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We are planning a trip to France ! At last!

We are planning a trip to France ! At last!

Old Aug 24th, 2022, 09:04 PM
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We are planning a trip to France ! At last!

After the disappointment of cancelling our 2020 trip, and all that has happened since then, we did despair that we would not return. However we have decided that we are getting older and if we do not do it soon we may never. So we have overcome our trepidation at travelling in this new Covid world and are planning a trip for Spring 2023.

Some of you have read my trip reports on our previous trips. This trip will be similar with stays of one and two weeks in self catering. P has done his usual sterling job of finding gites in our budget in the areas we plan to visit. We will do a mix of new and semi familiar places ie places we may have visited on a day trip from another base. These will include the Bearn, the Dordogne, the Gers, the Cantal, Burgundy and one area to be finally decided, depending on gites. It is lovely to be back researching areas and finding interesting less well known places.

Let's open the bubbly!!!

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Old Aug 24th, 2022, 11:43 PM
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rhon that’s great news. We too are planning a trip in April 2023. I too thought we would never get back. So exciting to be planning a trip. Although I do think planning and destination decisions go better with a glass of Champagne in hand.
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Old Aug 25th, 2022, 05:55 AM
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Exciting news and not just for you two! I'll be cheering you on here at my keyboard, rhon.

Your trip reports have been like gold to a lot of us on Fodors. E and I haven't been to a twentieth of the places you've visited in France, but when our travels take us somewhere new, I always check your old TRs because when you two go someplace, you see it in depth. Let the fun begin!

And the same for you, cheska.
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Old Aug 25th, 2022, 10:20 AM
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Originally Posted by cheska15 View Post
rhon that’s great news. We too are planning a trip in April 2023. I too thought we would never get back. So exciting to be planning a trip. Although I do think planning and destination decisions go better with a glass of Champagne in hand.
rhon and cheska, so happy for both of you, we all regretted not being able to travel the past couple of years. Enjoy the planning, look forward to reading about it…😊
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Old Aug 25th, 2022, 01:12 PM
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It’s great to be planning trips again. Looking forward to all the places you will be visiting
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Old Aug 25th, 2022, 05:03 PM
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Cheska, I think I saw earlier that you were planning to return next year. Will you go back to Nimes to revisit ? Coquelicot, I know you will be going back to your happy place , even this year, I think?

It would have been very easy just to do the trip we had planned for 2020, but with the exception of Burgundy near Dijon, we have changed our plans. Even that will be a different location because it will be a different time of year. As the weather warms up we like the option of sitting outside and that gite did not have that.

I love the planning and research. We enjoy what I call the minutiae of past and present life in the small towns and villages - the lavoirs, the market halles, the mills and little stone bridges, the stone crosses at corners, the little chapels perched on hills. There is so much information out there that is sometimes tricky to find. I especially like it when I find a site that narrows it down to a small region within the larger department eg the Pays d'Albret in the Lot et Garonne. It shows just how much there is to see.

Our children have all said Go for it . You just do not know what is around the corner and I would hate to get to April next year and think " We could be on our way to France now ".

Happy planning everyone.
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Old Aug 25th, 2022, 05:59 PM
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So you'll be starting out in April, rhon? Will you be spending two weeks in each place as you usually have?

You express very well what we love about France, that there is so much of interest just about everywhere, and that it's possible to return to the same area and still discover new things. If you'd be willing to let us know from time to time how your planning is going, you can be sure there are plenty of us here who'd like to hear about it.
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Old Aug 25th, 2022, 10:04 PM
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We have a mix of one and two weeks and eleven nights to finish. We normally fly home on a Saturday, but got a good price for flights leaving on Wednesday, saving quite a bit. So we are going to do that and it will be just short of ten weeks. So hopefully it will work out. We are still fine tuning our itinerary. Some of the gites do not have their prices up for next year, yet which is frustrating. They give a ' from X euros per night or per week ' and then when they do come up, we put our dates in and it exceeds our budget by a long way. We may end up sending an email to GDF to see if we can find out.

All the fun of planning.
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Old Aug 26th, 2022, 12:15 AM
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rhon we are in discussions about where we will go. Not back to Nimes. We haven’t been to Northern France. We have tentatively booked a month in Tours and then it gets tricky. My husband would like to head to Northern Spain for a month along the coast.
Then return to Northern France. I think we should leave Spain this trip.
I feel that I have unfinished business in France so I’m reluctant to spend any time of the three months anywhere else.
My husband doesn’t feel like that.
We are watching the airfares with Singapore Air as we like arriving early morning and we won’t book until October.
I have two itineraries in the making 🤣
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Old Aug 26th, 2022, 12:31 AM
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Howdy, rhon!

I have tentatively planned to be in Sarlat in late April, though no reservations as yet. If you'd like to meet for coffee or lunch, let me know, and we can see if any of our days/locations will overlap! I'll love to meet more Fodorites!

s

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Old Aug 26th, 2022, 02:52 AM
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Sounds like a wonderful trip again rhon.

I am sure it will be a great trip and I look forward to reading all about it.

I'm glad somebody enjoys planning. I hate it, to the extent that we aren't going away in September because I just can't raise the enthusiasm for all the planning. DH shows zero interest in planning and want it all served up on a plate it seems.
Sadly the days of winging it are gone.
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Old Aug 26th, 2022, 02:38 PM
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I do not mind the planning. Even though we do long trips we only have around 5-7 bases and we plan week by week, not day by day.

Cheska, I will be honest and say we know what we are doing in France and starting again in another country sounds like hard work!! The exception will be the UK when P does not feel comfortable driving on the other side of the road in France. I am starting to think this might be our last trip to France for that reason. Perhaps it is just it has been so long.

Swandav, our itinerary is a work in progress but if we go to the Dordogne it will not be around Sarlat. We have not started booking accommodation yet. It is still eight months away and longer by the time we get to the end.

Meanwhile life takes over. I am in the process of taking up my neighbour's daughter's high school formal dress and it is a Nightmare!!!

Happy travels.
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Old Aug 27th, 2022, 12:50 AM
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rhon after talking last night my husband will happily go to France as long as it is the final time as he wants to see other places and I’m happy with that.

Real life does take over doesn’t it. Over the last two years I have discovered Dinner Plate Dahlias and become passionate and obsessed with them. Luckily the flower int the Australian summer otherwise we wouldn’t be going anywhere.

Good luck with the alterations, you must be talented.
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Old Sep 3rd, 2022, 08:30 AM
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Happy travels everyone!
Ps - am heading to our other favourite country (Italy) next week, making up for the 2+ years lost to covid! Am booked on Lufthansa, so say a little prayer for me.
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Old Sep 3rd, 2022, 09:19 AM
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Tours is not bad for pubilc transport but there are much nicer towns on the Loire to stay in for a whole month.

Chinon
Saumur,
even parts of Angers

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Old Sep 10th, 2022, 04:57 AM
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Very excited that we have booked airfares today. Depart Australia in April and return in July. Three wonderful months and will be our last trip to France. Only two bucket list items are the Loire Valley and the Australian Remembrance Trail. Anywhere else we visit I will consider a bonus.
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Old Sep 10th, 2022, 04:29 PM
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Good news Cheska. We have also booked ours and leave April 19 and back at the end of June. It will be almost ten weeks. We have pretty well finalised our itinerary and will start booking soon. There are a couple of gites we definitely want to secure. We are away camping at the beach at the moment so cannot print any contracts, so will start when we get home.

Now it seems real. We are hoping it will not be our last. Lots of time for plenty of research. I am watching French news on SBS to attune my ear to French. Not sure it is working!!

Happy planning.
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Old Sep 13th, 2022, 10:33 AM
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So happy for you!

Perhaps you could come back next year with some musings on the state of deep rural France. Those are truly some under-the-radar destinations,

I look forward to your reports and updates.
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Old Sep 13th, 2022, 10:41 PM
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Hi again,

Sounds like such a great trip!! I hope you'll post a trip report; I'd love to read all about your discoveries!

s
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Old Sep 14th, 2022, 01:50 AM
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I usually do a trip report. I think I have four posted here. April still seems a long way off !!

Frances, we like under the radar as you know. We are pretty ordinary and busy cities and really touristy places are not our thing. We do visit places that get lots of tourists eg Sarlat, but we do not stay there.

I am enjoying my research. Have found some great sounding cheese shops in places near the gites we hope to book, a chateau to buy some Floc de Gascogne, some locally produced charcuterie, and some good markets. So it is all shaping up.
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