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

Would really appreciate input on France -

Would really appreciate input on France -

Old May 19th, 2024, 11:45 AM
  #21  
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 8,005
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
In our last driving trip (pre-covid) our car had a built in GPS. The rental guy set it for English, put in our first destination (hotel) and from then on it was very easy. Mrs. P's usual map monitoring job was outsourced to the electronic brain.
AJPeabody is online now  
Old May 19th, 2024, 07:53 PM
  #22  
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
Posts: 198
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I visited Paris, Brittany and Normandy last summer solo and rented a car. I have a terrible sense of direction, but with Google maps I had no problem driving by myself. Well, I mean a few times I missed a turn or something, but I was always able to get back on track.

There is a photo festival in La Gacilly that you might be interested in. https://www.festivalphoto-lagacilly.com/en Are you taking a workshop from Valerie Jardin? I think she runs them in Cabourg. I used to follow her.

That being said, I also love Paris, and you can't go wrong wandering around doing some street photography there. When are the Olympics over? I wouldn't want to be there during the Olympics.

I wrote a trip report with pictures, if you are interested you can click on my user name.
pgtraveler is offline  
Old May 20th, 2024, 04:58 AM
  #23  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 550
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by pgtraveler
I visited Paris, Brittany and Normandy last summer solo and rented a car. I have a terrible sense of direction, but with Google maps I had no problem driving by myself. Well, I mean a few times I missed a turn or something, but I was always able to get back on track.

There is a photo festival in La Gacilly that you might be interested in. https://www.festivalphoto-lagacilly.com/en Are you taking a workshop from Valerie Jardin? I think she runs them in Cabourg. I used to follow her.

That being said, I also love Paris, and you can't go wrong wandering around doing some street photography there. When are the Olympics over? I wouldn't want to be there during the Olympics.

I wrote a trip report with pictures, if you are interested you can click on my user name.
Yes! This is a Jardin workshop. Thanks for this. I am going to look into that photo festival! The Olympics will be over by then; going mid-late September. I want to let everyone know that I appreciate all of this input SO much! I haven't answered everyone individually but I have read over this thread several times. I think my stumbling block more than anything is where to get the car and where to drop it off? Cabourg doesn't seem to have a car rental place, and I'd probably want to drop it off in a different city. That's what we did in Italy. Is that allowed in France? When I think about getting a bus or taxi to wherever the car is, and then doing that at then end, it seems as though maybe this would be a better idea for a longer trip. And pgtraveler is right, there is a lot to photograph in Paris. I think I will email Valerie to get her input since she's actually from Cabourg. I just hate to bug her as she's leading workshops now, and I'm not sure it's appropriate. But I can try!

Again, thank you, truly! pg - I look forward to reading your trip report, thank you for pointing it out!

ETA: As for Paris - Couple questions:
  • I have never seen the passages. Are they a worthy use of time? I'm not a shopper, per se, but if there are old book shops, or cool architectural aspects for photography, I'd be interested . I've looked them up, and I don't think I'm interested in the couple that resemble newer shopping malls, but if one were to pick two or three, which ones?
  • Further, if anyone has intimate knowledge of Paris outside the main center areas - I'm thinking outer neighborhoods that are safe and worth exploring, please tell me about those.
Thank you!

Last edited by Rocket79; May 20th, 2024 at 05:50 AM.
Rocket79 is offline  
Old May 20th, 2024, 07:13 AM
  #24  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 23,077
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
The passages are interesting and particularly appreciated during bad weather:




Michael is offline  
Old May 20th, 2024, 09:02 AM
  #25  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 10,517
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Rental: on 6 trips to France, we used gemut.com (a travel bureau etc based in Oregon) to rent a car, with whom we became familiar on a trip to Germany 20 years ago
They are quite knowledgeable re Europe; very competitve rates (they are brokers for Sixt, Avis, Hertz etc) (you might get a rate on a Hertz car cheaper than renting directly with Hertz), and, cust. servicewise, could easily help you with acquiring a car in/near Cabourg after your camera class is over (no sense in having a rental car sit at your hotel while you're in classf or a week)

There are some previous thread re: passages:
  1. The covered passages of Paris
  2. Paris Passages - Nice Article in San Francisco Chronicle
  3. What's your favorite indoor passage In Paris?
tomboy is offline  
Old May 20th, 2024, 09:21 AM
  #26  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 550
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks again everyone! For the links and photos and car info!
Rocket79 is offline  
Old May 21st, 2024, 07:15 AM
  #27  
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 1,379
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Although they seem liek a nice feature, I find the passages kind of boring and lifeless. They are often deserted and a bit depressing. Dark hallways with closed shops. If you are in Paris on a Saturday or Sunday, the Les Puces de Saint-Ouen are a visual thrill, especially if you are in the market to buy an 18th century carriage.

I think France is a great country in general for winging it. Especially if you have a good reason (and it sounds like you do) for not over-planning.

Last edited by shelemm; May 21st, 2024 at 07:18 AM.
shelemm is offline  
Old May 21st, 2024, 09:34 AM
  #28  
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 134
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
As someone who does NOT like to drive, I think your plan to head back to Paris and do Rouen as a day trip is perfectly fine and makes a lot of sense!

As for less touristy neighborhoods in Paris - some that I love are:
Cite Florale and Buttes-aux-Cailles in the 13th - gorgeous flowers on the houses that are pretty to photograph, and the rest of the neighborhood has more of a village feel, with parts being kind of funky with cool street art
Canal Saint-Martin - love strolling along the canal, particularly around the area where the Antoine et Lili store is located (as a point of references.) It's peaceful, relaxing, and very pretty for photos.
Not a neighborhood, but the Coulee Verte is an old railroad that's been converted into a very pretty walking path with gardens that sits about 30 feet above the city - it's a lovely place to go for a stroll.
Fleur_de_Lis is offline  
Old May 22nd, 2024, 05:13 AM
  #29  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 550
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks again, everyone - Keep the thoughts coming, if you have any more!
Fleur - Thanks for that info on the other neighborhoods in Paris. More web searching for me!

I think at this point, I'm going to determine how many extra nights I want to spend in France, and then get flights booked. It seems as though I have time to do more thinking and can make further decisions down the road. I do have two nights in Paris before the workshop, but the first day will be walking around in a daze trying to stay in the time zone. Then, I'd just have one more full day there, as we are being picked up at 1 p.m. on what would have been the second full day.
Rocket79 is offline  
Old May 23rd, 2024, 01:07 AM
  #30  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 83,349
Received 46 Likes on 17 Posts
Bayeux would be an excellent base for Normandy. Take the train from Paris and stay there for a few days. Walk around the town. Nice shops and restaurants. See the famous tapestry and cathedral.

If you are interested in the D Day beaches and memorials, you could take a guided tour.

You could rent a car in Bayeux and drive around the countryside for a couple of days. If you use Google Maps on your smartphone now, it's the same thing while driving in France. Visit Honfleur.

A train trip to Rouen would be good if you are interested in Joan of Arc sites.
https://johnhendersontravel.com/joan-of-arc-in-rouen/

If you've not been to Monet's garden in Giverney, do that as well. It could be a day trip from Paris via train or a guided tour if you wished.

I'd want at least a couple of days more in Paris at the end of the trip.

You could do a lot via trains and guided tours or rent a car for a couple of days to explore.


starrs is offline  
Old Jun 3rd, 2024, 10:54 AM
  #31  
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 1,177
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I am just adding an encouragement here to eat alone in restaurants. I am often in Paris by myself for lunch and have found it easy to either book a seat in advance, or just ask. It's been my experience that they can always find a place to wedge me into. I read my kindle + people watch/eavesdrop and I never feel uncomfortable. It's always delightful. As a woman dining alone, restaurants have been welcoming.
rosetravels is offline  
Old Jun 8th, 2024, 12:50 PM
  #32  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 550
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hey all - Just wanted to pop back in and thank you for all of the great ideas and thoughts. After going back and forth a hundred times on this, I've decided to return to Paris after the workshop and spend a few days there. I will get a taste of Normandy for 6 nights, and if it resonates, I will come back with my husband or friends to do this road trip together. I just feel that the schlepping of taxi>Caen for car>drive around>back to Caen to drop off car>train to Paris>metro with bags for one night before my flight, is more hassle than what I want to take on. There is so much I haven't seen in Paris. It will be grand.

Question: If I decide to take the train to Rouen for a daytrip, do I need to get that train ticket in advance?

Thanks again, and if you Paris haunts or tips, I'm all ears.

Last edited by Rocket79; Jun 8th, 2024 at 12:52 PM.
Rocket79 is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
Plray
Europe
29
Oct 24th, 2014 08:39 PM
dorkforcemom
Europe
12
Jun 8th, 2005 03:58 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 - Manage Preferences Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Your Privacy Choices -