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Outside of Paris in December

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May 7th, 2013, 08:17 PM
  #1
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Outside of Paris in December

Would you do it?

If we can get time off, I'm thinking about a short trip to Paris with a visit to Pierrefronds and Reims. In Reims, the cathedral is the main draw.

I realize that this might not be an ideal time to visit, but I would like to hear about any visits to less urban France in the winter.

I will have to say that I'm still cold from a visit to St Denis a year and a half ago. That place really holds a chill.

But seriously, I rather like winter travel, even if St Denis is probably the coldest building I've ever been inside of in my life.

I'm just wondering if the setting for Pierrefronds and the outskirts of Reims will be too barren to enjoy for a brief visit of maybe two nights.

Thanks.
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May 7th, 2013, 09:05 PM
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I think Paris itself in December will be fantastic as the city will be decorated for the holidays and lots of good shopping will be on offer. I think any outside of Paris trips will be more impacted by the weather as you will be outdoors more, less of the culture, more of the nature. Don't know of Pierrefronds and Reims... Any indoor sights there?
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May 7th, 2013, 10:18 PM
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Stay in Paris - nothing's equal in December. Done that twice - and will do it many times more. We were in Pierrefronds & Reims in June '11 & it was kinda cold and dank.

Stu Dudley
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May 7th, 2013, 10:38 PM
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Yeah... that is a bit of what I thought.

But we have been to Paris fairly recently, and I'm looking for an idea to spice it up enough to help me justify the return.

Although we went to London in October and February, so why not? I could still do a day in Reims, for the cathedral and a couple of church/museum visits.
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May 7th, 2013, 11:37 PM
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Having been to Reims, I'd prefer to stay in Paris too. However it is very close by train.

Schedules here:

http://reiseauskunft.bahn.de/bin/query.exe/en?
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May 8th, 2013, 12:03 AM
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We went to Strasbourg one December and enjoyed it a lot. It will be chilly too, however.

The TGV is only 2 1/2 hours from Paris to Strasbourg, and the contrast is interesting.
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May 8th, 2013, 01:58 AM
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Would highly recommend a day trip to Strasbourg before xmas - great decorations everywhere and xmas markets give it a festive feel. We spent 4 days there in 2008 before xmas and would do it again in a second.

Here is our trip report and photos:
http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...-in-france.cfm
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May 8th, 2013, 02:31 PM
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Strasbourg: I hadn't thought of it. I do have Reims on my list because I love cathedrals. Actually, I'm mad for them.

I'm afraid that for a quick trip across the Atlantic, Strasbourg might be a bit too far from Paris.

Anyone been to Fontainebleau in the winter?
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May 8th, 2013, 02:53 PM
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I was in Paris the first 2 weeks of December 2012. The first week did a daytrip to Reims and the second week a daytrip to Strasbourg.
I would chose Strasbourg, even with the 2+ hour train ride, because it is so unique for that time of year. We left Paris around 8 AM and returned around 9 PM. We had plenty of time to see the city center, Christmas markets and have a nice lunch (plus it snowed a bit!)
We enjoyed the Reims cathedral and a Ruinart champagne tour but that trip can be done any time of year.
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May 8th, 2013, 05:39 PM
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I'd choose Strasbourg over Reims in a heartbeat. It's a beautiful city. The cathedral is amazing. I think it was the tallest building in the world until about 1870. Have lunch at Brasserie Flo.
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May 8th, 2013, 05:39 PM
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Chartres Cathedral via fast train from Gare Montparnasse. Good guides are still there in December with more time for you
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May 8th, 2013, 08:04 PM
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Hi Tuscanlifeedit,


Chartres sounds like a solid suggestion.

Also would recommend a book – PARIS TO THE PAST: Traveling Through French History by Train by Francophile Ina Caro which describes many day trips from Paris on public transportation. Includes suggestions for an excellent lunch at most destinations.
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May 8th, 2013, 08:37 PM
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Hi

We've been to Chartres, and that is another reason why Reims is on my list.

I hear that many love Strasbourg, but I'm still skeptical about at 2+ hour train ride each way. Reasons:

1. This would be a very short trip in its entirety. Probably 6 nights maximum.
2. I'm old and of middling health.

But if the trip happens I will consider Strasbourg.

latedaytraveler: the book is now on my list. Thanks.
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