Headed to France

I just booked an improptu trip to France for the end of the month. I’ll arrive in Paris on the 25th and leave on May 7th, in between I basically have no plans yet.

I expect I’ll stay 3-4 in the city, I have some friends there who can’t put me up in their place but will be able to play with me a bit. Then I want to head out west or down south (via train) to see some of the countryside, perhaps the mountains and/or the coast.

So, if you had 2 weeks in France at the end of April, what would you do?

Enjoy the scenery. Drink loads of coffee, eat loads of food and learn to speak french.!!!

You don’t say anything about what you want to do? Museums, nightlife, neighborhoods, art, architecture, food, shopping, etc. Help us help you…

I lived in Paris for the better part of last year, so I’ll offer what help I can.

Here I am, at your disposal.

Email me, and I’ll help you in any way I can. I’m here, just outside Paris.

You can check with andygirl and Shibboleth, whom I’ve had the pleasure to meet in Paris to make sure I’m not some nutcase.


Good point, let me give you some particulars.

I don’t drink coffee, I speak some French. In Paris I will be visiting some museums, Cathedrals, and looking at architecutre. I plan to spend some time wandering around neighborhoods and just absorbing the atmosphere, especially if the weather is nice. I’m not much on “nightlife” but I hope to see some live music and possibly shows.

Once I leave the city I need to head to Roanne where a friend and her family are living on a canalboat. Then I may go to Marsaille where I know someone but haven’t heard back from him yet.

I normally like to hike and bike, I may rent/borrow a bike in Paris and see some more terrain. If I make it to the mountains some short hikes would be great. I’ve never been to the Med so that is possibly on my list as well.

I’ve only been to France once, just barely touching the country while out for the day from Heidleberg Germany. I’m taking this trip because I’m between jobs and needed to get out of Boston for a while. France has always been on my list of destinations but it kept on being pushed back for other, more exotic locations. Now it’s time. Ah, the joys of unemployment.

Thanks for the offer Anahita! I’m sure we can arrange to meet in the City of Light. Mini-dopefest!

Telemark: There is a fabulous Chateau just near my house, so if you get a bike, I’d be happy to help you by driving you out to the Chateau. There are tons of bikers out there and it’s GORGEOUS.
The area is called the Chevreuse Valley, and the Chateau is here:

Good luck!

THOSE two nutcases?

Ike, just because it’s true doesn’t mean that you have to say it.

I personally have very happy memories of Nimes and Arles, in the south where the Roman ruins are absolutely gorgeous. Lyon is fun for a few days as well, but it does have big city drawbacks.

If you encounter a likely paramour, just remember to whisper the following into their ear: “Je t’aime! Je t’aime! Maintenant fait le bruit du cochon!”

They’ll love that you’re speaking their language.

France surrenders

One area that my mom used to love to visit (I was 12 then, it wasn’t as fun for me) were the wine regions in the Alsace. I know that if I went to France, I’d go back to all those little villages and enjoy some good wine (but for now, the Niagara Penninsula will have to do…:slight_smile: ) Its a nice area for biking, too, but then again, so is the entire continent, or so I’ve heard.

Have fun!

I spent two weeks there at the end of march a couple years ago. I tried doing my own bike trip, leaving from Orleans, didn’t turn out to well, I should have went one city farther along the Loire. Oh well. My favorite thing was being lost in this little town, not a soul around. All of a sudden around the corner is this woman about 70 years old, riding a bike with the basket full of flowers, singing to herself, rode by me and smiled. You won’t see that on a tour bus.

But there’s a bike shop in Paris (on Robiteau?) that rents bikes by half day and full day. I rented one for half day on a sunday. It was great! They close off the quai(road?) along the Seine and hordes of people go biking, roller blading, walking, running the whole day. It was really fun.

My favorite site of all time is the older part of the Louvre, not by the pyramid, the plaza part where the fountain is, at night. It is illuminated beautifully. Don’t miss it.

Zhuh swee pair-dew - That’s all the French you need to learn.

Anahita is cool. Just make sure that if she’s giving you directions that she’s oriented in the way you’d like to go. :wink: And ask her opinion on the mons venus of the young female subjects in the Musee d’Orsay.

Here’s a page at a site that I found extremely helpful for finding affordable places to stay, eat, etc. Take a look, it may be helpful. I also found in Paris that it was beneficial to get the full day Metro card as I hopped off and on the public transport quite a bit. The only other parts of France which I’ve visited are the areas near Geneva (like Annecy) and the Cote d’Azur, both of which are quite lovely.

If I were going again I’d try to hit Bordeaux and those areas near the Atlantic coast. If you drink wine the 2000 Bordeauxs are said to be potentially spectacular, please pick us up a case or two of the best you can afford.

OK, plans are firming up a bit. I’m looking for a hotel on the Left Bank, near my friend’s place which is around the Invalides. Right now I’m choosing between places in 05, 06, and 07, I particularly like the look of the Latin Quarter. This looks centrally located and near fun walking, nice food, and good metro access.

I also have a place to stay between Nimes and Marsaille. I’m assuming there is a fast train that goes that-away? Once I get down south, should I head towards Nice or Spain? I plan on taking 4 days in Paris, 1 in Roanne, then I have 6 more days down south then probably 1 more back in Paris.

Thanks again everyone for help. I’m sure Anahita is cool, she’s going to show me the dark underbelly of Parisian nightlife, ce n’est pas?

I shall endeavour to do my best, however, I must inform you that I have to take the last train home to the burbs, some time around midnight, and you must walk me to St Michel/Notre Dame station.

I’d head towards Nice. It’s a lot closer from where you’re going to be.

Since you’re in that area, I would suggest considering Arles (especially since you’ll be so close; it’s a half hour away from Nimes), and Avignon.