Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

What are the best bargains in lodging you know, between Paris and Bilbao?

What are the best bargains in lodging you know, between Paris and Bilbao?

Old May 9th, 2005, 07:35 AM
  #21  
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 359
Rex:

It seems that Cova and I both agree that your proposed itinerary is far too broad for such a (relatively) short trip. Presuming you opt for the Loire valley as a destination, which by the way is delightful, then do what I did back in 1999: TGV to either Angers which you will use as a base city. See the Chateau d'Angers and the Galerie David D'Angers. On the next day, take the TGV further west to Nantes; birthplace of Jules Verne. See the Chateau des Ducs de Bretagne (where the Edict of Nantes was signed in 1598). On day three, take an SNCF to Saumur to see the Chateau de Saumur and a walk around the medieval core.

Lastly, try to spend to get to Amboise which is just SE of Tours to see the famous or infamous Chateau d' Amboise and the Clos Luce, where Leonardo Da Vinci spent the last 4 yrs of his life.

Ok..that in a nutshell is my suggestion for an easy trip.. Let me know what you think..

L
Langcraft is offline  
Old May 9th, 2005, 07:40 AM
  #22  
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 359
Rex:

In my unbridled haste to answer you, I made another error.. I used Angers as a base city, not "either Angers" etc.. My hotel was a 30 sec walk from the train station: Gare St. Laud. Incidentally..the TGV from CDG goes straight to Angers and vice versa, eliminating the need to go thru Paris itself.

L
Langcraft is offline  
Old May 9th, 2005, 12:06 PM
  #23  
rex
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 13,194
This seems to be a somewhat classic Fodors scenario to me - - people who know very well what they are talking about... giving solid, solid advice - - and yet the questioner seems hellbent on looking at things a different light.

Threads like this have sometimes resulted in a mudsling... wondering why the questioner is seeking advice, if not planning to heed it!?

But here are my reply/thoughts...

1. Take the train directly from CDG? Yes, that certainly sounds appealing after an overnight flight... but call me a tightwad - -it's just too expensive! 190 e per person for CDG-Bordeaux; even if we got off at Tours (St Pierre de Corps) it's 133 e (these are both for first class, no discounts) - - and it would not reduce our car rental expense one penny (except for the gasoline and tolls).

2. We're not seeking to "do the Loire" - - we have been there (minimally) before, and we anticipate that we will again. I would really like to spend some time in Saumur, for example, if time was more available. But we need a place to break up the drive - - and call me an experimenter, but I want to see what you get for 33,50 e (per person) with half-board. I am gambling that less might be more, if we are lucky.

3. I'm a little more willing to listen to the advice to drop Garro. Quite honestly, I picked it because I just like the looks of it a lot. But Maribels guides also list another one, called Txopebenta - - http://www.nekatur.net/catalogo.asp?idal=34#ficha - - it appears to be more conveniently located, and its presentation on the internet looks essentially just as appealing (maybe even better, quite near the seaside). Always a gamble to book a place based on the internet pictures they show!

4. Last of all, I am taken by the notion that the drive will be challenging from Bilbao back to Biarritz, in the evening - - why is this the worst time? Won't it be a good way to get tuckered out enough to sleep on the train, or am I kidding myself?

In case you have never read much (or any) of my countless other posts here (I know Ger has)... this is a 25th trip to Europe for me (13th for my wife, and her first to Spain); it is a much overdue "fix" as we have not been to Europe since May 2003. We like to drive, and will complement each other well, when one is too tired to drive. If I am the better driver, then she makes up for it by being the better navigator (I sometimes fail to pay attention, and forget to tell her some crucial turn or something!)

Anyhow, I am grateful for any answer - - just to keep toppping the thread!
rex is offline  
Old May 10th, 2005, 04:03 AM
  #24  
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 359
Rex:

190 Euros for a TGV to Bordeaux from CDG?..Utter nonsense!.. I bought a R/T ticket in October 2004 to Bordeaux for 70 Euros...You heard right!! only 70 Euros!. I bought a PREM ticket online, printed it myself and it was a breeze... Look into it because the prices you mentioned are way over the top..


L
Langcraft is offline  
Old May 10th, 2005, 05:13 AM
  #25  
rex
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 13,194
Well, L... it isn't utter nonsense! I do know about PREM fares - - in fact, on aother thread I note that we are using one to take the overnight train from Biarritz to Paris. Less than half the "normal" (unrestricted) fare, and that's even with the couchettes included.

But I did a real-time actual search for CDG-Bordeaux (St Pierre des Corps too) yesterday - - and truth is... no PREM fare is offered for May 27 (do they require 21 day advance purchase)? Even if it were... 140 e for two people? why? and not reduce our car rental expense any? (correction: eliminate 80 e in estimated gasoline and tolls - - but possibly gain some taxi fares if we didn't pick up the car upon arrival)

Moreover, our flight arrives at 11:20 am; I expect to leave the airportin my rented car at 1 pm, and be at Azay le Rideau (never been there before) by 4pm. The TGV would leave at 13:44 and arrive Bordeaux a little after 6 pm. I like my plan better. I spent three days in Bordeaux a few years ago, and I wasn't impressed (with the city proper - - the wine country is, no question, a different matter).

Thus, I probably seem too argumentative ("bickering"?) - - but I have done some homework.

But that doesn't mean I wouldn't latch on to any other/better ideas for places to stay - - I have at least two other threads going, focused on different aspects of this as well.

Your interest is greatly appreciated.
rex is offline  
Old May 10th, 2005, 05:41 AM
  #26  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,049
Hi Rex,

donīt worry, I know who you are having read quite a few of your threads.

I didnīt realize you were arriving on a Friday, most of the good fares will be taken.

My comment regarding driving from Bilbao to Biarritz is : traffic jams. You will find them coming out of Bilbao, you will find them in San Sebastian. If the weather is fine, the motorway is tolerable, if it rains, it can be a nightmare. I have been stuck in a traffic jam in San Sebastian while driving to get a TGV in Hendaye, and believe me, I felt horrible and I still remember how afraid we were of missing our train.

I also think that you are not giving enough time to Bilbao (and I am sure people like Maribel or Robert will agree with me), and you will come up with a very biased impression of the town.

Regarding the B&B, I might stay at the following one, right by the town of Gernika. Txopebenta is near the coast, but not right on the beach (you cannot see the sea from their location), and this one would allow you to have dinner in town and see something different.
http://www.nekatur.net/catalogo.asp?idal=173#ficha
http://www.gernika-lumo.net/in_index.asp

Rgds, Cova
cova is offline  
Old May 10th, 2005, 05:43 AM
  #27  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,049
You can see some pictures of Gernika and its surroundings here :
http://www.pensionmadariaga.com/pagi...lano/fotos.htm

Cova
cova is offline  
Old May 10th, 2005, 06:12 AM
  #28  
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 359
Rex:

Just a few mins ago: 9:04 am EST, I checked once again for PREM tickets to Bordeaux on the TGV via www.TGV.com, not RailEurope. Once again..I saw a few seats, 2nd class for 70 Euros round trip. Where are you looking for these tickets? The TGV gets you to Bordeaux from CDG in just under 4 hrs. In any event, keep me posted..

On another note, I may have to tag along as your baggage caddy/chauffeur and make sure you dont end up in traffic jams in Spain or France for that matter: I speak fluent French and Spanish ( but not Basque)..
Langcraft is offline  
Old May 10th, 2005, 06:38 AM
  #29  
rex
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 13,194
Well... Cova... this advice about Gernika and Aristieta is something I won't be quick to dismiss.

Are we in Bilbao too briefly? Well, heck yes. The issue is simple: a brief visit there? or not at all? We have a little over 48 hours in Euskadi - - and we ar quite torn about how to use it. Maribel speaks quit glowingly about too many places! I don't know that San Sebastian will be our cup of tea - - but I don't feel like driving by it and not even checking it out at all.

In truth, we might like Gernika better (than Bilbao), based partly on the photo gallery you have cited - - if we can do it (Gernika) "justice" in six hours... but the new Guggenheim seems so "must-see". (on the other hand, I am generally rather negative on the concept of "must-see"... is Paris really more "must-see" than Provence? Normandy more "important" than Alsace? says who?)

I have even struggled with the notion that I might like Rioja Alavesa a lot, and cut out some of the more "coastal" focus.

In any case, the advice about traffic jams is something we will remember

And as for the fare to Bordeaux, I was looking on SNCF.com - - never realized that there is a TGV.com - - and I only tried one-way; didn't think to try roundtrip.

But I still like my idea of a short stop/overnight in the Loire - - get out and see something sooner than that 6 pm arrival on the TGV.

Actually, right now, I am thinking that a relevant question (maybe need to decide today) is: 2nd class couchette vs. 1st class (I have another thread going on this, and might bringi it up with this focus) - - if the whole point is to try "roughing it" - - why not try 2nd?
rex is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
HG001London
Europe
19
Feb 9th, 2012 01:36 PM
marigny
Europe
5
Sep 12th, 2006 11:45 AM
paulg
Europe
8
Mar 1st, 2005 05:02 AM
selltile
Europe
7
Aug 11th, 2004 04:46 PM
letour
Europe
4
Jun 28th, 2004 02:41 PM

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 - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

FODOR'S VIDEO