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Rate this France Itinerary--with questions

Rate this France Itinerary--with questions

Nov 17th, 2007, 12:04 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: Oct 2007
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Rate this France Itinerary--with questions

Day 1--Arrive at CDG at approx. 13:30. Take TGV from CDG at 19:20 to Dijon. My question is would it be easier and less time consuming to take the train from Gare de Lyon? I will be arriving from a long flight and would not want to carry all that luggage around. Other questions: any decent places to eat at CDG? Would it be a better idea to spend a night in Paris and catch the train in the morning?

Days 2-5 Explore Dijon, with daytrip to Beaune. Is Auxerre worth a daytrip?

Days 6-7 Lyon

Days 8-11 Explore Alsace (Strasbourg and Colmar and Alsatian wine villages). Questions: Is this enough time to explore the area? Initially, I wanted to begin my trip in Strasbourg, is it a good idea to swap dates?

Final 8 days in Paris. Possible day trips: Fountainbleau, Versailles, and maybe Chartres.

Final general questions: Any places to swap out (ie replace Lyon with Avignon) or add? Am I spending too much time in one area and not enough in another?
nomadicdrifter is offline  
Nov 17th, 2007, 12:27 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
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What date is going to happen. It might make a difference.

Blackduff
blackduff is offline  
Nov 17th, 2007, 01:42 AM
  #3  
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Arrival at CDG December 6.

Dijon--December 7-10

Lyon--December 11-12

Alsace--December 13-16

Paris--December17-25
Departing in the morning at 9:45am
nomadicdrifter is offline  
Nov 17th, 2007, 03:30 AM
  #4  
ira
 
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Hi N,

Sitting at CDG for 5 hr is not on my priority list.

The 16:44 and 17:14 trains from Gare de Lyon will get you to Dijon earlier than the 19:20 from CDG.

You might even make the 15:57.

>would it be easier and less time consuming to take the train from Gare de Lyon?

http://www.ratp.info/informer/anglais/ will give you directions via RER and Metro.

>Is Auxerre worth a daytrip?
Yes. You can also do it from Paris.

You have just enough time to see Alsace. We were there for a short time this past May, and are going back for a week this coming May.

I recommend a car if you wish to see the villages.

>I wanted to begin my trip in Strasbourg, is it a good idea to swap dates?

If you check the train schedules, I think that you will find it easier to go to Dijon first.

Have you considered Lyon as a daytrip from Paris or Dijon? It will save changing hotels.

You can also visit Nancy from Strasbourg.

Do you have your accomodations?

ira is offline  
Nov 17th, 2007, 04:35 AM
  #5  
 
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I've been to Auxerre for a day trip from Paris and enjoyed it. It's worth a day trip.

As for the TGV -- why are you thinking it could be easier to take the train from Gare de Lyon in Paris than right at the airport where you land? No, it won't be easier because you have to get into Paris and, as you said, you'll have had a long flight and luggage. CDG isn't that exciting an airport to hang out long term, that's for sure, and it sounds boring. But if the alternative is to take the RER into Paris to Gare de Lyon and then hang out there, what's the point.

I don't eat much at CDG so don't know the quality of restaurants. I think there are 1-2 that might be real places, not just the fast-food type cafes. If there's any way you can use one of those airport lounges for special people, that would be a good idea. (I've never used one so am not sure all the ways you get into them if you aren't a really high FF customer.)
Christina is offline  
Nov 17th, 2007, 07:12 AM
  #6  
 
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You'll be in Dijon on a Sunday & Monday morning. On Sunday, it will be pretty dead - Monday AM also. Visit Beaune on Sunday (it will be a little less dead), and perhaps some chateaux. Vezelay is likely to be a little more active on Sunday & Monday morning. I don't know if any shops in Dijon will have any special Christmas openings on Sunday.

Auxerre is worth a visit. I enjoyed it as much as Beaune. They have an excellent walking guide that you can pick up at the tourist office. There are "stripes" on the path - except sections where it's "been paved" over after they put the stripes there. I'm sure you know that Dijon has the famous "owl" walk that you can get from either of the 2 tourist offices.

Stu Dudley
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Nov 17th, 2007, 07:33 AM
  #7  
 
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If you're arriving from the states, you'll have to go through customs and grab your luggage - that'll eat an hour. I'd see if there is a reasonably priced, short-term (i.e. hours) hotel either in the airport or very close by. Put your feet up for a couple of hours. I'd prefer that over going to Gare de Lyon, specially if you're a first-time visitor (?).
BowenLinda is offline  
Nov 17th, 2007, 08:24 AM
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Stu I don't think Dijon will be dead on Sundays since there will be Christmas markets. Last year we had 3 of them, starting late November, place de la Libération in front of the Ducal Palace, place Darcy and Place Emile Zola.
Welcome to Dijon nd
cocofromdijon is online now  
Nov 17th, 2007, 08:36 AM
  #9  
 
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Good info Coco - that's why I mentioned that things might be different on Christmas Sundays.

Stu Dudley
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Nov 17th, 2007, 08:46 AM
  #10  
 
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I think that you have a pretty good program lined out.

would not want to carry all that luggage around.
Then leave it home. Pack light. You don't need all that stuff.

any decent places to eat at CDG?
They will probably stuff you on the plane. Pack a snack and don't worry about it.

Would it be a better idea to spend a night in Paris and catch the train in the morning?
Get out of Dodge City ASAP. You are intent on eastern France, an excellent choice IMO, so just get there. You'll be back in Paris later anyway. If it was me I'd do the Paris segment first, max 6 days, and then head east.

You don't specify how you will travel out and about Dijon and Lyon but a car is almost mandatory in Burgundy. In the cities a car is a millstone around your neck.

hopscotch is offline  
Nov 17th, 2007, 09:02 AM
  #11  
 
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Consider doing Lyon as a daytrip from Dijon.
Midas is offline  
Nov 17th, 2007, 10:02 AM
  #12  
 
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We have traveled to Dijon several times after arriving at CDG. We take the Air France bus to Gare De Lyon and then the train to Dijon. It takes a few minutes to buy the train tickets but we have not bought them ahead of time, due to a possibility that the flight arrived late. Thursday afternoon for you shouldn't be a problem. Peak travel times could be sold out for the train you wanted. The Air France buses run regularly but be sure to choose the one that goes to Gare De Lyon. Enjoy your trip.
azandfl is offline  
Nov 17th, 2007, 11:46 AM
  #13  
 
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I think I would cut out Lyon. Spend time in Dijon, Beaune, Auxerre, Autun, and then move on to Alsace. This cuts down on time spent travelling between areas and might allow you some more time in what will appear to be a rushed three days in Alsace. Have you ben to Paris before? If so, maybe that is where you could cut some time to allow for Lyon or more time in Burgundy and Alsace.

All of that being said, you itinerary is certainly doable, just a little rushed for my tastes.
DanM is offline  
Nov 18th, 2007, 06:13 AM
  #14  
 
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Last year, I flew to CDG, caught AF bus to gare de Lyon, bought a ticket to Dijon. I did not get one in advance in the states because I was afraid that the plane might be delayed. An easy task if you don't have too much luggage.

Flying back home from Nice via CDG, I had several hours to kill. There is a sit down restaurant, Flo, in one terminal (don't remember the #). It was good enough for me. However, I would not bother with it, if I just arrived from a long flight.

Don't wait at CDG. Grab a sandwich at the train terminal. Save yourself for a nice dinner in Dijon. You will enjoy the town. I went there twice and will do it again if/when the euro is not so high.

Bon voyage.

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