Trip Report - 3 - Weeks - Solo to France

Oct 29th, 2003, 05:36 PM
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That was wonderful Barb. It brought back so many memories of my first solo trip to the South of France.
cigalechanta is offline  
Oct 29th, 2003, 10:21 PM
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Great report - glad you enjoyed Lyon
hanl is offline  
Oct 30th, 2003, 10:05 AM
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Very much enjoyed your report, Barb. Is there any chance of seeing your photos? I'm planning a trip to many of the same towns.
Jim_Tardio is offline  
Oct 30th, 2003, 02:59 PM
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Jim: I did not use a digital camera, but I have 12 rolls of film that I still have to develop. Been so darn busy at work since my return. I think one of my kids has a scanner, so I might be able to display some that way. BTW - wasn't that you that gave me such good info on Procida & Ischia last year?
Barb is offline  
Oct 30th, 2003, 04:16 PM
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I seem to remember something about that, Barb. I've given lots of responses about family is originally from the island.
Jim_Tardio is offline  
Oct 31st, 2003, 08:23 AM
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It occured to me, Barb, that when you have your film developed you can have it scanned to a CD for just a few dollars more. I know at Costco they do this for I believe $2.99.

Along with your photos, the CD also contains software to display & even make minor adjustments to your images.

Just a thought if you want to post some shots.
Jim_Tardio is offline  
Oct 31st, 2003, 09:21 AM
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Great idea Jim - I am going to look into that for sure. I took a whole roll of film just in Villefrance!
Barb is offline  
Oct 31st, 2003, 01:59 PM
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Barb, this promises to be a great trip report! I've printed it out & will read part of it on our camping escapade tonight!

Ciao & thanks a lot for writing it,
Beatchick is offline  
Oct 31st, 2003, 03:56 PM
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Barb, I have saved your report and want to follow in your footsteps
nancy is offline  
Nov 1st, 2003, 05:34 AM
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A most enjoyable report, Barb; thanks a lot. I've thusfar avoided the area around Nice like the plague. But your description of Ville Franche (sur mer?) has me reconsidering. Did you perhaps also get a look at Beaulieu? Hope you'll elaborate a bit more when you can. Is there more than one 'Ville Franche'? -- my map omits the 'sur mer', so I'm thinking there's a big one and a little one. What I'm hoping to discover is a place with an old, small, intimate feel about it. Maybe you can give me some leads. J.
Nov 1st, 2003, 07:21 AM
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When I see so many responses to a posting, I figure it MUST be good. No lie. This report was very enjoyable to read! Your enthusiasm is contagious. Makes me want to study some French and start planning a trip to France. May I suggest for your next trip that you consider Sardinia? I bet you'd love it as much as we did. I suggest it because I'd like to read your report on it!
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Nov 2nd, 2003, 05:41 PM
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Barb enjoyed your report - it is nice to read such an enthusiastic solo traveler's report. You have a good attitude I think too.

Please tell us what clothes you packed because you didn't seem to have trouble with your suitcase and I liked when you said you put your sweater casually over your shoulders, that was a nice touch.
Tell us how to put together traveling wardrobe. Thanks.
chardonnay is offline  
Nov 2nd, 2003, 06:23 PM
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Echoing what the others have said, this was truly a lovely report, Barb.

Among all the other interesting information, I was especially pleased by your mentioning the Hotel de l'Atelier in Villeneuve-les-Avignon; my college-age daughter and I stayed there in Dec. of '89. I thought it was the most charming little place, and I never read of it here.

grandmere is offline  
Nov 3rd, 2003, 10:50 AM
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Thanks again to everyone for your very kind comments. It's really hard not to be enthusiastic when you are in such a beautiful country.

jmw: Villefranche Sur Mer is a very short bus ride east of Nice. Maybe 5 min. on the train. To me it felt like just what you are describing, old, small, intimate. Although it might not be like that in the summer. In early Oct. it was just perfect.

wantagig: I have considered Sardinia (not sure about transportation there tho), and Malta.

Chardonnay: packing was a huge issue for me. I literally weigh things before they go into my suitcase. I have a 22" Skyway that unzips to 24". I had three pairs of long pants, black, grey and brown (wore one) They had a little stretch to them (you know how I love to eat). I had three long sleeve sweaters, red, camel, black, (wore one) one black cardigan w/tank and one off white cardigan w/tank and two t-shirts - white and lime green. I also had a jean jacket (wore this) and a lightweight micro fiber short black rain coat. Two pairs of good walking shoes, Ecco and Easy Spirit.(wore one) I mainly wanted four outfits that I could mix and match and that would be suitable for Paris and the south. I really think I accomplished this. I ripped pages out of guide books - Rick Steves France and Mona Winks and the spiral Paris book from AAA, plus print outs from Fodors. I used a LeSport Sac as my carry on and unpacked it when I got there and it stayed in my suitcase until coming home when I used it for all my purchases. One hint, when you pack your carry on at home, make sure all the stuff will fit back into your suitcase when you get there. The handiest items I took, a little twisty clothes line, clothes pins, thin plastic cutting board, sharp knife.

grandmere: I would love to go back to Villeneuve-les-Avignon and stay at Hotel de l"Atelier. It was like something out of a book or movie. I could just picture myself curled up on one of the pretty little sofas in front of the fireplace, sipping tea (or vin) and reading a luscious romatic novel. I too am surprised no one has mentioned it here. Maybe people are keeping it a little secret.
Barb is offline  
Nov 3rd, 2003, 11:46 AM
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Barb Thanks. Did you meet alot of people and did you ever feel lonely?
How did you manage to eat alone, did they seat you ok at a table for one?
Sorry to ask you all of this but I am considering going alone too. It will take too long for any of my friends to decide to accompany me.
chardonnay is offline  
Nov 3rd, 2003, 12:05 PM
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This is the great part - I met people every single day. I met a great couple on the bus to Villeveuve Avignon, he is a scientist, she a mystery writer. I met another wonderful couple, he English, she a Scot on the bus to Arles, a woman from Munich who used to live in Monaco on the train to Monaco. Ran into her several times in Nice too. Eating in restaurants, waiting for buses, you name it. A man from Seattle while eating socca in Nice. I think you need to feel comfortable with yourself and you need to be able to put yourself out there a little too. Some people probably would not have taken that first step, but when I did, they were wonderful. I have a little memo book filled with addresses and emails. I spent an afternoon with a couple on their honeymoon!! they insisted. So I would say you can meet as many people as you want, or none if you don't want to. It's really up to you. I always got very good service in restaurants - they sometimes wanted me to sit at a small table, but it was always just fine. I usually took my journal with me, so if I ever felt a little uncomfortable (rarely) I would write. In so many restaurants, the tables are very close together, so when you are alone, you really do not stick out. I too got tired of putting off travel because I didn't have a travel partner, but once you do it, you will never look back.
Barb is offline  
Nov 4th, 2003, 08:20 AM
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What a wonderful report! I'm so glad you had such a great trip and am honored to have been able to share it with you for those few hours in Paris!

You and Janda have both really inspired me to consider traveling on my own in the future!

Jennie is offline  
Nov 4th, 2003, 08:46 AM
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Thanks Jennie - yours and other's reports were very hard acts to follow. I too really enjoyed our time together. Your energy and enthusiasm is inspiring. I think Fodor get togethers are such a great idea, especially when you are solo - it helps you feel connected to home somehow. Hopefully we will meet again some day in some far away place.
Barb is offline  
Nov 6th, 2003, 10:06 AM
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Barb...if you don't mind, I have a few questions about staying in Villefranche Sur Mar. Is this a good base for day trips to Nice, Antibes, etc...? Are there trains or buses between these towns, or is best to have a car? Any info would be helpful. If you have the time, please email me at

[email protected]


Jim_Tardio is offline  
May 12th, 2005, 06:49 PM
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I read the artical about your trip to Avignon. I decided to stay in "Hotel de L'atelier". How far is it from the Avignon Walled city? Can I get there on foot? Thank you.
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