Still more Normandy questions

Old Aug 1st, 2008, 03:11 PM
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Still more Normandy questions

I've been reading all the posts on Normandy, but I still have a couple of questions. We would like to avoid renting a car, but haven't decided against it. Coming from Paris, can we use the trains to get to Bayeux for two nights and do a Battlebus 1-day tour of the D-Day sights and the Bayeux tapestry while there, then move on to Honfleur for 2-3 nights and back to Paris? Truthfully we are more interested in soaking up the atmosphere of the two towns while we are there, than running around the countryside in a rental car. Before arriving in Paris, we will have spent a week in Tuscany with a rental car and sated our need to roam.

Any holes in this Normandy scenario??

Thanks for responding to another Normandy post!
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Old Aug 1st, 2008, 03:36 PM
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The trip to Bayeux from Paris by train is about 2 hours (from Gare St Lazare) Yes you can then take the bus tour. The only problem is going to Honfleur. You have to ask your hotel about buses. I could be wrong when I looked up doing that trip by train, we would have had to go back to Paris and then back out to Rouen and Giverny and bus to Honfleur.

We finally decided that a car is best.
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Old Aug 1st, 2008, 07:41 PM
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Although I didn't take the train to Bayeux, I can help with the itinerary questions. The city of Bayeux itself, IMO, was just okay- a large and busy road rings the area near the tapestry and the cathedral is in the more charming very small core- all walkable. Otherwise, to me, it was just not very interesting shops. An afternoon was plenty.

Seeing the tapestry was a lifelong dream for me. Even with all my research, the handheld thingee in the museum did a fabulous job as you move along its spectacular length. Looking at every stitch, I still was not there for more than 1/2 an hour! There's a nice gift shop- another 1/2 hour, tops.

Probably about the same to tour the church- there's nice places to eat nearby.

So if you arrive late morning, you could easily see both sites that afternoon, freeing up your whole next day for one of the tours....so two nights sounds just right! I can't ehlp with Honfleur, sorry!
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Old Aug 3rd, 2008, 05:39 PM
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I just read that if you take the train to Caen, you can get a bus there to Honfleur.

I think if you want to soak up the atmosphere you really need to have a car and drive to the cider (and calvados) places, little towns and country-side. The Normandy area is so beautiful and the little villages are so quaint. Just going to Bayeux and Honfleur won't give you what you're looking for.
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Old Aug 4th, 2008, 11:30 AM
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It sounds like we may have to rent a car to do the area justice. I appreciate the feedback.
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Old Aug 4th, 2008, 12:21 PM
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Driving is so much easier than you can imagine.

Traffic circles are sometimes a challenge, even for me, but you can go around as many times as you need to.
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Old Aug 4th, 2008, 01:46 PM
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Oh, yes, please do drive the area. It is easy, and it is charming.
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Old Aug 4th, 2008, 04:59 PM
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parking in Honfleur was less of a challenge than I was led to believe... we found a spot directly in front of our B&B on a Saturday in July.

also, a favorite town of ours was Etretat - the large white limestone cliffs. The sun didn't burn through the fog until about 3pm. We enjoyed hiking to the top of each set of cliffs. It was a touristy town, but we knew that going in and didn't expect 'unspoiled paradise'.

Where are you stahing in Honfleur ?
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