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LF hub, transpo & itinerary: 10day France, Lux, Belgium, Germany

LF hub, transpo & itinerary: 10day France, Lux, Belgium, Germany

Old Oct 29th, 2016, 08:21 PM
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Apologies for any part I had in your discomfort, Boo. There's a history of going off on tangents around here. The more you can tell us, as mentioned, the bigger your reward in useful information.
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Old Oct 29th, 2016, 10:37 PM
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Yup boo.
NNFSS was meant to mean not to bother with apartments for a short stay (no need for short stay) I'll get a patent on that one.

I stopped going in hostels decades ago - I tried again some time ago and hated it. Full of noise no service and what could have been cool - meeting people was a nuisance. They were all the age of my kids and uninterested in me and the old ones were Woodstock at traded junkies.

I'd land in Paris. Take a train to Lille (direct fr CDG or Gare du Nord after 2-3 days in Paris) then rent a car to see the sites. Drop the car in Lille and go out via Brussels or even Amsterdam.

If interested in WW2 say so.
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Old Oct 30th, 2016, 02:14 AM
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BooOttawa - thanks for coming back and forgiving our joint boorishness. IMO with 10 days [?nights?] or so, you should be looking at staying in no more than 3 places; if that includes Paris then pick two more that coincide with your interest in WW1 etc. with the second one closer to your departure airport, so as to minimise travel on your last day. [though of course sometimes a night near the departure airport cannot be avoided].

WoinParis has a good workable plan that you could start with.
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Old Oct 30th, 2016, 07:36 AM
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Thanks for not giving up on me. I think I am already able to integrate some common lines but want to confirm what I am interpreting. By the way - I am not getting the acronyms either so thanks for spelling out NNFSS. Your insight is helping me frame out itinerary, Your added sharing will inspire and guide.

I don't want this trip to be the France trip per se. That is another country on my bucket list.

I like either entering or leaving through Paris. I guess I am entertaining for exit cause we hoped to spoil ourselves the last couple of days (eating out).

Lille is so close to Vimy and Belgium ... Great. I did try to connect with Canadian Govt on Vimy but it is the 100th anniversary in 2017 so no details being shared to help with my planning.

Thanks for insight on hostels in that area ... We did a couple of hostels in Italy and it was wonderful in Venice, Florence, Rome ... Again in May.Very different to Canadian hostels which I would not recommend and sounds more in line with your comments.

I saw a couple of articles on having a pied de terre (hub) in Luxembourg (near train station) and doing day trips to Belgium, France and Germany. I am looking at Airbnb or VRBO (or something like that) as we are 4 and a kitchen would cut costs.
What I understood by your comments is that my Pied de terre = your NNFSS and you don't recommend, correct? I would appreciate more explanation- is it the amount of travel time (No access speed trains to go to diff countries), too much distance (not realistic), lack of choice, false marketing, etc. As well as suggestions that aren't pricey.
We did a VRBO in Amalfi coast (Sorento Italy) for 6.days and did magnificent day trips to Capri, Pompei, and the coastline. It allowed us to be flex ... Some trips were not what we expected so we could easily maneuver to a plan B.

Again I am less overwhelmed than last night so thanks for sharing.
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Old Oct 30th, 2016, 08:32 AM
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the NNFSS was a joke and really to try and get you out of using acronyms as for some of us English (let alone American English) is not our native language.

I'd like to vote for gite-de-france as a good source as 1) it is not just about france, it is a brand across continental Europe, 2) the deals can be exceptional and 3) the properties actually exist and operate to a certain standard, which is not always the case with Air B N B or similar.

Luxembourg is three places, a country a city and a "county" of Belgium. All three are on the East side of Belgium and you want to visit the West side with Brussels stuck between you and where you want to be.

I've cycled over a fair bit of the area you are looking and have friends with a large chateau there so i suggest you look at staying in some of

Bruges (but prices may be high)
Arras; very lovely
Or force yourselves to look at Epernay or Reims in case you need a drink.
Lille is an interesting place to consider, I ran a factory in Roubaix and I can only say (DO NOT STAY HERE) but parts of Lille may be nice

The north of France/Belgian area is honey combed with nice flat canal walks, if you want to go over hills the Ardennes going down towards Givet are good areas. The benefit of looking at this area is that it offers you the chance to visit the main war-driven thorough-fair through which people have fought for years, there is a fort on every hill and military graveyards all over.
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Old Oct 30th, 2016, 09:53 AM
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Apologies BilboB. VRBO is the name of a company that specializes in vacation rentals (pre-Airbnb era). Thanks for intelligence on gite-de-France. I assumed it was only for France. Now, on my to do.
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Old Oct 30th, 2016, 10:43 AM
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I've rented 66 gites through Gites-de-France & I've never encountered any gites in this program that are not in France.

Stu Dudley
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Old Oct 30th, 2016, 10:54 AM
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Can't help you with hostels or AirBnB, but I can tell you that I visited WWI sites in Flanders, Artois, and the Somme last week. We rented a car in Lille, and drove to Ypres, where we spent two nights. That provided ample time to visit Canadian war sites in the Ypres Salient, along with a number of other places that are less uniquely Canadian. (Here is one Canadian government web site that will give you some ideas of what you can see: http://www.canadainternational.gc.ca....aspx?lang=eng )

We then drove south to the Somme, a journey that takes one right by the Vimy Memorial, and spent another couple of days staying in a small town near Albert. The Newfoundland Memorial at Beaumont-Hamel is within easy reach of Albert. Speaking as a Canadian, I can assure you that Vimy and Beaumont-Hamel are unforgettable.

We returned the car to Lille. I am sure there are many other ways to structure this kind of visit, be we chose Lille as our car rental starting point because of it's excellent train connections. We had been in Brussels for a few days before we started the battlefield tour and then went on to Delft and Amsterdam. Lille worked for us.
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Old Oct 30th, 2016, 02:04 PM
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For lots on Benelux, German and French trains check out www.seat61.com; www.ricksteves.com and www.budgeteuropetravel.com (check the latter's online Belgium chapter in their European Planning & Rail Guide for lots of itineraries).

I would check out hostels carefully - if they have private rooms maybe but otherwise airbnb or ilk makes more sense and could be as cheap sans the institutional bent.
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