Travelling to France

Dec 31st, 2014, 01:47 PM
  #21  
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Thanks Everyone
crazy4vacations is offline  
Jan 1st, 2015, 08:56 AM
  #22  
 
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Angers is a nice little town (used to travel to the area on business and wine buying) the old centre is great, try to ensure Hubby gets rooms in the centre not out at the industrial estates around it.

If the whole car hire thing is a bit worrying look at a bus/tain route up and down the Loire. You can have a day out to Saumur or Nantes. You can buy the train tickets at the station from the machine (or on line) and apart from stamping the tickets at the yellow machine before you board all you have to do is show them to the conductor (billet "bi-yah" si vous plait) so days out are easy (Saumur is another pretty town with a cavalry regiment based there). Lots of other trips.

Being the Loire in the slow season will be perfect to get to buy lunch in a cheap restaurant or cake etc, as the place will be enlivened by a foreign visitor. Easy-Peasy.

seat61.com explains how the trains work. Mainly you will want the local trains which you can stroll up to but if going longer distances you need the TGV.

http://www.ot-saumur.fr/LE-GRAND-SAU...el_a26018.html

https://www.capitainetrain.com/en
bilboburgler is online now  
Jan 1st, 2015, 09:04 AM
  #23  
 
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crazy - perhaps you feel now that you won't want to venture far, but when you get there you may feel more confident after a few days or so.

I've usually found the people in the tourist offices in France very helpful and it is highly likely that someone there will speak english.

As bilbo says, Saumur is a great place for a day trip from Angers.
annhig is offline  
Jan 1st, 2015, 10:06 AM
  #24  
 
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>>Saumur is a great place for a day trip from Angers.<<

and Nantes is only 40 mins away by train.

Stu Dudley
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Jan 1st, 2015, 10:26 AM
  #25  
 
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crazy.. I am from Victoria.. not exactly the bright lights big city.. and I have visited Europe solo and alone with my children.. and I am not particularily worldly or brave and only have most basic hs French,, so don't worry so much about being overwhelmed..

I would never miss a chance to go .. and you are not even going to be really alone ,, just during the day,, and you are a grown up., you can certainly sightseee and do some easy daytrips from Angers.

Remember most tourists do not in fact speak French( other then the basics,hello, goodbye, please and thank you) . Bring a small translator if you must.. but don't worry about it too much.

Go and have a wonderful time. Lucky you !
justineparis is offline  
Jan 1st, 2015, 10:52 AM
  #26  
 
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and Nantes is only 40 mins away by train.>>

I don't really get the point you are trying to make, Stu; Saumur is only 20 mins away from Angers by train. I don't know if that makes it a better or worse option for a day trip than Nantes.

in 2 weeks, the OP could probably do both!
annhig is offline  
Jan 1st, 2015, 01:05 PM
  #27  
 
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>>in 2 weeks, the OP could probably do both!<<

Yep - visit both Saumur & Nantes. Quite different cities.

Stu Dudley
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Jan 1st, 2015, 01:10 PM
  #28  
 
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Don't miss the famous Tapestry of the Apocalypse in Angers.
sanderskn is offline  
Jan 1st, 2015, 02:24 PM
  #29  
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I'm definately going to go ... But I'm thinking I will meet up with hubby after he's been there for abit and after his work is done we can enjoy paris together and possibly London ?!
crazy4vacations is offline  
Jan 1st, 2015, 02:51 PM
  #30  
 
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AGAIN - don't pass up the opportunity and don't try to do too much (Paris & London). Go over with your hubby, relax & sightsee and make Angers "your home". Visit a few Chateaux and a few other close-by cities. France is not a "strange" country.

Stu Dudley
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Jan 1st, 2015, 04:35 PM
  #31  
 
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Well whatever, I personally would want to spend as much time there as possible and not just go after hubby was free to accompany me everywhere, but I guess some folks are just not good going on their own to do things, even in their hometowns. Just don't worry about it because its France , that has little to do with it, if you are capable and independent at home then go for it in France, if you know yourself well enough to understand you are not comfortable sightseeing in the day on your own then that is fair .
justineparis is offline  
Jan 1st, 2015, 04:50 PM
  #32  
 
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>>But I'm thinking I will meet up with hubby after he's been there for abit and after his work is done we can enjoy paris together and possibly London ?!<<

Ah - don't be a wimp

What will you be doing at home that is more fun than enjoying France?

You will be giving up a chance to see a lot of great places on your own . . . and THEN you and hubby can head to Paris (and London IF you have enough time)
janisj is offline  
Jan 1st, 2015, 09:05 PM
  #33  
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Ok! I think with all the great advise and encouragement I will travel with hubby for the whole two weeks...I will venture out during the day!! Evenings and weekend will be spent with hubby!!
crazy4vacations is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2015, 02:19 AM
  #34  
 
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It's really quite easy to travel by train in France and if you want to explore the Loire then you should learn which places can be accessed by train. If you look at the link below you'll see a map of places that can be reached by train in that area with the names of all the towns/stops highlighted:

http://cdn.ter.sncf.com/medias/PDF/c...cm56-27689.pdf

The above link shows only places east of Angers (in the Centre region) since Angers is in a different region (Pays de la Loire region) so check out the below link to see Angers and how you'd connect with places east (and west) of there:

http://cdn.ter.sncf.com/medias/PDF/p...cm67-19903.pdf

In the above link the red lines indicate bus routes.

Most of your local train travel would be on TER trains and these trains require no reservations and have fixed prices so you can buy those tickets on the day you travel right at the train station. If you want to use TGV trains or possibly Intercités trains then you need to buy tickets for those trains up to 3 months in advance to get the cheapest prices. Last minute ticket purchase for TGV trains and many Intercités trains will be the most expensive.

You can use the above websites to plan your routes and find prices but they are in French only so for route planning, schedules and pricing in English use www.capitainetrain.com. I noticed bilboburgler already provided this link as well as www.seat61.com and the latter is a great site to learn about train travel in Europe.

For anyplace you want to visit you should always look at the tourist office website as they will tell you everything there is to see and do and also have info about wine, food, hiking, biking etc. The thread below has links to all the major tourist office websites in the Loire as well as info about castles, food, wine, biking etc.:

http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...-de-france.cfm

There is a lot of nice, easy biking in that area and well marked bike routes and cycle paths so you could rent a bike in Angers and have a nice ride along the river or nearby. Check out the link below for more info about that:

http://www.cycling-loire.com/

You can also go walking/hiking on any of these trails. When you get to Angers visit the tourist office and they'll have maps of the town (probably free) that will outline the tourist trail and the highlights of town. They will also have loads of other info (maps, brochures pamphlets etc.) about things to see/do/visit not only in town but in the whole region. Your first stop in any town you visit should always be the tourist office to get your map and other needed info to help you explore.

If you do a bit of research before you go then I don't think you'll have any major problems trying to get around that region on your own while your husband is working. Have a great trip.
FrenchMystiqueTours is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2015, 07:54 AM
  #35  
 
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but I guess some folks are just not good going on their own to do things, even in their hometowns. Just don't worry about it because its France , that has little to do with it, if you are capable and independent at home then go for it in France, >>

I don't think some of you understand this issue. If you have never ridden a train in your life, nor used a city bus or metro system, this isn't "quite easy." My sister is perfectly comfortable doing things on her own in the small New England town she's lived in for at least 30 years, but is not in any large city as she rarely is in one, let alone ones in foreign countries with different customs and languages. I'm not sure she's taken the train hardly at all in the US. Being comfortable in your small hometown you've lived in your whole life and everybody mostly knows you and there isn't much to do anyway, isn't the same thing as going to a foreign country and navigating large cities.
Christina is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2015, 08:41 AM
  #36  
 
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From an earlier post by the OP:

>>Thanks Christina! I have travelled a lot ... Just never alone<<

A "rare" trip to France seems to be the right opportunity to try something new. "Yah gotta start sometime" to enjoy the pleasures/experiences of traveling "somewhere else". If crazy4 doesn't enjoy it, or gets "wigged out" - then at least she knows it's not for her!!

Stu Dudley
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Jan 2nd, 2015, 09:52 AM
  #37  
 
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go for it, crazy. I'm glad that you've been persuaded to go Angers with your DH for the whole 2 weeks, and i'm sure you won't regret it.

you can start with baby steps, get the hang of Angers and then branch out when you feel more comfortable.

and if you take your tablet or computer, you can always nip back to ask your fodors' friends for a spot of advice!
annhig is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2015, 01:44 PM
  #38  
 
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Have fun the people are "small town" in the Loire, no city slickers, crank up the courtesy (old world style) and you'll love it. as Ann says come back for more advice.
bilboburgler is online now  
Jan 3rd, 2015, 07:11 AM
  #39  
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Now that I've decided to go (hubby's work said he'd be going first quarter so jan, February or March) what are some suggestions for evenings in Angers once DH) he loves history and museums - do any of the attractions have evening hours etc ?!?!
crazy4vacations is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2015, 08:24 PM
  #40  
 
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Check the tourist office website:

http://www.angersloiretourisme.com/en
FrenchMystiqueTours is offline  

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