Paris... Normandy... then ??

Old Jun 19th, 2012, 08:15 PM
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Paris... Normandy... then ??

My wife and I are heading to France for a week and a half and would love some tips on how to spend our time. We were thinking 3 days in Paris, 3 in Normandy and then are unsure from that point. We would love tips on Paris, we're not much into lots of museums, but do enjoy history, especially WWII and any good flea markets or shopping. Is it better to rent a car in Paris or Caen for Normandy? What is the best place to stay in Normandy also as a good base for visiting the D-Day sites? Any help is certainly appreciated!
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Old Jun 19th, 2012, 09:44 PM
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I would say Bayeux is the best place to stay to see the D-Day sites. I don't know flea markets there, only in Paris and Provence and the vienne have I hunted.
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Old Jun 20th, 2012, 09:17 AM
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I agree about Bayeux. We just returned from a trip that included Paris, Normandy and Brittany. I definitely would
go on one of the all day tours of the D-Day beaches. We used
Overlord tours and were pleased. We did not have a car in
Bayeux but rented one after our stay to tour Brittany, including Mont St. Michel.

Pat
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Old Jun 20th, 2012, 09:35 AM
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Back in 2002 we made our first trip to Europe and did Paris, Bayeux/Normandy and Honfleur. See our mini page
http://home.roadrunner.com/~tomshirl/FRANCE2002.HTML
Have a wonderful time.
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Old Jun 20th, 2012, 09:49 AM
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After Normandy you could head west to explore eastern Brittany and its beautiful coastline. You could visit Mont-Saint-Michel, Fougères, Saint-Malo, Dinan and lots of other really great sites in that area. It's only 1-1/2 to 2 hours from the D-Day area. I wrote a report about visiting that area if you want to have a look: http://tinyurl.com/82azcyh
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Old Jun 20th, 2012, 10:03 AM
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First I would add another couple of days to Paris. Your arrival day is not much of a day. I think you will be sorry if you don't.
For a "real" flea market in Paris, go to the Pont Vanves market on Saturday morning. Look for signs around the city advertising a "brocante" at such and such a place. We have had good times doing that.
When we did Paris and Normandy as our trip, we rented a car at CDG and headed to Rouen, Honfleur, and then Bayeux, doing the sights along the way,stopping for cheese tastings, cider tastings, DDay sights BEFORE getting to Bayeux. There is a lot to do, and if you really like WWII, spend a couple of extra days in Normandy.
We came back to Paris through Chartres, and returned the car at Orly. Spent the rest of the time in Paris. I find "consolidating" time in places is good for time saving moving in and out of hotels.
And don't forget the Bayeux tapestry. It is very special, I think.
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Old Jun 20th, 2012, 10:09 AM
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All of the above suggestions are great. We had two weeks in this area last year. Honfleur is a must see, and I also loved Dinan and the little village of Lehon. Even if you are not into museums and art, you might enjoy a visit in Monet's Garden in Giverny. If you rent a car in Paris, its a great place to stop and have lunch on your way to Caen.
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