Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

Paris/Dordogne/SW France-Barcelona (summer 04)

Paris/Dordogne/SW France-Barcelona (summer 04)

Jan 21st, 2005, 05:11 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,787
Paris/Dordogne/SW France-Barcelona (summer 04)

Paris-- July 13- July 18, 2004
July 13, 2005: Arrival in Paris is a blur; despite a brief confusion and short delay, Paris Shuttle arrives after we call them from the airportand drops us off at Hotel Muguet by 9:30AM. Our room isn’t ready yet, so we drop our bags and wander around. Weather is damp and very cool. After a long walk around Invalides and the Eiffel Tower, a long break for cafe, we are still hours away from our room being ready; I pull out my long printout from Fodors posts, and came up with the Bistro du 7eme for lunch. We definitely don’t eat like this every day, but the saucisse (appetizer) and lambchops were particularly good. This was a good beginning to Paris!

We had been to Paris about 10 years earlier, and this was my 5th trip. We wanted to visit some new sights and visit some favorite places. After spending a leisurely 5 days, we rekindled our love affair with the city; it is a wonderful city to wander, with the grand open spaces of the public plazas and the beautiful city parks.

Standouts of this trip were:
-boatride along the Seine
-Wandering the streets from the Bastille to the Place des Vosges. Loved the energy around the Bastille. The Place des Vosges was even more impressive than our last visit. It is truly elegant.

-St. Chappelle. On our last visit, I went in but my husband skipped this site because of overload; he regretted it ever since. He went this time, and was glad he finally got to see it. Spectacular-do NOT miss, even if your feet have said “enough!”.

-Sitting for ages and people-watching in the Jardin du Luxemburg

-Pere-la-chaise cemetery and the neighborhood around it. We met a French couple in the cafe on the square; an interesting and enjoyable exchange.

-Walking through the Palais-Royal & gardens, the Place de Victoires (there's a very heroic statue of Louis XIV) and discovering some neat passages and galleries around there

-Fireworks by the Eiffel Tower on Bastille Day -- now THAT was spectacular.

-The 16th Arrondisement. A stretch of remarkable Art Nouveau building exteriors along one street, Le Corbusier villa (it was closed when we went by, but hey, we got to see it) on another...for anyone with an interest in architecture, this region is a must-see

-The view from the Arc de Triomphe! There may be other “prettier” views of the city, but for me, this one is the essence of Paris, with the boulevards radiating out from the arch. There’s no wait to get to the top, which is a great advantage, too.

-Montmartre and the backstreets -- we managed to avoid the Place Tertre till the very end of our walk, and even that had a charm by the time we reached it, with jazz music pouring out of the clubs and the bustle of crowds through the small streets. We enjoyed finding the Lapin Agile, a place where Picasso and others hung out.
-Enjoyed terrific couscous and tagines at Le Trefle Restaurant, 68 Rue Lepic. This was a standout meal.

-Musee D’Orsay -- This was a repeat visit, but we both think this is one of the stellar museums for Modern Art (and we live in NYC, and just saw the new MOMA). The exhibits are stellar, and the building is constantly amazing. I could never get bored here. We ate lunch in the restaurant, a pleasant experience and not too expensive, either.

-Cluny. A real surprise. Wonderful museum, the tapestries are outstanding. The rest of the museum has an intimacy about it which we really enjoyed, too.

-Favorite meal: Le Florimond . The food was very good to excellent and service was outstanding. Small but personal, the staff talked to all the patrons, and as the evening wore on, the chef came out to talk to people, too. We were there for more than 2 hours, and there were others who were there for about 3. We are not “serious foodies” and tend toward the modest in our food experiences, so this was on the higher end of our meals.
progol is online now  
Jan 21st, 2005, 05:16 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,787
Things that did not live up to expectations:
-Marmottan Museum. Despite everyone’s raving about it, this place left my husband and I a little disappointed. The display of Monet’s work in the below-ground room without any window light seemed a poor way to show this work. We also discovered that there is such a thing as too much Monet!

-Checking out the Fireman’s Ball on Bastille Day eve (5th or 6th Arrondisement?). Waaaay too crowded to even try to get in! The line went around the block or so. And it looked like the only thing people were doing was drinking a lot and dancing to loud music. Not our cup of vin! FYI, the night before Bastille Day, firehouses hold parties that are open to the public-- we thought it might be fun, but the reality was less than inviting. I accidentally bumped into a woman in the crowd, and she kept glaring at me while we stood on line.

-Berthillon ice cream -- it’s good, but not up to the hype. Never got back to try Amorino, which looked a lot more substantial.

-Walking along the Viaduc Des Arts. We were there on Bastille Day, so the shops were closed, but we were mostly interested in the walk along the top of the viaduc, which is a couple of stories above ground. It was interesting for people-watching, but the shrubbery blocked off the vistas of the streets for much of the way.

Other thoughts and suggestions:
-Having the Carte Orange was great for us. Our timing was perfect, and we used it a lot. Bring 2 passport-sized photos if you want to get the card (or find a photo booth, a la “Amelie”). Which reminds me, some of the metro stations will have you walking so many miles between trains that you’ll wonder if you aren’t better off just walking!

-The museum card is worth it if you can figure out which days you want to do it. We didn’t go into that many museums this time, but it is especially good to avoid long lines.

-Picking up our reserved train tickets was frustrating. We could not make heads or tails of the kiosks with the ATMs, so we ended up waiting on long lines-- twice! One day we waited, only to be told that the computers were down...and the next time, we waited close to an hour.

Thoughts on Hotel Muguet:
Overall, a good value; I recommend it with some reservation. We found the staff somewhat aloof, and we had a bizarre experience with the maid removing the bedtable from my husband’s side of the bed! When we went to the owner, ; she spoke to the maid, who got angry at her! The maid then grudgingly returned the bedtable, and proceeded to lecture us (which we didn’t understand)! When we spoke again to the owner, she said “But she cleans so well.” No apology about the rudeness, though, and we felt a little uncomfortable about the whole experience. The place WAS immaculate, though, and there is a/c (rare for 2* hotels). For the money, it is definitely good value. Location is convenient, if a little quiet.
progol is online now  
Jan 21st, 2005, 05:26 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,787
I meant to write an introduction to this greatly delayed and somewhat abbreviated trip report; after our return from the trip, my husband and I were packing for a move AND I was returning to fulltime graduate school as a 50-something a couple of weeks later...needless to say, my mind was much too muddled to be able to pull together a trip report. So to all of you who helped with ideas and suggestions, I can only say I appreciated them all!
I did write up a brief description of our visit to the Dordogne (the highlight of our trip) which was posted last summer, but I hope to write somewhat more in the next few days (before term 2 begins again and I'm swallowed up by all the readin' and writin' ).

Our trip was great, and this is allowing me to relive it a little-- such a nice thing to occupy myself with this weekend, since I will be housebound while a blizzard comes our way!

progol is online now  
Jan 21st, 2005, 05:32 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,330
Thanks for the report progol.

Belated or not I love reading about others' travel adventures. It whiles away the time until my next trip.
indytravel is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2005, 05:10 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 74,320
Thanks for sharing, progol.

>Never got back to try Amorino, which looked a lot more substantial.<

Now you have a reason to go back to Paris. Excellent gelato.

Do you have a link to your Dordogne report? I couldn't find it.

ira is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2005, 05:27 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,787
Thanks, Ira-- I'll definitely use Amorino as an excuse!
I didn't write a separate report on the Dordogne, I had written about Les Granges Hautes, the B&B where we stayed -- but it is on someone else's thread.
I do plan on writing more, and adding it to this thread when I finish it. Soon, I hope!
progol is online now  
Jan 22nd, 2005, 06:21 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,358
What a great report!

Intersesting point about waiting in line to pick up train tickets. On our last trip I ordered them over the phone and they arrived in the mail a few days later.
RonZ is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2005, 10:05 AM
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 6,111
I can sympathize with your procrastination, but enjoyed the belated report. I'll be waiting to see what you add about the Dordogne.
hopingtotravel is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2005, 11:35 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,787
I'm getting there; here is the first 2 days of our visit to the Dordogne:

July 17-21 (4 nights)

Our visit to the Dordogne was the standout of our entire trip. We were there for 4 days and nights, and could’ve easily stayed for 4 more. The region is lush with woods and forests, rivers, and many small roads meandering over the hills. It is an area saturated with history: prehistoric caves, large and small, and chateaux, grand and petite, at every turn. Distances are deceptive; the twists and turns on a back road may make those few kilometers take a lot longer than you’d expect. But if you can take your time and meander, not rush from place to place, there is no better place to take a holiday. Just try NOT to pack in every sight; it will make your trip stressful, your mate angry at you (and this I can speak to personally!), and you won’t enjoy the pleasures that the region has to offer.

Arrival day/July 17:
From Gare Austerlitz, we took the train to Perigueux. The trip was difficult for me; I got severe motion sickness from the rockiness of the train. It’s not one of the smooth, high-speed rides; this was roller-coaster rocky. I finally took dramamine, and slept for part of the ride. Even thinking about it makes me feel ill!

Finally, we arrived in Perigueux! Europcar (car rental) was a block away from the train station. We ate lunch and did our laundry in town (spending a long time figuring out how to access the soap-- there are no service people around to show us how) and we were on our way.

We left Paris on a cool and rainy day; by the time we arrive in Perigueux, it’s in the 80’s, warm and humid. We are finally on our way to Les Granges Hautes! We made a slight error in our route, and drove through some spectacular countryside instead of straight highway riding. Loved the limestone walls by Les Eyzies.

Les Granges Hautes is a delight (http://www.les-granges-hautes.fr/en/index.htm). I’ve mentioned it before, but this was a gem of a place. It is an old farmhouse, on beautiful grounds and has a small swimming pool...but it’s the proprietors, Jean-Yves and Beatrice who make the place so very special. They are warm, gracious and as helpful as can be.

Our room, Toscane, isvery comfortable (no a/c, but we never needed it) and filled in a quirky but charming design style. The bathroom is huge-- old-fashioned bathtub, but has most amenities that you’d want.

We arrived on a Saturday afternoon, and were hot, tired and cranky. We took a brief dip in the pool, a welcome nap and woke to a beautiful summer evening. Jean-Yves and Beatrice were making dinner that evening, and we jumped at the chance to eat there. For 25E per person, it was one of the most pleasurable dinners we had on the entire trip!

The tables were set up outside, and there were perhaps 5 groups or couples eating that evening. The setting is lovely, under the small trees, the summer sun lowering in the sky...a perfect night. We begin with vin de noix, a delicious liqueur made with local walnuts. An “unknown” salad-- Michael and I think that it may be gizzards, but we never do find out. Still, it is good. Then the duck breast in a wine sauce, eggplant and saffron rice-- it is well done, if not exceptional. Then, a salad with walnut oil and chevre-- a definite YUM! And, to end, a peach cobbler-like pastry with homemade coconut ice cream and coconut cookies -- oh, we are in heaven! The entree was prepared by Jean-Yves and the desserts are by Beatrice. We were glad to have had the chance to eat at Les Granges Hautes, since they don’t do dinner regularly. The gorgeous evening, the lovely grounds, the gracious welcome...it was a perfect night.

After dinner, Michael and I had noticed that the town (St.-Crepin Carlucet) was having some kind of fete, and we decided to see what it was. Foolishly, we forgot a flashlight, because we followed the road through Les Granges Hautes into the town, all on small paths. Eventually, we discovered the “fete du village”, and it looked like a wonderful local affair. There was a band, with accordion, people were dancing and eating and otherwise having fun...but since it is clearly local, and our language isn’t up to snuff, so we watch for a little while, and go back.
progol is online now  
Jan 22nd, 2005, 11:40 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,787
Sunday, July 18
A rainy day all day; we wake up to thunder and lightening, but no rain-- yet. Thank god for rainjackets. We have reservations (made several months ago) for Lascaux II at 3pm.

We had our breakfast, in the dining room; Beatrice adds a little homemade “extra” to each breakfast. One day it is yogurt, another day, she has yummy pastries....for a standard breakfast, she adds some lovely touches.

I had originally planned a long drive to the St. Cyprien market, but Jean-Yves suggests that we go instead to the market at the neighboring town, St. Genies. We follow his instructions for the day, and find that his advice is really on the money.
St. Genies is a beautiful village with a great fair. I wanted to buy everything: tiny pastries, cheese, sausage with duck....definitely not a diet for the healthy-heart conscious! We picked up some picnic items, and I bought a bottle of walnut oil for home.

We then drove to St. Amand-de-Coly, a tiny but lovely village with a handsome abbey, fortified at some point in its history. The town has few tourists; we spend some time in the abbey and have coffee. We drive past a La Grand Filide, a small castle in a hollow in a valley, but we don’t stop. We continue to Montignac, a larger town on the Vezere and the nearest town by LascauxII. Although many people would discount this as a tourist destination, we found it had a charm of its own. It has a realness beyond the typical tourist life and makes a good jumping off before the cave visit. And we had the BEST ice cream (glace) of our trip here-- we each had noix (walnuts), which was simply delicieux!
LascauxII was interesting, though not totally satisfying. The work is remarkable, and it’s hard to fathom how and why people were able to do these drawings 15,000 years ago. Although it is a meticulous copy (so we are told), we couldn’t forget that this was a fake and knowing that made it less impressive.
After our tour, we drove to St. Leon sur Vezere, a truly magnificent town sitting on the Vezere. The town has a totality-- the church, two castles and the roads are all laid out still with its original plan, and the siting on the river is very pretty. It was a fun town to wander through. We had our second ice cream of the day; this time, miel (honey). It was good, but not as good as that first one!

That evening, we drove into Sarlat. Jean-Yves had made a recommendation for an easy supper, and we also wanted to spend time in the town. And what a town! The town was restored in the 60s, and the size and quality of the buildings was impressive. We wandered through the tourist path and then had dinner at La Gaulois. For those of you who are watching your diets, this region is a challenge! Michael’s meal consisted of dheese, potatoes and lardons-- delicious but very rich. And I ordered something with toast, figuring it would be “lighter”; it was anything but! A large round of toast with cheese, mushrooms, artichoke pieces and foie gras (okay, I saw that it mentioned the foie gras, but I ignored that...); again, it was good, but definitely not “light”! Did I mention the 3rd ice cream of the day?!?
After sundown, Sarlat was magical; the lights on the golden-colored buildings give an otherworldly feel to the town. And with the tourists throughout the village, especially with the crowds surrounding the street entertainers, one could really imagine the hustle and bustle of medieval times. A good end to the day.

(more to come)
progol is online now  
Jan 22nd, 2005, 12:47 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 74,320
Lovely report, progol.

Thank for sharing.

ira is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2005, 12:47 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,787
Monday, July 19
Up early and pretty rested. Today is the day we go to Font-de-Gaume, and we are excited. The day starts out with beautiful weather, but it is very changeable.There are intense showers while we are driving, but warm and dry for much of the day.

We get slightly lost on our way to Font-de-Gaume, missing the turnoff just past the entrance and somehow driving many kilometers down a lovely country road. But we got to the site in plenty of time.
Do not miss Font-de-Gaume! This is the real deal, and it is amazing. Seeing the actual paintings was powerful and very moving. The drawing of the bison with the carved eye was exciting, walking through and feeling the dampness of the caves put us in touch with the sense of this being REAL. The tour guide was thoughtful, intelligent and with a sense of humor. Excellent tour.

Off to Beynac. We debated about parking down below or driving to the top, and convenience won out. It was also HOT, and the long walk UP was less than inspiring. Beynac is a grand castle and has wonderful views over the Dordogne river and valley. Looking across the Dordogne to Castelnaud makes us think about the bloody history here between English and French. History is everywhere in the Dordogne.

Next stop, Roque-Gageac, another wonderful site. Despite the number of tourists, the town is quite manageable. We go up the side of the cliffs, walking high up to “Fort Troglodyte”, a fortified cave built into the upper cliff. The town is lovely, with the houses built into the foot of the cliff, practically at the river.

The day is long, and we are getting tired and hot, so we took an hourlong boat ride from Roque-Gageac. This is a lovely way to view all the sights, and relaxing, too.

By now, it’s the end of the day, and I still wanted to explore Domme. It was perhaps just a little too much for the day (what did I say earlier about taking it easy? the advice is derived from experience!), and we both felt too tired to really enjoy the town. It is, fortunately, the end of the day, and most of the crowds have left, but still, it is high season, and there are many tourists everywhere. We parked at the top, and walked along the Esplanade and through the gardens and the town. More fabulous views of the Dordogne River and valley. We ate at the Belvedere, a lousy restaurant but with great views.
Riding through the region is remarkable; there is a saturation of sights -- chateaux, caves, vistas-- at every turn. A lush landscape that is picture postcard pretty. There is no one sight that stands out, but the richness and variety of the whole region is remarkable.

(one more day in the Dordogne)
progol is online now  
Jan 22nd, 2005, 01:12 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 46,958
oh, progol, you are making me horribly homesick
StCirq is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2005, 01:25 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,787
July 20/Tuesday
A slower day but lovely end to our 4 days in the Dordogne. Although we woke to a heavy sky, it never rained, and by the end of the day, we had one of those lovely summer evenings. We slept late and checked our email, spent some time “talking” with Jean-Yves and Beatrice. We all try to talk the other person’s language, but it’s a struggle. Michael and I found it interesting that in the 4 days we stayed at Les Granges Hautes, there were Germans, Dutch, English and French, but there were no other Americans.

We meandered. We thought we might go to the Grotte de Rouffignac, but found that you needed reservations. We stopped along our drive, having cafe, getting a feel for the different villages (no particular places come to mind) and found ourselves by the Albri du Cap-Blanc, another cavelike shelter, this one with friezes of animals sculpted into the walls. Though rough, some of the images, especially those of the horses, were remarkable. The sculpting is really 3-dimensional and from the side, not only do you see the body of the animal but almost feel it as a presence. What is remarkable is how many of these smaller cavesites there are; while we read about LascauxII and even Font-de-Gaume, there are many others that are smaller, in less pristine condition but still impressive considering they are 13,000-15,000 years old. And it’s only when you are driving around that you become aware of just how many there are. You can keep yourself busy for months or years, just checking out all these sights!

More meandering, a stop for lunch and our drive took us to a new-old site, the Chateau Puymartin. A hodgepodge of centuries and styles, it was interesting because it is still used and is representative of an active, lived-in chateau. Beautiful rooms, completely painted, some whimsical -- a room based on classical mythology was pretty special. The only frustration was being on a French tour; although there was an English placard, we missed a lot of the guide’s humor.

After a break at Les Hautes Granges, we ate La Meynardie, which was highly recommended by Jean-Yves and Beatrice. It was only a few km down the road from us, just outside of Salignac. The atmosphere was wonderful-- under a grape arbor-- and the night was beautiful. Dinner was very good (some things better than others), but again, the atmosphere was delightful. A leisurely dinner for our last night capped our visit.

We leave the next morning for Albi, and we’re both sad to leave Les Hautes Granges and our warm proprietors. Beatrice gives us a small gift of her own pate, and Michael and I are touched by this small gesture.
progol is online now  
Jan 22nd, 2005, 02:19 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,787
July 21/Wednesday
We left Les Granges Hautes (yes, this is the correct name; I keep mixing it up) with great sadness. Who knows when we’ll be back? There was a lovely rapport between us all, and Michael’s openness and humor in English and French helped.

Finally, on our way to Albi. Our plan was to stop in Sarlat for the market, then lunch in Cahors before getting to our day’s destination. After several attempts at parking and getting into traffic jams the likes of which we don’t like to speak of, we decided to skip the market after all. Maybe it would be manageable very early morning, but not around 11:00am!

Leaving the Dordogne region, we notice a subtle change, qieter landscape but lovely rolling countryside. When we entered Cahors, we felt somewhat shocked; this is a small city instead of the older, gentile towns of Perigord. We caught the end of the market here, and were sorry we didn’t get here earlier. We walked around the old town area and then walked a long way along the waterfront to the Pont Valentre, a 14th century fortified bridge, a magnificent structure and wonderful location. Worth a stop, the bridge is unique.
Continuing on to Albi, we followed the route of the bastides; this is an amazing sight, one town after another. We did stop in one town, but found that the vision from the distance was the most interesting part of the experience.
Arrival was startling! If we were a little bit shocked by our arrival in Cahors, it was only a warmup to arriving in a real city again. Still, NYers that we are, Michael manages to find an English ex-pat who hops a ride with us and gets us right to the Hostellerie du Albi. This is a great location, cheap price, bland & basic room-- but perfectly fine for one night. Underground parking just outside the hotel makes it ideal. And the hotel clerk is very helpful, so who can complain?
After a rest, we go out about 6pm, and head over to the great cathedral. The exterior is a solid monolith, but the interior is unbelievable! The painting, throughout the chursh, is fantastic, with some pretty dramatic images. A must-see!
After that, we strolled the old city, ate at a fish restaurant that was so-so. We strolled over the pont-vieux and admired the old city and the reddish-pink stone from the other side of the river. Ended the evening by going to an internet cafe with a FAST connection; amazing to be able to check in from anywhere in the world, no?
Tomorrow, the Toulouse-Lautrec Museum and then, on to Collioure.
progol is online now  
Jan 22nd, 2005, 06:41 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,787
July 22
We woke up to a beautiful blue sky in Albi-- I really like this town. A real place, with charm and character and some remarkable sights.
Off to the Toulouse-Lautrec Museum-- terrific museum! A presenttion of work from young to older, from sketches to finished work. His art captures so much feeling, one can almost feel like you know him. We spent a long time in the museum, really enjoying it.
Next stop: Carcassonne. We tried to find one of the smaller roads out of town, and had difficulty finding it; finally gave up (frustrated) and took the autoroute there. Just as well, we had a long trip that day, but it would’ve been nice to take some small roads. We parked pretty easily on the edge of the old town, but when we entered the gates, it was so jampacked with tourists that I HATED the place. One couldn’t move through the streets, there were so many people. It was overwhelming and claustrophobic, and I couldn’t wait to get out of there! When I planned the trip, I had debated about whether to stay in Albi or Carcassonne for the one night, and let me tell you, Albi wins hands down! Granted, Carcassonne is probably more manageable at night and when it’s not high tourist season, but this was not worth it at all. I couldn’t leave the place fast enough.
Again, trying to leave the city, we had trouble finding the right road; I wanted to find the way to Peyrpeteuse, but ended up, once again, on the autoroute. Since we were headed for Collioure, and it was late in the afternoon, Peyrpeteuse really would’ve been a stretch...so it was just as well that we passed it up. We still had a good 2 hour drive ahead of us.
Arrival in Collioure was confusing; we lwere headed for Casa Parail, and there were no clear signs where to go. Finally, a policeman directed my husband to a small alley; the entrance to the hotel was right down the alley, but without someone pointing it out, we’d never have found it. At last, we’re settled in; our room (basic double) is tiny, but the hotel is charming and there is a small pool which we laze around in the two days we are there.
Collioure is a busy resort town on the Mediterranean, and who can’t love that blue sea? The beautiful light and color, the feel of the air, the water, the sultry smells are the reason to be here. We are on a wonderful cove, with a long arm jutting into the sea. We stroll for a while, first by the Chateau Royal, and then to the other side, where there is a rocky beach and a walk along a barrier. We enjoyed the stroll through the many streets of shops and ateliers.
Dinner was seafood-- no more foie gras and cheese! And Catalan food at that. The change is palpable; this is no longer strictly a “French” region, but Catalan. It is a different character altogether.
After dinner, we strolled along the waterfront; that’s what one does here. An easy stroll after a long and stressful day!
Friday, July 24
A grey day, we took advantage to drive to Ceret. I had considered staying here, and am glad we decided upon Collioure because of the sea. Still, Ceret is charming and has a good Modern Art Museum. There was an excellent Picasso show there, surprisingly interesting. Not just paintings, but a lot of ceramics and other work. There were a series of bowls with bullfight paintings that were wonderful.
Back at Casa Parail, we spent the afternoon by the pool...can’t be running around all the time, and I’m finally getting it. Dinner was at one of the many local pizzarias; we had moules frites, anchovies and pizza-- a perfect, but easy dinner. Another leisurely stroll before we turn in for the night.
Sat, July 24
We end the France part of our trip in Perpignan. The city is more southern or Catalan than French. We spend the day wandering the streets, stopping into a few small museums and galleries, and finding the train station that Dali called “the center of the universe”. We visited the Palais Royale, an interesting structure and walked through some less-than-savory neighborhoods. We used our time to get laundry done, too. Although we enjoyed what we did, I woud’ve rather spent the time elsewhere. This was just a stopover, on our way to Barcelona; and tomorrow, that’s where we are going.
progol is online now  
Jan 22nd, 2005, 10:17 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 349
Thank you for your evocative report.
I have stayed at the Muguet before and agree with your comments, aloof and sometimes high handed, not exactly customer orientated. The Fireman's Ball was on my "to do" list,but not now, this sight is so good for getting all the "word of mouth" info. However, I will think of you when I'm up the Arc de Triomphe in July. We are going to the Dordogne at the beginning of July and were pleased to hear that the weather was warm, although you seem to have experienced a fair bit of rain, is that normal? Didn't stop your lovely ramblings though.
toni is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2005, 02:33 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 569
Thank you for the report. I enjoyed it very much.

Good luck and stay warm and safe during the blizzard.
ggnga is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2005, 03:56 AM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 3,923
This is terrific. Especially liked the format you used for the Paris portion of the report. We're planning a trip to the Dordogne (our first) so that part will be very useful to me. Appreciate all the effort you put into this.
JulieVikmanis is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2005, 05:08 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,787
Thanks for the comments, everyone. Julie, I especially appreciate the comments about the format; I think it ends up being too long and hard to read, and brevity is sometimes so much better.
I will keep that in mind for the final portion on Barcelona, too.
progol is online now  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 02:36 PM.