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Paris Plans with Friends & Castle in Between

Paris Plans with Friends & Castle in Between

Old Apr 15th, 2012, 01:07 PM
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Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 57
StCirq - The tour is half day and includes Omaha Beach, Point du hoc, and the American Cemetery. II realize that it is a much abbreviated tour and not satisfy many. However, it works for us. Not really a priority.

We changed overnighting is Paris on our first night to Caen because we wanted to do the early Omaha beach tour and couldn't get there early enough for 8:30 am start time.

You are probably right about the museum being too much. If we feel like it, we will take a taxi to the museum efficiency and safety reasons. Even if we see some of it, we will be happy.
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Old Apr 15th, 2012, 01:11 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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I never check luggage, either. The reality is that it can take a half-hour or more to even get to your gate after you land at CDG. Those plans seem to take everyone on a grand tour of the airport grounds. Then another while to actually get off the plane (depending on where you're seated). Then another half-hour or more to get through immigration (incredibly crowded in the morning). Then, depending on traffic, and how you plan to travel there, might even an hour or more before you get to the Gare St. Lazare, which is nowhere near the airport. There are only commuter trains (RER) running into Paris from CDG. It's highly unlikely the stars will be aligned. But yes, you can make your way to the Gare St. Lazare and buy tickets for the next train to Caen.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2012, 02:40 AM
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Has anyone taken the Viator Giverny/Versailles tour? Our these easy places to visit on your own?
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Old Apr 23rd, 2012, 03:08 AM
Join Date: Feb 2005
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Since you are staying near St Malo, I highly recommend the restaurant Le St Placide. It is one of the best meals I've had in France.
Also, you could consider taking the ferry from St Malo for a day trip to one of the channel islands.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2012, 04:28 AM
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Versailles and Giverny are quite easy to visit on your own if you do them on separate days. Take the RER C from Paris to Versailles. From most RER C stops it's about a half-hour journey. Get off at Versailles Rive-Gauche and it's about a 10+ minute walk to the château. Buy your tickets ahead of time. You can get all the info on the château website.

For Giverny, you take a train from Gare Saint-Lazare to Vernon (45 minutes) and then take the bus from there to Giverny. You could also rent bikes at a place across from the train station and cycle along the bike trail to Giverny (about 5km from the train station). Again, all the info is on the official website.

If you want to see both these places on the same day then a tour bus is your best option. I wouldn't want to do these places in one day myself but that's a personal decision.

Just a couple of other thoughts on your itinerary. Everything you need to know about the good day trips near Saint-Malo can be found in my trip report, including places I didn't visit. You can not get from Rennes to Rouen in less than 4-1/2 hours by train.

Keep in mind that if you buy advance tickets for Saint-Lazare to Caen they are not exchangeable so if you miss your train you have to buy more tickets. On your arrival day (6/28) why don't you take the 12:10 train from Saint-Lazare to Caen?
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Old Apr 23rd, 2012, 05:34 AM
Join Date: Sep 2007
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FMT makes a good suggestion regarding the later train. You can always have a coffee and something to eat at a cafe near Gare St Lazare and not have to worry and rush.

If you take the RER (train) in from CDG, get off at Gare du Nord and follow signs to transfer to RER E. It ends at Gare St Lazare.

If you take day trips to Versailles and Giverny at the end of your trip that will only leave you with 1 day in Paris... ;^(
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Old Apr 28th, 2012, 02:47 AM
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FMT and PA - thank you for the advice and information. I changed my itinerary so that I would have more time in Paris and I am again trying to squeeze too much into a short time. We will choose either Versaiiles or Giverny. I like the idea of taking the train and then biking to Giverny, so I am leaning toward that idea. I will definitely check the website for exact details.

I will make a note of the restaurant suggestion you made PA Any other restaurant suggestions are appreciated.

We arrive from Rennes rail station into Paris Mont @ 1:23 pm on 7/7. We cannot get in any earlier as the rental car cannot be dropped off before 8am on A Saturday. There is a Fat bike tour at 3pm. Do you think we would be able to make the tour at that time or I am I doing it again? There's a 7pm night tour but we prefer the day trip as the night tour won't end until late. The tour meets at the South leg of the Eiffel tower. Our hotel is at 11ruedu Chemin
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Old Apr 28th, 2012, 08:47 AM
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What's your hotel address? Seems truncated above.

Tough to get to your hotel, check in and then get to the ET in an hour and a half. But... Fat Tire will look after your luggage so you could go straight to their office. It's close to the ET and not hard to find at all: If you choose to do this let them know so they aren't waiting for you at the ET.

Or contact Perhaps one of their tours is better timed for you. My daughter and I did a tour with them and it was wonderful.
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Old May 1st, 2012, 04:09 AM
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PA - Thank you. I checked ParisCharms and the timing didn't work out. I am waiting to hear back from Fat Bike Tours. They don't seem very responsive.

Planning to take a cruise on the Seine and went on the Vedette website. It appears that you purchase the tickets online without a given date or time. Is this the case? Is this the best way to go?

Thinking of taking the train to Giverny and renting bikes in Vernon. Are the bike rentals just off of the train? What would one estimate the time to allow for this trip?
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Old May 13th, 2012, 06:15 AM
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After taking your advice into consideration, I changed my train tickets and we are booked on the 12:10 pm tain to Caen. ( I realize they are easily purchased at the train station but I am someone that likes to have them in my hand.). The 10:10 am tickets were 100% refundable with a 7% processing fee = $9.94. I will take PA's advice and grab something to eat in a nearby cafe' at the train station.

Thanks Judy, st cirq, Fmt, coquelicot and parisamsterdam for mentioning the time issues and other suggestions. Much appreciated.

We have booked a tour with Michael Osman for our first full day in Paris and are excited about that.
We will do a 3 hr cooking class as well.

Also reviewed information that Kourec posted regarding night life. Hopefully we can stay awake late enough to check it out.

Only less than 2 months to go. We are very excited.
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Old May 25th, 2012, 05:51 AM
Join Date: May 2012
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Just a thought......leave time to stop and smell the roses. It sounds like your trip is packed...but.....part of the enjoyment of France...and especially relaxing in a cafe and watching the world go by. Don't be in too much of a hurry and don't worry if everything does not get done.
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Old Jun 2nd, 2012, 06:51 AM
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Join Date: May 2011
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Thanks KathrynJane. The more I read and plan, the more this is becoming apparent. I read a great post on TA where that point is stressed over and over as well as in this forum. I am thinking that we will have a plan for things we want to see and do. However, if we don't get to some of them....oh well. As you say, it is better to stop and smell the roses rather than hurrying through Paris and missing out on the true Paris. Only 25 days and counting!
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