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Suggestions needed for 1st trip to France

Suggestions needed for 1st trip to France

Old Jun 21st, 1999, 03:26 PM
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Suggestions needed for 1st trip to France

I am planning on visiitng France for 10 days this august. I know nothing (except I want to see monet's garden) and would appreciate anyone's suggestions on places to go/do/see.

Also looking for inexpensive place to stay.
Old Jun 21st, 1999, 05:35 PM
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One of the most beautiful places in France that I have been in Chamonix in the French Alps. It sits right on the L'Arve River. It is south of Lake Geneva just north of Mont Blanc.

It is as far south as you can go in France. It borders Italy and Switzerland.

Chamonix itself is a small town that is home to hikers in the warm weather and skiers in the winter.

There are many inexpensize places to stay in the area.
Old Jun 21st, 1999, 07:00 PM
wes fowler
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With a ten day visit, I would limit myself to Paris with day trips to Giverney and Monet's home and gardens and perhaps Versailles. Paris warrants the balance of your time since there is so much to see and do. I'd suggest you visit your library or bookstore and look at two guidebooks in particular: "The Eyewitness Guide to Paris" and Fodor's "Exploring Paris". For insights into Paris and its citizenry, look for "The Insight Guide to Paris"; look to "The Guides Bleu" for information on museums and their contents, historic and architecturally interesting buildings and sites. You'll find enough ideas in these volumes to help you in planning a trip and you'll readily recognize that 10 days is insufficient to see and absorb all that Paris has to offer. Regarding accommodations "inexpensive" for you may mean "more than I want to pay" for me. I'd suggest you do a search of Fodor's forum for comments on Parisian hotels in varying price ranges. There's a wealth of information here. Check the website www.paris-hotels.com for information as well.

Old Jun 21st, 1999, 07:05 PM
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If you love Monet you must go to the Musee D'Orsay in Paris and see his works along with Dagas and other Impressionists. I spent 7 days in Paris and could have easily have spent 7 more, There is so much to see and do there.
Old Jun 22nd, 1999, 05:11 AM
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I would add a hald day trip to Chartres. If it's a sunny day you won't forget the light coming through the stained glass in the cathedral. They don't call it "Chartres blue" for nothing!

In Paris, oye. Past the obvious [and DO take a "bateau mouche"] Musee Marmatton in the 16eme. They have a collection of Monets, including the one that gave "impressionism" it's name. Others who have been more recently can give you more up-to-date information.

I like Place de Vosges just for walking and sitting. We ate at Ma Bourgogne. Get a half carafe of wine rather than by the glass. Although it is a "brasserie", which means the beer should be a feature.

Don't miss the Cluny Museum. The tapestries are fabulous, but the contrast with the old Roman baths is pretty interesting too!
Old Jul 1st, 1999, 06:38 PM
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I here Versaille is nice
Old Jul 2nd, 1999, 06:15 AM
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Giverny information

the following has been gleaned from my own research and this Forum

Giverny: Fondation Claude Monet
open April 1-Oct 31 Tues-Sunday, 10-6
call 33-2-32 51 28 21
Wednesday is the lightest day in terms of crowds, but that doesnít mean it wonít be crowded
By train: from Gare St Lazare, take train toward Rouen, get off at Vernon.Find a bus or cab to Giverny.
The following are express trains (1999). Others are available
which take about 40 minutes more:

Paris, St.Lazare-Vernon, Tues-Friday:
Trains depart at 8:15, 12:04, 2:23. The ride takes 45

Vernon-Giverny, Tues-Friday:
Connecting busses depart at 9:10, 1:00, 3:10. The bus ride
takes 20 minutes.

Giverny-Vernon, Tues-Friday:
Busses depart at 2:10, 5:15, 6:55.

SNCF (train) return, Vernon-Paris, Tues-Friday:
2:52, 6:04, 8:41.

Train fare (1999):
1st class, round-trip: 200F
2nd class, round-trip: 136F

"Discovery Pass for two"
1st class, round-trip: 152F
2nd class, round-trip: 102F

Bus fare:
Round-trip: 23F

Entry to the Foundation (Monet's house and Gardens):
35F Adults; 20F Children; 25F Students (1999)

The ticket/information office at St. Lazare SNCF station
will give you an English brochure about Giverny as well
as complete train and bus schedules.

By car, drive along the A13 Paris-Rouen. Exit after the first toll from Paris and follow the signs to Vernon, and then to Giverny, crossing a bridge over the Seine.

the web site for Paris to Giverny rail


Bus tours to Giverny (itís less expensive and some think less convenient to go on your own):
Cityrama, 4 pl des Pyramides,phone 01 44 55 61 00

Paris Vision 214 rue de Rivoli www.parisvision.com
phone 01 42 60 31 25

American Exprss 11 rue Scribe
phone 01 47 77 77 37

I've read that the RATP (metro system) also arranges
tours to Giverny:
pl de la Madeleine, phone 01 40 06 71 45

Obviously all train and tour information should be confirmed for accuracy

I strongly second the suggestion that you do a Search on this forum for hotel, restaurant, and sightseeing suggestions,
and then when you have your interests narrowed down, ask some more specific questions. Don't wait to book a hotel;
you may have trouble finding one with vacancies as it is, esp. in the lower price categories. Good luck.
Old Jul 4th, 1999, 05:01 PM
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I also would add Chartres. When I was there, there was an English author who gave two daily tours of the cathedral - they were terrific
Old Jul 6th, 1999, 08:02 AM
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See the St. Chapelle near Notre Dame. The stained glass is the most beautiful that I have ever seen. Also be sure to spend a lot of time walking in Paris. It is the best way to enjoy the city. There is a very nice free panoramic view from the 11th floor of the Samaritaine department store which is located on the right bank at the end of the Pont Neuf. The Musee D'Orsay is not to be missed for the wonderful display of impressionist paintings. If you are interested in art the Musee Rodin is also wonderful with many works displayed in the garden. It is near the Hotel d'Invalide. If you are interested in an inexpensive, good place for lunch or dinner in midtown, the Rivoli Buffeteria on the rue d'Rivoli across from the ferris wheel in the Tuileries is a good cafeteria style place to eat, especially if you have children who are picky. I second the suggestions regarding Monet's Gardens and Chartres. If you go to Versailles, be sure to take the walk down to the Grande and Petit Trianons and walk from the Petit Trianon to Le Hameau, which is a thatched roof village and farm created by Marie Antoinette. I have visited Versailles on tours, but it is much better to take the RER train to Versailles Rive Gauche and tour it on your own.
Old Jul 8th, 1999, 06:01 AM
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