Misc Questions Getting to/In Provence

Feb 11th, 2004, 02:51 AM
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Misc Questions Getting to/In Provence

We are going to Provence in March and I have most everything in order...I think.
1-We are flying into CDG arriving in the AM and taking a train to Avignon. Will we starve getting to Avignon? Is there food on the train or should we pick up something in the airport? The TVG reservation is for 11:24AM.
2-Living in a seasonal tourist area myself I am curious as to whether many restaurants and tourist sites will be on reduced off season hours.
3-I read about boat trips up the Calanques in Cassis and am very interested. Will they be running the week of March 15th?
Thank you all for your help and information.
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Feb 11th, 2004, 06:45 AM
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1) I took the TGV train from Montpellier to Paris 3 years ago and you could by food on the train. It wasn't very good compared to the price but you will not starve.
2) I don't think you need to worry about the off season hours. In France they eat a lot in restaurants so most restaurants are based on the locals and not on tourist - and besides that Provence have tourist all year round - so don't worry

I don't know if you have been to CDG before - but be prepared it is an awful airport - old with almost no shops or cafes - only gates. So don't be disappointed. The rest of France is on the other hand great and I think March is a perfect time to stay in Provence.

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Feb 11th, 2004, 06:56 AM
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TGVs have bars with various snacks like toasted sandwiches. If you think you'll be hungry, it's usually better to buy a baguette at the station and eat it on the train.
I think the boats from Cassis to the Calanques run all year, weather permitting. Their web site is www.calanques-cassis.com.
GeoffHamer is offline  
Feb 11th, 2004, 07:52 AM
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Most train stations have snack bars near the platforms where you can buy sandwiches and drinks. Just about all TGVs have "cafés" where you can get hot sandwiches and some hot entrées, along with coffee, tea, and other hot beverages. On some routes there are attendants who push a cart along the aisle offering sandwiches and cold drinks, but we have yet to see one.
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Feb 11th, 2004, 07:58 AM
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I don't think there is a food place at CDG's TGV but we were in such a hurry to get to the platform I may have overlooked it. There is a food car that sells drinks and sandwiches. We made a trip to Provence in March and found things open.
Gretchen is offline  
Feb 11th, 2004, 08:12 AM
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Actually, there are two good cafés/shops right at the TGV station at CDG of the "Au Bon Pain" type. You can buy all sorts of sandwiches, sweets, and drinks for less than you'll pay on the train.

And the comments about CDG airport really only pertain to Terminal 1. You'll be catching the train at Terminal 2.

You'll find some establishments closed in March, but it certainly won't affect your trip or make it hard to find food or shopping opportunities.

I've never taken a calanque ride, but my Eyewitness book on Provence, though it does not mention when boat trips are available, does point out that the parking lots where you leave your car while on the ride are "notorious for theft."
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Feb 11th, 2004, 08:13 AM
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The TVG leaves from the Gare de Lyon.
The beautiful restaurant, Le Tran Bleu is located there.
cigalechanta is offline  
Feb 11th, 2004, 08:40 AM
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True but they are leaving from CDG.
Gretchen is offline  
Feb 11th, 2004, 11:57 AM
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I have found that in Provence, many of the restaurants do seem to have reduced hours off-season. This may not be a problem in the big cities like Avignon, but more in the smaller towns. This shouldn't be a major concern, I've just noticed that off-season, they may be closed 1-2 days more a week or for some meals when they aren't in high season (often, they may close Monday or Tuesday, their offday for closing, and/or Sun eve. dinner in off-season).
Christina is offline  
Feb 11th, 2004, 12:04 PM
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The ride through the Calanques can be rocky. If the wind is up a bit stay away from the boat seat by the sea. A couple of years we got soaked on this tour.
Powell is offline  
Feb 11th, 2004, 03:24 PM
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Thanks for your help, everyone. We can't wait!
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