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Where Would you Drive If You Left Paris Tomorrow for Two Nights?

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Mar 18th, 2009, 10:35 AM
  #1
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Where Would you Drive If You Left Paris Tomorrow for Two Nights?

We've been in Paris for a week and my birthday is Friday. I'm feeling a little like getting out of the City as we head to London for five nights after this.
Rather than try to make Friday "different" here I thought it might be fun to rent a car (no train, I like the freedom) and find a nice hotel somewhere relatively close. A big part of this is finding a nice hotel and good food.
We've been in an apartment so I'd enjoy a little pampering.
Any ideas?
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Mar 18th, 2009, 10:45 AM
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Honfleur if I wanted the ocean; Troyes for a medieval 'break';
Beaune if I wanted to wander the vineyards; Reims if I wanted
some bubbly. In other words, you cannot lose no matter the
direction you take! Good hotels and great restos in every
place.
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Mar 18th, 2009, 10:50 AM
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I wouldn't go to the beach this early. In fact, I'd probably wait until I knew for sure what the weather was. It was going to be at all damp and chilly, I'd be looking for a chateau with a roaring fire.

I appreciate the freedom of a car, too, but were it me, I'd get myself to Antwerp on the train and eat and eat and eat.
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Mar 18th, 2009, 10:55 AM
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You could go to the Loire valley, visit the Chartres cathedral on the way and see a couple of chateaux.
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Mar 18th, 2009, 11:03 AM
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Hi, I love short driving trips as well and the ones that come to mind would be to either go to Chartres or if you feel like a longer drive and prefer to go to the sea, Honfleur. There is a cool village near there called Etretat and they have wonderful seafood. Our for really eating and drinking Beaune might be another choice-great restaurant per square KM . Also, the Loire might be fun if you haven't been there. If you want to stay closer you could just go out to Fontainebleau. If you narrow down the area, I might have restaurant suggestions....
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Mar 18th, 2009, 11:05 AM
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Thanks so much! Any specific hotel recommendations - wherever?
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Mar 18th, 2009, 11:05 AM
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The weather in Paris is amazing... low 60's and completely sunny.
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Mar 18th, 2009, 11:18 AM
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This time of year, I would take the 9:16 TGV to Avignon, which arrives at noon. Rent a car, and head to Les Baux for lunch. Stay at Oustau de Baumaniere or Riboto de Tavern.

Visit a market, drive around, etc in Provence.

Then take the 4:30pm TGV back to Gare du Lyon (arrives 7:10), and have dinner at Train Bleu at the gare - fabulous decor. Taxi home.

Stu Dudley
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Mar 18th, 2009, 11:18 AM
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You'd probably be fine no matter which direction you end up choosing.

I liked Auxerre and Troyes and either would enjoyable for two nights. Don't have any knowledge of hotels for either place.
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Mar 18th, 2009, 11:48 AM
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If going to Troyes, don't miss the tool museum.
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Mar 18th, 2009, 11:49 AM
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On the way to Troyes you could stop by Provins.
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Mar 18th, 2009, 11:51 AM
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If you go to Troyes, don't miss the cathedral & the fine arts museum.

Happy Birthday!
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Mar 18th, 2009, 11:53 AM
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You could go to Reims and Ch. Les Crayeres and do some Champagne tasing and have a super stay and dining at Les Crayeres.

I will be taking the TGV down to Avignon, picking up my car and going to a favorite spot of mine Riboto de Taven in Les Baux for 3 nights during my month stay in Paris beginning mid April...

Enjoy..

Joan
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Mar 18th, 2009, 01:14 PM
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Hi W,

> no train, I like the freedom <

Freedom to do what?

Take the train to
Nancy or Strasbourg for Alsace
Dijon for Burgundy
Libourn for St. Emilion and the Dordogne
Avignon for Provence
Bayeux for Normandy
get the car when you arrive.

You could also take the train to Bruges and daytrip to Brussells as well.

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Mar 18th, 2009, 01:36 PM
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I'd second the Loire Valley idea, such a relaxing drive down, but the other local drive ideas like to the far south or to Reims are lovely also for a celebration. The birthplace of champagne sounds very appropriate for a birthday ... I'm jealous!! Enjoy your special day!
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Mar 18th, 2009, 02:34 PM
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Good suggestions above for destinations.

With regard to driving versus taking a train, then driving:

1. It will almost certainly cost you a fair amount to rent a car if you haven't arranged for one in advance from abroad.

2. No matter what your destination, driving will almost certainly eat into your sightseeing time, once you figure in getting out of Paris, into your destination, finding parking, then doing the reverse - this is especially true for any destination that you could reach by TGV because there's no way you could drive 180 mph.
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Mar 18th, 2009, 03:01 PM
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Another here who loved Etretat. Big tall limestone cliffs with nice hiking trails.

Honfleur would be terrific without the summer crowds. We stayed at www.giaglis.com and would stay there again. I would also spend a day visiting Normandy sights.
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Mar 18th, 2009, 03:40 PM
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St Cirq is right about last minute car rental but you should be able to rent via the internet as a US resident.

Here is a link to Etretat:
http://www.etretat.net/office_de_tou...es/accueil.php

Also you could also consider going to Bayuex and staying and/or eating at the Lion d'Or. I do agree Normandie off season is a treat-especially with the weather this week.
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Mar 18th, 2009, 04:17 PM
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Well... the best laid plans...
We were just on our way home from a wonderful dinner and were attempting to speak our limited French to our taxi driver.
Huge strikes are planned for Paris for tomorrow. He said he won't be working as the traffic will be so bad. The rails and airports will be affected.
Maybe we'll attempt a getaway for just Friday with one of the great ideas you've all been so kind as to add here!
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Mar 18th, 2009, 05:06 PM
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Sorry to hear, as I would second the Bayeux suggestion especially with Lion D'Or for dinner, or possibly Mont St. Michel.

However, Chartres is a wonderful day trip IMO. We did it by train.
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