Need Help for trip to France

Old Feb 9th, 2008, 12:26 PM
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Need Help for trip to France

I have been to Germmany nearly 30 times. But, I have never been to France. Have always tried to avoid the French plus I have had it really good in Germany and Austria during all of those trips.

Anyway, I have just finished buying a twin saver rail pass for Germany and France. We have 2 days on the pass that will be earmarked for France. Looking for advice on towns within 6 or so hours from Paris that we might enjoy. I have always stayed in the smallest of towns and villages throughout Germany, Austria and Switzerland. We are both in our early 40 and enjoy having fun.

This is a Valentines Day gist, so please help me.

Please help me understand what is outside of Paris that would compare to the small village charm of Germany Austria and Switzerland.
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Old Feb 9th, 2008, 01:08 PM
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Please help me understand what is outside of Paris that would compare to the small village charm of Germany Austria and Switzerland.

Probably none. Yet, you won't find anywhere in Germany, Austria, nor Switzerland which looks like Paris. It is very special and you're either going to like Paris or you will not.

Within France you can find some places which look like Germany, etc.. Colmar is a good example. But why not visit direct in Paris. The Eiffel Tour will never be seen in those other countries.

If you don't want to visit Paris but think maybe France my please you, try at Honfleur, on the coast. Normandy has a lot of places which might similar to places you like.

Dijon and Lyon might be worth looking but it really doesn't look like the Germanic countries.

But if you visit to Alsace, you can try the German food, with a French flair.

Blackduff
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Old Feb 9th, 2008, 01:26 PM
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What constitutes "smallest of towns" (examples pls) and "having fun"? I can offer better suggestions with this info.

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Old Feb 9th, 2008, 01:32 PM
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Oops! I guess my response could be taken to infer that Blackduffs answer isn't good enough, which is not the case!

I too, feel that with only 2 days, Paris would be my destination, especially in the month of Feb. when small towns are generally pretty dreary. But if it's the smallest of towns you want, we'd be glad to offer some...just need a few more parameters.
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Old Feb 9th, 2008, 05:51 PM
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Why have you tried to avoid the French. Especially if you've visited Europe so many times & have broken the "culture barrier", which really doesn't exist, IMO, in either France, Germany, Switzerland, or Austria.

Personally, I find France to be much more interesting than Germany or Austria because of the diversity (cultural & terrain) in various regions of France.

For only 2 days - stick with Paris. Any reason you can't stay longer???

Stu Dudley
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Old Feb 9th, 2008, 07:32 PM
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tampabay1 - I spent two weeks in France, and the French were nice to my daughter and me. I recommend staying in Paris. Other nice areas are Normandy, Sarlat, and the French Riviera. Have a great trip!
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Old Feb 9th, 2008, 07:59 PM
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Exactly why have you always tried to avoid the French? Personally, I find Germans and particularly the Austrians a lot snarkier and harder to deal with.

With only 2 days, stick to Paris.
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Old Feb 10th, 2008, 06:52 AM
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Hi T,

Little towns and villages are not usually sited on convenient train lines.

May I suggest Nancy or Strasbourg in Alsace, Dijon or Beaune in Burgundy?



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Old Feb 10th, 2008, 08:09 AM
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Where are you starting from and where are you ending up?

I'm reading this as you having two days of a railpass to use in France, but perhaps spending more than two days of you vacation in France. The ideal thing, I think, would be to start in Paris and spend a few days there, train to somewhere else in France for a couple of days, then train to Germany.

Alsace is the obvious choice if you like Germany so much, although as ira said the really small towns and villages won't be accesible by train. Strasbourg is a lovely city and well worth a couple of days. The cathedral is magnificant and there are some very good restaurants.
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Old Feb 10th, 2008, 08:25 AM
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I have no problem with you not having wanted to travel to France, people have their reasons.

However, small villages can be charming in almost any country, so if you just want small villages, there are plenty of them. The Alsace area is scenic and has lots of them, that might be good for you, especially if you like German stuff.

The big problem with your request is that it is impossible as the smallest of towns/villages do not have rail stations. There aren't rail stations in town until they get to be about 15-20K population. There are some small places right in the suburbs of Paris that do have some rail access for that reason (ie, Auvers-sur-Oise) and that would be the best idea. But going far out from a city in the countryside, you won't get to small villages by train.

Just get a Michelin Green Guide to Alsace region or something. There are plenty in the Loire, also, you could get one of those guides ans see what you like. But don't count on the train.
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Old Feb 10th, 2008, 11:50 AM
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"avoid the French",, nice .

If you had said, " never been interested in France" that would have not been offensive, but , obviously untrue.

I bet you had lots of first hand knowledge about why you should "avoid the french" .. note sarcasism,, LOL

People need to transpose the word "American" into this paragraph instead of French and see why it IS an offensive post.

"Have always tried to avoid the Americans ...."
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Old Feb 11th, 2008, 01:58 PM
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Didn't mean to offend anyone by wanting to avoid the French.

Anyway. I have never had any interest in visiting France. Paris has never interested me since I have always been more a small village type of person.

Finally decided to go and see a portion of Europe that I never have seen. Been to Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Holland and Belgium plenty of times. I speak German as fluently as anyone that never studied it in school.

Anyway, I would like to spend a few days, thinking 3 days in France. I'd like to do Paris just so that I saw it. Stay one night and then get out into the countryside. The Tour de France always interested me and would like to spend some time in the wine region or in the mountain area.

How about some overnight trips that would get me from Germany to Paris and then another overnight trip from Paris to somewhere else in France.

Even though I got off the train after a few stops, I believe that I was on a 7PM train from Frankfurt years ago that arrived in Paris sometime early the next morning.

After France I'd end up in some of the smaller towns of Germany that I like so much.

So, to summarize what I need is someone to tell me if I left Paris by train, where could I go in France to visit either the wine region or the mountain region.
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Old Feb 11th, 2008, 02:30 PM
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tampabay1,

For small French villages you might be interested in this site:

http://www.cometofrance.com/PBVF.html
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