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France Trip 2019 (1 Viewer)

jon_mx

Footballguy
Last year (2018) did a trip to Paris, Bruges, and Amsterdam.  An amazing trip with awesome sites, amazing museums, fantastic food and beer.  I really need to write a trip summary.  There is a trip blog site online I started, but it is time comsuming.  Only on day 2 of a 17-day trip.  When I get it a bit further, I will link to it.  

This year, we are doing the first two weeks in May to day a France Trip:

- Start for three days in Paris

- A couple days in Loire Valley (had one day last year, was not nearly enough)

- Then three days in Bordeaux

- Then five days using Avignon as a base to explore south France.

Will pick up a car once we leave Paris and all the way to Avignon.  Then a train to Avignon back to Paris for the last day.  A few things are in concrete.....Seeing Carmen, more time in Orsay, mapped out chateaus to visit in Loire Valley, a few wine tours in Bordeaux (rothschild, Paloumey, Saint Ahon), Bordeaux wine museum.....the last day back in Paris will be in the Montemartre area.  Still a work in progress though. 

We did hit the main sites in Paris last year (bike tour, Notre Dame, Louvre, that Tower thing, Arc de Triumphe, River tour, Sainte Chapelle, Versailles).  Last year we had increbily pleasant weather, this year I expect it to be a bit cooler and several days of rain to deal with.  Last year we had the world cup madness to deal with, which was quite fun.  This year there are yellow jacket protests which could be interesting.  

 
We went from Paris to Lyon (cool little city) to Aix en Provence, stayed there for a few days daytripping and drove the coast to Nice, stopping in St. Tropez, and Cannes. Checked out Monaco and Eze (amazing mountaintop village) before ending up in Milan. Incredible trip.

 
We went from Paris to Lyon (cool little city) to Aix en Provence, stayed there for a few days daytripping and drove the coast to Nice, stopping in St. Tropez, and Cannes. Checked out Monaco and Eze (amazing mountaintop village) before ending up in Milan. Incredible trip.
Sounds awesome.  Probably will not get to Lyon on this trip but will a few of the others. 

 
Ah, Southern France.  One of my favorite places in the world and have been there multiple times.  You will have an amazing trip where ever you go. 

One idea is given you will be traveling from Bordeaux to Avignon consider stopping in the Dordogne region for a night.  I think that is very underrated area when Americans think of France but is a major tourist attraction for the Europeans, which I think of as a sign of a good region to visit.  It has some amazing sites from stunning castles (Beynac, Chateau Castelnaud and Milandes are all very close together and can be done in a day), tons of great towns (Sarlat is probably my favorite as it has a good location and an amazing medieval feel to it), religious sites (Rocamadour is a stunning sanctuary/town/castle) and amazing ancient cave paintings to see.  Also, a lot of things are close together (unlike Loire Valley where you need to travel a bit to get to things). Food is great as the region is the center for Truffles and Foie Gras.

Let me us know where you end up going on your journeys.  

 
I worked a few stints in Chalon-sur-Saone, which is between Dijon and Lyon.  This was back in 1999 or so when nobody had cell phones and the there weren't as many resources on the innerwebs, so we were using paper maps and asking at the hotel front desk to figure out what to do.  We didn't get much time off, but here are some trips we took:

  • Avignon to see the papal palace and the bridge.  Got some good gelato, bought a model trebuchet.
  • Bought a map that had little icons on it showing castles and ruins... we just mapped out a path from Chalon to Lyon and back that took us past like a dozen castles.  It was really cool to see how some were ruined, some were palatial, some were mean defensive beasts, some had tours, some were just open to wander around in... neat.
  • Went east to Chamonix, then Switzerland, Liechtenstein, then down through Italy and back.  There was a closed tunnel under Mont Blanc, and we missed a sign saying a pass was closed for the winter, so this ended up being a much longer trip than we expected, I think we got back to the hotel around 3 AM.  Going up Mont Blanc at Chamonix was really cool, we saw secessionist graffiti all over the Alps, some insane mountaintop fortresses, had a good meal in Italy... fun, but too much for one day.
  • Rafting at Pont d'Arc.  Incredible scenery, topless women, great day all around.  We didn't realize that the Chauvet cave paintings are right there, though I don't know if there are tours or anything.
  • Just driving around... you see the craziest stuff.  2000 year old Roman baths don't get a mention on a sign, weird old barns with horses sticking their heads out right next to the road, horsemeat burger advertisements, just weird stuff you'd never see in the US.  Driving around was really interesting.
  • We missed Pont du Gard - we were very close and just didn't know it was there.  I regret that.
  • While my group went to Avignon, another group went south to the Riviera and enjoyed that trip as well.  They also reported topless women.
 
We missed Pont du Gard - we were very close and just didn't know it was there.  I regret that.
Yeah, I really regret missing this too. We took a day trip from Aix to Arles and it was just getting a little too late to see Pont du Gard. I doubt I'll ever get there again.

 
Anyone been to Strasbourg?  SofaPrincess is studying there Winter 2020.  Looking forward to a visit to the area.

 
Going this fall. Interested to hear how the protests are effecting things. Kind of looks like a mess.
I don't think it is too bad.  Lots of the protests seem to target high-end retail.  Mostly vandelism with little danger poised to individuals.  Not into shopping, so will avoid the worst of it.  Probably safer than the World Cup celebration.  Kind of strange that a Green Tax would trigger so much anger from the left, but it was the optics of the cut in the wealth tax which made it worse.   

 
Ah, Southern France.  One of my favorite places in the world and have been there multiple times.  You will have an amazing trip where ever you go. 

One idea is given you will be traveling from Bordeaux to Avignon consider stopping in the Dordogne region for a night.  I think that is very underrated area when Americans think of France but is a major tourist attraction for the Europeans, which I think of as a sign of a good region to visit.  It has some amazing sites from stunning castles (Beynac, Chateau Castelnaud and Milandes are all very close together and can be done in a day), tons of great towns (Sarlat is probably my favorite as it has a good location and an amazing medieval feel to it), religious sites (Rocamadour is a stunning sanctuary/town/castle) and amazing ancient cave paintings to see.  Also, a lot of things are close together (unlike Loire Valley where you need to travel a bit to get to things). Food is great as the region is the center for Truffles and Foie Gras.

Let me us know where you end up going on your journeys.  
Did not think about Bordogne.  Was planning on stopping by Carcassonne or mayb e Toulouse on our way to Avignon, then drive along the coast.

 

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