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Trip Report: 2 wks.Paris, Normandy, Brittany

Trip Report: 2 wks.Paris, Normandy, Brittany

Nov 15th, 2006, 12:01 PM
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Thanks for the recommendation of The Singing Owl--looks wonderful. We'll try it next time we're in Burgundy.
Underhill is offline  
Nov 18th, 2006, 12:05 PM
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life...I also am anxiously awaiting your report. I've just started plans for a trip to Brittany and a return to Normandy so would love to hear about your travels.

I know how difficult it can be to get that trip report written. I keep letting life get in the way of the report I intend to do about my month in France Deborah

DeborahAnn is offline  
Nov 19th, 2006, 01:13 PM
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I too am loving this report, and I love details. I was in Paris this spring for my first visit with my daughter (her second.) She learned french in school and I learned in my car for half an hour a day prior to my workday. I agree that speaking french throughout has benefits that just can't be measured.

Looking forward to your next report. Don't change it on my account, drudgery would not be the word I would use to describe your writings.
Danna is offline  
Dec 2nd, 2006, 11:27 AM
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Lifes2short, we're still waiting for the Normandy/Brittany part. Don't forsake us!
Sue4 is offline  
Dec 4th, 2006, 04:08 AM
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Great read so far, standing by for Normandy & Brittany instalments.

swagman is offline  
Dec 20th, 2006, 11:44 AM
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Help! Where are those installments?
hopingtotravel is offline  
Dec 28th, 2006, 08:48 AM
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To all who have encouraged me to get back to the report, thanks for your patience, as well as the prodding. I'll make an all-out effort to wrap this up as quickly as possible, starting with:

Day 5--Versailles day. We took the 11:20 train from Les Invalides. And upon arrival, since it was lunchtime, we needed lunch. Who could imagine touring that huge palace—and thinking of all that cake—on an empty stomach ? DH, in his never-ending quest for crêpes, spied a crêperie across the street from the train station, so the decision was made. (I was sort of rooting for El Ranchero, but it was not to be). Another gorgeous day—warmer still than previous days—so another opportunity to dine en plein air. Crêpe campagnarde for him, crêpe roscovite for me. We shared a pitcher of white wine as well as a dessert crêpe featuring ice cream and grand marnier.

DH was knocked out by Versailles---as much as anything we had seen previously. We toured at our own pace, enjoying the apartments, the chapel, the theatre and the Hall of Mirrors. As with our visit to the Louvre, the crowds and the heat eventually got to us. Outside, we walked a bit and took the train for viewing the Trianons, etc.

En route back to the train station, really feeling the effects of this wonderfully warm,sunny day, we grabbed a coke at Mc D’s. Before boarding, we stopped into the SNCF office to collect tickets already ordered online, for the next week’s excursion to Normandy-Brittany.

Back in Paris, we remained on the train till St.Michel. Spent awhile visiting Notre Dame, enjoying the bells, lighting candles. Decided to walk around the Latin Quarter to soak up some of the energetic vibe. The area was typically crowded early on this Friday evening, and we jostled our way up and down the narrow streets. Before long, we found ourselves in need of refreshment—did I mention it was very warm out ? Passing by the Bistrot la Huchette we heard the unmistakable sound of bachata music, so in we went. Enjoyed the music and a couple of beers, then continued on our way. A few moments later, rain began to fall, so we ducked under an umbrella at Brasserie St. Séverin for another beer.

Once the rain abated, we took the metro back to Ecole Militaire. Having no plans for dinner, and totally on impulse, we headed for la Fontaine de Mars. Though it was still early—not yet eight---it was Friday night, after all, so I frankly never expected to get a table without having reserved. But we did—and what a stroke of luck ! This is still the resto experience that we’re raving about, almost 3 months later. We were seated outside at the corner table and received impeccable, attentive service. Kir royal to start, of course, and an entrée of pâté. DH tried yet another duck variation, this time cassoulet, which he pronounced the most amazing dish of the trip. I chose beef, having done the fish thing several times already on the trip. Another shocker: contrary to what I had expected, the filet was every bit as thick, tender and flavorful as the ones we buy from our local specialty butcher shop. A lovely burgundy complemented our meal; we finished with île flottante and espresso. Still in a food-and-wine-induced fog, and exhausted from our long, warm day, we treated ourselves to a taxi for the few blocks to our apartment. Coming up next, and with apologies to les frères Marx: 2 days at the races.
lifes2short is online now  
Dec 28th, 2006, 09:00 AM
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Your apartment sounds wonderful. Do you have a link to pictures of it?
c2Paris is offline  
Dec 28th, 2006, 09:17 AM
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c2Paris---it surely was the perfect spot for us. You can see it on the French Home Rentals website, at http://www.frenchhomerentals.com/par...l/breteuil.htm. I'd be glad to try to answer any questions you have about the apt. or the agency. The entire rental experience--was a positive one.
lifes2short is online now  
Dec 28th, 2006, 01:00 PM
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Great trip report...Do you mind me asking when you where in Paris? Keep 'em coming.
Photobear is offline  
Dec 28th, 2006, 01:47 PM
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Thanks, Photobear----glad you like the report. Our week in the Paris apartment was Sept. 25-Oct. 2, 2006. We later spent two more nights, this time in a hotel, before returning to the US on Oct. 8.
lifes2short is online now  
Dec 28th, 2006, 07:55 PM
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OK, I'm wondering, what is bachete music?
hopingtotravel is offline  
Dec 29th, 2006, 07:01 AM
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<<OK, I'm wondering, what is bachete music?>>

Bachata is a musical genre that we've come to enjoy over the course of our frequent trips to the Dominican Republic. It's recognizable for its guitar arpeggios and its themes of lost love and/or betrayal. I once heard it described as 'merengue, only slower.' Hearing bachata always transports us to while-sand beaches and clear Caribbean waters. So for a split-second there it seemed like an odd juxtaposition---then we remembered we were in Paris, where hardly anything seems out of place.
lifes2short is online now  
Dec 29th, 2006, 09:20 AM
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Thanks. Sounds like it might be neat.
hopingtotravel is offline  
Dec 30th, 2006, 06:37 AM
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Loved your report and anxiously awaiting your report on Normandy. Husband and I trying to plan similar trip for late May!
granitepoint is offline  
Jan 5th, 2007, 06:41 AM
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Loved your report. Can you tell me if the apartment you stayed in was quiet? We're in our late 60's and very light sleepers!
granitepoint is offline  
Jan 5th, 2007, 08:14 AM
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Hi, granitepoint. Yes, the apartment was quiet. Certainly the neighborhood was (some would say TOO quiet !) There were some 'travaux' going on for a few days while we were there, working on the exterior of the building, but that must surely be finished by now (even by Paris standards !)If you decide to pursue this one, French Home Rentals should be able to put your mind at ease on that score. As far as noise from other apartments, we never noticed any.

If you have not already done so, reading renters' comments on the agency webpage might give you other perspectives. Hope this helps with your decision, granitepoint.
lifes2short is online now  

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