Friday, October 2, 2015

Introduction and Itinerary

In January 2015, as I was firming up plans to travel to England in late June/early July with husband and nephew as his graduation present, I was seriously missing Paris. It had only been 3 years since our last visit (which I wrote up here but even the idea of 10 days in England didn’t ease my Paris related blues.

I decided we’d just have to visit Paris and, for my birthday present, grabbed two tickets on Delta (Air France) using frequent flyer miles. I immediately felt better! My very tolerant and agreeable husband just shook his head. After buying the tickets, I had to decide what to see while we were in France. I wanted 7 nights in Paris but husband only agreed to 5. His reasoning “we’ve been there three times before, let’s see other places” was on point. My argument, “but I love Paris,” didn’t hold much sway, sigh. After some research on Fodors, Tripadvisor and perusing library guide books, we settled on 2 nights in Lyon, 5 nights in Sarlat-la-Caneda, 3 nights in Amboise, and 5 nights in Paris. 

I booked our apartments in Sarlat and Paris and the B&B in Amboise while husband chose the hotel in Lyon (close to the Perrache train station where we would pick up a rental car). I set a reminder for July 3rd to buy our TGV tickets from CDG to Lyon and then went back to planning our trip to England.

As soon as we were back from England and the trip report “blog” was done ( ) I turned all of my focus to France. With help from the Fodors Forum Posters, I came up with a busy but possible itinerary for our time in the Dordogne which was the hardest part to plan—there’s simply too much to see and do in that area for a lifetime, much less four full days.

Our Ambitious (and Busy) Itinerary: Depart 2 October and return 18 October.

Lyon 2 nights at Mercure Lyon Centre Chateau Perrache Hotel. On the agenda: walk with a Lyon Greeter, Notre Dame de Fourviere, Gallo-Roman Amphitheatre and Museum, Musee des Beaux Arts, dinner at a Bouchon.

Sarlat-la-Caneda 5 nights at Le Granier apartment. On the agenda: Rocamadour, Goufrre de Padirac, Beaux Villages (CArennac, Martel, Collonges-la-Rouge), Lascaux II, picnic at St. Leon zur Vezere, La Roque St. Christophe, Grotte de Rouffignac, Pech Merle, St. Cirq Lapopie, Grotte du Cougnac, Domme, La Roque Gageac, Chateaus Castelnaud, Beynac, Milandes, gabarres trip.

On way to Amboise stop at Oradour sur Glane, and if time Chateau Valencay or Chateau Villandry.
Amboise 3 nights at La Grange Amboise B&B. On the agenda: Chateaus--Amboise, Clos Luce, Chenonceau, Blois, Chambord, Cheverny, Charmont-sur-Loire.

On way to Paris stop at Chartres for the Cathedral.
Paris 5 nights at parisbestlodge’s Crazy View Apartment on Ile de la Cite. On the agenda: Museums--Delacroix, Pantheon, Cluny, L’Orangerie, Picasso, Arts et Metiers, Orsay, Louvre, Marmottan, Army, Napoleon’s Tomb, Rodin. Churches-- Notre Dame, St. Germain des Pres, St. Sulpice, St. Etiene du Mont, Sainte Chapelle. Other--Concert at Sainte Chapelle, dinner at Alain Ducasse, walk with a greeter, tour of Hotel de Ville, Opera Garnier tour, shopping at Galleries Lafayette.

Guidebooks: Michelin Green Guides for Loire Valley, and Dordogne, Berry and Limousin. Blue Guide Paris. Copies of the sections on Lyon and Chartres from the Lonely Planet France
Maps: Michelin #329 Dordogne, Correze.  Michelin #518 Centre.  Michelin #522 Auverge, Limosin. Garmin Benelux/France chip for my Nuvi.

And, I’m happy to report, it mostly went according to plan! 

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