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Just back from Paris/Normandy/Versailles..any questions?

Just back from Paris/Normandy/Versailles..any questions?

Old Sep 28th, 1999, 07:12 AM
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Just back from Paris/Normandy/Versailles..any questions?

WE HAD SUCH A GREAT TIME. It was a whirlwind tour but we squeezed everything in we had intended to see. My thoughts..Used alot of Rick Steves advice.In Paris we stayed at the Leveque and the Ru Cler neighborhood is near perfect for a Paris experience and close to the Eiffel tower.We took the metro(ok if you dont mind alot of stairs and saw a picpocket in action) and taxis.Bought the museum pass and toured the Louvre etc.
The boulangeries have sandwiches that you can take with you each day for picnics. We tried hard not to look like the Griswalds of the "vacation" movies but iam sure we did. I did wear mostly black (shoes, pants)as you blend in well and it doesnt show dirt.
We rented a car in Paris and drove out towards Giverny and Monets gardens which was AWESOME and went on to Bayeux and the DDay beaches. We stayed at the Norte Dame hotel in Bayeux and it had a terrific room overlooking the cathedral. We were overcharged, however. Had a guide book with us for the beaches and Iam so glad we saw them; walking through German bunkers and standing in bomb craters!....Versailles is a big, busy, crowded city with incredible traffic and we stayed at the Cherval Rouge which was uncomfortable. I would avoid this area and take a tour of Versailles from Paris or something other than try to drive there. Get there early, the gardens are nice, esp the hamlet, the palace not as taken care of as I thought it would be but you can just picture people walking around in powdered wigs and by seeing the palace you understand the revolution better. Oh, and the boat trip down the Seine was great and a not miss. Thanks to this forum and Steves books we were able to plan well and see what we intended to and pace ourselves. Next trip Italy 2001..Patty

Old Sep 28th, 1999, 09:28 AM
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Your trip sounded fabulous!!

Now, what sights did you enjoyed the most in Paris? What/how do you reacted to the pickpoketer? Did he/she got caught? Can you share some advice from Rick Steves that was not posted on this forum?

Agree with Normandy. Definitely A MUST SEE!
Old Sep 28th, 1999, 10:56 AM
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we're doing much of the same trip in a couple of weeks. starting in paris, then a day trip to versaille, then renting a car from paris to loire valley and on to normandy. can't wait.
Old Sep 28th, 1999, 10:59 AM
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We are also just back from Europe and also liked Hotel Levecque and Rue Cler, but we didn't like the Serre restaurant that was featured on Rick Steves' Paris video. That's where we felt overcharged, and the food was not at all good. Also the opinion of other people sitting close to us.
We liked the Notre Dame Hotel in Bayeux and thought it a very good deal for night, dinner, and breakfast and the great view!We were charged just the expected amount and thought it quite a bargain. You knew that dinner was part of the deal, didn't you? Also there is a nearby bakery( not the one across the street) that has to be the best bakery we've ever eaten at. We had something called a St. Jean , with custard and chocolate filling with a little bit of pastry. I would love to have the recipe of that for my husband's birthday.Also, I would like a tiramisu recipe! You can tell we happily ate our way across Europe.
We went to Lake Como and stayed in Varenna- lovely- and much less crowded and commercial than Bellagio.
We also spent a week in Venice. When we got there at 12:30 AM, due to missing our connection(late Air France plane) and spending 8 hours of jet lag in the Paris airport, our hotel room at the Casa Verado had been given away despite the fact that I called from Paris at noon to say
we would be late! They found us another one at the Hotel Riva which was nice enough, but very noisy- right on the junction of two canals- on the gondola route and carabineri (sp) patrolled it in a loud motor boat every hour all night long. We won't stay there again although it is pleasant in other respects.Maybe it would have been quieter in the back of the hotel.

Other than the bad beginning, we also had a great trip!

Honfleur was lovely and so was Chartres.
we stayed at a 500 year old farm near Omaha Beach which was one of the highlights of our trip. The owners couldn't speak a word of English, so I got to use my High School French. They cooked a typical Normandy meal in a huge old fire place, and afterwards we sat in front of the fire and talked to them for an hour. They told us about the Norman invasion- they were children then.It was very moving to hear about their experiences.
Old Sep 28th, 1999, 03:48 PM
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To answer some questions...In Paris we really enjoyed the top of the Eiffel Tower and the view , of course. Another site that comes to mind is seeing the Venus De Milo. We arent art fanciers and probably dont realize what we're looking at half the time but we knew what we were looking at there. Also the winged Victory of Samothrace was captivating. Another favorite site is just walking down the Rue Cler. I really enjoyed that neighborhood because it was so colorful and friendly and so French!!One of my favorite memories will always be the Yorkshire terrier that we had dinner with one nite at a local cafe; she sat with her owner and we fed her dinner.
The pickpocket had just snatched someones goods in the car in front of us and ran past as we were getting in our car. People began chasing him and they held up the metro for a bit before starting up..yikes! The snag with the Hotel Norte Dame was an overcharge for our room. I know the dinner and breakfast was included. I had actually called and got a price but then I never got anything in writting or a fax so thats how it goes. Lesson learned. I liked shopping in Bayeux.
Sally, the trip to Varenna sounds great and I will research that area, thank you.
As for the Rick Steves advice, I read his site and have watched his TV programs, basically his hotel info is excellent for the nmost part..Bonjour!

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