Normandy/Brittany

Aug 25th, 2010, 12:58 PM
  #21  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
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I personally would not rent a car after flying all night, as we are just too tired, but I know lots of people do it without problems.
travelgirl2 is offline  
Aug 25th, 2010, 01:14 PM
  #22  
 
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I don't argue with picking up a car upon landing if the travelers do not intend to stay in Paris. But I think it is a waste of time and money do go back to the airport just to pick up a car, especially if the airport is on the far side of Paris.
Michael is offline  
Aug 26th, 2010, 08:57 AM
  #23  
 
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Driving to Versailles IS folly. Giverny is at least on the same side of Paris as CDG, approximately.
As far as renting a car out of Paris, I would try to rent it on the outskirts on the Peripherique just to not drive out of Paris. It may not be difficult, but it does add a degree of uncertainty.
Gretchen is offline  
Aug 26th, 2010, 08:59 AM
  #24  
 
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sAnd You are using a LOT of days up just getting to Bayeux. Rouen, Honfleur, Bayeux, then MSM although it is a good little way out there.
Gretchen is offline  
Aug 26th, 2010, 10:21 AM
  #25  
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I am truly taking everyone's advise: Revision 2: Drive from CDG straight to Giverny, nix Versailles. Go to the Monet Gardens, stay at Le (Au) Bon Marchechal for the first nite (per Aprillilacs). Next morn, drive to Honfluer for the entire day.

Gretchen, we are using no days for the drive, our longest drive is 1 and half hours. Most drives are between 30 to 60 mins each. Your suggestion of renting a car outside would be great, will look into that.

Altho I have been to nearly 50 nations and Bob as been to at least 20 more than I, I appreciate everyone's input. This will be my third trip to France and Bob's upteenth time, however we have never been to Normandy or Brittany...can't wait!

Any more suggestions?
bridgetS is offline  
Aug 26th, 2010, 10:45 AM
  #26  
 
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YOu might check to see if you will be in Normandy for the annual cidre festival in Beavron sur Auge, one of the beautiful villages of Normandy. Quimper is alo a lovely town
avalon is offline  
Aug 26th, 2010, 11:09 AM
  #27  
 
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This statement looks like 2-3 days just to get to Bayeux.
'Update: How 'bout drive to Versailles, this will keep us up and walking, then drive to Giverny, spend the nite? Next morn drive to Honfleur, spend the nite. Then on to Caen for morning at the museum, to Bayeux "
You did revise AFTER I posted.
We have done this trip, and actually didn't have/take time to do MSM from Bayeux.

As for most of your drives being 1-1.5 hours, Idon't know what map you are looking at!!
I really suggest you get a good Normandy Michelin map and "connect some dots"--I do not mean this to be "snarky" at all--just realistic.
Gretchen is offline  
Aug 26th, 2010, 01:17 PM
  #28  
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Gretchen, I appreciate your input, I used Google maps. Guess I should ck out others. And yes, I have revised twice now and according to Google, our longest drive is 1 and half hrs from Bayeux to Mont St Michel. Can anyone tell me how long this should take? We plan to do it early morn.
bridgetS is offline  
Aug 26th, 2010, 03:05 PM
  #29  
 
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Good catch, Bridget, on my bad spelling of Au Bon Marechal. Sometimes I go too fast. We stayed in the pink room and my brother and his wife stayed in the blue room. Both were quite charming, with a few quirks related to the visibility of the showers. The pink room was very sweet with a small terrace overlooking Giverny's main street (empty at night). The blue room was bigger, with a small sofa and a big window overlooking the B&B's garden, and an enclosed shower in the room. We liked them both, and they were very inexpensive! The owners don't speak English, but we were able to understand each other perfectly even with our seriously fractured French. (For example, I introduced my brother's wife as his husband, but they got the idea and just smiled.)

As for the drive from Bayeaux to Mont St Michel took less than 90 minutes. Here are my notes from the drive:

After chatting with the owners of Le Petit Matin (Bayeux) at breakfast, we drove toward the Mount through lovely Norman countryside, sort of via the back way, on a small country road where we saw signs for a German WWII cemetery with 10,000 or so soldiers interred in a mausoleum-type construction. Serendipity is one of the best parts of travelling—put yourself there and you will have experiences. Not as moving as the white crosses of the American cemetery, but a peaceful place that made us think about the losses incurred by needless war.

Our first glimpse of Mont St. Michele was from a distance, but it was impressive nonetheless. And it only got better, the closer we got. We stopped for lunch at one of the many restaurants that line the road up to the causeway, but ours was farther from the Mount (no view) so the price was reasonable and the food (more galettes) was good. Then we drove up to the nearest parking lot—walking distance to the entrance—where many cars were already parked. Many! The Mount is really impressive, no matter how many people are there. Entrance to the town at the base is free, so we pushed our way through the crowded lane heading up toward the top, amid souvenir shops and restaurants on both sides, and the crowd started to thin as we headed up and up. According to the girl who later guided us through the abbey (for free) once we arrived at the abbey itself, only about a third of the people who come to the Mount actually go up to the abbey.

The views from the top were spectacular, and the abbey itself is a massive building, on two levels. We lucked out on the tour—only two a day in English, and the 2:00 tour was starting five minutes after we arrived. We learned about the long history of the abbey on the 90-minute tour—very interesting, with lots of information about the history of the rooms, chapels and cloisters on both levels.

We then drove on to lovely Dinan for our week's rental there, arriving about 5 p.m.
aprillilacs is offline  
Aug 26th, 2010, 03:32 PM
  #30  
 
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bridgetS - If you are unaware of the website viamichelin.com you can use it to get info on drive times and distances, cost of tolls and gas and suggested routes. It does not consider stops nor can it predict traffic delays. I would also suggest you get Michelin maps of the scale 1/200,000 for any region you plan to visit. They are full of icons marking all kinds of historic/touristic attractions such as châteux, churches, ruins etc. The roads highlighted in green are designated scenic roads. Use these roads to plan some "get lost" driving and try to pass through lots of small towns and villages with some châteaux on the route. You'll discover all kinds of hidden surprises not in the guidebooks.
FrenchMystiqueTours is offline  
Aug 27th, 2010, 04:55 AM
  #31  
 
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To give you some idea of a timeline for Bayeux and MSM this is what we did in 2004 and it worked out very well. We stayed the night in Bayeux after spending a full day visiting the D-Day beaches. In the morning we went to the Bayeux Tapestry right when it opened and spent about 2 hrs there. After that we got supplies for a picnic lunch in town and drove to MSN with a stop for our picnic at a roadside overlook with a view of the Mont. We got to MSM around 2:30 when the crowds were thinning(tour buses were leaving) and took the last english tour of the Abbey. We had booked a room on the Mont and it's true you have the place pretty much to yourself at night. It was fun walking the walls, watching the tide roll in and having Dinner on the Mont in very uncrowded conditions. While we stayed on the Mont staying on the mainland should be considered, then you have a view of MSM and at night it will take your breath away. This may seem like a lot in one day but we were not rushed in the least and was one of our best days in France.
cbo86 is offline  
Aug 27th, 2010, 12:48 PM
  #32  
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I am so enjoying reading everyone's post. Does anyone remember how long it took to drive from Bayeux to MSM? Google says 1 and half hrs.

I will ck out the Michelin website, just when I think I have travel via the internet down...I always learn something new from this forum. I suppose I was unaware as I never do the driving when in Europe. This time I'm doing all the research even if I'm not going to be doing the actual driving...I get to look!
bridgetS is offline  
Aug 27th, 2010, 12:57 PM
  #33  
 
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An hour and a half is just about right. Longer, of course, if you stop and ogle every time you catch a view of the Mount in the distance!
aprillilacs is offline  
Aug 27th, 2010, 12:58 PM
  #34  
 
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I was unaware you had already used google. You can also use mappy.com. Everyone has their favorite. The drive times given on these sites usually don't consider stops or traffic delays but for this drive 1-1/2 hours is a fairly reasonable estimate.
FrenchMystiqueTours is offline  
Aug 27th, 2010, 01:16 PM
  #35  
 
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We stayed on Mont St. Michele and it was very nice to be there in the evening/morning. The drive from Bayeux was short, as I recall, although I can't specifically remember the time.

However, we ate at La Mere Poulard and it was by far our least favorite meal of the trip, although one of the most expensive.

bridget - We drove a while, then stopped at Giverny and then returned our car at CDG. It was the perfect amount for one day.
travelgirl2 is offline  
Aug 27th, 2010, 01:19 PM
  #36  
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Aprillilacs, I see you agreed w/ 90 minutes, just went back and re-read. We difinitely plan to go to the top, I can't imagine going that far and not doing this. What are those 2/3 thinking???
Funny Michel and Maria not speaking English. All my emails to them have been typed then translated by the internet so I suppose they thought I was fluent in French. She did use two words that would not translate into English and when I asked if she could for me, she actually tried to translate her entire email. It is quite humorus but she did ok. Maybe they have learned a bit more English since your visit. Thanks for the suggestion.

As suggested in previous posts, looks like we will stay at Aggarthi in Bayeux & Hotel Vert, just outside MSM (walking distance). And now, we are looking at Dinan for one nite instead of St Malo. When this is finished I will post another itinerary to get final approval from all you experts!
bridgetS is offline  
Aug 27th, 2010, 01:19 PM
  #37  
 
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Sorry, we drove from Mont St. Michel to Giverny to CDG in one day. But, it was at the end of the trip, not after a long flight.
travelgirl2 is offline  
Aug 27th, 2010, 01:21 PM
  #38  
 
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P.S. And I see that I have lied. Looking back at my notes from that trip, we picked the car up at Orly airport, not CDG.
travelgirl2 is offline  
Aug 27th, 2010, 01:22 PM
  #39  
 
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My last post... staying in Paris, picked up the car from Orly, drove to Normandy/Bayeux/Mont St. Michel, returned car to CDG for flight home.
travelgirl2 is offline  

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