Not in Paris

Old Feb 1st, 2024, 11:59 AM
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Not in Paris

I have booked a trip to France at the end of April. We will be there 11 days. I was thinking of spending the first 5 days outside of Paris. The areas I am considering are Brittany, Alsace, Lyon or Occitanie. We would appreciate any suggestions. TIA
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Old Feb 1st, 2024, 01:23 PM
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We've spent many, many months in each of the places you have mentioned. I have helped a long time friend plan month-long vacations to France every year for the past 15 years. We spent 2 weeks last Sept in Alsace. Loved it!!!! And about 6 weeks in Brittany just before Covid. This is our friend's itinerary for her upcoming trip to France this year.

- Land at CDG and take one of the many TGVs from CDG to Strasbourg.
- Spend 2 nights exploring Strasbourg.
- Rent a car and stay in a gite near Obernai for 2 weeks
- Return to Strasbourg, return the car, and take the direct 10:01 TGV to Rennes, Brittany that arrives at 2:56, (or return to Strasbourg a day earlier, & stay overnight if you can't get up that early to catch the 10:01)
- Rent a car in Rennes, and drive to the Dinan/St Malo area and stay in a gite for 2 weeks
- Return to Rennes, return the car, and take the noon or 4:03 TGV to CDG. Stay at the airport Sheraton & catch the flight home the next morning.

Attached is my Brittany itinerary, and my very old Alsace itinerary. If you choose to go to Lyon and/or Occitaine instead, let me know & I'll attach those itineraries also.

Stu Dudley
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Old Feb 1st, 2024, 02:00 PM
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Just re-read your post. You only have 5 days outside of Paris. Obviously my Alsace & Brittany suggestion would not work.

I would spend all 5 days in Alsace. I assume you will be in Paris for the other 6 - but if so, why is your title "Not in Paris"?

Stu Dudley
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Old Feb 1st, 2024, 02:51 PM
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AGM, we also will be arriving in France at the end of April (4/28 to be exact). We won't spend any time in Paris but will be heading to the Perche, our favorite part of France, for a week or so. I recommend it, but you would absolutely need a car.

This article in the NYT is what first attracted us to Le Perche.
https://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/25/t....perche.t.html

Most of this article is out of date, but what is still striking about the area is the number of 16c stone manor houses with turrets and spiral staircases, many of which can be seen as you drive along the back roads.

By now we know where to get the best ice cream.* (One French guy sitting next to us on the bench said it's the best in the world. I wouldn't go that far but it's the best we've ever tasted.) We have a favorite cidre. We know where to get the best bread (Nikki drove right through that town after they visited Proust's village), where there's a very good cheese shop, what local beers are good and which aren't, and we have two favorite restaurants in the area. The area is famous for boudin noir. There are some good local goat cheeses.

I'm emphasizing the food choices here because I know you are a good cook and a lover of good food. *Because you make your own excellent ice cream, you might not find R10's ice cream as special as I do.

Here's a link to a two-page report with photos:
https://anyportinastorm.proboards.co.../photos-perche

Here's another photo report but not every photo is from the Perche:
https://anyportinastorm.proboards.co.../photos-perche

I'm happy to answer any questions you might have. I have to admit, I haven't persuaded many people to visit the Perche. It's not that well known and many people would rather go somewhere highly recommended by a lot of people. I'll just say, since we discovered the Perche, we haven't been anywhere in France that we like as much. Brittany, Burgundy, the Loire, coastal Normandy, the Seine-Maritime no longer grab us. Of course, YMMV!
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Old Feb 1st, 2024, 02:57 PM
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Coquelicot - it seems that we need to subscribe to the NY Times to read this article. Do you know of another way to read it? We have a friend who sends us stuff from the NY Times, and she has to "cut & past" the article to the e-mail she sends us.

Stu Dudley
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Old Feb 1st, 2024, 03:57 PM
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Here’s a free link:
https://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/25/t...smid=url-share
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Old Feb 1st, 2024, 04:33 PM
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Originally Posted by nyse

Sold me!!!

I think we've stayed within 2 hours of there on several of our vacations. I'll do more research and perhaps spend a couple of weeks at a Gite in Le Perche in the near future.

Thanks all.

Stu Dudley
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Old Feb 2nd, 2024, 08:17 AM
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If going to Strasbourg, either spend all the time in Alsace or add Nancy to the trip concentrating on the two cities.



The bus connection between the two cities turned out to be the most convenient as long as one knows that the stop in Nancy is at the end of its streetcar line that will take you into the center of town.

Last edited by Michael; Feb 2nd, 2024 at 08:22 AM.
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