's post about dancing along the Seine. I think he wrote it last spring.

The way I hooked my husband on European travel was to a) take him to Paris for 6 days to celebrate our wedding and did every romantic activity I could think of and afford then b) took him to Chamonix (he's a mountaineer). He's been open to my European planning since ... good luck!
Julie49 is offline  
Jan 8th, 2010, 09:00 AM
  #25  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 201
Thank you everyone for your suggestions - I have a stack of books to go through this weekend to narrow choices down, then I'll start looking at train schedules!

I'm sure I'll be back with more questions once I've firmed things up.

And I'm actually going to try and write a trip report this time - I always plan to write one, but somehow it never looks as good in writing as the actual trip! Not to mention some of the reports posted make my trips seem kinda lame...
Truffles is offline  
Jan 8th, 2010, 09:08 AM
  #26  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,319
As it is a first trip to Europe ............ have you considered Eurostar to London for a few days ?

Otherwise, I'd agree with Avignon and explore East Languedoc - West Provence (opposite sides of R Rhone) for a few days.

Peter
mpprh is offline  
Jan 8th, 2010, 11:09 AM
  #27  
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 168
I am having a similar situation and could use a few suggestions from the group -

Arriving Paris early May - 7 nights apt. rental; would like to explore a region with my history buff hubby who would like to see ruins, castles, and the like along with some good wine and food - Alcase was recommended...Any thoughts?

Do we drive from Paris - is it scenic? or take a train and pick up car there? What is it like; I do not think I know anyone who has been.

That being said, we've done Provence (my personal fav), Nice and surrounding locale, Monaco,etc.

Since we are meeting friends in Paris for the 7 nights (separate apts, not cheap)
we'd like to take advantage of the extra time we have (5-7 nights) but not spend a ton of $$ since our time in Paris will be rather pricey.
Our pals have set us up in some fancy digs so I need to think moderate upon leaving.

Is this doable? Any other areas recommended; my guy would hate carnival to give you some idea of what he is about,but I would like for him to really enjoy his time in France. He LOVES HISTORY (uh,history channel 24/7) and maybe an element of wow - to get him back again.

How does Burgundy compare to Alsace in terms of history, castles, etc? and wine, culture, food for me.

Thanks as usual!
FP
flowerpower is offline  
Jan 8th, 2010, 11:23 AM
  #28  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 15,101
Based on your objectives, I don't think Alsace would be a good choice - not may ruins or castles compared to other regions in France. I think the best choice would be the Dordogne. Take a train from Paris to Brive la Gaillard, rent a car, and stay near Sarlat. Visit the 15,000 year old pre-historic caves, many castles (thousand), cute villages, take a canoe trip on the Dordogne, great food, etc. Better than Burgundy, IMO.

Stu Dudley
StuDudley is online now  
Jan 8th, 2010, 12:54 PM
  #29  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,138
I will second StuDudley 100%. The castles there are very interesting - older and more ruinous than the Loire Valley, and plenty for a history buff (I'm one too) to enjoy. And as Stu mentioned, great food, especially if you like foie gras!
Lexma90 is offline  
Jan 8th, 2010, 01:10 PM
  #30  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 201
mpprh- I have thought about London for a couple of days, but I think it might be cost prohibitive. I've also been before, and it's not one of my favourite cities, so I'm not anxious to go back, at least not with this trip...

Thank you for the suggestion though.
Truffles is offline  
Jan 8th, 2010, 01:28 PM
  #31  
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 168
Stu and Lexma
Thanks so much; I will definitely check into Dordogne, esp as I am not familiar with it, but always time to learn! Is there a website you'd recommend with good info for driving, accommodations, castles to see; and all the other activites you recommended.
How long to you think the train ride is from Paris? I'm off to research now, tx again
FP
flowerpower is offline  
Jan 8th, 2010, 01:41 PM
  #32  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 466
Nice would be a good trip. We really liked Nice this summer. Easyjet, if you have minimal luggage, would be 35E each, each way. Train would be a lot more. Go to Nice directly when you land in Paris, then fly back and spend last days in Paris. That way you are in Paris, flying home, not trying to get to Paris to fly home.
jkbritt is offline  
Jan 8th, 2010, 01:50 PM
  #33  
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 1
Thank God, I found this info now! I'm lined up for a trip as well but not until the first 2 weeks in October. Thus far, all we are committed to are the round trip flights to and from Paris. We have never been to Europe before so I need as much help as possible starting with recommendations for a moderately priced hotel. The idea of going to London in the middle of the trip sounds like fun. Any help you can give will be greatly appreciated. Using the travel books and checking the sites is pretty overwhelming. All the hotels look good when they are tiny pictures on their own sites.
Help!
LouAhBon is offline  
Jan 8th, 2010, 03:15 PM
  #34  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 15,101
Trains to Brive la Gaillard from Paris are around 4 hr. Brive is about 1 hr from Sarlat by car. There are interesting sites to see between Brive & Sarlat.

I have a 20+ page itinerary for the Dordogne. Also a 27 pager for Provence & Cote d'Azur. E-mail me at [email protected] if you want a copy. I've sent over 1,000 copies to other Fodors people.

Stu Dudley
StuDudley is online now  
Jan 8th, 2010, 03:25 PM
  #35  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,138
Re the Dordogne, instead of websites, I would recommend starting with some books to give you general ideas. For good pictures, try Eyewitness guide to the Dordogne and southwest France. For good details, I like Cadogan's guide to Dordogne and the Lot (a nearby region).

But for websites, you can start by googling some towns in the area: Sarlat, Domme, Les Ezies, La Roque-Gageac. Castles are: Beynac, Castelnaud, Biron, Milandes, Puymartin, Commarque (but there are many more).
Lexma90 is offline  
Jan 8th, 2010, 03:56 PM
  #36  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 15,101
The Cadogan is one of my two favorite guides - the other is the Michelin Green Guide.

Stu Dudley
StuDudley is online now  
Jan 8th, 2010, 04:24 PM
  #37  
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 168
Ya'll are great - I will get books - Stu, I saw in a "search" I did your offer and have aleady emailed you about your itinerary - what a great thing for you to do...as you can imagine once I looked at a map, I felt totally overwhelmed..and I also need to :"sell" it to the Mr.
Books and pics can help with that so Lexma I appreciate the names.

I will let yall know what happens with this saga
and a thanks to Truffles for bringing it up!
I would tell Truffles and her husband to head to Nice to have their own Carnival - between seeing Nice and driving to Monaco - they can have loads of fun and experiences -

Tx
FP
flowerpower is offline  
Jan 8th, 2010, 05:10 PM
  #38  
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 16
3 hour train ride to Amsterdam...kind of a party city for your husband. We did a day trip from Paris to London and regretted it...not enough time to see London, and found London dirty/busy and the people kind of rude and in a hurry..very sharp contrast to the Parisiennes.
kristeric is offline  
Jan 9th, 2010, 04:35 AM
  #39  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 226
We absolutely love all of France, so would agree that you cannot lose by heading to Provence or Nice area - totally different feel from Paris, would be superb. One question: does he speak French? I do, yet my husband and daughter don't, and they eventually hit a point of "wouldn't it be great to understand the language".
Since I assume you want this to be first of many trips to Europe - I'd like to mention a spot hit on above: in October, we were in Amsterdam for 3 days and absolutely LOVED it! (again: I'm total francophile - 10 week long trips behind me and planning the next) But: in late April, you're right in tulip season in Amsterdam, and the canals and architecture and food are superb and just different enough from Paris that IMHO would be a great accompaniment. Also, we just found that English was so much more widely spoken that your husband may like that. The Van Gogh museum would be a must - it's so well arranged that you get to "know" the artist - my husband literally cried for 20 minutes after wandering through it! (I was teary-eyed also) Anne Frank museum, of course - I could go on and on! Canal boat rides: superb. Restaurants, casual and high quality, abound, people are great, and it's a great walkers city. Of course there's the red light district and it's quite humorous to read the shop windows of the various "products" - they're very clinical in informing you of all the various hallucinogenic and mood effects, etc. We never even ventured into a coffee shop but it's there if you care - and that keeps the streets quite clean and quiet! High-speed Thayls train ride is about 3 1/2 hours each way and leaves from the Nord station in Paris to the Central station in Amsterdam - and it is indeed central!
Hope that helps - you're in a total win-win situation & can't go wrong!
jo_ann is offline  
Jan 9th, 2010, 04:39 AM
  #40  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 226
kristeric: I started my post as I went to bed last night and didn't see your post suggesting Amsterdam also until after I submitted! (and I second the veto of London - I think it's better to leave for a night or two and London, to myself/husband/daughter/niece is exactly as you describe!! just too darn busy!)
Keep in mind: if you do leave for a few nights, with the idea of returning to Paris for the trip home: we've had good luck leaving some of our luggage to pick up on our return, even if not going back to same hotel. (we love settling in to neighborhoods, and so have twice actually divided our time in Paris into two different hotels to better accomplish that.)
Well: happy planning!
jo_ann is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 01:56 PM.