Mont St. Michele?

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Mar 30th, 2015, 08:50 AM
  #21
 
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^^ Be cool and wear your sunglases at night.
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Mar 30th, 2015, 09:19 AM
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"I plan on parking the car in Brugge, Paris and Mont St. Michel."

Banff, have you considered/do you know the cost of parking? I think you underestimate the costs and time wasted driving on such a trip, and also underestimate the convenience of trains & buses.

Generally people come to these forums to find out what they don't know. A few disregard good advice while they argue they're right. The itinerary you describe suggests some of both.
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Mar 30th, 2015, 11:23 AM
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Yes a week for Paris, Bruges and MSM is a lot of driving and spending very little time except moving between them as they are not logically grouped. Consider trains as janis and MmeLost suggest - possibly even day tripping to MSM from Paris and spending 3-4 days in Paris.

Personally I'd leave Bruges for a later trip and spend time in Paris - take the train to Caen, Normandy rent a car there - drive by the famous D-Day sites if that perks your interest and over to MSM and then to Rennes - return the car and blast into Paris - for lots on French trains check: www.seat61.com (good info on discounted tickets on TGVs like Rennes to Paris-Montparnasse; www.ricksteves.com and www.budgeteuropetravel.com.
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Mar 30th, 2015, 01:14 PM
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MmePerdu,
I've used this forum for loads of advice over the years but unsolicited advice is really just criticism in disguise. Imagine your in-laws coming to visit. If you ask them for advice on "how-to" do something you are very grateful when they help you but now imagine if your in-laws come visit and say, "hey, you shouldn't do that, instead you should do this." There's a big difference between advice and criticism.
I've been to Europe numerous times . . . honestly, I don't need much time in Paris.
I really don't think my itinerary is all that horrible. CDG is on the NE side of Paris making it easy to land and drive straight up to Brugge (2-3 hrs). Landing at 7am should put me in Brugge by 11am with two nights there. Then we plan on driving to MSM (7 1/2 hrs)- this is the one long day. Leave Brugge early and arrive in MSM by late afternoon. Stay in MSM for 2 nights. Drive on to Chartres for one night (2 hrs) and then on to Paris for 2 nights.
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Mar 30th, 2015, 01:17 PM
  #25
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Oh, and I forgot to say, with the exception of MSM, I have reserved hotels that offer "free parking".

When I was in Paris last it cost $20 pp to take the train from CDG to Paris . . . . meaning that it would cost us $60 for 3 to simply take the train from the airport to the city - that doesn't include the return portion or transport around for the week.
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Mar 30th, 2015, 02:17 PM
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I guess he doesn't like my tone, oh dear. But I'll accept the wrap for all of us who think this is fuzzy thinking. I'm not quite sure what to make of the convoluted in-laws statement. And it'd be vaguely interesting to know the locations of the hotels with free parking, I'm guessing more wasted time for this self-described experienced traveler.
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Mar 30th, 2015, 02:31 PM
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a chacun son Gout as they say in French - he/she knows what they are getting into and they are comfy with it so why rain on their parade - some Americans just cannot get cars out of their system - a car in Paris is useless and a liability - hotels typically charge parking so he/she has gotten a good deal with free parking - but if they are just staying in Paris one night then going to MSM or Bruges that's fine but in that case I'd tend to get a hotel on the periphery of Paris in the direction they are going - like one of the many accor hotels - www.accorhotels.com around the Peripherique - use it as a base with easy access in and out and metro links into the city.

Many Americans only think cars and that is fine - that is what they feel comfy with so that's what they should do!
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Mar 30th, 2015, 02:34 PM
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Correction, make that "...accept the rap..."
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Mar 30th, 2015, 03:03 PM
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>>I've used this forum for loads of advice over the years but unsolicited advice is really just criticism in disguise<<

I was trying to help you and merely asked a question and offered a reasonable alternative . . . I was not criticizing you at all. But your plan definitely does open you up to criticism. A car is a total liability in both Brugge and Paris.

And if you plan on driving to Belgium after an overnight flight ---
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Mar 30th, 2015, 04:02 PM
  #30
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Perhaps my tone was lost in cyber space. My intention was not to create a conflict.
PalenQ, I'm definitely not opposed to taking trains, in fact I prefer that mode of transportation . . . far less stressful. But in calculating the costs (about $500 for 3 people vs. $150 for car + petrol) I just felt that it was financially a better deal.
On top of that, the train schedules all appear to be the exact same time expenditure as driving due to connections. I did find a cost effective hotel in Paris with free parking. Obviously I have no intention of driving around Brugge, Paris or MSM but I figured that the free parking would allow me to hang onto the car so I could avoid the $60 train fee from Paris to CDG.
Let me know if there are better train options I am not familiar with b/c if we are comparing apples to apples financially, obviously I'd opt for the train. Took trains and buses all over Italy when it was cost effective.
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Mar 30th, 2015, 04:06 PM
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Have you figured the $9 per gallon petrol? And what sites are you using to find your fares? That seems very high.
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Mar 30th, 2015, 04:20 PM
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Just so you know, taking the RER B between CDG and anywhere in Paris only costs 10€.

I haven't done any fuel/toll cost estimates but if you haven't found this site already then use www.viamichelin.com to get directions, times estimates, toll and fuel costs and suggested routes. The times don't include stops or bad weather/traffic but are reliable otherwise. Don't use google maps for driving info as they always underestimate drive times.
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Mar 30th, 2015, 04:23 PM
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Viamichelin estimates about 200€ for fuel and tolls in a direct route from CDG to Brugge to MSM to Paris.
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Mar 30th, 2015, 04:23 PM
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Janisj, I did know that gas was much more expensive in Europe but not aware that it was that high. Tried several sites including the one Palenq offered. I was unable to find an actual train from Brugge to MSM but could find one to Rennes and figured I'd probably have to take a bus from there. Each leg of the trip (CDG to Brugge, Brugge to MSM, MSM to Chartres) was about $125ish for 3, give or take. and then I would also need to include the train from Chartres to Paris and Paris to CDG.
Again, I am not overly familiar with the prices and schedules but if someone knows a way for me to take the trains/buses and cut my cost by one third I'm all in.
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Mar 30th, 2015, 04:28 PM
  #35
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Thanks for the site FMT, that's very helpful!
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Mar 30th, 2015, 04:36 PM
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I suspect for your itinerary for 3 people that trains will be more expensive than a car. You're not going to find any direct trains from CDG to Brugge, from Brugge to MSM or from MSM to Chartres. All will require one or more transfers. If you're just driving the car into Paris to park and not using it to explore the city then I don't see a problem with that. However, I would suggest that once you arrive in Paris (if that's your end destination) that you drop the car off altogether since there'll be no need for it. If you can manage your luggage on public transport then use the RER B to get to CDG. Otherwise a taxi from Paris to CDG will likely cost 55€ to 70€ for three of you.
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Mar 30th, 2015, 04:49 PM
  #37
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I will definitely look into the RER B . . . I thought I remembered it being $20 pp but it might have been that I was thinking RT. $10 one way is not too bad. I do have free parking at the hotel in Paris but it would be an added relief to drop it off.
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Mar 30th, 2015, 05:07 PM
  #38
 
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It's 10€ one way, not $10.00.
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Mar 30th, 2015, 05:10 PM
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>>It's 10€ one way, not $10.00.<<

Which are currently nearly the same thing
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Mar 30th, 2015, 05:10 PM
  #40
 
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To learn how to get around Paris (and between Paris and the airports) by métro/bus/RER use www.ratp.fr. Here is a link to a route planner:

http://www.ratp.fr/itineraires/en/ra...herche-avancee

Here is an interactive map of the system:

http://www.ratp.fr/plan-interactif/carteidf.php?lang=uk

Since parts of this website are only in French you can also use www.transilien.com or www.vianavigo.com. Via Navigo probably has the most complete English website. Keep in mind that all these sites are time and date sensitive and they will use Paris time, not your local time.

Another thing to keep in mind is that they all default to the next available departure. So you may get one route that looks very complicated (multiple métro/bus connections) but scroll forward through the next few departures and you'll often find the simplest connections for your journey.

To learn about the various types of transport passes look here:

http://vianavigo.com/en/tickets-and-fares/

A good website to learn how to use public transport in Paris is www.parisbytrain.com. It will likely answer any of your questions about what is the métro, what is the RER, what kinds of tickets you need, how to buy tickets, what kinds of passes are available etc.

Buy a good detailed map of Paris of around the scale 1:12,000 and it will show all streets and street names, museums, monuments, gardens, parks, sites, attractions and the location of all RER and métro stops. A handy booklet to buy is called ''Plan de Paris par Arrondissement, L'Indispensable''. It is available in the Relay bookstores you'll find in the main line train stations and RER stations. It can be bought in many other places as well, such as bookstores, magazine/news stands, many touristy souvenir stores, larger supermarkets, tabac stores etc.

In any métro or RER station with an information booth you can get free maps of the Paris transport system and use those in conjunction with your street maps to figure out how to get around and determine where you are.

For taxi cost estimates see here:
www.taxisg7.com/estimation-tarif-duree-course
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