Short day trips from Paris

Old Feb 5th, 2003, 06:18 AM
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Short day trips from Paris

Rouen, Normandie,Versaille. Which is closest and most interesting. Done a search,can't decide.
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Old Feb 5th, 2003, 06:52 AM
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Closest? Versailles, by a lot. Most interesting? Can't answer.
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Old Feb 5th, 2003, 06:59 AM
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If you are restricted to short day trips starting in Paris, go to Versailles (close to Paris) and/or Rouen (a little bit farther). The essential of Normandy (Saint Michel's Abbey + Caen + D-Day historical landing sites) would demand at least 3 days. Have a nice trip.
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Old Feb 5th, 2003, 07:13 AM
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to quote the above, &quot;Most interesting? Can't answer.&quot;<BR><BR>Do some reading and see what appeals to you. Versailles is vast, both in buildings and in acreage. The buildings are sumptuously decorated and furnished, the outbuildings are almost equally ornate, the gardens are gorgeous and quite extensive. A half hour ride on the RER (suburban train system) and then a 15 minute walk, and you're there. Can be very crowded in peak tourist season. If you buy a Paris museum pass, Versailles is included.<BR><BR>Rouen has a lot of timbered buildings and medieval history, and Joan of Arc associations as you know.<BR><BR>Normandie is a large region unto itself.<BR>Some people visit there for weeks.<BR>Tiring and long daytrips can be managed to some of the tourist destinations such as Caen or Mont St Michel, but at least an overnight would be better.<BR>Parisvision.com and cityrama.com do have one-day bus tours to some of the landing beaches in Normandie I believe.
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Old Feb 5th, 2003, 07:36 AM
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&quot;Close&quot; is a relative term. To Versailles would certainly qualify as being close enough for a relaxed one-day trip, possibly Rouen. Though there are one-day trips available to Normandy, I think it's pushing it to do it in such a short span of time.
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Old Feb 5th, 2003, 10:15 AM
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Rouen is certainly close enough for a day trip, it's only an hour or so by train -- I've done it in a day and enjoyed it very much. I think you could decide more if you read something about places instead of such searching on this forum as you won't find out many details, probably. Don't you have a guidebook to France or at least Paris? A Paris guidebook will def. cover Versailles, maybe Rouen if it is good on day trips. <BR><BR>If you just want close, I'd suggest you throw St-Denis and St-Germain-en-Laye into your pot, they are even closer than Versailles and interesting enough (probably St-Germain has more to see, at least scenically with those beautiful gardens). Chantilly is a very close day trip I'd recommend, also.
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Old Feb 5th, 2003, 07:26 PM
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If I may, I'd like to recommend a visit to Monet's home and gardens in Giverny. We visit there every time we are in Paris. (A short 1-1/2 hour drive by car.) It's beautiful in all seasons (obviously nicer, though, in spring, summer and autumn.) If you want a look go to: http://giverny.org/gardens/
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Old Feb 6th, 2003, 02:01 AM
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if you're driving rheims and chartres also make delightfull day trips.
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Old Feb 6th, 2003, 04:55 AM
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I've got lots of books,Christina. But,this forum is here to get a personal opinion. Thanks for all the good advice.
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Old Feb 6th, 2003, 12:03 PM
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well, doc, if you have plenty of books, why do you need to ask on this forum which is closest to Paris? Also, Normandie is an entire region, it sounded like you didn't know anything about what you are asking. What is interesting depends on personal interests, which is why I suggested you read something about what these places have to offer to decide what interests you -- that's really how to decide what is most interesting.
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Old Feb 6th, 2003, 12:15 PM
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Doc, if you have a car and are considering Rouen, I would go a little bit farther to Honflour on the coast just south of LeHavre. Also, there is a lovely village resort north of LeHavre, Etretat, and just a few clicks further, Fecamp, the Benedictine town where the Monks make B&amp;B. An interesting tour and a nice area.
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Old Feb 6th, 2003, 12:15 PM
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Is it really necessary to be so defensive ? doc asks for help &amp; then attacks Christina for doing so, what's up w/that ? Giverny, depends on the time of year. Monet's Gardens are open @ various times, check first. St. Germain-en-Laye (a nearby suburb). Reims (champagne/enough said). I would probably hit Fountainbleu over Versailles. Most of Normandy is outside of daytrip range except for Rouen. These are MY personal opinions as dictated by the author.
 
Old Feb 6th, 2003, 03:47 PM
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So far I like Mikeee007's recommendaton if you have a little extra time. <BR><BR>You don't give a lot of specifics, doc, so it's hard to factor in &quot;the givens&quot;. For example, Honfleur is lovely, but I wouldn't make the same recommendation in February as I would in June.<BR><BR>I'm sure you'll get some wonderful help if you give fellow fodorites a little more to work with.<BR><BR>Thanks.
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Old Feb 6th, 2003, 04:46 PM
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The best day trips from Paris? And the winner is!! Fontainebleau and Vaux le Vicomte. (Drum roll please, and a few bars of something French, preferably not La Marseillaise because we are talking French royalty and upper crust here. The royalty did not care for La Marseillaise because it was directly associated with rowdy peasants who possessed a fiendish, hunger-driven proclivity for chopping and/or knocking off the heads of unpopular members of the nobility. Seems like even one of the kings failed to emerge unscathed from one of those ceremonies at Place de la Concorde.)<BR><BR>OK so you didn't ask that, but consider them anyhow as worthy destinations. To get there, either rent a car, take the train, or take a guided bus tour from Paris.<BR><BR>As a free lance, Fontainebleau is a piece of cake. Train from Gare de Lyon to Fontainebleau Avon station, and bus from the station right to the gates. If the bus got you any closer you would fall in the pond when you alighted.<BR>Pay your money and take your tour.<BR><BR>Vaux le Vicomte is an awesome blend of fantastic architecture, interior design, and landscaping. The three men responsible are Louis Le Vau, who led an inspired team of painters and decorators, Charles Le Brun the engineer and architect, and Andre le Notre, the great landscape designer. <BR><BR>Vaux is not dirt cheap to reach on a freelance by train and taxi. The taxi will run you $45 or so round trip.<BR><BR>But it can be done. Take the banlieu train from Gare de Lyon to the town of Melun and then take a taxi to the Chateau. <BR><BR>In case the names le Vau, le Notre, and le Brun don't ring a bell, they are the designers and architects of Versailles. Following their work at Vaux le Vicomte, they responded to the subtle request of his majesty, the Sunny King himself, Louis XIV. Young Louis, described as greedy and tetchy in the best of times, attended a party at Vaux given by its owner, Nicolas Foquet the Chancellor of the Money. Young Tetchy had a jealous fit over being upstaged by one of his ministers. So he ordered his henchmen to steal all of the furniture, throw Foquet in the clink for life, and close the place down. Then he used his charming personality to persuade the 3 designers of Vaux to rethink their approach and see what they could do after he had stolen more money to provide them with a scrumptious budget. The result: Versailles. <BR><BR>Versailles has always impressed me as pure overkill. It is ostentatious simply to impress and to brag. It is lavish beyond the point of good taste, and its gaudiness is tasteless to the extent that it defeats artistic balance. <BR><BR>Vaux le Vicomte on the other hand is an artistic triumph because it is a complementary blend of the combined talents of its designers. <BR><BR>OK so I am editorializing. But, one thing about Versailles, after seeing that place, it is easy to comprehend why the poor people got fed up and knocked off a few rich and regal heads. <BR><BR>We should sympathize with the reasons behind that practice, but not with the practice itself. After all, our forefathers took quite a few potshots at the English nobility in the War of American Independence. <BR><BR>Old KG III just wasn't available on this side of the Atlantic; otherwise some Minuteman might have aimed a musket ball in his direction. I think that possibility is an even money bet!!<BR><BR><BR>
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Old Feb 6th, 2003, 07:30 PM
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Great post, bob brown. You could read books for days and not receive such detailed and exact information as you have given. And I swear this year I WILL finally get to Vaux le Vicomte.<BR><BR>And doc_ I'd add that Giverny is the one must do, not on your list. Frankly I think Normandy is more than a day trip from Paris to begin do it justice.
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