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Normandy to Barcelona

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Nov 8th, 2013, 07:23 AM
  #1
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Normandy to Barcelona

Looking for some help please.

I have never been to Europe and in the beginning stages of planning for Oct 2014.

One thing I have been not been able to find and I hope someone here can help me with is how can I get from Normandy, France to Barcelona, Spain?

Thank you all for any input or suggestions.

Kim
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Nov 8th, 2013, 07:26 AM
  #2
 
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Do you want to drive, take the train or fly?
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Nov 8th, 2013, 07:28 AM
  #3
 
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Depending on exactly where you are the easiet would be catch a train. www.seat61.com will advise. There might be flights from some backwoods airport like dinard so you could fly into stansted and then into barcelona but I doubt the flights line up and since it's with [email protected]@@r... say no more.

http://www.dinard.aeroport.fr/uk/Flights/Routes-map
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Nov 8th, 2013, 07:59 AM
  #4
 
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Dinard is in Brittany, of little use from Nomrandy. Better would be to go back to Paris and catch a low cost flight from there if the train does not work out.

http://www.flylc.com/gen-ap.asp?ft=t&ap=bcn&ln=en
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Nov 8th, 2013, 09:12 AM
  #5
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We where hoping there was a train. We didn't want to rent a car as we don't have international licences.

THank you for your input!
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Nov 8th, 2013, 09:23 AM
  #6
 
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I agree you should catch a flight, the train is a very long trip.

I really like Easyjet or Hop (a French budget airline). YOU can take Easyjet to BCN from CDG in Paris, or you could travel to Lyon for a couple days, if you'd like to see it, and fly from there.

HOP is a regional subsidiary of Air France for local flights, budget prices to compete with Easyjet. I've used them and like them a lot. They don't fly to BCN but they do fly out of Caen (I don't think you'll find anything but a French airline that does). YOu'd have to fly to Montpellier down on the coast and then take a train from there. That would be worth it if you'd like to spend a few days in Montpellier.
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Nov 8th, 2013, 09:27 AM
  #7
 
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by train you go to Paris first - Montparnasse station then hop a TGV direct to Barcelona (not curently running straight thru but should be by a year or so from now).

But this will take you several hours and cost a fair sum - there is also the Elipsos overnight train between Paris (Austerlitz station) and Barcelona but the future of this overnight train is in doubt - may or may not be running after the direct TGVs Paris to Barcelona are launched.

For lots of great info on European trains check out IMO these fantastic sites - www.seat61.com; www.budgeteuropetravel.com; www.ricksteves.com. Advance booking up to 3 or 4 months in advance can yield discounts Paris to Barcelona but those tickets can not be changed nor refunded so be sure of your dates - but will save a lot over walkup fares, which should always be available once in France however.
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Nov 8th, 2013, 09:38 AM
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About that international license - you may be misunderstanding it. In Europe you drive with your drivers' license from back home. In addition (not as a replacement!) you can and - in many countries are supposed to - also have the IDP (International Driving Permit), but hardly anybody ever needs to show it, certainly not at rental-car counters.

However, if a cop wants to see it, you'd better have it. You can only get it from the AAA in the US (never mind all the scamsters on the internet who will sell you fakes...) - it's cheap and easy, start at www.aaa.com/vacation/idpapplc.html

But that's not to say that renting a car for your trip would be ideal - the cross-border one-way drop-off fee could be substantial or even prohibitive.

Look into it just so you know - as far as the drive goes, if you gave it a few days and plotted a more interesting course than the tollroad expressways, it could be the high point of your trip!

A tip: In French, the word "location" (spelled exactly the same as in English) doesn't mean "place" but "rental". Car rental is "location de voiture".
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Nov 8th, 2013, 09:39 AM
  #9
 
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"as we don't have international drivers' licenses." If you are in the US, go to any AAA, show your driver's license, and they will issue an international driver's permit for you on the spot, around $15.00.
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Nov 8th, 2013, 09:48 AM
  #10
ira
 
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Hi Kim,

> We didn't want to rent a car as we don't have international licences. <

There is no such thing as an "international license".
You need your own driver's license.

There is an International Driver's Permit, which is a translation of your driver's license.

You must have one in Spain.
See http://autoclubsouth.aaa.com/home.aspx

It is NOT needed in France.

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Nov 8th, 2013, 10:21 AM
  #11
 
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Why drive unless you intend on returning back to France. October may not be such good weather either. You will certainly have to take toll roads which will add to your costs.
Given Normandy is a large area which town/city are you last planning to visit? What are your other plans for this vacation? Answers to those questions may help us give some helpful answers.
I intrigued why responders here have assumed you are travelling from Barcelona to Normandy!
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Nov 8th, 2013, 04:42 PM
  #12
 
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It is NOT needed in France.


Discussion on a previous thread indicated the contrary.
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Nov 8th, 2013, 05:00 PM
  #13
 
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If you get a train to Paris, you can get an overnight train from Paris to Barcelona. that way you can sleep on the train (book a bed) and you won't waste any of your trip. I've done it before, ItS kind of a fun experience.
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Nov 9th, 2013, 07:26 AM
  #14
 
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My state, Michigan, and others have a mutual agreement with France (and Germany) to officially honor each others licenses - IDP is a complete waste of money in France - absolutely NO reason to get it - ignore any advice to do so and say a few bucks and time and hassle.
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Nov 9th, 2013, 08:50 AM
  #15
 
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My state, Michigan, and others have a mutual agreement with France (and Germany) to officially honor each others licenses

I think that documentation is necessary because the rule about IDP in France is recent. And yes, I recognize that it has been explained that police will tend to accept driving licenses issued in western countries, but why count on on the whim of the individual who has stopped you?
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Nov 9th, 2013, 09:12 AM
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It isn't required in France, and I don't think it has anything to do with Michigan, that doesn't make sense to me that some state has an agreement with a foreign country. It isn't an issue of "honoring" the license, it is simply an issue of translation. I think French police are pretty capable of recognizing a driver's license, but officially, the French govt recommends you have an IDP, that's all. I don't believe some US states are exempted as their licenses are in English like everyone's else's, which is why I don't see how that could be true. Here is the official advice of the French embassy in the US:
http://www.ambafrance-us.org/spip.php?article376

And the official language in French, which doesn't say anything about how certain US states have special rules: http://vosdroits.service-public.fr/p...rs/F1459.xhtml
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Nov 9th, 2013, 09:34 AM
  #17
 
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There is simply too much misinformation in this thread. One of them:

"...My state, Michigan, and others have a mutual agreement with France (and Germany) to officially honor each others licenses..."

This has nothing to do with the IDP. This "mutual arrangement" pertains to someone who becomes a RESIDENT of France - not a tourist - someone who holds a Carte de séjour or a Carte de résidence which is for more than 90 days; someone like that can exchange the US DL for a French driver's license. Note: EXCHANGE! Meaning they keep your US DL.

Here's what pertains to the gist of this thread - IDP in France - from the website of the French Embassy in Washington, www.ambafrance-us.org/spip.php?article376:

[Start of quote:] If you are on a short visit or short business trip (less than 90 days)

You may drive with a valid U.S. driver’s license if it is accompanied by a notarized translation in French. It is strongly recommended that you carry an International Driving Permit. You must be 18 years of age or older to drive in France. [End of quote]

So you need EITHER a notarized translation of your DL (I know I know, sounds ridiculous but it's the law) - OR you carry the IDP. Now for $15 and a couple of passport photos you can get the IDP, from the AAA. Or you can contrive to get a notarized translation of your DL.

Which would you rather do?
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Nov 9th, 2013, 05:28 PM
  #18
 
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Previous discussion about the IDP in France:

http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...-in-france.cfm

Look at the first response. Unless StCirq was imagining things, the IDP is required. It is very possible that if stopped by the police, not having it will not be a problem.
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Nov 9th, 2013, 06:17 PM
  #19
 
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ira and others, the IDP IS required in France as of May of 2013. I have posted this several times. Information that you knew to be true 10 years ago isn't always true now. I'm not going to keep looking it up for everyone, but you can google the French Embassy and loads of other sites and get the current, CORRECT information .
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Nov 9th, 2013, 08:51 PM
  #20
 
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If OP had a car to explore Normandy (not a bad idea to have one there, IMO), they could drop it off at "Paris"-Beauvais airport and fly nonstop with Ryanair to BCN. (with the usual caveat to learn about Ryanair's restrictions on luggage and their myyriad of fees)
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