Trip to Paris and Northwestern France

Old Feb 17th, 2024, 10:23 AM
  #21  
 
Join Date: May 2023
Posts: 278
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Yes we did a lot in a short time but it was about 10 years ago and we were younger. Maybe 2 nights in Rouen would have allowed us to see more of the museums but of course our Paris time would be museum heavy. Given that it was 10 years ago or more, it wasn't a problem to pick up car and drive to Rouen which is only 2 hours or so from the airport plus I recall we stopped for coffee and a croissant along the way. As we originally planned to go to Paris first and leave from there with a rental car, once we decided to reverse the order to go North earlier in the trip, it likely didn't occur to me to check out train options. Once we were able to check into our hotel we had a nap as Rouen is a foodie kind of place and we were looking forward to enjoying a nice dinner. My husband had been there before when he did a European driving trip with his friend, both architects. We had to move our car by a certain time the next morning so a quick breakfast at the hotel. Not much to see really in E'tratat beyond the view of the stones that the Impressionists had painted and walk along the beach boardwalk, a rocky beach. We had a nice sunny day to explore Honfleur and hadn't planned on doing the stop in Caen that afternoon but it worked as on the way to Bayeux. It helps that my husband doesn't really stop for lunch, maybe a coffee and I did recall that in Honfleur we stopped at a cafe at the harbor waterfront. The sights there were very compact so easy to tour and see. Bayeux is a foodie kind of place and another day would have given us the chance to enjoy another outstanding meal. Our B and B was very charming and provided a lovely breakfast. We did book a tour to the Normandy beaches and that worked well although if on my own, I would have explored more of the information that had been posted on the placards and on the memorial statues. My husband and I were much more knowledgeable about the invasion than anyone else in our van including when and where their family members might have served. My father was in Europe in WWII but he wasn't in the Normandy invasion. He was in Africa and then the south of France.
Madam397 is offline  
Old Feb 17th, 2024, 12:42 PM
  #22  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 783
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
shelemm, if you were to stay in 2 places rather than 1, what would they be?
Thanks, Alice
Alice9 is offline  
Old Feb 17th, 2024, 12:43 PM
  #23  
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 599
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I am in the DO NOT drive after an international flight camp. On our last trip, the couple we travelled with was sure we could drive from the Milan Airport to Lake Como. I really opposed it and we got a driver. We were all dragging upon landing and they commented that they were so happy we didn't have to go pick up a car. Then on the drive up, there was a major traffic accident and we sat for 1 1/2 hours without moving.

I think getting the train to Rouen and being able to close your eyes on the way and then getting a good night sleep there is the way to start. And Rouen is charming.
The next day, pick up your car and head to Etretat then Honfleur then Bayeux and spend 3 nights there.If Mont Saint-Michel is a must, then spend 1 night there. On the way to Paris, stop in Giverny and then return your car at a Paris drop off spot. But choose the location well so you do not have to go too far into the city. We did this and it was very easy.

Only you know if this would be too much moving hotels. I like spending 3 nights in places, but sometimes the backtracking every day, isn't worth it to me. Enjoy!
coral22 is offline  
Old Feb 18th, 2024, 02:18 AM
  #24  
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 1,333
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Alice9
shelemm, if you were to stay in 2 places rather than 1, what would they be?
Thanks, Alice
I like to look at experiences that I can't replicate at home. There is a government-subsidized network of lodging in France called gites, many of which are weekly rentals, but also many are b&b lodging per night, and some of those offer 'table d'hote' or the option of the proprietors making dinner as well. I think these are very special experiences worth seeking out.

Here is one example from the the website near the landing beaches:
https://www.gites-de-france.com/en/n...escale-14g5795
Here is one in the Seine Valley:
https://www.gites-de-france.com/en/n...rville-27g6119

These are listed under the category of 'guest house' and once you search you can then filter by 'guest table" under the category of Services.

If no gites are available for your dates, I would still seek out charming rural or village lodging by scouring Google Maps.

If my goal is to visit the countryside like Normandie, then I go for that and stay away from cities.


shelemm is offline  
Old Feb 21st, 2024, 04:54 PM
  #25  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 783
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
shelemm, I like that idea very much. I was wondering about gites, or B&Bs or even looking into airbnbs. (We stayed in an airbnb in London last year). Cities are nice too, though, for access to restaurants. We're currently looking for airfare so we'll have the dates we'll need accommodation.
Thanks!
Alice
Alice9 is offline  
Old Mar 6th, 2024, 01:43 PM
  #26  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 783
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
So shelemm - where would you suggest staying? We'd like to stay in one place and do day trips. 5 nights - first night after flying in and driving. 4 nights after day trips. Then we drive to Paris. Should we stay in 2 different places? Stay just 4 nights and add a night in Paris? I'd appreciate your opinion.

Alice
Alice9 is offline  
Old Mar 6th, 2024, 05:39 PM
  #27  
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 1,333
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I would not stay in one place all four nights. Too much backtracking. I made a couple of suggestions in my previous post. Did that not appeal to you?
shelemm is offline  
Old Mar 9th, 2024, 07:33 AM
  #28  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 783
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
shelemm, I looked at the list of places you posted, but I looked at it more in terms of places to visit or see, not to stay. My husband really prefers finding a relatively central location and doing day trips. Some years ago, we stayed in Sarlat and did day trips for 4 or 5 days. Perhaps there's a more central location, or perhaps we should stay 2 nights in one place and 3 nights in another.

I do like the suggestion of taking a train to Rouen and staying there one night just to deal with the jet lag after the flight (we're not as young as we used to be). Although I'm sure my husband will think he'll be just FINE.

Alice
Alice9 is offline  
Old Mar 10th, 2024, 05:19 PM
  #29  
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
Posts: 198
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I travelled to Paris and northern France last year and did a trip report. Just click on my user name and you can find it. I went to a few of the places on your list but not the D Day beaches.

I've visited Giverny twice. Once we took the train from Paris, and then a shuttle. The other time I was solo and took a tour that I found on Viator, also from Paris. My point is that it is an easy day trip from Paris.
pgtraveler is offline  
Old Mar 10th, 2024, 07:34 PM
  #30  
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 1,333
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
If you want to see just the D-Day beaches than you can stay in one place. If you want to see the Seine valley highlights as well, then I think it's too much to stay in just one place. I do think if you have a car then staying in a city doesn't make as much sense. as a village.
shelemm is offline  
Old Mar 12th, 2024, 01:38 PM
  #31  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 783
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
pgtraveler, somehow, in the 3 times we've been to Paris, we've never managed to do the day trip from Paris to Giverny. This time, unless the weather is horrific, we plan to do it on our TO Paris. FIngers crossed!
Alice
Alice9 is offline  
Old Mar 12th, 2024, 01:40 PM
  #32  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 783
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
shelemm, one reason I like cities is restaurants, and walking around after dinner, and just walking around in general. When we're places when there really AREN'T cities, like when we were in Scotland (other than a few places), there were small towns, and we only stayed a few days. For this trip, there ARE (small-ish) cities, so I like that better than the countryside.
Alice
Alice9 is offline  
Old Mar 12th, 2024, 03:38 PM
  #33  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 783
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
coral22, I was just looking back at responses and see I didn't respond to you! I going to TRY to talk my husband into the train to Rouen, wish me luck. I can remind him of when we were driving a LONG way back to Paris from the Dordogne and there was an overturned tractor trailer and we were stuck for HOURS.

I like the idea of spending the next day slowly getting to Bayeux.

I will let this group know what I end up with!
Thanks, Alice
Alice9 is offline  
Old Apr 29th, 2024, 07:11 AM
  #34  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 783
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
So, I realized I hadn't gotten back about this, here is where we are - we WILL rent a car to drive from CDG to Bayeux. We get in around 12:30 so by the time we get the car and actually leave, I'll be starving, so we'll look for a place to eat right away - we arrive on a Tuesday, so that shouldn't be an issue.

We decided to stay in Bayeux for the entire 5 nights, in a B&B. We're not getting any younger and really prefer having a home base and doing day trips.

When we visit Mont St Michel, we will plan to do so in the afternoon - I know people like to get there very early, but I'm not an early girl, and we'll have a long drive. I'm hoping a lot of people will have left by then. I'm considering having an early dinner THERE, since it's a long-ish drive back to Bayeux.

For some reason, I thought it would be reasonable to assign this part of the trip to my husband, and I would deal with Paris, but... silly me. So I found a very nice little itinerary, and will research a bit and probably ask some questions here, since everyone is so helpful and friendly. One thing I asked him to do was to find either a private, or a small half day tour of the Normandy beaches. Hasn't happened yet (surprise). I think we can handle the rest on our own (well, I think that until I do my research!).

Thanks!
Alice
Alice9 is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
MplsJAC
Europe
23
Apr 5th, 2012 07:47 PM
Encantadora
United States
8
Jan 18th, 2009 10:13 AM
staceyh
United States
21
Sep 23rd, 2003 11:41 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Your Privacy Choices -