Provence/Paris - Fly or train

Old Aug 10th, 2006, 09:46 AM
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Provence/Paris - Fly or train

I'm in the early stages of planning a trip to France next June. Plan to fly into CDG and spend 3 days in Paris (been there several times). Then plan to take train to Lyon or Avignon, rent a car and spend 10 days driving thru villages of Provence and Luberon to hopefully see lavender in bloom. Discussion we having is: should we fly out of Marseille or take a train directly to CDG on day of departure for a mid-morning flight. Any thoughts? Thanks.
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Old Aug 10th, 2006, 09:57 AM
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I'm a strong advocate of being in your departure city the day before your plane - If going by train - France has all too many train stikes and 'perturbations' and if that happens on the day of your flight you will not get to Paris. Flying from Marseilles seems a better idea than training to CDG the day of the flight - or going to Paris the night before and staying either in Paris or in the bevy of hotels at CDG.
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Old Aug 10th, 2006, 10:15 AM
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Fly if you don't want to lug your baggage onto and off a train. Otherwise take the train the night before--it's only 2-1/2 hours from Marseille and will get you directly to the airport quicker than going by plane: no early check-in and security.
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Old Aug 10th, 2006, 10:49 AM
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We usually take a train to somewhere closer to CGD the day before we fly home, and then the TGV to CDG the day of departure. We have done this using Dijon, Beaune, and Chambery as "night-before" cities. This gives you the opportunity of visiting a city that you wouldn't normally get to otherwise. On week-days, Dijon has a train that arrives at CDG at 8:20AM. It arrives later on week-ends.

Regarding a train vs plane. I don't have any statistics to prove this, but I suspect the TGV from Avignon has a better on-time arrival record than a plane from Marseille. Friends took the TGV directly from Avignon to CGD this past June & had no problems. Our plane from Clermond-Ferrand arrived late at CDG last month.

Stu Dudley
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Old Aug 10th, 2006, 11:27 AM
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Stu's advice seems good - train strikes are typically announced well in advance so always look for 'greve or perturbations (sp?) signs in stations the days before. But i'd also bet the TGVs are more on time than any plane connections - especially after events on today in London.
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Old Aug 10th, 2006, 02:22 PM
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I would also advise getting back to Paris the night before your flight. There aren't any morning TGVs that will get you to CDG in time for a "mid-morning" flight, and the flights out of Marseille often run late - because they arrived late the evening before (and the rules on the crew having x amount of time off before flying again means that the morning flight is often delayed).

Patricia
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