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Train to Rennes, then rent car at train station?

Train to Rennes, then rent car at train station?

Dec 10th, 2009, 10:54 AM
  #1  
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Train to Rennes, then rent car at train station?

Another post about father/son trip - Paris/Mont St Michele/landing beaches is the basic outline. DH doesn't want to rent a car in Paris, but it looks like you can get a TGV to Rennes and rent a car at the train station. Has anyone done this?
bellhouse is offline  
Dec 10th, 2009, 10:57 AM
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I would take the train to Bayeux and end up in Rennes and take the TVG back. Or do a loop from Bayeux to le MSM and back and take the train back from Bayeux.
StCirq is offline  
Dec 10th, 2009, 10:58 AM
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Yes and the French Railways (SNCF) also has a Train + Auto scheme where in conjunction with your train ticket you can have an AVIS car waiting in Rennes station and i think return it to another train station, such at Caen, near the D-Day beaches and take the train back to Paris from there.
Palenque is offline  
Dec 10th, 2009, 11:05 AM
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car rentals at the Bayeux train station may not exist and even in town major rental agencies may not have offerings? Not sure but at nearby Caen all the main car rental agencies are opposite the station, and AVIS inside as they apparently have the contract to be inside the stations and thus do the Train + Auto scheme (which i am basing on a few-year old info so not sure current status)
Palenque is offline  
Dec 10th, 2009, 11:07 AM
  #5  
 
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I've done the route suggested by St. Cirq...though I rented in Caen, and then returned to Rennes a few weeks later. You'll find that Rennes is very easy for returning. The rental car yard is right next to the station.

stu t.
tower is offline  
Dec 10th, 2009, 11:08 AM
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And by renting a car in Caen you can then easily hit IMO the very best of the Normandy Invasions museum - the newish one on the outskirts of Caen - the Caen Memorial - near the road to Bayeux, which is the nicest town in the area - one of the few not blitzed in the war, for some reason.
This museum is a great initiation to the lay of the land with its huge relief map - a great orientation to start your D-Day area exploration IMO

Caen Memorial - Caen, France
Aug 23, 2009 ... The museum also runs daily, eight-person minivan guided tours of the D-Day beaches, which begin at the museum or the Caen train station. ...
www.sacred-destinations.com/france/caen-memorial - CachedRick Steves' Europe: D-Day Beaches
Cached - SimilarLe Mémorial de Caen - Accueil - [ Translate this page ]

Le Mémorial de Caen. ... Informations pratiques · Lettres d'information · Restaurants · Séminaires · Plan d'accès · Photos du musée · Librairie en ligne.

Informations Pratiques - Tarifs - Visite interactive - Photos du musée
www.memorial-caen.fr/ -
Palenque is offline  
Dec 10th, 2009, 11:42 AM
  #7  
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Wow - that was fast! I tried car rentals in Bayeux, but they don't exist as far as I can tell. They do want to see Bayeux, though - it will be part of the driving section. Great idea about Caen - I know DH wouldn't want to drive back into Paris but I hadn't gotten into research far enough to see where would be a convenient car drop off/train station place. I seem to remember from our last trip that we did a Fly/Drive, but we somehow added extra driving days. Another thing to look into. They are debating a tour - DH and I did it by ourselves with a good guidebook and a lot of prior research (helps that DH was a history major and very interested in that particular period of WW II), but Rob would rather listen than read.
bellhouse is offline  
Dec 10th, 2009, 12:03 PM
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We've rented cars in Bayeux (and Caen), but maybe it's no longer possible. It is certainly very easy to pick up/drop off at the train station in Caen. I would overnight in Bayeux, though, whatever your plans are - it's far prettier than Caen, having largely escaped the bombings.
StCirq is offline  
Dec 10th, 2009, 12:14 PM
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Get the car in Caen.

However, if DH can't drive out of Paris, maybe you need a new DH, because it really isn't a problem.
kerouac is online now  
Dec 10th, 2009, 01:11 PM
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driving out of Paris is easier by far i think on weekends and esp Sundays - but why drive that distance when you can hop on the train

cars are for meandering and if you just want to get to Paris the train may actually be cheaper than a day's car rental and petro charges and predatory autoroute tolls and yes i have driven into out of Paris many times and though Kerouac lives in Paris i beg to differ IME that it is not really a problem. Depends on what you call a problem - sitting for long time in bouchons? Navigating unfamiliar streets - again could be simple to a native - but natives often do not IME put themselves in the role of a foreign tourist not knowing where they are going. dump the car in Rennes or Caen IME and blast back to Paris by train. Cars are useless in Paris anyway so why drive into it at all?
Palenque is offline  
Dec 10th, 2009, 01:41 PM
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Bellhouse...there is aTGV that goes from Rennes directly to CDG...so if your husband has a flight leaving from CDG he can either time it to catch it or plan to stay overnight at one of the many hotels adjacent to the airport, which we did...very convenient. I seem to remember that the ride from Rennes (at 9:00 am) to CDG was about 3 hours.

For lodgings in Bayeux, we liked the beautiful Chateau de Sully, about 2-3 kms north of town, en route to the cemetery and the battle locations.

http://www.france.com/hotels/hotel.cfm?hotel_id=1266

stu tower
tower is offline  
Dec 10th, 2009, 01:58 PM
  #12  
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kerouac - he could drive the car out of Paris (we've done it), but good trains are part of the vacation experience! Rob was too small to remember his train trips in Europe - and the Amtrak auto-train, while we enjoyed it, isn't quite the same thing. I have them overnighting in Bayeux, seeing the museum in Caen that Palenque mentioned, and am playing with the idea of them maybe getting the train in Rouen. I would love for him to see the cathedral, and surely with all the WW II stuff he could put up with one of my favorite cathedrals for an hour or so! Tower = thanks for the lodging suggestion - I'll check into it.
bellhouse is offline  
Dec 10th, 2009, 02:01 PM
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Yeah, but the train to Caen isn't a "good train" by French standards. Just an old Corail from Saint Lazare, no?
kerouac is online now  
Dec 10th, 2009, 02:03 PM
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So it's true -- you might as well go to Rennes, even though it isn't the real destination.
kerouac is online now  
Dec 10th, 2009, 02:56 PM
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I have rented a car at the TGV station at Rennes.. All the car rental agencies are at the train station, so it is quite convenient..MSM is about a 45 minute drive from Rennes
Langcraft is offline  
Dec 10th, 2009, 11:55 PM
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Six of us took TGV to Rennes and picked up rented cars at the train station. Very nice, modern station and the car agency couldn't have been better. The drive to St. Michel, as Langcraft states, is not a long one and there is lovely countryside along the way.
klondike is offline  
Dec 11th, 2009, 04:45 AM
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I think this is a good idea. We have been doing this mostly in Spain. Although I agree that coming in and out of Paris specially on week ends is not that bad. I think it is worse coming in and out of Madrid. But this is personal.
Graziella5b is offline  
Dec 11th, 2009, 07:31 AM
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Buses also meet three morning TGV trains from Paris at Rennes to wisk folks right to Mont-Saint-Michel and there are sporadic rail links from the Pontorson-Mont-Saint-Michelt train station (six miles from the actual MSM island) to both Bayeux and Caen - so if you don't want to deal with a car you don't have to. In Bayeux hop on the minibus tours that hit all the main D-Day area sites - several companies - Battlebus.com is one that gets good reviews. Many of these will pick you up at your hotel.
Palenque is offline  
Dec 11th, 2009, 10:06 AM
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If driving between MSM and Bayeux you get some swell views of MSM hovering in the distance across the shallow sandy bay from the D75 road along the coast and then be sure to get off the main road in Avranches, where on the grounds of the Bishops' Palace there are stunning views of MSM miles away - you can put yourself into the shoes of medieval pilgrims who approached this way and synthesize the growing anticipation they must have experienced by such a view of the pilgrimmage goal - the shrine at MSM.
Coutances is a bit of a detour but is a nice enough regional town with a splendid cathedral with tall soaring towers.
St Lo is famous for basically being completely wiped off the map during WWII.
Palenque is offline  
Dec 11th, 2009, 12:03 PM
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If ever you have difficulty imagining what "wiped off the map" implies, I invite you to take a look at my Le Havre visit: http://tinyurl.com/yb8fl73
kerouac is online now  

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