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Old 10-04-2011, 05:31 AM
 
Location: Earth
24,639 posts, read 24,822,206 times
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I'm driving to northern France for a week. I leave on Saturday. I'll be driving from Germany.

I could spend all of that time in Paris, but just need 3 days for the Louvre and Orsay. I've been to Paris several times.

I'm familiar with Alsace Lorraine, so that won't be part of my trip.
I have no interest in any war sites.
I like architecture, museums, local and classical music and vegetarian fare (usually fromage).
I'll be camping.

Any advice?
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Old 10-05-2011, 12:55 AM
 
Location: Belgium
1,173 posts, read 1,673,805 times
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Lille, despite its reputation as a grey industrial city, is a nice city to visit. We go there to shop every now and then and I really like its medieval city center .
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Old 10-05-2011, 01:21 AM
 
Location: Earth
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I love Lille!
It's got a great center and the museum is the best outside of Paris! Also close to Belgium for my Leonidis fix (let's not neglect frites).

I was so pleasantly surprised when I visited!
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Old 10-06-2011, 07:07 AM
 
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I love Lille! Its nickmane "Petit Paris" is well deserved.

Arras, located just south of Lille, has a beautiful downtown famous for its gorgeous Flemish architecture.

I drove from Paris to Arras this past May, taking the smaller routes nationales and départementales and avoiding the autoroutes. It took me by the stunning château de Chantilly (home to one of the largest art museums in France outside of Paris) and Amiens (home to the largest Gothic cathedral in France).

A perhaps more obvious choice would be the Normandy (la Normandie) or Brittany (la Bretagne) regions of NW France. Those regions are full of nothing but pictoresque villages, stunningly gorgeous beaches (rocky, crashing waves, etc.), and amazing food (the land of crêpes!). I actually had a dream last night that I was back at le Mont St-Michel...
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Old 10-06-2011, 07:46 AM
 
Location: Earth
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The land of crepes. Really?!

I'm quite unhappy at the moment.
I have a week holiday and a month's worth of France to see in that time.
Have you been to the Loire from Orleans to Tours?
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Old 10-08-2011, 05:23 AM
 
Location: on an island
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chielgirl View Post
Have you been to the Loire from Orleans to Tours?
We have, and enjoyed it quite a bit. I thought it would be much more touristy than it was, but having a car made a difference.

We also drove around northern France and loved it. It definitely is the land of
crêpes, good cider too. Our route was (after we left the Loire Valley):

Nantes (loved it)
Rennes
Perros Guirec (incredibly scenic)
Dinan/Cancale (think of John Singer Sargent paintings)
Mont St Michel/Bayeux/Caen (Bayuex was touristy, but that Tapestry was well worth it, I was really impressed)
Rouen (really, really liked it, great food and very walkable)
Lille (agree that it's wonderful)
Back to Paris.

We did visit Omaha Beach and the Peace Museum at Caen. I think my favorite spots were Nantes, Perros-Guirec, and Cancale. This is probably too far west for you, but we also liked La Rochelle and Il de Re.
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Old 10-08-2011, 08:40 AM
 
Location: God's Gift to Mankind for flying anything
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chielgirl, have you ever done the *boat trip* that goes from the west via Paris towards the Alsace ?

I would like to do that some day !
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Old 10-08-2011, 12:28 PM
 
Location: Eureka CA
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Have you been to Giverny?
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Old 10-10-2011, 01:42 AM
 
Location: SW France
14,248 posts, read 14,137,087 times
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Talking of Giverny, how about Rouen?

The Musée des Beaux Arts is pretty good.

I know a lovely B&B in a large house in a lovely village not far from there.
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Old 10-11-2011, 02:36 PM
 
Location: on an island
13,382 posts, read 40,914,616 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jezer View Post
Talking of Giverny, how about Rouen?

The Musée des Beaux Arts is pretty good.
I mentioned Rouen earlier, we *really* liked it and enjoyed the Musée des Beaux Arts as well. Monet's Rouen Cathedral series is all over the place, and it was nice to see one in Rouen, with other interesting art there as well.
Love centre ville's half-timbered houses and pedestrian streets. Joan of Arc looms large. The Plague Cemetery.
And there is the Palais de Justice, with the WWII bullet marks. Lots of history in that city.

Rouen is one of those places where you want to get lost on purpose. We were walking along after dinner and just bumped into this place:

Rue Eau de Robec
We played petanque near there.
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